Photographing Priya and Matthew’s intimate Indian wedding in Detroit was one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had. Being able to experience a brand new culture was truly an incredible experience. I had so much fun embracing and learning about her culture and traditions!
Priya and Matthew had a traditional American wedding in Detroit the following day, but it was important to Priya that they also had an Indian wedding to honor her traditions and culture. Because of COVID, the couple chose to have a very intimate Indian wedding at her parent’s private estate.
“Interracial dating is still taboo in some communities. They sometimes believe that your culture will be taken away from you, and that you will no longer have any ties to that. I always knew I wanted to have an Indian wedding because I want to respect the values and traditions of how I was raised. While we come from different cultural and religious backgrounds, it was important for Matt and I to learn, respect and understand each other’s regions and cultures. I’m hoping someday interracial and inter-religious marriages will become fully accepted.” -Priya
I was so inspired photographing this Indian wedding in Detroit. Priya created a very helpful program that showcased the parts of the wedding which I wanted to include in this blog post to help educate others. It was laid out so beautifully and in such an easy way to understand. I also want to thank her parent’s for welcoming me into their home, being so kind and inviting me to share a private dinner with them afterwards. It was truly a magical, special day.
Intimate Indian Wedding in Detroit, Michigan
BARAAT – GROOM’S PARADE
The groom and his wedding brigade will dance their way to the wedding impressing the crowd with their dance moves! As the groom’s family dance their way inside, the groom holds a coconut, symbolizing a token of bringing selflessness to the marriage. The groom will be welcomed by the gorgeous Mother of the bride by performing the Aarti (wavy small fire).
EMBRACING BOTH FAMILIES
The groom is welcomed with a short prayer performed by the bride’s mother. The bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family – the families embrace each other!
Shhhh…. the sister of the bride will steal the groom’s shoes once he is in the Mandap. His shoes will be held ransom unless he digs deep into his pockets to get them back! Ouch!
GANESH PUJA – WORSHIPPING LORD GANESH
The ceremony begins with a “puja” (prayer) to Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles and provider of good luck. Let the wedding commence!
MADHUPARKA – OFFERING OF THE NECTARS
The groom will now enter the “Mandap” followed by the bride’s parents cleansing his feet to purify him for his new life ahead.
KANYA AAGMAN – BRIDAL ENTRY
Here comes the bride… Can you guess what color she will be wearing? A veil is placed in front of the groom as the bride walks down the isle, to increase his eagerness to see her! Traditionally, she is escorted by her maternal uncles.
JAI MALA – EXCHANGING OF GARLANDS
The couple greet each other by exchanging flower garlands!
KANYADAAN & GANTH BANDHAN – GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE & THE NUPTIAL KNOT
The bride’s parents place her right hand in the groom’s right hand thereby entrusting her happiness to him from now on. The groom’s scarf is then tied to bride’s lehenga signifying the union of their souls.
MANGAL PHERA – CIRCLING AROUND THE HOLY FIRE
The couple will circle the sacred fire four times. Each round signifies one of the four basic human goals – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. In the fourth round, they race to sit down first – it is said that the first to be seated will rule the house!
SAPTAPADI – THE 7 STEPS OF PROMISE
The couple takes 7 steps together. Each step signifies a vow that they promise to uphold together.
- To grow in strength
- To nourish each other
- To remain lifelong friends
- To be together forever
- To care for our children
- To share our joys and sorrows
- To preserve our wealth
MANGALSUTRA & SINDOOR – LIFELONG COMMITMENT
The groom will then apply “Sindoor” (red power) along the bride’s hair parting and then adorns her with a beautiful “Mangalsutra” (sacred necklace) reflecting eternal respect and love for her!
AASHIRWAAD – GOOD LUCK AND BLESSINGS
The priest now declares the couple as husband-wife and showers them with blessings for a happy and prosperous life together!
VIDAAI – BRIDE’S FAREWELL
This is an emotional farewell between the bride and her family and friends, as she begins her new life with the groom and his family. The couple will leave carrying the very best wishes of all who witnessed their wedding.
Indian Wedding Photographer in Detroit
Priya and Matthew, you two are such beautiful people inside at out. I am forever grateful to have spent an entire weekend with you as both your Indian and American wedding photographer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Are you having an Indian wedding in Detroit? Contact me here for more information!