Everyone dreams of a fairy tale wedding but not everyone is lucky to get one or even to witness one. Recently I attended a wedding which was a dream come true not only for the couple who always wanted to get marry as royals at a fort but also a great opportunity for me as a photographer to shoot this spectacular event.
It was a lavish setting where an Indian bride and a Jewish groom tied the knot at a historical fort-Jadhavgarh,interlacing two different cultures and customs.
It was a four day long affair with back to back rituals full of colours,happiness,surprises and strengthening bonds starting with Mehendi.
Mehendi-a ceremony of heena and colourful bangles where hands are full with intricate heena designs and faces with smiles.The Jewish crowd was busy in finding matching bangles and restlessly waiting their turn for Mehendi.The busy bride was finally forced to do her mehendi as she was the only one left.It was a fun ceremony to shoot.
Next was the Sangeet, which was full of drama and glamour depicting Bollywood
songs with a surprising “The Dirty Movie” poster representing the bride and groom’s family in a fun way. People were shaking a leg on the Bollywood item songs in flashy Indian traditional wear with the bride’s family.
Some filmy poses for the camera and crazy loud music at the end set the dance floor on fire which ultimately made me join the crazy crowd leaving my camera aside for an hour.
For the last two grand functions we reached the dream venue- The Royal Jadhavgarh Fort, and I knew from the moment on that it was going to be a promising event with some great moments and splendid shots.
The day before the main wedding ceremony was the Haldi ceremony, which was held at the Maharaja room under a deep blue sky twinkling with stars. It was really a innocent moment with the Jewish groom wondering why he was being coated with turmeric by people who were in a line to do so. He looked at his bride questioningly, and the pretty bride only blinked at him with a mischievous smile.
Morning started with a cheerful wind and festive mood all around.While the temple and lawn next to the fort were getting ready to welcome the couple in a lavish way,the make up artist were engaged in making the bride look gorgeous to capture the groom's heart once again.
The Hindu wedding ceremony started with the Mavlas playing the tunes of shehnai and dhols and ladies covering the bride and groom’s way to the mandap, with flower petals, while an eager crowd waited to greet them. It was a pleasant sunny afternoon with a cool breeze serenading the beautiful crowd dressed up in traditional wear. The wedding started with Hindu rituals. It was a bit tough for the groom to understand all that was going around, he tried his best to avoid any faux pas. The couple were bonded in a new relation through all the holy rituals, God’s blessings and all the well wishes of their parents and friends.
Kiddushin- a Jewish wedding
Sun finally set down leaving a chilled blue sky smudged with warm tones leaving a memory of the ceremony in the morning, But the show was just about to start. The venue was decked up with elegantly dressed ladies and all the gentlemen in suits. Soothing sounds of old jive tunes from an equally old gramophone was the perfect setting for the ambience. The bride arrived in a hot black gown with a touch of fur, accompanied by the handsome groom who was impeccably dressed. The showstoppers pleased the crowd with a romantic ball dance. The Jewish ceremony started with the tinkling sound of a glass.
The groom and bride are brought together under a chuppah or canopy -a white cloth signifying a new home, a new start as a couple. An honoured rabbi then recites seven blessings over a wine, which is then shared by the couple. The groom then gives the ring to the bride and crushes the glass by his right foot keeping the Jerusalem in mind, in the time of joy and the guests shout ‘Mazel Tov!’- Good Luck.
And the ceremony ends with a pop up of champagne and the family and close friends tapping their feet rejoicing the merry moments of the couple.
But we are not yet done-
The couple was so excited for some custom portraits that they got dressed again in the early morning for some poses at some great locations in and around the Jadhavgarh Fort.