A "Crazy in All the Right Places" Jewish Wedding in Australia, Photographed by Dan O’Day [RF Wedding of the Week]

August 5, 2015

By Laura Brauer

You can never underestimate the power of a strong referral. Dan O’Day shot two mutual friends’ weddings before getting pointed to another wedding, to take place under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For the Australian photographer, accepting it was a no-brainer: “It was set to be another amazing Jewish wedding, and Jewish weddings are pretty much my favorite celebrations to cover.”


All photos © Dan O’Day

Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0272Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0576“Just as I suspected, it was foot-to-floor, head-to-ceiling crazy in all the right places,” he continues. “It was also a beautifully sincere celebration. There was a lot of love in the room. These two really just wanted to throw down and celebrate their union with their closest. I have rarely seen a couple that was just so in it the whole day. They were really taking it in, and were overwhelmed with emotion so many times throughout the day. It was just insanely genuine.”

Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0107Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0253Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0323 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0336 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0412Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0399 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0475Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0561Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0638Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0754Jewish weddings can be a little tricky, though, if you aren’t paying enough attention. “I find in general you can’t really afford to blink at a Jewish wedding—there is always something happening,” O’Day says. “It’s exhausting and thrilling all at the same time.”

Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_1270 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_1293Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0883With this in mind, trying to be “in five places at one time” was probably O’Day’s biggest challenge. “I overcame this by having my good buddy (and epic photographer) Todd Hunter McGaw ride along with me so we could constantly divide and conquer. Initially when he signed up to come along on the day, we thought it would be a good chance for us to shoot together and catch up along the way. I think we literally high-fived each other a couple of times on the fly and maybe crammed in two words the whole day.”

Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_0867 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_1169 Nik_Jem_Rock_So_Hard_1374Craziness aside, O’Day says it was all worth it: “The fact that they made me feel like I was an old friend made such a difference to morale on such a busy day. You always want to do just a little bit more for them. That definitely helped me rock my rose-colored glasses.”


In Dan O’Day’s Gear Bag 
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lighting: Two speed lights for the dance floor

Check out more Weddings of the Week, and email Libby Peterson with submissions.