Bhaktivedanta Manor wedding ceremony
Hardik and Ria are friends of the couple from a previous fun Indian wedding I photographed who held their wedding in two parts to make sure they had enough time to enjoy themselves fully. Often Asian weddings can end up with a packed schedule for the couple, so they had their Indian-Nepalese wedding ceremony at the Bhaktivedanta Manor earlier on in the week. Whenever I shoot an Asian wedding it can really vary in what traditions people adhere to, but generally there's some religious blessings by the bride and her family, whilst the groom makes his entrance procession and there's usually some fun games of sorts such as his shoes being stolen (or attempted stealing!) by the bride's family, whilst being fiercely defended by his own family. Funnily enough Hardik and Ria were very low key in setting my expectations, and I think they didn't eve anticipate the gusto at which their friends and family would do everything! I really enjoyed witnessing some of the most competitive elements I'd ever photographed in an Asian wedding ceremony, including both the bride and groom being lifted up onto shoulders in order to stop the other from garlanding them.
After the ceremony the couple took part in a Nepalese tradition of gift giving which is usually silver, before another traditional leaving ceremony where the bride's family don't let the couple leave until the best man has paid an adequate dowry. It's similar to the morning games played in Chinese weddings.
Wedding reception at The Hive, London
Later on in the week, they held their wedding reception party in North London at the event space called The Hive. I started the day at the groom's parents' house because I specifically wanted to photograph Hardik's huge dog Simba. So cute! They had welcome drinks, a dinner and a series of speeches and dance performances from family and friends, before opening up the dancefloor for a mahoosive party!