Indian Wedding Ceremony
Here at the H Wedding Photography, we love to travel to shoot destination weddings. Kiran and Nisha brought the destination photography to us! Their traditional Hindu marriage ceremony at the Cotillion Banquets in Palatine, Illinois, provided a visual feast for the eyes and created the striking wedding photos you see here. We could not have had a more authentic experience had we traveled to India to shoot a Bollywood movie ourselves. With such colorful wardrobes, enthusiastic guests and even the traditional horse to symbolically escort the groom on the start of his journey, our artistic inspiration abounds with the festivities.
Getting ready for the ceremony
We start photographs of the bride and groom’s preparations early in the morning, around 6:30 a.m. at Palatine’s Holiday Inn. We then travel to witness and document their Lagan, a Hindu ceremony performed to unite two individual beings into one spiritual identity.
Take a peek at the steps in their traditional Hindu Ceremony
The Baraat: the groom’s procession along with a procession of family and friends.
The Mandapa: the Mandapa is an outdoor pavilion with ornate pillars. Kiran will await his bride here.
Ganesh Puja: blessing to the Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles and the granter of peace during the entire ceremony.
Var Pooja: the adornment of the groom’s forehead with symbolic paste. The priest and Nisha’s parents assist with this step.
Anterpat: a blessed curtain held in front of the groom as his bride walks to the Mandapa. Kiran eagerly awaits his bride.
Akshat: the family and friend blessing with a shower of rice. The moment has arrived when the Anterpat may be removed and Kiran may view his lovely bride, Nisha.
Kiran and Nisha exchange garlands to signify the unification of their hearts and souls, their devotional promise to walk hand-in-hand through life. Now, Nisha’s parents offer her hand in marriage to Kiran.
Unification of the couple
Agnisthapan – the ceremonial fire is named for the Hindu god of fire (Agni). The sacred flame is lit and rekindled throughout the ceremony in accordance with the utterance of Vedic hymns and prayers to bless the proceedings and wish the couple health, wealth and fertility.
Mangal Fera –circling of fire to symbolize the walk of life. At the end of the circling, the bride moves to the groom’s left, taking her place closest to his heart.
Sapta Padi – formal unification. Nisha and Kiran take seven steps together, stepping upon seven stones, each stone representing a vow. Kiran and Nisha are officially united.
Kansar Bhojan – symbolism to care for one another. Nisha’s mother brings sweets for couple, which Kiran and Nisha feed each other
Sindoor and Mangal Sutra – As a symbol of their marriage, Kiran applies Sindoor to Nisha’s forehead and ties a Mangal Sutra (secret necklace) around her neck.
Aashirvaad – final blessing of family and friends. Before they exit the sacred grounds and prepare for the night, Kiran and Nisha’s family and friends bless them with rice and flowers for their life’s journey.
We’ll continue with the story from the amazing reception that took place at Cotillion Banquet. Also, we had a special photographer friend, Angela Muntean, who came all the way from Florida to enjoy shooting this beautiful wedding.
A slideshow with music of the wedding can be seen HERE.
By: Doru Halip