HINDU WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
“Clive oh my!!!…that is amazing. Thank you so much.”
WARNING!!: This post is a much longer than normal. There’s just so much to share from this wedding – and this is still only a tiny fraction of what happened !!
When Ravi and Jenika booked me as their Hindu wedding photographer, I was over the moon as I was in for another treat, as I love shooting Hindu wedding celebrations.
There’s always so many special traditions to watch out for, along with a riot of colours through-out the day. Plus, I’m usually allowed more freedom during the ceremony to discreetly get closer to get the best story-telling angles.
This is a perfect combination as a documentary story-teller.
This was actually the culmination of 3 days of celebrations, which started with their 2 day Hindu pre-wedding ceremony, a few days earlier.
Bank House was their chosen venue for their traditional Hindu ceremony, followed by their Civil Ceremony. The day ended with their evening reception celebrations.
I expected a party, and I wasn’t disappointed by the energetic music and Bhangra dancing which I enjoyed capturing, as you’ll see below.
A big thanks too must go to Raphael Waite from Raphael Lionel Photography for 2nd shooting for me on the wedding day, and the great Radhika and You for their flawless wedding planning and coordinating throughout.
HINDU WEDDING TRADITIONS
For those not familiar with Hindu wedding traditions, it’s worth noting that they do vary from culture to culture. But they also have certain common features. So if you’re ever invited to an Indian wedding, the invitation for non-Indians usually covers the final day of the ceremony so simply check your invitation carefully to confirm which part you’re attending.
These are the typical things a Hindu wedding photographer would be looking to capture:
Baraat and Dhol
Traditionally the groom’s wedding procession, called a Baraat, involves him arriving on a white horse. In some areas of India an elephant would be used, but that’s not very practical for England. But however the groom arrives, it’s always to the beat of an Indian Dhol drum, as guests dance around him.
Ravi’s arrival was no different. The loud beat of the drums could be heard far away. Plus, as he arrived a few smoke bombs were let off to add to the grandeur and colour of the occasion.
After the Baraat, Ravi made his way to where the ceremony would take place under the Mandap, which can be compared to the Jewish Chuppah. This is where the priest performed a Ganesh puja, along with the wedding ceremony once Jenika arrived. It was during this time the couple exchanged floral garlands, signifying their acceptance of one another as man and wife. Then Ravi placed red powder on Jenika’s forehead, to signify she’s now a married woman.
The Vidai ceremony symbolised reaching the end of the ceremony. This is traditionally where emotions run high as Jenika was now symbolically leaving home. You can imagine, as she formally said goodbye to her parents and family, a few tears flowed at that moment!
But there was a light-hearted end to the whole of the traditional ceremony. Jenika and Ravi were invited to play a game called Aeki Beki. In this game, a ring was placed in a bowl filled with water, milk, sindoor and vermilion. Inside the bowl are also coins and other metal objects. The game now begins! They both thrust their hand into the bowl and had to fish for the ring. The one who finds the ring first is said to rule the household. They’re given 3 attempts and it was to be the best of 3. So who won? The photos tell the story!!
THEIR HINDU WEDDING STORY IN THEIR OWN WORDS
BEFORE THE WEDDING
How You Met: At sixth form, 10 years ago.
How He Proposed: From early on we would always talk about getting married one day when the time was right.
The Bride Wore: Indian lengha from Aso Palav, India. Civil and Reception Dress was Stella York from La Couture Bridal in Kidderminster
The Groom Wore: Indian sherwani from Aso Palav, India. Civil and reception suit from India.
Hair/Make-up Done: Jaineesha cruelty free and vegan MUA
Flowers: Mum’s friend.
Ceremony Place: Elgar Suite, Bank House Hotel
Wedding Theme/Style: Elegant, romantic and soft pastel colours
Reception Place: Elgar Suite, Bank House Hotel
First Dance Song: Simply Amazing by Trey Songz
Cake: Cakes by Barbara
Colours: Ivory, pink, peach
Decor Elements: Orchid trees, flower halos and candles
Wedding Planner: Radhika and You
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Bride’s Answer: Seeing Ravi once the curtain was pulled down in the hindu ceremony and trying not to cry!
Groom’s Answer: Crying when i saw jen for the first time.
Place: Hong Kong and Bali for 3 weeks. Our first ever holiday abroad together! We flew out 2 days later and stayed awake chatting about the wedding for the 11 hour flight outbound.
- Write down what you want out of the day and what is important to the both of you. Keep that at the forefront during all planning and preparations so that when creating an itinerary, the things that matter most will gain the right amount of time, focus and attention needed to create those special memories that will mean the most to you.
- Delegate as much as possible and make sure you enjoy the planning process.
- Don’t stress over the little things, nobody (i.e. the guests) will notice and they become irrelevant as long as the two of you are happy on the day.
- Ensure you both have quiet moments together to look around, take in the day and enjoy every second of it.
- Capture those moments by booking a photographer like Clive 😉
YOUR FAVOURITE IMAGE AND WHY
Bride’s and Grooms Answer: All the ceremony ones. We enjoyed every moment and loved how our families were part of it. The ceremony was perfect in every way.
Are you looking for a documentary Asian or Hindu Wedding photographer?
I’d love to talk further and would love the opportunity to shoot more Asian wedding ceremonies! Fill out my contact form and let me know what you’ve planned.
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