Kerstin & Japji's Wedding, Chandigarh, India

Indians do weddings right! But there is no rest for the weary-- after 3 days of major events, we were tired! Manbir and Kavie put together the most wonderful celebration for Japji & Kerstin. Starting with the Henna party on Friday night for just close family and friends (100-200 people!), to the Anand Karaj ceremony where the couple was married in the gurdwara (Sikh temple) followed by an elaborate lunch event on Saturday, to an even more extravagant final reception the following day (around 500 people), these people know how to party! Even though I grew up in India, each Indian wedding that I have been to has been a completely unique experience. In addition to the big events, each day is full of small ceremonies and traditions specific to the particular family. Some are fun little games-- like when the girls in bride's family are supposed to hide the groom's shoes and not give them back until he gives them some money, and then in turn, the girls in the groom's family teases the newly married couple and doesn't let them enter the house until he has paid them a little something, or when the guests all watch as the bride and groom compete with each other to find coins in a basin full of milk. Others are meant to welcome the bride or the groom into their new families- members of each family having fun smearing a gorbanzo bean paste onto the couple, and elaborate ceremonies that require one family greeting the other at a specific time and place with just the right food or treat. What a pleasure it was to be a part of the wedding, and to be able to photograph behind the scenes.