The night of Jocelyn and Praket’s wedding was so intense. It was intense for a few reasons: First, it was the first Hindu wedding I’d done, so I was unfamiliar with the traditions. Secondly, there are about 750 guests present at the celebration and it was an absolute hotbed of activity. Third? Well, check out all this color. Talk about sensory overload.
In the Indian tradition, things go in a different order than we normally do them here. First is the reception, where all the guests can come in and wish the bride and groom well, giving them gifts and saying hello. It’s like a giant receiving line that just goes on and on.
After the reception and after many guests had something to eat (trust me, there was LOADS of food at this party!) the bride and groom and their family went upstairs to begin the ceremony, which is a pretty long ceremony filled with many small acts along the way. The ceremony’s rites are in Sanskrit, and a priest leads the gathering.
This wedding was so incredible, but also one of the most difficult weddings I’ve photographed. One of the reasons? Check out all these other guys I was competing with for a good spot, good light etc. Many of the videographers had old-school bright video lights mounted to the front of their cameras, which made for some pretty wonky light. It was hard work!
What an honor, though, to be able to be this close to two really wonderful people as they were married. They went through this experience with us nearby, and I feel it was such a privilege to be there for them and with them.
Eric really had the chance to be there with them: Below, you can see him in the top right corner. He was asked to step in as Jocelyn’s “brother” to help with a few of the traditions. Here’s he’s refilling her bowl so that she can sprinkle it on the ground as they walk around the fire together.
I think Jocelyn was so beautiful in her wedding saree and veil — she told me during the trip that this was the last thing she thought her wedding would be when she was a little girl, but I think that’s how life works. It’s always surprising, isn’t it?
Saying thank you in a blog post seems so trite and little compared with the gratitude I have for these two for trusting me to travel across the world with them to capture their wedding. But I’ll say it anyway: THANK YOU, Jocelyn and Praket. You two are amazing and this was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had. Here’s to many years of happy marriage that started with one crazy wedding.