We first met Ishwin with her father in our Birmingham showroom last Spring to discuss the possibility of photographing her wedding. We have photographed many Indian weddings over the last ten years, but this would be our first Sikh wedding. Fortunately, Ishwin and her father had enough confidence in us, they commissioned us before leaving that very evening! As you will see from the photos above and below, it was a beautiful and extraordinary wedding…
Typically, for Michigan weddings, we have the luxury of traveling to the event the same day, driving directly to the hotel or location where the bride is getting ready. Because Ishwin and Devender had us also photograph their Friday evening party into the late hours, and we were to begin their wedding day photographs early the following morning, we decided to stay the night in the same hotel to maximize getting plenty of sleep! The Friday party took place at Wayne Tree Manor and was a great opportunity to get to know the wonderful family and friends of this terrific couple! DJ Naveen Productions and Event Lighting had the Friday party rocking! He had the guests on the dance floor and his lighting provided a colorful background for our photos! At the end of the evening, both a Saagan and Chuni ceremony were performed for Ishwin for her ring exchange and being presented with a head scarf. You can see the energized party photos below (at the top of the scroll)! After four hours of photography, Beth and I headed over to the nearby Courtyard by Marriott to get a good nights rest before our early morning start.
We began the wedding day at the Courtyard by Marriott near Detroit Metro Airport at 7am on Saturday morning. Ishwin was up early and getting ready for her big day with the assistance of her makeup artist and family members! Like all Indian weddings, the bride’s attire is very colorful, elaborate and beautiful! The making of an Indian bride takes time because of all that is involved. You can get a sense of this in viewing the photos below. Meanwhile, my second photographer, David Yarnall, arrived at the same hotel a couple of hours later. There is not nearly as much time needed for most grooms to get ready so we tailored David’s time with Devender to be specific to when he was actually getting into his ceremony clothing. Finally, it was time to leave for the Gurudwara. There was a little bit of coordination to make sure the couple did not run into one another in the hotel lobby, but both departed safely without seeing one another.
The ceremony was held at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Canton, Michigan, about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. Ishwin was tucked away in a room with her bridesmaids, while the Milnee was performed. This is the meeting of Devender’s parents and close relatives with Ishwin’s parents and relatives prior and the exchanging of gifts. After the emotional meeting between the families, everyone enjoyed Indian pastries and refreshments before going upstairs for the beginning of the wedding.
Devender entered the temple first and was seated before being joined by his bride. After prayers and blessings were made, Ishwin made her entrance into the temple and was seated to Devender’s left. All the guests were seated on the floor around the couple and along the walls in the spacious room. A most beautiful Sikh tradition was performed when during the marriage hymm: Laava (Marriage Hymn) from Guru Granth Sahib Ji were read and sung by the musicians while the couple slowly encircles Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Devender led in a clock-wise direction and Ishwin, holding the scarf, followed him as nearly as possible in step. When they reached the front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, they both bowed together and took their respective seats. They repeated this for remaining three verses. You can see this by scrolling the images below. The ceremony in its entirety lasted about an hour. It concluded with the customary singing and prayer, followed with the serving of Karah Parshad (Sweet Pudding) to the congregation.
The happy couple was greeted and hugged by their family and friends, boarded their limousine and everyone proceeded back to Wayne for the afternoon reception at The Summit on the Park. Again, DJ Naveen was there to entertain the celebration of the newlyweds! The couple was greeted enthusiastically as they made their grand entrance and then proceeded to have their first dance and There was a very cool area set up with a white sofa and white drapes (enhanced by Naveen’s lighting) for the couple to be seated and portraits made all their guests. We don’t usually post portraits in our blog but wanted to show one below. Indian weddings are famous for having a ton of family portraits made and this set up was, not only the best we’ve seen, but wonderfully convenient!
After a wonderful lunch, the guests were ready to put the celebration into high gear, as DJ Naveen, once again and the party rocking on the dance floor! The festivities at The Summit on the Park came to a close around 5pm. A Vidai Ceremony was performed as Ishwin said her goodbyes to her family. She threw rice over head several times to bless her new beginning and marriage to Devender. From there she and Devender were chauffeured back to their hotel as their family and friends helped send off the limousine by giving it a push!
What a beautiful wedding to photograph! We will always be grateful to Ishwin, Devender and their families for giving us this honor!