There is one word that almost adequately describes an Indian wedding: grand. They are grand in size, in emotion, in attention to detail, in color, and cultural and familial importance. While every wedding and every couple’s traditions are always significant, at an Indian wedding, even the most minute detail can be even more significant in scope.
In my experience, the splendor of an Indian wedding can last multiple hours or even a few days. There are countless ceremonies within the wedding, each with its significance, and rich in tradition. Understanding the importance of each ceremony is paramount to capture it properly. India is a multi-cultural nation, and as such, each culture and religion differ in both customs and practices, especially where it comes to celebrations of great importance.
Through my work as a wedding photographer in New Jersey I have learned so much about Hindi, Muslim, Jain, and Parsee weddings, which has made me a better, more informed photographer. I have found every moment to be opulent and vibrant from the texture of the clothes to the beadwork, the bold colors of the wedding party, the flowers, the pillows, and general décor.
I have learned to ask key questions about what is unique and significant about the wedding they have planned, and how to ensure I record every moment as it unfolds with the appreciation it deserves. Every wedding is a journey. It is the culmination of two people’s paths coming together to build a new life as one. Particular to any Indian wedding I have ever had the honor to photograph or attend, is the often exceptional length of the event. As someone who trains for marathons, I see Indian weddings as marathons of love, and that’s a race I truly enjoy running.
Meeting with my couples, and sometimes their families is an essential part of preparing to shoot any wedding. However, Indian weddings are not only grand in length and ceremony; they are also widely attended by extended family and friends. I have learned to ask strategic questions about who will be attending the wedding, making a clear list of important family members and guests who the couple wishes to have formal or candid portraits of.
Identifying the critical members of the family and bridal party, combined with knowledge about the ceremonies taking place, helps to ensure that each moment is appropriately and carefully captured. These groupings are critically important to the family members, and it’s also important that they are done in the most efficient manner properly so that the bride and groom and their guests can move on to the other important ceremonial parts of the day.
These are important inquiries to make as often ceremonies involve several people of importance who are in attendance. For instance, the application of the Henna is often not only applied to the bride’s hands but other ladies in the family. I love using a long lens to capture the intimacy of the moment as it unfolds, and then capturing details such as the jewelry worn, or the bride’s hand placed against the stunning hues of her wedding sari. Every gesture and every movement is so important!
In my experience, perhaps one of the most crucial things a photographer should bring with them to an Indian wedding is flexibility. From getting ready, which is intricate in detail as the Indian wedding jewelry is fitted, to the wedding dress, the Baraat, or the photographing of the Mandap, and the wedding ceremony itself, the timeline for the day must be flexible and able to effortlessly, and enthusiastically embrace adjustments.
From the colorful fabrics to the top of the flowers or the canopy, there is so much to enjoy, so many outstanding portrait backdrops and opportunities; it’s key to remain flexible, to be able to go the distance with enthusiasm and appreciation to ensure every aspect of the wedding has been honored and captured.
If you are seeking an experienced, respectful and enthusiastic wedding photographer for your upcoming Indian wedding ceremony in the Greater Philadelphia area, I would love to talk more with you about your plans.
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