PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO UNDERSTAND WHAT GOES INTO YOUR DAY
Indian weddings are big, bright, colorful and full of sound—a feast for the senses. These are our absolute favorite weddings to document! We have gone ahead and provided a bunch of information covering the nuances to an Indian wedding - we hope his context helps as you plan yours!
Indian weddings typically go on for several days and include several events such as the sangeet, the mehndi, the baraat, the ceremony itself and the reception. In olden times, these events used to be spread out over several months but nowadays, due to time constraints, they're back to back.
Good news! You can get special pricing for multi-day events. Speak to your photographer about how many events make up your wedding and how many of them you want to have professionally photographed. No matter what your needs, we can definitely come up with a package that works for you. Because every Indian Wedding is going to have its own unique times, events, and needs - each Indian wedding photography price quote is custom to your needs.
Here is the brief overview of events with more detailed information below.
Sangeet photos are likely to be the most colorful and striking of all the photos taken in an Indian wedding. If you've ever seen a Bollywood song, with the main dancer in the center and a troupe of supporting dancers all around, that's pretty much what you can expect to see in the sangeet. Often, it takes the form of a competition between the bride's side and the groom's side. Given that everyone is trying to outdo one another, you'll see spectacular dancing, stunning outfits and a lot of enthusiasm all around.
This gives a photographer a lot of scope to take great photos. These can include motion photos which, if taken well, can give a sense of rhythm and enthusiasm. Many Bollywood dances contain steps from folk dances like bhangra; so you can also get a sense of tradition from these photos. Plus, these dances do a great job of showing off the dancers' outfits, especially when they are spinning; this can make for a great photo.
In addition to motion photos, it's also possible to get close ups of the dancers before or after the dances or even capture the whole troupe together in a group photo. This gives the photographer a chance to get portraits of other people attending the wedding, not just the bride and groom. It also makes for great memories in the future, when the married couple looks back at everyone who performed at their wedding.
As opposed to the fast-paced sangeet, the mehndi is a more laidback event where everyone is just sitting around, chatting, getting henna tattoos and teasing the bride about married life. Only women are invited to this event, so it's a great opportunity to get photos of female attire, capture the interactions between the various members of the extended family and, of course, get photos of the mehndi or henna tattoos themselves. Given that these tattoos are gorgeous works of art, they deserve to be preserved for posterity.
The procession to go pick up the bride or the baraat consists of the groom riding a horse, a turban on his head and his face covered with a curtain of jasmine flowers. Around him, everyone else is on foot, singing and dancing. Often, a band accompanies the baraat, with a full set of drums and pipes, blaring out the melodies of the latest Bollywood songs. Some people have even been known to set off firecrackers in the street!
Nowadays, of course, it may not be possible to get a horse, set off fireworks or disrupt traffic to go pick up the bride. So the horse is sometimes replaced by a car and the procession shortened considerably. The singing and dancing do, however, continue. So it's a good opportunity for the wedding photographer to get photos of people dancing and enjoying themselves.
At the ceremony itself, things calm down a little because it's time to get down to business. In general, a priest is in charge of the various aspects of the ceremony and guides the married couple about what to do next. They may exchange rings, put ghee in the ceremonial fire, take seven rounds around the fire, exchange garlands etc. It depends on what part of India your family comes from.
Still, photos of the ceremony can be intimate and evocative, focusing on the reactions of the bride and groom. Rather than rushing through the ceremony, it's a good idea to focus on each and every ritual, absorb it and then move on. Not only will this give the wedding couple a chance to be in the moment, it also gives the wedding photographer a chance to capture their reactions as they're being bound together.
INDIAN RECEPTION PHOTOGRAPHY
After the ceremony is over, everyone is more relaxed. At the reception, you'll find people eating, talking and congratulating the bride and groom. Often, you'll have the bride and groom seated on a couple of throne-like chairs on a slightly raised dais. People go up to congratulate them and give them a wedding gift or an envelope with money.
The reception is a good opportunity for the bride and groom to meet everyone and get photos with them. Additionally, the wedding photographer can capture the natural interaction of people at the reception. Given the festive nature of the occasion, it's possible to get good photos which people will treasure in the long run. A good wedding photographer can manage to be everywhere and yet be unobtrusive.
When all the formalities at the reception comes to an end, the most exuberant dance party ensues. Your photographer will be there to capture the epic celebration, the dance battles, and the inevitable memories that will be formed. This is also the time when your DJ gets to shine. The right DJ will be able to read the room and mix the perfect tracks to keep your party going all night long.