Monday, January 12, 2009

Nadia and Lalit

I couldn't have come up with a more fabulous way to end 2008 than to spend it photographing Nadia and Lalit's amazing wedding ceremonies. Nadia and Lalit's was my first Indian wedding, which actually started the night before with the Sangeet at OSU's Barrister Club. The next morning, I met up with them and their immediate families for more ceremonies, then later in the day for the other festivities, including the wedding itself, which was a traditional Hindu ceremony performed in both English and Sanskrit, and held at The Venue at Smith Brothers (also a first, since I'd not been there before). I just can't say enough about how wonderful everything was, from how welcoming and friendly everyone was to me, to how beautiful everything was with all the music and dancing and passion. It was truly a phenomenal experience for me and I look forward to my next Indian wedding in September and any others that should come my way! (hint hint)

So, without further delay, let's get on to the pictures - there are LOTS!

Nadia, explaining her henna designs.

A family friend being introduced to Lalit's brother.

Nadia, greeting Lalit's mother the next morning.

Nadia's father is charged with adorning her forearms with Indian bracelets that were soaked in milk and sugar (for a sweet life).

Nadia helping her father to get a proper fit of his turban.

The next part of the morning ceremonies involved putting a turmeric (spice) mixture on the face, hands and feet of Nadia and Lalit by the women who were present, Nadia and Lalit's mothers and sisters.

Next, strings were tied around Nadia and Lalit's wrists as a "game" designed to help them get to know each other better after the wedding by untying all the knots the family tied into the strings. This "getting to know you" game is really only necessary in arranged marriages where it's possible the bride and groom do not know each other, but they participated in the tradition nonetheless. Nadia's dad tied her wrist string with a slip knot, but Lalit's sister tied a bunch of teeny tiny knots in his string!

Later in the day, it was time to get the clothes ready, both American outfits and Indian outfits.

Now, it's off to see Lalit in his American clothes for the first time and do some quick portraits.

Lalit's henna.

Time now to get into the Indian clothing and jewelry. This was one of my favorite parts of the day.

The wedding ceremony itself was amazing and filled with tradition.

I loved the recessional. Handfuls of puffed rice were placed in Nadia's hands and she threw the rice back over her head where it landed in her mother's shawl.

An overall of The Venue once it was set up with the tables for dinner.

The dance floor was constantly full and the DJ played both American and Indian music, which is my personal favorite. I even recognized some of the songs as ones I have played myself on iTunes!


Everyone took turns drinking out of this extremely large glass boot.

Ringing in the new year with a kiss at midnight.

Congratulations, Nadia and Lalit, and I can't thank you enough for allowing me to share in your fabulous ceremonies!