2021 was an eventful year from the beginning. We hit the ground running with weddings and portrait sessions while awaiting the busiest wedding season we’ve ever had. During the fall of 2020 I was contacted by a couple who was planning their wedding at South Coast Winery. Nishtha and Tejash were referred from a past couple who also got married at South Coast Winery. Long story short, it was going to be my first Indian wedding of my 8+ years as a wedding photographer.
I have photographed many cultural weddings; Philippino, Jewish, Mexican, Greek, Samoan, and Good’ol American weddings. Being asked to photograph such an event was truly an honor. Even through it was my first Indian wedding, I felt confident that whatever situation I find myself in, I know I can get stunning images by connecting with people.
Nishtha was very organized during the planning process and really kept me informed on all the day’s events. I can now breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing we captured stunning images and video from their beautiful wedding day.
Upon arrival we started to photograph the details such as dress, jewelry, and family heirlooms that the bride was going to wear. Two camera-women were with Nishtha and two cameramen were with Tejash. By having a photo and video crew of four, we are able to confidentially capture all the day’s events simultaneously. Denith with the The Marigold Company was a huge help in coordinating the first look and family portraits prior to the ceremony.
Doing the family photos before the ceremony will save you a lot of time as opposed to doing it after. We were able to photograph almost the entire family in under 1 hour and still have time to set up for the Baraat. A baraat is a celebratory wedding procession for the groom involving live music and dancing. Everyone gathered out in front of the resort lobby while the sound of lit music guiding the entire group followed by Tejash in topless hummer. The celebration lasted for about 30 minutes until the group arrived at the ceremony site. The baraat is welcomed by the bride’s family—a ritual known as milni takes place at the venue’s entrance where the groom’s family and the bride’s family meet.
The ceremony began and consisted of my cultural and religious traditions. Nishtha was lead down the aisle by her father and uncle. The moment the father gives the bride away is known as the kanyadaan. In the Hindu tradition, no groom can claim a bride until she is offered. During the ceremony, the father of the bride places his daughter’s hands into her soon-to-be spouse’s hands as a gesture of giving her away.
After the ceremony the team went to the reception area to photograph the venue and cocktail hour happenings. Prior to Nishtha and Tejash’s grand entrance, we took them around the venue in their reception wardrobe and got more amazing photos. The reception was so lively, the playlist was lit, and the food was fantastic. Thank you Nishtha and Tejash for trusting me with the memory of your wedding day.