INDIAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
So, you’re holding an Indian wedding?
Congratulations! Indian weddings are energetic, fun and brimming with beautiful traditions.
As a professional Indian wedding photographer, I’ve been fortunate to capture many stunning Asian weddings. Here’s what to expect along with some helpful planning tips.
Allow plenty of planning time – The key to a successful Indian wedding is most certainly allowing plenty of planning time. An Indian wedding (also known as ‘Vivaah’) typically lasts three days and sometimes longer, in which case planning should start at least early.
Indian wedding rituals and customs – Due to the diverse nature of Indian culture, the exact customs and rituals you choose will depend on your background, religion, culture and personal preference.
Pre-wedding rituals – The Mehndi party is a high spirited, fun celebration full of music and dancing. Mehndi usually takes place the day before the religious ceremony and involves the bride having her hands and feet decorated with intricate henna patterns. The tradition is centuries old and it’s commonly believed the darker the henna colour, the more intense love the groom has for his bride. Tips to darken the Mehndi include leaving the henna on for as long as possible (up to eight hours) and gently dabbing the dried design with lemon and sugar.
The Wedding Ceremony – An Indian wedding not only celebrates the union of bride and groom but the meeting of two families. The ceremony begins with ‘Baraat’ – the groom’s procession (usually on horse-back and accompanied by a traditional Dhol player) to the venue where he’s welcomed by the bride’s family.
This is followed by ‘Milni’ – the meeting of the two families.The ceremony itself comprises several rituals, including the groom and close family members performing ‘Ganesh Puja’ – a prayer to Lord Ganesh – for good luck and ‘Kanyadaan’ – a touching tradition where the bride’s father pours blessed water on his daughter’s hand before placing it on the groom’s, symbolising the gift of his most beloved possession.
The most significant ritual though is the ‘Saptapadi’, where the couple take seven steps together around a small, sacred fire (‘vivah-homah’) reciting a vow with each step. Because so much happens at an Indian wedding, it’s a good idea to have two photographers. This means they can take photos at different locations prior to the ceremony and capture special moments from multiple angles, for example, the groom’s reaction to seeing the bride for the first time but also the bride seeing the groom – so you see both sides of the story.
The Reception – Indian wedding receptions usually take place after the ceremony and are well known for being fun, loud affairs with plenty of music and dancing (traditional and modern). With several stages of an Indian wedding to consider, it’s important to talk early on about which religious customs you want to include. This will also help you get a sense of the size of your celebration.
Choose the right size location – Indian weddings are well known for their sizeable guest lists, ranging from 300 people upwards. For this reason, booking a suitable size venue is a must. Popular wedding venues in London with capacity for 500 guests include the Happenstance – close to St Paul’s cathedral – and the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge. As well as an Asian wedding photographer in London, I shoot weddings across Surrey and Addington Palace – a Grade II mansion in Croydon – looks incredible and has capacity for an astonishing 850 guests. If you have your heart is set on a smaller location but have a large guest list, check to see if they have a marquee available.
Choosing an Indian Wedding Photographer
- Check out their online portfolio to see if you like their wedding photography style
- Meet your photographer in person to discuss your wedding plans and, importantly, see whether you gel.
- As well as an engagement shoot, some couples I have photographed opt for a post- wedding photo session.
Whether you’re planning an Indian wedding in London, Surrey or India (I’m an overseas wedding photographer too!), I’d love to hear about your wedding plans. To check my availability or arrange to meet up, please get in touch here.