I am over the moon to get share both Alyssa & Naveen’s Hindu wedding AND their Western wedding celebration with you today!
I first met Alyssa & Naveen over FaceTime. They live down in LA and were planning their Hindu wedding & Western celebrations at Willows Lodge long distance. I even got to meet a very special someone – their pup, Tessa! We connected right off the bat. I knew right away that we would mesh and I was so excited when they asked me to be their photographer!
Let me say a little something about Instagram. I honestly love connecting with my couples online. I love seeing what their up to, how their planning is going, what they do for fun, etc. etc. It gets me even more hyped to capture their marriage. Even though I hadn’t met Alyssa & Naveen in person until a few weeks before their wedding, I felt like we were dear friends. I also love that they have been able to see what I’ve been up to. This helps them connect with my personality & style, and knowing what they can expect from me on their wedding day. Instagram is even how Alyssa said she found me in the first place! Amazing.
Staying friends via social media after the wedding fills my heart. I get so much joy from seeing photos from my couples’ honeymoons, the day-to-day of married life, and when they start their families. Social media can get a bad rap sometimes, but I am so thankful for the connections I am able to build and maintain through it. If we’re not already friends over on Instagram, be sure to pop in & say hello! (You’ll also see a fair amount of photos of our beloved pup, Lemon!)
I’ve developed a deep love, respect and awe for Indian weddings. I’ve photographed a handful over the last few years and I am continually amazed by the tradition, ritual, energy & COLOR of these celebrations! I may be over-sharing on the photo count for this post, but I believe that each and every part of this day was so special and helps tell the story of their marriage. I’ve included a few of the Hindu wedding ceremony steps & their meanings throughout the post so you can enjoy along, too. Thank you, Alyssa, for sharing these with me!
Family & Heritage
Another thing I love about multi-day wedding celebrations is connecting with the families. Whether it’s rehearsal dinner coverage, or in this case, three days of celebration. I love building that deeper relationship with the people closest to my couple. I had the utmost pleasure of capturing not only the Hindu ceremony and the Western wedding, but also the henna party the first night! You can check out more of the fun photos at the bottom of this post, but it is worth repeating here.
Being welcomed with open arms by not only Alyssa and Naveen, but also their parents, extended family, and friends is overwhelming. It helps me become even closer to my work. It allows me to capture quiet, peaceful, joyful, emotive moments even better. Another way to achieve this level of connection is through doing an engagement session which I highly reccommend to my couples. So thank you, Alyssa, Naveen, and your wonderful families for welcoming me to capture your celebrations! It truly means the world to me!
Muhurtham (Tying of the Thali)
This is the most important part of the hindu wedding ceremony! Naveen ties the Mangalsutra (gold insignia) and yellow thread around Alyssa’s neck and they are considered formally married. Naveen’s sister helps, symbolizing her support and friendship to her sister-in-law.
Talambralu: A fun wedding ritual, where Alyssa and Naveen shower each other with rice mixed with turmeric and then exchange garlands. This signifies joy, happiness, and prosperity in the marriage.
Sapthapadi (The Seven Steps)
Naveen leads Alyssa around the fire in seven sacred steps of commitment and dedication to each other. With this process, the marriage ceremony is completed.
The Seven Vows
– Have a happy and prosperous married life
– Attain and fulfill our hopes and aspirations
– Live righteous and virtuous lives in accordance with the Holy Scripture
– Enjoy the material joys of life as a couple and seek spiritual fulfillment
– Beget virtuous children
– Set up a household and be a virtuous family
– Serve one’s parents and elders in their twilight years
A decorated pot filled with water is placed in front of the couple, and they try to fish out a ring put in it. They do this three times and whoever wins the most is supposed to be the dominant one in the marriage!