Last January, I was in Udaipur, India, and met the Dhadda family. Their son, Salil, was engaged and I was at the ring ceremony. Being a photographer, I brought my camera with me (I like to have a job to do) and took a few candid shots throughout the evening. The family liked the photos so much that they asked me to come back and photograph the wedding.
I was one of several photographers to be at this wedding...the Indian photographers work as a team for video and still shots. They get all of the formal photos, and set up elaborate stages with backdrops, props, and huge softboxes.
MY job was to get candids. Nothing formal about it...basically, just shoot whatever I wanted for the 5 days of the wedding festivities. Here are a few of my favorites from what I have edited so far. What you will see are photos from all 5 days, mostly in chronological order. I could try to explain each ceremony or location...but I think I'll just let the photos be.
An important thing to note is that Indian weddings are really about the families. The bride and groom almost take a back seat to all of the festivities, which was interesting to note. The house was full of people all the time...aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc...but for much of this the bride and groom were not around.
The 4th day culminated with a dinner/dancing event, at which the bride and groom saw each other for the first time since it had all begun. The families had been practicing their dance routines all week (hence the top photo) and for several hours they all put on a show. Being ignorant of Indian style entertainment, I just barely missed being scorched by a propane fire ball at the edge of the stage, and almost burst my right ear drum when a series of small cannons went off about 2 feet away from me as I crouched to take a photo...they were set to send up some confetti with the blast.
The final day, the actual wedding day, was an amazing event with 1,500 people. It is this part of the ceremonies that you will see the groom being led in on the white horse, the bride being walked in separately by her family, and then the two of them being united on a huge stage. Until this actual moment, they had not really been together for any of the preceding days.