One of the many great things about being a wedding photographer is the opportunity to play such a pivotal role in so many different kinds of weddings. Love transcends the borders and boundaries imposed upon us by language, culture and geography. All cultures of the world have a subtle approach to the art of marriage influenced by their religions and / or traditions. As a photographer, it’s part of your job to know what you’re getting in for, familiarise yourself with the wedding customs, rituals and traditions of your clients’ backgrounds and use this knowledge to inform beautiful shots that capture the idiosyncratic moments that make a wedding special.
A Lebanese wedding ceremony is an incredibly energetic affair which brings with it a wealth of opportunities for the quick-witted shutterbug.
Photographers at a Lebanese wedding need to be fearless!
A Lebanese wedding is a whirlwind of spectacle and it’s easy to be cowed by all the bombast. They’re loud, raucous and slow down for no-one. As such, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get in there when necessary while also knowing when to take a step back.
Fireworks are a common staple in Lebanese weddings, and in a way fireworks are also a neat microcosm of the atmosphere you can expect. It will be spectacular, it will be jaw-dropping, it will be loud and you’ll have incredible moments that will be gone in a flash.
Oh, and be prepared because a Lebanese wedding can last a very, very long time!
The better you know the Lebanese wedding traditions, the better primed you’ll be to get the snaps you need…
The Warm up party
This is essentially a big warm-up party. The bride and groom have separate parties in their own homes with music, fine food, flowers galore and a whole lot of dancing. This is a close-knit family affair and a great opportunity to get some cool action shots. Towards the end of the party, the groom’s parents will stop by to present the Bride with a wedding gift. This will usually be a piece of jewellery for her to wear for the ceremony.
The Zaffe |
Lebanese wedding in Toronto
If you only capture one moment in a Lebanese wedding it should be the Zaffe. This is an extravagant precursor to the festivities. The bride and groom make a grand, sweeping entrance, elaborately dancing their way to the main dance floor surrounded by drummers and professional zaffe dancers.
The cutting of the cake… With a sword!
The cutting of the cake is a quintessential wedding shot. But in Lebanese weddings, as in many Middle Eastern cultures, it’s not uncommon for the bride to cut the cake with an ornate sword… And you won’t want to miss that!
Don’t be alarmed if you hear the Zalaouta
The Zalaouta is an expression of joy; a high pitched ululating cry that you will likely hear from the bride and / or other women in the wedding party. Think of the sound made by Xena Warrior Princess and multiply it by about a thousand.
Music and dancing!
No Lebanese party is complete without a plethora of music and dancing. This is something that many couples take very seriously and it’s not uncommon for big bands or celebrity singers to be hired for the occasion. Again, this presents a wealth of opportunities for incredible action shots!
If you’re planning a traditional Lebanese wedding in Toronto and are looking for a wedding photographer click here to check our availability.