For my first wedding with the company, I was completely alone. As the family we were working for were very strict, the men and women were kept completely seperate throughout the three day celebrations, and were not allowed even male photographers to enter the brides celebrations. As I was quite nervous to begin on my own, I asked a fellow photographer to assist me on the shoot. As to their strict religion we were also not allowed to use any of the images for our own websites or blogs, and neither were the company.
Asian weddings consist of three days. I have very much enjoyed learning about different cultures and the difference between each religions celebrations. For this wedding, we arrived at the brides home to photograph her clothing, her make-up being done and her leaving the home. We then traveled to the hall where the mehndi was being held to photograph the stage and also her arriving. The bride sits on the decorated stage for the duration of the night, and has her family and friends (only women were allowed) join her and feed her a small portion of cake or fruit. The purpose of this is a gesture to wish them sweetness through their marriage. We were instructed to photograph each guest in this process. Once everyone had eaten, the bride watches as the guests dance and celebrate, before having her mehndi done on her hands. We were given an explanation of the wedding process before we arrived, and a walk through of what we were expected to photograph.
The wedding day itself is a very private affair, that is only attended by the immediate family.
The day after is the wedding party. Again, we go to the brides house to photograph her make up and clothing, then follow her to the club. Once she arrives, the guests are again kept separate. The bride walking in is part of the ceremony that must be photographed. Oncee she has been seated at her stage, the family will gather to have photographs taken again with the bride. Following this, the groom will arrive. He will have to barter with the sisters of the bride to be allowed in, and pay them to enter. Once he has been seated in the mens room, lunch is served. We were told to photograph a lot of the guests eating, which is something I would not have expected. I know just from weddings I’ve been to, noone wants photographs of the guests eating. Anyway, after this the groom is taken into the brides room and joins her on her stage. Once here, they are both fed sweet puddings from each other and a sweet drink. Then gifts from the family to the groom are given, and the rings exchanged. All this is photographed. After this, we follow them out to the limo and photograph them leaving.