Wedding At Skirball Cultural Center

Aug 24, 2017

REBECCA & BEN

Locations:

  • Getting ready: Private residence in Los Angeles, CA (bride and groom)

 

Introduction:

I was first contacted by Rebecca and Ben around a year ago about photographing their wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center. While Rebecca’s family is from Los Angeles, Ben is from Maryland on the East Coast, which is where the couple were living and working the past few years. But it was a pleasure to meet them when they flew over to Southern California a couple of months ago for their e-session in Downtown Los Angeles.

They were planning a traditional Jewish wedding at Skirball Cultural Center in West Los Angeles. It boasts a huge courtyard for ceremonies and a glamorous ballroom for receptions, as well as plenty of lush greenery that’s ideal for portraits.

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The newly married couple embrace beneath their Chuppah at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

 

Getting ready photos at a private residence in Los Angeles:

While my second photographer was with Ben and his groomsmen at an AirBnb rental, I was with Rebecca and the girls as they made their final preparations at her parents’ home. I felt honored to be invited into this private space to capture these special moments as Rebecca’s mom and maid-of-honor helped secure her jewelry and admired her gorgeous gown. I also grabbed some shots of Rebecca’s bridesmaids “fluffing” her dress and a reflective portrait of Rebecca as she checked herself in the mirror.

She and Ben had bought some plaques for both of their moms and there were emotional reactions as Rebecca presented them. I used the opportunity to grab a portrait of her with both her mom and Ben’s mom on either side and you could just tell how much family meant to them all. I then photographed Rebecca as she walked down the stairs of her parents’ home towards her dad for their first look and his reaction at seeing her looking so beautiful.

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Capturing a special moment between Rebecca and her mom as they admired her gorgeous wedding dress.

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Rebecca’s bridesmaids help to “fluff” her wedding dress as they were getting ready at her parent’s home in Los Angeles.

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Rebecca’s mom helps to secure her necklace as they were getting ready for her Jewish wedding in Los Angeles.

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A candid, reflective shot of Rebecca checking herself in the mirror as she prepared for her Skirball Cultural Center wedding.

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Capturing a special moment between Rebecca and her maid-of-honor as she helped to secure a bracelet.

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Rebecca’s bridesmaids assist her as she steps into her bridal shoes while getting ready for her Skirball Cultural Center wedding.

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A creative black and white shot of Rebecca’s bridesmaids “fluffing” her wedding dress as they prepared for her LA wedding.

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Rebecca’s bridesmaids blow her a kiss in a playful getting ready moment at her parents’ home in Los Angeles.

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Ben’s mom opens a gift from the couple on the wedding morning at the home of Rebecca’s parents.

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Capturing the emotional reaction of Rebecca’s mom as she opens a gift from the couple.

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A special moment between Rebecca, her mom and mother-in-law as they prepared for the Skirball Cultural Center wedding.

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Rebecca walks down the stairs of her parents’ home in Los Angeles for a first look with her dad.

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Rebecca and her father embrace during an emotional first look at a private residence in Los Angeles.

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Rebecca’s dad reads a card written to him by the couple on the morning of their Jewish wedding.

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A portrait of Rebecca in her gorgeous wedding dress, standing between a set of red French doors.

 

Pre-ceremony portraits at Skirball Cultural Center:

We then made the short drive over to the Skirball Cultural Center where Rebecca and Ben were having their first look. Before they got a glimpse of each other, I captured Ben opening a watch that had been gifted to him by Rebecca and the bride with her maid-of-honor and man-of-honor as they travelled down the elevator to the gardens.

It was within this gorgeous, leafy setting that we had the first look, with Rebecca walking towards her groom. After capturing their emotional reactions, we used the opportunity for a portrait session around the garden walkways, with warm embraces and loving looks in this special moment. I grabbed a candid of Ben holding the train of Rebecca’s dress as they walked along one of the paths, then a playful bridal party portrait as the couple kissed.

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Ben reads a note card from his bride-to-be on the morning of their wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben fixes a watch onto his wrist that was gifted by Rebecca on their wedding day at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca in an elevator at the Skirball Cultural Center with her maid-of-honor and man-of-honor.

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Rebecca reads a note card from her husband-to-be in front of a dark green hedge at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca walks towards Ben during their first look in the beautiful gardens of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben turns to see his bride during their first look on a leafy walkway at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Capturing a tender moment between the couple during their first look session, backed by the greenery of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca embraces Ben while he holds her bouquet during their Skirball Cultural Center wedding portrait session.

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Capturing a kiss between the couple in front of a hedge during their Skirball Cultural Center wedding portrait session.

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Capturing a warm embrace between Rebecca and Ben during their intimate portrait session at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca and Ben look lovingly into each other’s eyes during their garden portrait session at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben holds the train of Rebecca’s wedding dress as they walk through the gardens of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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A bridal party portrait of Rebecca and Ben kissing while their bridesmaids, groomsmen and flower girls celebrate.

 

Bedeken and Tisch photos at Skirball Cultural Center:

In accordance with Jewish wedding tradition, Ben and the men had a Tish ceremony with plenty of singing, while the women held a Bedeken in the next room. Female wedding guests came to congratulate Rebecca, her mom and Ben’s mom, before the Rabbi came to grab her signature and make sure all the wedding documents were complete.

Then the men arrived amidst music, song and dance to greet the women and the two mothers performed a “breaking of the plate”. I captured candid shots as Ben signed the Ketubah and lifted Rebecca’s veil to check he had the right bride!

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Ben with his dad and father-in-law during the traditional Jewish Tish ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca’s mom and mother-in-law escort her into the Bedeken ceremony during her Jewish wedding.

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Rebecca holds hands with her mom and mother-in-law during the traditional Jewish Bedeken at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Women come to congratulate Rebecca and her moms during the traditional Jewish Bedeken at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Capturing a playful moment between Rebecca and a wedding guest during the Bedeken ceremony.

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The Rabbi asks for Rebecca’s signature to make sure all the marriage documents are in order.

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Ben and the men arrive at the Bedeken ceremony amidst singing during the Jewish wedding celebrations.

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Capturing Rebecca’s reaction as her groom arrives at the Bedeken during the Skirball Cultural Center wedding celebrations.

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The men sing a traditional Jewish wedding song as they arrive at the Bedeken ceremony.

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Rebecca and her moms share a laugh during the Bedeken ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben and his groomsmen perform a traditional Jewish Horah dance during the Bedeken ceremony.

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Rebecca and Ben’s moms break plates in what is a traditional Jewish wedding ritual.

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Rebecca’s dad comes to greet his wife and daughter during the traditional Jewish Bedeken ceremony.

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Ben signs the Ketubah as part of his Jewish wedding celebrations at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben lifts Rebecca’s veil to check it is his bride during the traditional Jewish Bedeken ceremony.

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The bride and groom share a laugh during the Bedeken ceremony during their Jewish wedding celebrations.

 

Ceremony photos at Skirball Cultural Center:

It was then time for the main Jewish wedding ceremony to get underway, beginning with Ben being escorted down the aisle by his parents. Rebecca then made her grand entrance from the second story of the Skirball Cultural Center courtyard and down the stairs where her parents awaited.

I captured Ben’s emotional reaction at seeing his bride in this moment and the embraces as Rebecca’s parents gave her way, then photographed the bride as she circled her groom in what is a Jewish wedding tradition. I tried to capture the ceremony from multiple angles, including up-close reactions of the couple as they stood in front of their Chuppah and wide-angle shots looking down the aisle of the Skirball Cultural Center courtyard.

They wrapped themselves in a cloth to symbolize their union and Ben performed the traditional Jewish “breaking of the glass” before they were announced “husband and wife”.

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Ben is escorted down the aisle of the Skirball Cultural Center courtyard during his Jewish wedding ceremony.

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Ben kisses his mom as they arrive at the Chuppah during his traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.

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A black and white candid shot of the flower girls making their way down the aisle of the Skirball Cultural Center courtyard.

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A wide-angle shot of Rebecca making her grand ceremony entrance at the Skirball Cultural Center to be greeted by her parents.

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Capturing Ben’s emotional reaction as he watched his bride walk down the aisle of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca is escorted down the aisle by her parents at the start of her Jewish wedding ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca’s father embraces her at the altar as he gives her away during the Skirball Cultural Center ceremony.

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Rebecca’s father shakes Ben’s hand as he gives his daughter away at the start of the Jewish ceremony.

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Rebecca circles Ben in what is a traditional Jewish wedding ritual at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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A creative shot of the couple facing their Rabbi during the courtyard wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca and Ben look lovingly into each other’s eyes while their Rabbi leads the ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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A wide-angle shot looking down the courtyard aisle of Rebecca and Ben’s ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Capturing Ben’s reaction as he looks lovingly at Rebecca during their courtyard ceremony in Los Angeles.

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Rebecca was all smiles as she wed Ben during their Jewish wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca and Ben surround themselves in a traditional cloth as a symbol of their unity during the Jewish ceremony.

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Ben performs the “breaking of the glass” during his traditional Jewish wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca and Ben kiss in front of their Chuppah after being pronounced “husband and wife”.

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The newly married couple were all smiles during their recessional walk through the Skirball Cultural Center courtyard.

 

Post-ceremony portraits at Skirball Cultural Center:

Everyone had a few moments to relax and rejuvenate before the reception was due to start. But I managed to grab the couple for a few romantic nighttime portraits around the gardens of the Skirball Cultural Center and within their glamorous ballroom reception venue.

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A portrait of the newly married couple kissing in front of their Chuppah at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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An intimate nighttime portrait of Rebecca and Ben during their Skirball Cultural Center wedding photo session.

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A creative portrait of the couple embracing, framed by Rebecca’s sweeping veil, at the Skirball Cultural Center.

 

Reception photos at Skirball Cultural Center:

The ballroom reception at the Skirball Cultural Center kicked off in true Jewish wedding style with lots of dancing. Young and old hit the dance floor to celebrate, with Rebecca and Ben lifted above the dance floor on chairs during the Horah dance. I tried to get in amongst the action to capture all the energy and festivities before things settled down for the speeches and toasts.

I photographed both sets of parents as they made speeches, as well as the couple’s reactions, then captured their official first dance as newlyweds. After the parental dances, everyone hit the dance floor again to celebrate, only pausing for the cake cutting ceremony and to jump into the photo booth.

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Rebecca and Ben make their grand entrance into the ballroom reception at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben’s mom dancing with one of the flower girls during the ballroom reception at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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The bride and groom enjoying the dance floor with their friends and family at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca dancing with her mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law during the Skirball Cultural Center reception.

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Rebecca and Ben are lifted above the dance floor on chairs while holding a handkerchief in what is a traditional Jewish wedding ritual.

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Rebecca’s mom enjoying the dance floor as she celebrated her daughter’s union with Ben.

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Rebecca dancing with one of the flower girls during her ballroom reception at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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An elevated view looking down across all the energy and celebration of Rebecca and Ben’s ballroom reception.

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Rebecca swinging around the dance floor with one of her father’s friends during the ballroom reception.

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Ben’s dad enjoying the dance floor during the traditional Jewish wedding celebrations.

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Capturing all the emotion of the dance floor during Rebecca and Ben’s Jewish wedding reception.

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Rebecca enjoying the dance floor with her man-of-honor at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

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Ben and one of his groomsmen spin around the dance floor during the lively Jewish reception at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca and one of her friends spin each other around on the ballroom dance floor at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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The bride and groom letting loose on the dance floor during the Jewish wedding celebrations at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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The two flower girls spinning each other around on the dance floor as they enjoyed the wedding festivities.

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Ben’s parents make a toast during the ballroom reception at LA’s Skirball Cultural Center.

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Capturing the reactions of the bride and groom as speeches and toasts were made during their ballroom reception.

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Rebecca’s dad had everyone laughing with his speech during the Skirball Cultural Center reception.

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Rebecca and Ben share a laugh as speeches and toasts were made during their Jewish wedding reception.

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Rebecca and Ben embrace her parents after their speech during the glamorous ballroom reception.

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Rebecca and Ben perform their first dance in the middle of the Skirball Cultural Center ballroom.

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The newly married couple kiss at the end of their first dance in the lavish ballroom of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Ben’s parents enjoying the dance floor as they celebrated their son’s marriage to Rebecca.

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A creative angle of the bridesmaids and man-of-honor enjoying the dance floor at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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Rebecca’s parents share a special moment on the dance floor during the Skirball Cultural Center celebrations.

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Ben letting loose on the dance floor with his groomsmen to celebrate his marriage to Rebecca.

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Capturing a special moment between Ben and his mother-in-law in black and white during the Skirball Cultural Center reception.

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A candid shot of the photo booth antics during Rebecca and Ben’s Skirball Cultural Center reception.

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A candid shot of Rebecca’s brother and his daughter admiring the wedding cake during the ballroom reception.

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The newly married couple toast during their cake cutting ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center.

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An intimate portrait of the couple kissing in their glamorous ballroom reception venue at the Skirball Cultural Center.

 

Conclusion:

It has been an incredible year getting to know Rebecca and Ben and I feel so grateful that they decided to hire me to capture this wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center. I know that in addition to just getting married, they are both starting new careers, so I wish them all the best in this upcoming chapter and every success in the world.

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