Photographing a Traditional Indian Wedding in Michigan

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Indian weddings are, truly, a sensational occasion. Ray Anthony, and his team of talented wedding photojournalists, first began photographing Indian weddings in 2009. That particular wedding opened the door for many more to follow each year as our style of documentary photography proved to be the perfect approach to these non-stop, highly celebratory, emotion-filled, and deeply religious events. Indian weddings are filled with rich traditions, an abundance of color and awe-inspiring patterns, decorations and intricate details. 

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Understanding the differences in customs that traditional American and traditional Indian weddings have is a key part of our craft and the adaptations that we make to ensure that each event is photographed perfectly.

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One excellent example of this is the way in which Indian wedding ceremonies are full of movement, energy and dancing. As such, a key part of our job is to capture this energy photographically in a way that the images are both crisp and yet still full of life.

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Another essential part of our craft involves capturing the vibrancy of an Indian wedding in all of its glory. There are stunning arrays of colors at Indian wedding ceremonies, and we find all the angles so that our images draw out the beauty of these colors in the best possible way. Yet, as we do this, we do not lose sight of the softer colors. We pay attention to every color that exists in the image, not just the brightest ones, as they all play a vital role in the image’s composition.

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For those of our readers who are not of an Indian heritage themselves, and are interested in learning more about the wonderful traditions within Hindu wedding ceremonies, here is a short summary of the main events in the ceremony. A traditional Indian wedding can last for around three days, and these three days consist of:

  • The ganesh pooja ceremony – held a day before the wedding to bless the proceedings. This puja (prayer) is performed mainly for good luck as Lord Ganesh is believed to be the destroyer of obstacles and evils. The ceremony prepares the couple for a new beginning.

  • A mehndi ceremony on the second day of the wedding as a way of wishing the bride good health and prosperity as she makes her journey on to marriage.

  • The sangeet – This musical night is a celebration of the union of not only the couple but the bonding of both families. It is here that both sides bring down their barriers and mingle in a fun environment.This is the time that every talented cousin, friend and relative who wants to be in the limelight will try to give a dance performance, Bollywood shtyle. 

  • The main wedding ceremony and reception, which takes place on day three. 

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Within each of these key events, the ceremony is filled with rich traditions. We work to capture beautifully the sacred and deeply emotive feel of these wonderful moments, exactly as they were as they happened. 

  • At the Misri ceremony, held a few days before the wedding, the soon-to-be newlyweds exchange prayers, flower garlands and gold rings. The groom’s parents also bring a basket of gifts for the bride, with the key component being the Misri, which is rock sugar, as a wish for sweetness in their married life.

  • During the Mehendi ceremony, the female guests will be adorned by stunning henna patterns on their hands and feet. 

  • The groom’s procession is known as the baraat. As the procession takes place, music will be provided by a traditional Indian drum and the guests will dance. This ceremony is the final step in ensuring that the bride’s family accepts the wedding and proposed marriage. Both sides of her family have roles to play, during which they individually give their blessing on the union.

  • Throughout the main wedding ceremony, the couple along with the priest and the parents of the bride will sit together underneath a beautifully adorned canopy, known as a mandap. 

  • During the homam offering, the bride will be given rice by her brother, which she will then offer into the fire. The offering of the puffed rice ensure the couple to be blessed by Agni and to be offered happiness and prosperity in return.

  • The couple will take seven steps together during the ceremony, which are called the saptapadi. This portion of the ceremony takes places following the tying of the Mangalsutra and establishes the commitment the couple makes to each other during the Hindu wedding ceremony.

  • In the talambralu, the bride and groom exchange garlands and shower each other with a traditional mixture of rice, saffron and turmeric, in a tradition representing their happiness and prosperity.  Married people witnessing this occasion come forward to bless the couple, by sprinkling flower petals and rice coated with turmeric powder.

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Thanks to our extensive experience in capturing traditional Hindu weddings, we have a detailed knowledge of these traditions. We are always delighted to get the opportunity to photograph these beautiful ceremonies. 

If your wedding style is photojournalism and you’re looking for a highly sought after Detroit wedding photographer, please text give us a call or text us at 866-UNPOSED (867-6733) or simply click on “contact” above. We would love to talk about your upcoming wedding and how working together will ensure you receive the wedding photographs of your dreams. Our style of wedding photography is specifically documentary, also known as wedding photojournalism. Ray is the top wedding photojournalist in Michigan, seventh in North America, and ranked 28th in the world by the wedding photojournalist association. https://www.wpja.com/wedding-photojournalism/wedding-photographers-detroit-mi/ray-iavasile 

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