The phone call was a quick one but thorough:
“Laura! I need to talk to you! We love your work but can you do indian weddings?”
I have been a wedding photographer for 11 years. The last 5 have been spent traveling around the country shooting a wide spectrum of crazy and classy and creative wedding weekends and love stories. Our LKM forte is storytelling and our brand thrives on color and energy and emotion. Shiragi and Parin wanted to get that stroke and graciously introduced us to “how things work” in the indian wedding world.
There are SO many moving parts and special ceremonies that go into an indian wedding. There were several phone calls to prepare and massage a timeline that would nail both portraits AND raw storytelling. By the end of the 3-day event, we were toast; completely spent and overwhelmed with the warmth and fervor of Parin & Shiragi’s entire family and the cultural immersion they invited us into all weekend long.
We are sharing their wedding day story in 3 parts with some break down of the ceremonies they observed and emotional highlights. Do note — a HUGE priority to the parents were the portraits of all the guests and traditional poses ALL weekend long. We brought on an additional photographer each day to help with manpower and energy resources to stay attune to ALL the moving parts—wardrobe changes, cultural nuances, ceremony differences, gifts, games, surprises, portraits, more gifts, more ceremonies. Here are the highlights from Day 1!
// VENDORS //
Venue: Westward Look Wydnham Resort Tucson // Photography: Laura K Moore Photography // Videography: Fine Art Productions // Event Design & Decor: MM Celebrations LLC // Grah Shanti, Mehendi, and Garba Hair and Makeup: Blushed by Ish // Wedding Hair and Makeup: Makiaj Beauty // Wedding and Grah Shanti Outfit: Ekaya // Reception Outfit: Shyamal and Bhumika // Garba Outfit: Swati Manish // Parfum: Valentino // Shoes: “a random stall in india” // Reception Flats: Keds // Rangoli & Other Design Details: Nisha Tailor Interior Designer // Tesla: Turo // Famous Singer & Band: Bhavin Shastri & Group // Famous Flutist- Anis Chandani // Famous Female Vocalist: Dhara Shah // Famous male singer- Dharmesh Chauhan
Vidhi is the collection of pre-wedding ceremonies for Hindu weddings. For Shiragi and Parin’s wedding weekend, Day 1 was focused on the bride and her family where they hosted the: Ganesh Stapna, Maandva Muhrat, Mameru, Grah Shanti, Pithi and the Mehendi later in the evening. Gifts are an enormous part of the indian culture and the wedding weekend launch was lavish, joyful and full of energy and zeal.
We were told that the Pithi was going to be “so much fun to shoot.” We had done our research and knew it was a ceremony for blessing and good luck BUT we were still drop-jawed as we watched the women roll up their sleeves and COVER the bride in haldi—an orange paste made out of turmeric, chickpea flour and rose water. OH MY WORD we had SUCH a kick capturing this part.
Traditionally held a couple days before the ceremony, the bride’s family hosts the Mehendi - a party largely focused around henna art provided for as many women choose to participate. Live music, food, laughter filled the air with rich, rich celebration.
Day 2 coming launching shortly! :)