I had an idea on how amazing Manoj and Esha’s day would be after documenting their Chunni ceremony earlier in the year, as well as their pre-wed shoot. Both were great occasions, and it really gave me a chance to get to know the couple, as well as their family and friends.
The wedding celebrations started two days earlier at Esha’s house. First up was the traditional Haldi ceremony, where the bride is covered in a turmeric paste. This was followed by her Menhdi night. Manoj and his family enjoyed his Sangeet night at the same time not far away. The next day was Esha’s Nanke ceremony followed by the Chura ceremony and the Jaago for some more laughter, great food and partying.
So the big day arrived and it was an early start for all. It began at Esha’s house to document her family getting ready and the men getting their turbans tied. It was also a chance for me to take some getting ready shots of Esha who looked pretty relaxed and excited for the day ahead. Arriving at the venue, The Landmark Hotel on Marylebone Road in London, I gave myself time before the arrival of the groom and his family to wonder around the many magnificent rooms.
When the Jaan (Manoj’s family) arrived, passers-by even stopped and enjoyed the celebrations outside the entrance of the hotel. The Dhol players and trumpeters provided the soundtrack for his family to dance wildly in the street, kicking off the day in style.
Once inside, the grooms side of the family were greeted in a typical celebratory fashion from the brides family for the start of the Milani ceremony. This is where family members from both sides partner up and offer each other fresh flower garlands and gifts. The proceedings were enthusiastically conducted and organised by the very witty and talented Toastmaster, Andrew Bignold.
Once both sides had been seated for breakfast provided by Madhu’s, the guests made their way into the Grand Ballroom for the Hindu ceremony. The room was beautifully decorated by Wed-In-Style. In the meantime the bride and groom, with both sets of parents and siblings, congregated in the Drawing Room for their civil ceremony. It was a beautifully intimate occasion within a grand setting.
The Hindu ceremony was impeccably conducted by pandit, Rajiv Sharma, with the entire crowd fully focused on his every word and the ceremonies he performed. There were plenty of cheers and smiles as one-by-one, the grooms parents and groom arrived into the mandap, followed by the brides parents and the bride. It was a typically colourful and joyous affair to witness for all.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, there was chance to take some portraits of the newlyweds within the splendor of the hotel. It also gave the couple a chance to really reflect on the mornings events and catch up with their many friends, who all dressed the part in traditional Indian outfits.
The wedding reception in the evening was nothing short of spectacular. The Grand Ballroom was opened up to its full capacity, and was beautifully and elegantly decorated. The music and entertainment was provided by Paragon Roadshow, who kept the party jumping till the late hours. Speeches and first dance followed, and after witnessing how the families partied at their chunni ceremony earlier in the year, the wedding reception did not disappoint! It was just a case of getting close up to the action and capturing all the moves. The final part of the wedding involved going back to Manoj’s parents house for the traditional games between the bride and groom and immediate family. It was also the first time that the couple arrived as husband and wife!
I would like to thank both sets of parents for making me feel like part of their family. It was truly an honour documenting all of the emotions, laughter, tears and joy, and hope my images convey how awesome it was. It is absolutely clear to see that Manoj and Esha are meant for each other. Both are kindhearted, fun and genuine making it an absolute pleasure working with them. I had such a great time over the course of three days and it was hard to narrow down some of the highlights from their wedding day below.
Congratulations once again to Manoj & Esha!
Videographers: Kat Films
Hair & make-up: Millie Star
Mandap & decorations: Wed-In-Style
DJs: Paragon Roadshow
Wedding cake: Purvi Smart
Pandit: Rajiv Sharma
Toastmaster: Andrew Bignold