The day of our first wedding arrived. We were looking forward to it. In Canada from the beginning we knew it would be difficult to get one because with the van and its problems we were afraid of being late.
Lipaz and Reem live in Tel-Aviv, and they were going to get married in New York, the two of them alone. They were looking for a photographer and we got to them. In addition to being the photographers, we were also going to be the witnesses. We arranged everything for the big day, took some pictures before the wedding and got to know this wonderful couple.
Lipaz and Reem have been living together for over 4 years, they have two dogs and a lot of love. They met at work. At the time, Lipaz worked for a bank that supports start-ups and went to meet one of the start-ups where Reem was. She is now marketing director at an arts center and he remains connected to new technologies, as well as having a podcast about football in Israel. You can see there was no lack of conversation.
We walked to Central Park, it's huge, we got lost on a day when it was 27 degrees with 100% humidity.
We asked what marriages were like in Israel. For a marriage to be valid in Israel it has to be religious, and the religion and traditions it implies do not promote gender equality. A small, unimportant example is the tradition of breaking a glass at the end of the religious ceremony: only the man breaks the glass, but nowadays, Reem told us, there are weddings where the woman also breaks the glass. But this is not a good thing.
A small wedding has close to 250 people. And there are weddings with 1500 people. Lipaz and Reem wanted something from them, they didn't want their marriage to be linked to religion and so they thought about getting married outside the country.
The two places in view were New York: because Reem had never been there and Lipaz loved it and, imagine: Portugal. All friends who have visited Portugal spoke of wonders and it was a destination they thought of. New York won.
Lipaz ordered the dress online to be delivered to the hotel, they bought Reem's suit the day before in New York. She put on her own makeup and opted to just go to the hairdresser. The bureaucratic process to get married in New York is quite simple. It is necessary to go to the city hall to ask for permits and the next day to show up there, people are served on a first-come, first-served basis.
We arrived around 1:00 pm, we were number 44. There were several newlyweds there. Some like Lipaz and Reem: alone with the photographers and others with family and friends. Next to us another couple from Israel with their family. The process was quite simple. Some papers are filled out and then the couples are called by the numbers to a room, each one in turn and in complete privacy, creating special moments. Still sitting waiting for a bride, wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt, she came to Lipaz and offered her her bouquet, she didn't need it anymore.
They called the number 44. When they exchanged rings, smiles appeared on their faces, sincere and emotional. We are very proud to witness this love, which does not need traditions, religions or anyone else to be valid, true and unique.
There were still some papers to be filled out because of the international license. So we went to Chinatown for lunch, eating dumplings. And as in all weddings there was a lot of food!
Love is all over the world, and it only takes two people to prove it, in a simple, unpretentious way and with a smile on their face.
All photos with Fujifilm Xt2