Sunday, January 24, 2010

Houston Wedding

Tasha and Amish met at the University of Texas at Austin. He proposed to her during a tour of the UT Tower. They are a good looking and romantic couple. For those who have never been to one, Indian wedding tends to be a 3-4 day event filled time. Such was the case for Tasha and Amish. Their 4 days had multiple events on each day.

Day one began with afternoon family religious ceremonies at both families homes. The bride's mehndi was applied in a most intricate design on her hands (both sides), forearms and feet. Once the paste is applied Tasha had to sit with arms and legs elevated to dry. Her friends and family then entertained the crowd with tasty treats and dancing.

Day Two started early again with Tasha and Amish at each of their parents homes for morning ceremonies of the presentation of gifts by family members of food, cloth, jewelry and the wedding clothes.... not just for the bride and groom but for their entire immediate families. At the Bride's house it was the Bride's Mother's family who provided their clothing. The next ceremony was the ceremonial singing by her family and the cleansing of the bride with herbs and oil anointed on her feet, hands, shoulders and head. For Amish, the herbs and oil were mixed into a paste and spread over his face, arms and legs. At the Bride's home speeches were made to honor all of her attending family members along with small gifts presented by her Mother and Father. That evening at the Hindu Temple in Katy Texas was the Sangeeth which comprised skits, singing and dancing entertainment provided by the friends and family members of the bride and groom. It was amazing the amount of talent and fun had by all as they re-enacted the story of Tasha and Amish. Later came more wonderful food and dancing by all present in the garba traditional dances. The colors of the gowns and outfits of all were just stunning and the fun had by all as they whirled around the dance floor made us want to dance too.

Day Three arrived as a beautiful Houston morning. We started over at the Groom's parents home as they readied for the actual wedding ceremony. Amish's regal wedding outfit was covered in beadwork and metallic stitching from top to bottom. After a few pre-ceremony formals we all headed to the Chateau Polonez in Spring, Texas. Tasha was getting ready upstairs with her Mother and Aunt assisting her into the ornate and heavy wedding Sari of red with lots of gold beadwork and embroidery.

Tasha looked gorgeous and her blue eyes completed a regal apperance. Her bridesmaids wore matching brown saris and carried bouquets of ivory roses. When it was time for the ceremony the family (except for Tasha, her girls and her Uncle) gathered on the entry of the Chateau to greet Amish and his family as they danced and sang while he rode up in a white carriage drawn by two white horses.

With her parents and his sponsors up on the altar the traditional exchanges of water, rice, spices passed between them and Tasha and Amish. With the exchange of rings Amish and Tasha became man and wife.

Before formal photos each guest family came up to congratulate the bride and groom personally. The food choice of the evening was Italian and there were wonderful desserts and a coffee bar to enjoy. The culmination of the evening was the exit with the traditional exercise of the groom having to negotiate a payment for the return of his shoes so they could leave.

Day Four was a full evening event at the Westin Galleria Houston. The ballroom was draped with embroidered fabric and color lights were everywhere. There was a wonderful Candy Bar in many shades of green and white. Once the formal photos were done the reception started the guests filled the room and then Tasha's very talented Brother Krish Sang a welcome song. The family and wedding party members were announced in and all came in dancing. When Tasha and Amish were announced in they swept in with huge smiles. They had ceremonial ringside seats to watch the entertainment as the wedding party and family friends sang and danced....even Amish joined the dancing. Next came time for the heartfelt toasts by wedding party members and both fathers. After a wonderful Indian meal the dancing started... first the formal dances and then the party started. Dancing by nearly everyone to a variety of Indian and rock music. All projected live on two projection screens.

The last song appropriately was the the Eyes of Texas, the University of Texas School song. With hands in the air displaying the "hook'em Horns" the Bride and Groom led this song from the stage overseeing the crowd of Texas alumni. What a wonderful, colorful and family participated celebration this was and tired though we were after four days we were happy and pleased to have been a part of it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Captured Moment

Click to enlarge

Special wedding moments often happen in a split second. For the bride this could be a glance at Dad just before she walks to her groom. For the groom, the anticipation his brides entrance. As photographers that have photographed hundreds of weddings - knowing "when" a moment might happen and being ready to capture the event is a skill that only experience can teach. This photo shows the fiddling, twitching of a new wedding band on the brides finger is just such an anticipated and captured moment. We use our cameras motor drive to capture a sequence of events that happen in a split second to communicate a lasting memory that is often missed by many.