Indian weddings are very colourful, although the ceremonies do vary by caste the main key rituals are very similar. The main wedding ceremony takes place under the mandap. It is traditionally made of wood with four pillars, but now there are many different options available with hanging crystals, flowers and different coloured lights. Amazing royal type chairs are used for the bride and the groom, and side chairs for the parents. There is also an aisle with a long carpet leading up to the wedding mandap. Sometimes on both sides of the aisle there are pillars with wooden carved Ganesh ornaments with drapes. When our team is booked for a wedding we ensure all the little touches are captured. Our team will always start an hour before guests arrive so we photograph the decor in its perfect condition.
The wedding itself takes place in stages throughout the day and each stage has its own ceremony associated with it. It is important for our team to capture all the parts as they are all equally as important as each other. We always advise the families to appoint a person to coordinate the day so the different parts don’t clash or run over. This helps the day flow smoothly and no moment gets missed out of the final images.
The various stages of the day include the Ganesh Pooja which is prayers to remove any obstacles and bad omens, arrival of the groom, arrival of the bride. Once the bride arrives then the rest of the wedding usually takes place in the mandap. These parts include the Kanyadan, which is where the parent give away the bride. The mangal fera which is the main part of the wedding along with the Saptapadi (seven steps). These two stages are where the bride and groom are making vows to each other. Firstly they walk around the fire (Agni) four times, each round represents four goals in life; Dharma (moral sense to lead a good life), Artha (prosperity), Kama (energy and passion) Moksha (Liberation through self realization). The second stage which is the seven steps is the promises you make to each other which are to provide for and support each other; mental, physical & spiritual strength; share worldly possessions; happiness and harmony; respect and trust; raise strong and virtuous children; let us be blessed with long lives and remain true companions, committed only to each other.
Once the seven steps are complete the groom will place sindur on the bride centre parting and place a mangal sutra around her neck symbolising her now as a married woman.
Each of the moments throughout the day need to be captured perfecting so that they can remember everything from the images. The Event Guru team ensure that all the smiles, laughter and expressions are portrayed perfectly.
The final stage of the wedding that is very important to capture is the Vidaii, as this is when the bride says her farewells to her family before starting her new life as a married woman. This can be an emotional time for the bride and our team ensure they are discreet when taking photos during this time whilst capturing the emotional moments between the family and the bride.
When all the photos are put together the story of the whole day is captured as it was on the day. Our team avoid staging moments as this would not be a true representation of your personal day and it is not possible to stage true laughter and joy unless it is completely natural.
Before the main wedding day there are many pre wedding rituals and celebrations which can vary for the bride and groom. It is our job as the photographer to capture all the moments building up to the main wedding day as they all build the picture to the perfect wedding experience. Not all couple choose to perform pre-wedding ceremonies as they are not compulsory and may vary from within the Hindu cultures. Two of the most common ones are Pithi and Mehndi.
Pithi is a paste that is made out of chickpea flour, turmeric and other ingredients. The Pithi ceremony is celebrated by both bride and the groom. This takes place at both their home separately. The ceremony entails rubbing a paste on the bride and grooms face, hands and legs. The paste is designed to enhance the skin as the paste has antiseptic properties, whilst providing a glow. Family members and friends take turns getting the bride and groom completely covered in the yellow looking paste. A lot of fun can be had during the pithi ceremony as the family members also put the paste on each other and it can become playful. As a company we like to capture these moments as they happen so that the essence of the day can be seen from the images.
Mehndi is another traditional pre wedding ceremony. The Mehndi ceremony is an integral part of the wedding ceremony and the bride is incomplete without it. The ceremony usually takes place a day or so before the wedding as the bride wants her mehndi to stay as dark and vibrate as possible.
For applying Mehndi to the bride, a skilled Mehndi expert is normally called. They apply Mehndi on bride’s hands, arms, feet and legs. The ritual of mehndi signifies the strength and power of love in a marriage so it is regarded a good omen for the bride to be. People believe that the darker the mehndi the stronger the love between the bride and groom. Applying the mehndi is a intricate process and capturing the designs on camera is important so that the work can be remembered.
The ceremony takes place in the presence of friends, relatives and family members. The scale of the ceremony depends upon individual choice and is usually done by the bride’s family. Some people celebrate it almost like a wedding reception jointly with the grooms family and go all out with a big bang, in this case there would be music, dancing and even performances which we would capture so you can cherish the joyous occasion.
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