Indian Wedding Photography
Indian Wedding Photography is pretty much depended on how you plan your events out. Indian wedding photographers know that these weddings are elaborate ceremonies and even the pre-wedding functions consist of many rituals. As a specialized indian wedding photographer, since culture is so diverse, we get to see different types of customs according to the region, community or religion we belong to. This makes it not only a fascinating experience, but also a lot of fun as the rituals stretch for days, and all our friends and family members come together to sing and dance. Let us take a look at some major pre-wedding Indian ceremonies:
We celebrate the engagement ceremony to formally accept the relationship between the bride and groom, to bless them and take part in various rituals to pray for their happiness. It is a form of promising them to each other through the exchange of rings, after which we give the bride and the groom gifts like jewellery, clothes, fruits, sweets etc. Sometimes the date of the wedding is also fixed on this day.
This is also a type of formal engagement ceremony, where both sides of the family give consent to the relationship. We seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha, who is worshipped before any auspicious occasion and removes any obstacle. A pot is filled with ‘misri’ or crystallised sugar and seven married women paint a holy symbol on the pot which is offered to Lord Ganesha. Once they finish the ‘puja’ or worshipping, the family members and the couple will next ask for God’s blessings. The couple exchanges garlands and gold rings, where the groom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride’s left hand and the bride places it on the fourth finger of the groom’s right hand.
One of my favorite indian wedding photography is Sangeet. The word ‘sangeet’ means ‘songs’. On this day, the bride or both the bride and the groom take part in a ritual where their friends and family members sing and dance for them. Usually, the women sit together, sometimes with musical instruments, and the men have their own group. We also have competitions among both genders all in the name of fun and enjoyment. Sometimes it take days to prepare an act, where we sing popular wedding songs and praise the couple for their love towards each other. Everyone dresses up in gorgeous clothes and we celebrate the Sangeet two or three days before the wedding.
This is held on the bride’s home the night before the wedding, when we apply Henna or Mehendi on the bride’s hands and feet. The mehendi in most communities is sent by the groom’s family. We make beautiful designs like peacocks, flowers, mango leaves and other traditional motifs and also hide the name of the groom among the elaborate designs, which he has to search for on the wedding night. The contrast of the reddish brown henna and her skin makes the bride look even more beautiful. In fact, the darker the color of the mehendi is, the more will she be loved by her husband!
This ceremony also takes place a day before the wedding. Haldi means turmeric which is considered to have many beneficial properties. A paste is made with haldi, sandalwood and rose water and we apply it on the hands, feet, face and other exposed areas of the bride and groom’s body. Everyone takes turns to apply the turmeric, which involves teasing the bride, as she happily cringes while her friends put dollops of yellow paste on her! It cools the body and is a great way to have glowing skin on the day of the wedding.
In this ceremony, the father of the bride offers gifts like clothes, dry fruits and sweets to the groom and his family. The mother and the bride do not participate in it. A tilak is a mark made on the groom’s forehead with a paste of sandalwood, vermilion or rice grains. We consider this is a very important ceremony, when the bride’s brother and the father officially welcome the groom to the family.
This pre-wedding function is mainly celebrated by the Gujarati community of India. Here we dance in circles with small decorative sticks or clap our hands to rhythmic music. It is part of Garba Raas, a tradition also know as ‘Dandiya’ which is a great way for the couple and their friends and family members to celebrate the upcoming wedding.