I was privileged to photograph four Indian weddings this year, and Shilpa and Nishant’s wedding was my finale. As I have become accustomed to, Indian weddings are as visually stimulating, action packed, tradition-filled and happy as they come! Shilpa and Nishant’s wedding was no exception! Their wedding took place at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, and required a full day of photography, beginning early in the morning and lasting until the very end of the day. It was a long day, but one which flew by quickly because there was so much to photograph. Their wedding was absolutely stunning to behold and a joy to be a part of.
I began the day photographing Shilpa and her wedding party getting ready at The Henry, and David Yarnall, my second photographer, began a short time later with Nishant in his room, preparing for the Baraat ceremony. The Baraat is a wonderful event that sets the tone for the entire day! Traditional and festive Indian music, dancing guests in the streets, the groom following his party on a stately white horse! David and I are like kids in a candy store, with our fingers pressing down on camera shutters literally in every direction!
Nishant was then escorted to the traditional bride and groom swing, by Shilpa’s father, followed behind two musicians. Seated on the swing, he then waited with anticipation for the entrance and introduction of his bride-to-be. In this ritual called the Oonjal, the bride and groom are seated on a swing. This is a moment for the bride and groom to enjoy each other’s company in the presence of their families and relatives. The oscillation of the swing is a symbol of the joy and sorrow that will occur through life. As the groom and bride rock back and forth on the swing, the women sing to the couple and wish them a happy future. From the swing to the mandap, the couple sits with their parents and families for many rituals performed by a priest, as well as multiple gift exchanges. Ninety minutes later, the wedding ceremony came to a close, but the celebration and excitement is only to begin!
In addition to the couple changing into new outfits for the evening’s events, a car and driver drove the couple and I to downtown Detroit to capture some fun photos of the couple walking around the riverfront. Soon after, returning to The Henry Hotel, Shilpa, Nishant, the entire wedding party and parents, were introduced to the delight of the excited guests into the grand ballroom! This, of course, set the stage for an extraordinary night of toasting, formal dances, and tireless dancing for all the guests celebrating the nuptials of this wonderful bride and groom!
Scroll down to see some of my favorite photos of the day! You can also view the entire highlight slideshow of the wedding day by clicking >>>HERE<<<
This spectacular wedding could not have been the success it was without the following all-star list of vendors:
Planning Services/Décor: Utsav Planners
Video: Fifth and Main Productions
Mandap: Utsav Creations
Florist: Christopher and Company
Cake: Pastry Palace
Dessert: Wisteria Bakehaus
DJ/Lighting: RDX Productions, DJ Robby
Hair: Avatal Salon
Makeup: Amanie Mokdad