There are some really beautiful aspects to Hindu weddings, so many rituals, amazing colours, dancing and the Hindu ceremony itself seems to be ingrained with some good life lessons.
Alka first contacted me about 6 weeks before her Wedding. A long shot in most cases as availability doesn’t last long and most dates for Wedding videos are booked 10 months in advance. But as luck would have it her 3 dates were free.
To kick off festivities Hamesh and Alka started with a Haldi Ceremony, a ceremony where the couple are covered in a yellow paste made from turmeric, which to my understanding is meant to ward off evil spirits and purify the couple.
This was my first time capturing a Haldi Ceremony. I always enjoy being a part of different cultures and learning why certain things are done and what they represent. For an outsider it may just seem like a bunch of people feeding each other and then proceeding to cover the couple in as much food as possible, but the warmth on display when the two families come together is what stands out the most for me. Hamish and Alka have not been together for very long, and in some instances people were meeting for the first time, though it didn’t take long until both families were hugging and dancing as if they had been friends for ever. Putting the traditional meanings behind the ceremony aside, this day was in fact a great ice breaker to kick off festivities. The giving of gifts and feeding each other are very personal, they instantly tear down any social barriers and make everyone go “its not going to get any weirder than someone feeding me, so lets have fun and cover our children in everything we have laying around the kitchen!”.
The Haldi Ceremony was followed by the Sangeet, which is essentially a big Bollywood party. The couple (after hours of scrubbing off caked on yellow paste, flour and tomato sauce) appeared fresh and in their best Indian party wear. They entered the hall accompanied by drums and made their way into the crowd where all the guests surrounded them and danced the night away.
The next morning I met up with a slightly tired Hamesh and Alka who were recovering from a late night of partying at the Sangeet. Alka was just starting to get her Henna done. I am always amazed at the speed that these Henna artists are able to work at and produce such intricate details.
That afternoon I set off on the 2 hour drive to the Southern Highlands. I had the afternoon off to roam around (with a camera) and capture some of the afternoon light that surrounded Bendooley Estate.
The Big Day
This was a big day indeed! We started early in the morning and didn’t finish until about midnight. Alka and Hamesh got ready at separate houses about 10 mins away from Bendooley Estate where their ceremonies were being held. Their Hindu ceremony was set to start after midday which was to be followed later by the civil ceremony. This meant that there was very little location time after the formalities, so we arrived early on the grounds of Bendooley Estate where Hamesh was waiting to see his Bride for the first time.
After we roamed around the grounds together it was time for the couple to part ways for the first official part of the day, the Baraat, which flowed into the Hindu Ceremony and on with the rest of the day.
I love shooting at Bendooley Estate! There are so many pretty spots to take couples with lots of variety depending on what the light is doing… and the Bookbarn always creates interesting backdrops with it’s walls and walls of books.
We were so glad to be a part of Hamesh & Alka’s celebrations… and we have the feeling there will be more to come
Wedding Video – I Heart Productions www.iheartproductions.com.au
Wedding Photography – Southern Light Photography www.southernlight.com.au
Venue – Bendooley Estate www.bendooleyestate.com.au
Celebrant – Sri Rama Ramanuja Ācārya
Wedding Decor – www.decor-a-shaan.com.au
Hair & Makeup – Sana Khawar