Nieran and Dina's Leicestershire Hindu Wedding | Scalford Hall, Melton Mowbray
Nieran and Dina's Hindu wedding at Scalford Hall in Leicestershire was a bit emotional for me! After shooting their civil ceremony at Glenfield Registry Office earlier that week and their two engagement shoots, I'd come to know them both pretty well and we were well on our way to developing a lasting friendship!
Their day started with the Jaan (arrival of the groom), and boy did he make an entrance! Looking rather dashing in his Rajasthani inspired traditional sherwani (complete with sword and pangal), Nieran danced his way into the marquee accompanied by friends and family to the sound of the dhol played by the wonderful Kulvir Singh and Amrita.
After capturing his welcome into the mandap by the bride's parents, where the brides mum managed to pinch his nose and the bride's family stole his shoes, we headed up to where Dina was making her final preparations for the Indian wedding (AKA selfies with the girls).
In Hindu wedding ceremonies it is traditional for the bride and groom to be separated by the Antarpatt; a cloth or curtain which prevents the groom from seeing the bride's entrance. The curtain drop is one of my favourite moments of the ceremony, comparable to a 'first look' in western ceremonies. Check out the look on Dina's face when she see's her handsome groom for the first time that day!
Their Hindu wedding ceremony went off without a hitch, conducted by the serene Dilip Joshi, with plenty of nice, natural and emotional moments for us to capture, and before we knew it, the groom was presenting his new wife with the Mangal Sutra and placing Sindhoor (red powder) on her forehead, marking her as a married woman.
The end of the Hindu ceremony is often the most emotional part. The first piece of this trilogy of laughs and tears is called Kora Kori, or the 'ring fishing game'. A ring is placed in a bowl of milk and petals and the couple each put one hand in and have to find it, cheered on by their guests and family. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the ring first will rule the roost for the rest of their marriage - as well as having bragging rights!
The look on Nieran's face says it all as he resigns himself to a lifetime under the thumb of his new bride.
Next comes the Vidhai, where the bride leaves her family and is accepted into his. This is the moment when the father of the bride usually realises that his little girl is a little girl no longer, and is leaving her family home to live with the groom. Although this tradition arguably had more meaning in rural India, when the bride would be leaving her village to make a new home and potentially not seeing her family again for some time, I've seen many stoic and strong fathers reduced to blubbering wrecks when the traditional song is played and they hug their daughter goodbye!
You may remember that the bride's family stole the groom's shoes before he made his entrance. Well this is where that becomes relevant. Possibly the biggest negotiation of the day, the brides side held the groom's shoes ransom, demanding cold, hard, cash for their return. Of course, Nieran had no choice but to put up some notes or opt for a barefoot exit!
Stay tuned for their wedding reception, coming soon!