Cake Cutting and Persian Knife Dance
Photography by Calin
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One King West Wedding


At this One King West wedding, cake cutting was one of the highlights of the the day. As a Toronto wedding photographer, I learned that the cake cutting is even more important in a  Persian wedding as the groom has to earn the right to cut the cake. 

During the wedding reception, the groom has to prove his love for his wife by bribing the guests (often those are the bride's relatives) who are performing a traditional wedding dance called the knife dance.

The couple must have loved each other a great deal because purchasing the knife from the dancers set back this groom a few hundred dollars.

For professional wedding photographer in Toronto, a multicultural city, the knife dance is a huge opportunity to create the perfect images.

At this Persian wedding the bride and groom's relatives took the knife and started dancing and requesting payment for the knife. After they tricked the groom into paying each dancer and not giving away the knife, the last dancer agreed to give the groom the precious knife so he can cut the cake.

This wedding album spread features photos from the cake cutting and the knife dance at beautifulOne King West Hotel in downtown Toronto.

For artistic purposes, I designed this wedding album spread in reverse chronological order. Also, because the typical bride and groom are not familiar with the Persian traditions, I started the album spread with a moment when the bride and groom cut the cake and kissed.

The second photograph on the spread features one of the guests receiving money from the groom in exchange for the knife.

On the wedding day everybody is giddy. Still, during this dance I could barely shoot. It was that hilarious! The groom giving money to all the guests and they would run with the money but not returned the knife.

Finally, the maid of honour returned the knife to the couple so they could cut the cake.

To have a successful wedding photography studio, one has also to know the customs of different cultures. In the GTA, about 50% of all the weddings are ethnic. As such, a photography professional has know there is traditions pertaining to Indian, Jewish, African, Western, Catholic and Chinese ethnicity.

For example, in many cultures, on the couple's special day the groom has to prove his love in different ways. The Chinese have the wedding games where the poor groom has to work hard to be able to see his bride though no money is exchanged. 

The Indians still the grooms' shoes and he has to pay to get them back. Also, when he arrives at the bride's house, relatives and guests don't allow him to see her before he pays a certain fee. Of course everybody expects those and the groom is well prepared.

In the Eastern European countries the bride's cousins and brothers kidnapped the bride. To show his love, the groom has to bribe the guests.

It is a common theme that on the wedding day the groom has to pay certain fee for his privilege to get married to the love of his life.

However, I digress! Let's return to our special event.

Once the couple cut the cake, the timeline advance to the speeches part of the wedding ceremony.

Because these images capture perfect moments, I didn't have to work hard for this particular wedding album spread. I performed a colour correction, followed by basic skin retouching (where I soften the skin and removed any blemishes). The final step was to refine the levels and curves in Photoshop and to adjust the sharpness of the images and create a selective vignette.

This is a perfect moment to mention that many Toronto wedding photography studios spend a mere fraction of the time we do in processing the images. In my opinion, a professional is to deliver only perfect photographs. We often spend 10 minutes or more for the perfect shot. Because we take pride in the high-quality photographs  we deliver many brides chose us to document their big day.

Location: 1 King St W, Toronto, ON M5H 1A1.

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