Month: May 2018

How to shoot a Bengali wedding?

bengali wedding photographer

India is a diverse country which has different cultures and different ethnicities and obviously different wedding rituals. Each and every culture have their own traditions and significance. The wedding is one of the most precious days in any couples life. If you are a wedding photographer then you have to make sure that you capture the most exquisite and memorable moments on their big day. The Hindu wedding rituals in Bengal differs from the rest of India. Each day shows a certain quintessence and the rituals add a spark to it.

The Wedding Photographers take the challenge to embrace up the perfect sequence of occurrence with the highest level of serenity, commitment, and perfection. A Bengali wedding from the beginning to end, you will give your word for the fact that Bengali weddings are suffused with rich beliefs and traditions. From the mouth-watering Bengali delicacies to the elegant red benarasi saree, the emotive resonance of sehnai and the sweet aroma of jasmine and roses, Bengali weddings are the real pleasure for the senses.

ASHIRBAD: Rice husk and trefoil plant are sprinkled on the brides head is regarded as propitious and is a part of a pre-wedding ritual called ashirbad. Charms are exchanged in the ritual and these days couples also bestow rings to each other during this casual ceremony. This is the time when a photographer should seize the candid moments of the people involved in the ceremony. This is more of a casual affair so people are seen in light moods and a photographer present there should take out the best from it along with the traditional portraits.

Jolsoya: On the morning of the wedding the mother of the bride or groom along with few married women goes to the nearest waterbody to fill a brass pitcher. This is used to bath the bride or groom in their gaye hold ceremony. Here the cinematographer should cover the whole event.

Gaye holud: The Haldi ceremony in Bengali Hindu wedding is called gaye holud.Seven married women of the prolonged family crush the turmeric themselves and then smear it on the bride or groom. This usually takes place on the morning of the wedding day. Here the photographer will get vibrant and bright shots of the bride and her relatives while they will be engrossed in applying haldi to the bride. The cinematographer should shoot this fun-filled ritual with focus on the bride.

Totto: During the haldi ceremony the groom’s family send extravagant endowments knows as Totto.A traditional tattoo includes everything from attires, shoes, cosmetics to sumptuous sweets and toiletries. The groom’s family also send a big decorated rohu fish and other nourishments along with them. A photographer should take pictures of each item that has been sent by the groom’s family. The cinematographer should cover the whole event of the arrival of the tattoo by the groom’s siblings and friends.

Sajsojjya : A wedding is never complete without a bride getting ready for her big day. A Bengali bride’s attire is never complete without the prototypical Sakha (conch shell bangles), Pola (red coral bangles) and Loha (iron bangles). The loha is said to give the marriage strength,besides harmonising the negative and positive energies. A Bengali bride also carries gachkouto and kajallata throughout the wedding day. While the gachkouto is used to carry siddur (vermillion dust), the kajallata is believed to keep the bride safe from evil spirits. The most significant features for a Bengali bride is the blood red benarasi saree that she wears along with designs on the forehead with Chandan ( sandalwood paste) and Alta (red dye) on her hand and feet. A bride’s look gets complete with kohled eyes and red lips with a red bindi on her forehead. Gold plays an important part in a Bengali bride’s jewellery. In which some of the ornaments are received from her mother and grandmother .you can visualize the deep-rooted culture of the traditional Bengali jewelry. Some of the jewelry which is included in the Bengali wedding is:-

  1. Nath
  2. Paatihar
  3. Jhumko
  4. Tikli
  5. Tairaa
  6. Chik
  7. Bala
  8. Kanpasha
  9. Chur
  10. Ratanchur
  11. Sitahar
  12. Bauti
  13. Churi
  14. Nupur
  15. Satnori
  16. Komorbandh

Here the photographer has ample chances to take out the best shots of the woman when she is turning into stunning wife to be focusing on her paramount features. Here the photographer must take close shots showing his photographic skills.

Boragaman : The groom along with the borjatri (groom’s friends and relatives) appears in the venue. They are received with fervor amidst blowing of sonkho (conch shells). The mother of the bride receives him with a borondala , a large tray containing items like rice, turmeric, betel nuts, a bunch of banana and a lighted diya. She then feeds him sweets and water and welcomes him in. Here the photographer and cinematographer should cover these whole sequins of events.

Saat Paak and Subho Drishti: The groom is taken to the wedding mandap known as Chhadnatola and the puja is performed along with the person who will do the kanya sampradan.The bride is seated on a wooden plank known as Piri and is carried by male members of her family, to the mandap while she hides her face with betel leaves. The bride takes rounds around the groom seven times while she is being carried by her male relatives, which is known as saat paak. Once the saat paak is over the bride is placed in front of the groom and the bride removes her betel leaves and sees the groom, this is known as subho dristi. This whole event should be filmed by the cinematographer without leaving a single moment of this funfilled ritual. The photographer should capture the candid moments of the bride and groom living their special day.

Mala bodol : The couple exchanged flower coronets is known as mala bodol.It is a fun packed event when the relative of both bride and groom hoist them up to make it difficult for them to each other .photographer should capture this competitive and fun moments while keeping the tradition intact.

Kanya sampradan : After the mala bodol, the bride sits opposite to the groom and the elderly member preferably father of the bride tie their hands and bound them by a pios thread and the priest chants the mantras and the bride is officially given away to the groom. This ritual should be fully covered by the cinematographer and the photographer should take close shots of the bride and groom when the Kanya sampradan takes place.

Saptapadi: The female member of the grooms family ties a loop between bride’s saree and the groom’s shawl. After tying of the knot the couple goes around the fire seven times while articulating the seven sacred vows. Here it’s the work of the cinematographer to cover the whole ceremony.

Lajanjali: The brides’ brother puts puffed rice into the bride’s hand and the groom holds her arm from behind and together they pour the offering in the fire. Here a photographer should capture the closeness between the bride and groom through this ritual.

Sindoordan: The groom applies sidur on the parting of the bride’s hair and covers her head with a new saree given from the groom’s side known as lojjabostro.This is the most special moment in a bride’s life when she turns from a daughter to a wife and her new journey of life. A photographer should be capable enough to seize this moment and restore it for the couple’s lifetime.

Bidaai: This is the time when the bride with tearful eyes leaves her own house to get settled in her husband’s house. The bride throws a handful of rice to signify that she is paying all her debts from her father’s home. The photographer should capture this emotional moment keeping in mind the last few moments of her in her father’s house.

As a wedding photographer, you should let you lenses do the talking by capturing the actual emotions behind the Bengali Wedding. Also, try to get aerial views during the saatpaak and malabadal if the venue taken by them is an open area.

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The Hindu Wedding Rituals in South India

hindu wedding

The Hindu wedding rituals in South India differs from the other parts in every aspects. So if you’re planning to shoot a south Indian wedding, you should have some figurative and literal ideas about the four core communities of South India and their wedding rituals. The traditional attire that usually passes for a South Indian wedding guest is a white shirt and a veshti (a silk Dhoti).

There are mainly four communities in South India and those are Kannada, Tamil, Telegu and Malayalee. Usually, the wedding is regarded as long term process in South India which may take place up to 16 days. Each day signifies a particular essence and has set rituals to it and weddings can also be quite long depending on the status of the family. All of the communities more or less follow the similar kind of sequences of rituals during the wedding. The best wedding photographers in South India literally take the challenge to cover up the entire series of events with the highest level of patience, dedications and professionalism.

Kannada Wedding Rituals
Starting from Nischay Tamulam ( fixing the date of wedding by the family elders ) to Vidayii it is a long term process that may take seven days on an average. The Kashi Yatra tradition is common in most of the hindu south Indian wedding family. After the Haldi ceremony this fun packed event take place where the groom pretends as if he is going to Kashi Yatra to forsake marital bliss and being interrupted by his maternal uncle and after the Dev Karya ceremony or the worship of lord Ganesha the family leaves for the wedding venue.

Tamil Wedding Rituals
Panda Kaal Muhurtham is the first ritual in Tamil Wedding where the bride and groom prays for the peaceful marriage ceremony. Then during the Sumangali Prarthanai the bride take blessings from such an woman in her family who had died before her husband so that she can be like her. Then the Pallikal Thellichal wherein seven earthen pots brimming with curd and gains are immersed in the water. It is done to take the blessings from fish. And then Nichayathartham takes place during which the bride prays Lord Ganesha. During the Nichayathartham ceremony, the bride and groom also exchange rings.
The main rituals commence with Mangala Snaanam wherein the relatives and friends apply a paste of oil, turmeric, and kumkum on the bride and the groom and they are taken for bath. After that the Kashi Yatra take place where the bride’s parent praise the groom to marry the his daughter. Once he reaches the mandap, the Pada Puja takes place, and bride’s mother washes the feet of the groom. Oonial ritual is next in line wherein bride and groom sit on the swing to eat and banana and milk while the relatives and friends keep on throwing rice balls on them to keep the fun alive. Then both the bride, and groom are escorted to Mandap to follow the further ceremonies – Kanyadanam, Muhurtham, and Saptapadi. All these ceremonies are followed by Bidaai during which the bride leaves the paternal home to go to her in-law’s place.

Telugu wedding Rituals
The wedding rituals of the Telugu wedding commences a day before the marriage with Pendlikoothuru in which friends and relatives apply the paste of turmeric on the hands, feet, arms, legs and face of the bride and the groom and bless them as they gear up for their big day. This is followed by the ritual of Kashi Yatra, as per which the groom pretends to leave for Kashi but interrupted by bride’s brother. In the morning, on the wedding day, the bride, and groom performs the Mangala Snanam ritual, in which they take a holy purifying bath. Following this is Gauri puja, which is done by the bride to seek the blessings of Mother Goddess. Meanwhile, the groom performs the Ganesh Puja.
At the wedding venue, the bride is escorted by her maternal uncle to the mandap. The couple sits opposite to each other, and a curtain is then placed between them to prevent from sneaking a look at each other. Then the Kanyadaan ritual is performed by the father of the bride. The curtain is lowered down only to perform the mangalsutra ceremony. After this, the couple exchanges garlands and are showered with flowers and yellow color rice. Next ritual in line is Saptapadi, wherein the couples take seven rounds around the fire, and vows to stay together in thick and thins throughout life. Subsequently, the groom slips silver toe rings on bride’s feet. And then comes the ‘Bidaai’, the last ceremony of the wedding when the bride leaves her place of birth, her home, her loved ones and go to a new home & life that awaits her.

Malayalee Wedding Rituals
Malayalee wedding
starts off with Muhurtham Ritual, this is when a priest decides the pre-wedding and wedding dates and time. Next ceremony is Nischayam in which elders of the family make an announcement but no prospective groom and bride are allowed to attend the event.On the day before the marriage, a five-course feast is prepared at the bride s house. The bride wears fine jewelry and silk saree. She is then made to sit facing the east. A function in the similar pattern takes place at the groom’s house as well.
Before the wedding, both the bride and bridegroom receive the blessings of elders by giving Dakshina. Then they leave for the venue. At the venue, bride s brother washes the groom s feet and invites him to the Kalyana Mandap. The bride is escorted by her aunt to the Kalyana Mandap. Once she sits next to the groom, the nadaswaram plays in the background. And then the priest performs the nuptial ceremony by chanting Vedic mantras. The couples walk around the fire and then ties the mangalsutra on bride s neck. Also, the groom gifts her bride a saree conveying to her that he will now assume the responsibility of providing for her life. This followed by an exchange of garland ceremony. The bride s father places her right hand in the right hand of the bridegroom, symbolically transferring the responsibility of taking care of his daughter, in holy matrimony. After the sadhya (feast of 25 dishes), the bride bids farewell to her family, and the wedding ceremony comes to an end.

Now let’s focus on the photography part. Once you entire the venue, you will notice things such as full-grown plantain trees tied to both the gateposts, festoons overhead of mango leaves, and screw-pine petals that never fade, notes of the Nadaswaram, the South Indian Shehnai, Kolam or Rangoli designs at the doorsteps. As an wedding photographer,let your lenses capture these unique essences of the South Indian Marriages. Be ready to capture the candid moments during the Kashi Yatra, where you’ll find smiling faces of everyone like the elders and younger members of the family. Try to capture the aerial views if you’re getting an open area as wedding venue.

Wedding Photo Creators, as a team of the best wedding photographers in South India are based in Bengaluru, are providing an one stop solution to all your wedding and pre/post wedding photography needs.

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