Temperate House Wedding Photography

Indian Wedding Photographer

Hi, I’m Soven, a multi-award-winning Indian wedding photographerIndian weddings are energetic, fun and brimming with beautiful traditions.

I have vast experience documenting exclusive and exquisite Indian weddings, and I’ve been fortunate to capture many stunning Asian weddings. So you are in safe hands with me.

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Indian Weddings

While some common elements and rituals are often associated with Indian weddings, the ceremonies, customs, practices and traditions can vary within a specific religious, cultural or regional group. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “typical” Indian wedding!!!

Indian weddings are a union of two families, not just two individuals.

The rich diversity results in a rich mosaic of wedding traditions. What remains constant is the emphasis on family, community, and celebrating the union between two individuals.



Indian Wedding Photography Specialist

My discreet and fun style, combining story-telling moments with natural portraits, attracts couples who want high-quality, authentic, honest, fun photographs of their wedding celebrations.

I capture every moment and emotion as it unfolds, from the quick and small intimate looks between you to the bigger moments throughout your wedding.

You will receive beautiful wedding photographs of your celebrations and remember how you felt during that time as you look through your pictures.

From the moments of you getting ready. The joyous laughter of the arrival of the Groom. The heartfelt emotions of the Bride’s parents as they watch their daughter get married, the tears as the Bride leaves as a married woman and end-of-party hugs.

I will be there to capture it all. So you have the best memories of your wedding day.

Whether you’re planning an Indian wedding in London, Surrey, India or anywhere on this blue planet (I’m a destination wedding photographer also!), I’d love to hear about your wedding plans.

Indian Wedding Photography

Indian Wedding Photography

As an experienced Indian wedding photographer, I understand the importance of the various traditions of Indian weddings.

Indian weddings are well known for their sizeable guest lists. For this reason, booking a suitable size venue is a must.

As an Indian wedding photographer in London, I have been lucky to photograph large Indian weddings in and around London. Popular wedding venues in and around London are Porchester Hall, Addington Palace, Boreham House and much more.

If your heart is set on a smaller location but you have a big guest list, check to see if the venue has a marquee available.

Indian Wedding ceremony at Boreham House

Indian Wedding Ceremony at Boreham House, Essex

Indian Wedding Photography at Froyle Park

Indian Wedding Ceremony at Froyle Park, Hampshire

The Key Rituals of an Indian Wedding

As an expert Indian Wedding Photographer, one of the key elements to a fun and lively Indian wedding is allowing plenty of time to incorporate the different rituals and customs.

Due to the diverse nature of Indian culture, the traditions and rituals depend on the couple’s background, religion, culture, personal preference, and family.

As a photographer who photographed diverse cultural weddings, I will ensure that nothing is missed and all the moments are captured.

Indian wedding photography at Sopwell House

Indian Wedding Ceremony at Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

Indian wedding photographer at Kew Gardens

Indian Wedding Ceremony at The Nash Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London

Pre-Wedding Events

Haldi (Mandvo/Pithi) & Sangeet

There are usually a few pre-wedding events before the main wedding celebrations. These can include the Sangeet, Mehndi, and Haldi ceremonies.

The Haldi (Mandvo or Pithi) ceremony is fun, crazy and energetic. I love capturing all the expressions, not just of the couple but also of their family and friends. It’s a big highlight of the wedding celebrations.

The Haldi ceremony at Fort Polhawn
The Mandvo ceremony in London

The Mehndi (Henna) ceremony is usually held a few days before the wedding, with the Henna artist applying intricate henna designs on the Bride’s hands and feet. The Mehndi party is a high-spirited, fun celebration full of music and dancing.

It’s commonly believed that the darker the henna colour, the more intense the Groom’s love for his Bride.

The Sangeet is sometimes combined with the Mehndi. Family members sing traditional and popular wedding songs, accompanied by tabla and other musical instruments. The dancing routines here are crazy, high-spirited and high-energy, and performed with great panache and skill. Capturing this level of energy keeps me on my toes!

The Sangeet ceremony in London
A dance during The Sangeet at Heythrop Park Resort

The Baraat / Jaan / Vara Yatra

After capturing the getting ready photographs, one of my favourite parts of an Indian ceremony is The Baraat, also called The Jaan or Vara Yatra.

The Groom, with his close family members and friends, proceeds to the wedding venue, accompanied by live music, dancing, and enthusiastic celebrations. The procession is often led by the dhol players, the “baraat band”.

I love the varied nature of this tradition, from Grooms arriving by foot, car, and, more traditionally, on a horse.

One thing is common. You can feel the energy and fun as the processional dance to the Dhol players. With so much going on, having a second photographer is handy. The second photographer can capture different angles, the anticipation of the Bride’s family waiting to greet the Baraat (Jaan/Vara Yatra).

the groom arriving for the indian wedding on a horse at Tewin Bury Farm
The jaan ceremony in Leeds
The Baraat at Kew Gardens
The baraat at Bury Court Barn

The Milni

After the arrival of the baraat, the Bride’s closest relatives welcome the groom with garlands and gifts. The Milni is the introduction and exchange of greetings between the two families.

This is another playful and joyful moment to photograph as members of each side meet each other. Many times, the men will hug and try to lift each other. I have also photographed female relatives hugging and trying to lift each other.

The milni at Boreham House Essex
The milni at Bury Court Barn Hampshire

The Pokwanu, Ganesh Pooja & Vaarpooja

The Pokwanu is another excellent opportunity for fun photographs.

The Bride’s parents welcome the groom and his entourage. As part of the puja (worship), the Bride’s mother applies a red tilak to the Groom’s forehead. Then, the Bride’s parents escort the Groom into the wedding ceremony venue.

Inside the venue, another puja is performed by the Bride’s mother, following the instructions of the priest. Sometimes, the Bride’s mother will attempt to grab the Groom’s nose playfully. Before the Groom is led to the Mandap, he must smash a clay pot with his foot to signify he can look after his Bride.

The tilak at The Mere Resort in Knutsford
The Pokwanu at Addington Palace London
The Groom smashing a clay pot at an Indian wedding

The next part is frantic—the Joota Chupai. Once the Groom reaches the Mandap, he must remove his shoes (anyone entering it must do the same), as it is considered holy. The younger members of the Bride’s family try to steal the Groom’s shoes. At the same time, the Groom’s family tries to prevent this from happening. The Groom and his closest family and friends must barter – usually paying cash – to the Bride’s sisters/cousins to return the shoes before the couple leaves at the end of the wedding ceremony.

Before the wedding ceremony, the Bride’s parents pray and worship Lord Ganesh, The Ganesh Puja. Ganesh Puja is a significant and auspicious ritual in Indian weddings. Lord Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and challenges and the God of wisdom and prosperity, leading to a prosperous and harmonious married life. By seeking Lord Ganesha’s blessings, it sets a positive tone for wedding celebrations.

The bride's parents leading the Groom to the Mandap at Sopwell House Hertfordshire
The Joota Chupai at Addington Palace
The Joota Chupai at Hylands House Chelmsford Essex

The groom is seen as a representation of Lord Vishnu during the wedding ceremony and is treated as such. The Vaarpooja is the only time the bride’s parents will touch the feet of the groom while offering Madhuparka (sweet liquid food, usually honey, curd and ghee) and flowers.

The end of the Vaarpooja signifies the bride’s entrance, The Kanya Aagman.

Before the bride marks her entrance, depending on the traditions and customs of the families, an Antarpat (a veil of white cloth) is sometimes held in front of the groom to prevent him from seeing the bride during the Kanya Aagman.

The Vaarpooja at Sopwell House
The groom eating Madhuparka at Stephens House and Gardens

Kanya Aagman, Grantibandan, Varmala & Kanyadaan

One keenly awaited moment is the Kanya Aagman – the arrival of the Bride. The Bride’s family members escort her to the Mandap, where the Bride and Groom exchange flower garlands, JaiMalas.

As further prayers and worship are offered to different deities, the Groom’s scarf is tied to the Bride, the Grantibandan, symbolising the joining of two souls for eternity.

Then, the Bride’s parents place a loop of white cotton thread, wound twenty-four times, the Varmala, around the shoulders of the couple, symbolising a spiritual bond between them.

One of the most touching parts of an Indian wedding is the Kanyadaan – where the Bride’s parents place her hand on the Groom’s, symbolising the gift of their most beloved possession. It’s usually accompanied by lots of emotions by the Bride’s family. This bond between the two families lasts for seven generations!

The Kanya Aagman at Hylands House Essex
The Kanya Aagman at The Nash Conservatory, Kew Gardens
Exchanging the garlands, the jaimala, at Hylands House
The Grantibandhan at Froyle Park Hampshire
The Kanya Aagman at Boreham House Essex
The Kanya Aagman at Froyle Park
The jaimala at Polhwan Fort
The Varmala at the Nash Conservatory Kew Gardens

The Havan / Vivah-Homa

Upon completion of the Kanyadaan, the sacred fire, The Havan/Vivha-Homa, is lit. The fire symbolises purity and spirituality in an Indian wedding, and the couple gives prayers to Agni Devta, the God of Fire.

The priest lights a small fire in a kund, the focal point for the rest of the Indian wedding ceremony.

The Havan at The Shehnai Reading

Laja Homa & Mangal Phera

The Laja Homa is “pouring the puffed rice into the sacred fire”. The brothers of the Bride will place puffed rice in her hand, some of which will be allowed to slip into the Groom’s hand underneath the Bride’s. The couple guide the puffed rice into the fire.

The Mangal Fera (Mangal Phere) is the steps around the Holy Fire. The couple circle (phera) the agni (holy fire) four times, clockwise, as their closest family and friends throw confetti flowers over them. The Bride and Groom will stop to touch their toe to a stone as they circle the agni. The Bride leads the first three pheras while the Groom leads the last phera. When the last phera is complete, the priest sometimes asks the Bride and Groom to stand before their chair. In the priest’s words, whoever takes their seat first is said to be the household’s ruler! 

The Laja Homa at Hylands House
Indian Wedding Photographer
The Mangal Phera at The Nash Conservatory Kew Gardens
Indian Wedding Photographer

Indian Weddings: Saptapadi, Sindoor & Mangal Sutra

Once the Mangal Phera is completed, we come to the significant ritual, the Saptapadi (Seven Steps), where the couple takes seven steps together, or seven rounds around the Agni, to signify their journey together, reciting a vow with each step.

After the Saptapadi, the Groom blesses his Bride by placing sindoor (red vermillion powder) at the parting of her hair and tying the Mangal Sutra (scared necklace) around her.

The Saptapadi in The Nash Conservatory
The groom applying the sindoor in the Nash Conservatory Kew Gardens
Tying the Mangal Sutra at Kew Gardens
The Saptapadi at Kew Gardens
The sindoor at an Indian wedding
Indian Wedding at Heythrop Park Resort


Talambralu is a South Indian ritual where the Bride and Groom exchange garlands and take turns showering each other with mixed rice, saffron and turmeric. However, it usually becomes a competition of who can shower the other the most.


Akhand Saubhagyavati & Aashirwad

After the couple has shared their first meal, Kansar Ghojan, offering sweets to each other, is the Akhand Saubhagyavati (Blessings from Married Women). Married women from both sides are invited to the Mandap to bless the couple by whispering their good wishes into the Bride’s right ear.

Before leaving the Mandap, the couple receives Aashirwad (blessings) from the priest, their parents, relatives and friends for a happy marriage.

Indian Wedding Photographer
The Akhand Saubhagyavati at Sopwell house

Indian Wedding Photography: The Group Photographs

Group Photographs are an important part of many Indian weddings. These photographs help to preserve memories of the celebrations of two families coming together. Close (elder) relatives on both sides cherish the group photographs!

Indian Photographer at Sopwell House
Indian Wedding Photographer

The Koda Kodi is boisterous and fun to photograph. It is played after the wedding ceremony and just before the Vidaai. A ring is placed inside a bowl filled with water, milk, sindoor (red vermillion dye) and shells. The couple then competes to find the ring. Whoever finds the ring first is said to rule the home! I love watching the reactions of the couple and the guests getting involved!

The Koda Kodi at Froyle Park
Koda Kodi Indian Wedding Photographer
Indian Wedding Photographer
Indian Wedding Photography Koda Kodi

The Vidaai (or Bidaai) is the final part of the Indian Wedding ceremony, where the Bride’s parents bid farewell to their daughter as she starts a new life as a married woman with her partner.

Before leaving, the Bride usually throws rice (and sometimes coins) three times over her head, symbolising repayment and gratitude towards her parents for raising her.

The farewell to the Bride from her parents, relatives and friends can be emotional, with many hugs and wiping away of the tears as she leaves with her husband.

Once the couple is in the car, it is customary for female relatives and friends to stand in front of the car, preventing them from leaving until they are paid.

Once the Vidaai is over and the couple has left (and returned), it’s time to party!  Indian parties are fun, loud affairs with plenty of music and dancing (traditional and modern).

Indian Wedding Photographer
The vidaai indian wedding photographer
Indian Wedding Photography
Indian Wedding Photographer
Indian Wedding Photographer
The vidaai indian wedding
Indian Wedding Photography at Hylands House
Indian Wedding Photographer



Get in touch with some information about your wedding celebrations. I’ll let you know if I’m available.


We’ll jump on a Zoom call to discuss all your wedding plans and learn more about my approach, and ask me any questions you might have.


Once you’re ready, let’s get you booked in. You can tick one more thing off your Wedding To-Do-List.



I would love to hear from you, and if you do have any questions at all before booking, please do feel free to give me a call at 07961 410413.

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