Bedeken Ceremony Jewish Veil Tradition N. Ireland wedding

Bedeken Ceremony Jewish Veil Tradition N. Ireland wedding


The bride is unveiled by her fiancee during the Bedeken ceremony in N. Ireland.

One of the most interesting moments in a traditional Jewish wedding is the Bedeken - the wedding veiling ceremony. This Jewish ceremony has its origins in the stories of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in the book of Genesis.

The bedeken ceremony is a Yiddish word that literally means to “check” or “confirm”. In the Ashkenazi tradition (minhag), rather than a legal (halachic) ceremony, it takes place immediately before the chuppah. The Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews do not have a Jewish wedding veiling ceremony and the henna ceremony (the Hina) is considered to be the Sephardic counterpart to the bedeken.

The Jewish veiling ceremony is believed to come from the story of Jacob, who is tricked by his father-in-law Laban into marrying the wrong bride Leah, the sister of his beloved Rachel. Jacob’s lesson is noted and in the bedeken ceremony, the bride is seen (confirmed) and veiled by her groom- just minutes before they walk to the chuppah and make their marriage official.

This is the 2nd traditional Jewish wedding that I photographed and my first in N. Ireland. As these weddings have usually 200+ people I was working with the prestigious Dublin photo studio of Edmund Ross who called me in to capture this wedding in a 'reportage style'.




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