A collection of striking, beautiful and sometimes controversial photographs of Jewish and Muslim weddings from around the world.
Part of a Kyrgyz marriage ceremony. In the largely Muslim country of Kyrgyzstan it is not uncommon for brides to be kidnapped by their husband and married against their will. This is against the teachings of Islam where legal consent is required from both parties (ijab-o-qubul). A marriage without this consent or performed under coercion is considered void and may be annulled on those grounds.
Aitilek, 18, stands in front of her husband, Baktiyaf, who kidnapped her the day after they met in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
The wedding of the grandson of the grand rabbi of the Viznitz hasidic dynasty in Israel.
Here the Viznitz grand rabbi dances in front of his hasidim. Such large weddings are not uncommon in Israel where tens of thousands of hasidim will flock to the weddings of distinguished families. Orthodox weddings are strictly segregated with women and men seated separately.
A Muslim bride and groom offering dua on their wedding day.
Sheikh Ibrahim Abu El-Hawa embraces Rabbi Menachem Froman at the wedding of the rabbi’s grandson. Both men were best friends and incredible peacemakers. The late Rabbi Froman (may his memory be a blessing) fought in the Israeli military and was the rabbi of an Israeli settlement, so it would probably surprise you to hear he campaigned his entire life for peace and had many Palestinian friends, even Yasser Arafat described Rabbi Froman as his brother.
A Yemenite Jewish bride in traditional bridal wear.
A Pomak Muslim bride from Bulgaria dressed in the centuries old tradition of her village. The brides face is painted white and decorated with sequins and coloured paint. The pious locals consider themselves more Muslim than Bulgarian.
From the bride’s birth her family will laboriously pile up her dowry – mostly handmade knit-work, quilts, coverlets, sheets, aprons, socks, carpets and rugs. While the money pinned to her dress is a gift from the wedding guests.
This photograph from 1952 is of an orthodox Jewish wedding in Israel. The young couple stands beneath a traditional wedding canopy (chupah). Unusually the canopy is held aloft by a pitchfork and a rifle, tools that were emblematic of the fledgling country’s struggle for survival.
In the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, these two Berber brides are dressed for a traditional mass wedding that includes four days of ceremonial rituals.