Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Big Fat Greek-Jewish Wedding

I don't usually do personal but it's a slow Saturday. Two weeks ago our best friends' daughter Dara married Chris at Battery Park Gardens on a beautiful Sunday with a wonderful view of the harbor. They met as freshman 7 years ago at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and with both working in arts related fields, designed their own wedding, beautifully thought out, and it went off practically without a hitch. It turned out to be Harbor Day, so there were lots of interesting distractions coming from outside. Like the 20 person Navy brass band during the ceremony. And the pirate ship with the Jolly Roger parking right in front of us.

Dara is Jewish and Chris is Greek, so there was a Greek orthodox priest and female rabbi, who turned out to be very funny and had the place rolling during the ceremony. When people began to dance, it started with the traditional hora, which morphed into a Greek circle dance.

Mark, the father of the groom, is my video partner in our mythical production company, NorMark Productions. Recently we both bought the new Kodak Z18 flip-type video camera (which can shoot hi-def video, has a mic output, and a pull out USB connector to plug right into your camera, which you don't even have to do because it shoots on SD cards which can be flipped into a computer). The cost was around $170 (sans cards).

Mark handed the camera to a few of us during the wedding to get whatever footage we could. He then created a wonderful montage and put it up on You-tube. People who saw it said they didn't even know someone was shooting video, that is how unobtrusive the camera is.

Dara and Chris, on their honeymoon in Greece, got to an internet cafe and were able to watch it, maybe a world record for the fastest turn around time in a couple seeing video of their wedding. Mark and I think this will be a new paradigm, where instead of putting those still cameras at each table, a few flips will be handed out to the guest to shoot their own footage.

I have it here for those who don't click the links, but it is much better when you watch it directly on you tube.

David Bellel has been using a Flip camera for quite some time to shoot many of the political events here. Since there is so much power in video, activists should check out these cheap and effective cameras. The Kodak Z18 has the advantage of an external mic connection to improve the sound. Imagine going to a press conference at Tweed or City Hall and standing next to all the giant TV cameras with a little deck of cards sized camera on a tripod.


  1. I was at a wedding there last year. The view was spectacular.

  2. Hi Norm,

    Great video! Lots of luck to the happy couple. Do you get royalties if I use this in social studies? Great multicultural piece for the kids!

  3. Hi there,

    I am looking for a Greek Orthodox priest and a Rabbi in New York to marry my fiance and myself (he's Greek and I'm Jewish.) We are having a difficult time, especially finding a Greek priest willing. I just happened to come across your post. Would you mind passing along the names of the officiants to me? I would so appreciate it!

  4. Hi Rebecca
    Best of luck.
    I spoke to my friends and they will give you the names if you give us a contact number. Both were excellent.
    Email me at

  5. Charlie
    I have to put up some video of the morphing of the Hora to the Greek dance. That was fun to watch.

  6. I am in the same predicament I cannot find a priest anywhere!!! And my fiancé is jewish. I am absolutely freaking out please email me the name of the priest and Rabbi.

  7. Hi Rebecca!

    My name is Rebecca. I am planning my wedding with my fiancĂ©. I am Jewish and he is Greek Orthodox. I’ve been looking online to see how people have done weddings incorporating both traditions. I saw your post on the blog about the video camera from ten years ago when you were planning your own wedding “A beg fat Greek Jewish wedding”. I wanted to ask you some questions on what you decided on. I feel a little lost in planning and to hear from someone who had been there would be a blessing. I hope you and your husband are happy.



  8. Rebecca
    Not my wedding but our friends' daughter. They have a 2 year old now. Email me and I will connect you to Dara and Chris.


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