West London Synagogue Wedding Photography
I arrived early for my first West London Synagogue wedding photography of Kenzie and Will’s Jewish ceremony. I had travelled into London for the day, from my home in Guildford, and while I always like to arrive early to a wedding, I particularly wanted to have a good look at the West London Synagogue this time. Preparation is key for me, so that I’m fully prepared for when the couple and their guests began to arrive. I was also able to have a really constructive chat with their Rabbi who would be conducting the wedding ceremony, and I was so grateful that she trusted me to photograph discreetly during the wedding ceremony, and capture the shots you see below.
The West London Synagogue of British Jews
The West London Synagogue is situated just north of Marble Arch tube station on Upper Berkley Street. The Synagogue moved to this location in 1870 after first establishing itself in Burton Street, before moving to Margaret Street off Cavendish Square, before finally moving to it’s current home on Upper Berkley Street, where the Synagogue has expanded over the years to include libraries, teaching rooms and offices. Today the West London Synagogue can boast some 3000 members, and of course they provide so much more than just wedding ceremonies. Their wide programme includes Jewish and interfaith activities, lectures and communal events.
The West London Synagogue is now classed as a grade II heritage building. The Sanctuary is made in an Italian Moorish style, while the Goldsmid Hall is constructed in a classical architectural style including wood panelling and an attractive twin staircase. One of the most unusual features of the Synagogue, among others in London, is the proscenium arch stage, making for some wonderful West London Synagogue wedding photography.
Two Days of Wedding Celebrations
I had such a great time working with Kenzie and Will. They came across my work as I’m a recommended photographer at Pembroke Lodge, where they would be having their civil ceremony and reception. The couple live not far from Richmond Park, and Will, being a keen photographer himself loves photographing the landscape and deer in the park.
Prior to the wedding we had done an engagement shoot along the banks of the Thames, and so, in combination with the two days of wedding events that began with their West London Synagogue wedding photography, I really felt that I got to know the couple, and I still enjoy seeing Will’s photography, whenever he posts on Instagram.
The West London Synagogue Ceremony
I was so glad to be able to capture these images of their Jewish ceremony, in my discreet documentary style of wedding photography, and I hope it’s not my last West London Synagogue wedding photography. The ceremony space is wonderful, and the ornate backdrop of the Synagogue provides such great visual interest in every photo. The quality of light is also so fantastic inside the Synagogue that pictures are also flattering, without the need for additional lighting or distracting flash photography.
Having already familiarised myself with the space, I was able to move discreetly around at certain times during the ceremony, to captures West London Synagogue wedding photographs from different angles. Most notably I was able to captures some stunning shots from the upper tier of seating using a wide angle lens to capture the entirety of the space, as well as going for some more creative photos, as the wedding vows were being read.
Pembroke Lodge Reception
Day two of the wedding saw us reconvene at Pembroke Lodge, one of my favourite venues to photograph. Pembroke is in the heart of Richmond park and is a favourite stop off point for walkers and cyclists in the park, as well as a magnificent venue, suitable for weddings throughout the year. Starting with a few pictures of Kenzie and her bridesmaids getting ready, I swiftly moved on to Pembroke, where guests were already starting to congregate on the terrace outside the Belvedere Suite, where the civil ceremony would take place.
After my West London Synagogue wedding photography the previous day, the civil ceremony was a lovely change in mood, with readings by two friends and plenty of laughter and emotion. Kenzie’s family had come all the way from America, and the love between them was clear, especially during the speeches and when it came time to party! There was lots of music and dancing, including the Jewish tradition of the Hora, and the dance floor wasn’t empty all night!
Day two at Pembroke Lodge…
Hair & Makeup: Storme Makeup & Hair
Flowers: The Fine Flowers Company
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals