Bombay Palace is a premier banquet facility conveniently located in Brampton. Their Palace Ballroom hosted this couple’s wedding ceremony and reception. It’s always so much fun when I get to photograph the various aspects of an Indian wedding. It’s even more fun when that wedding is a fusion of two completely different cultures. In this case, the groom and his family were Indian. And customary with most South Asian weddings, they were festive and colourful. The bride’s family was German. Though more uniquely, the bride is an army officer. I never found out her exact ranking. However, based on how organized this wedding was, I’m going with a general.
The morning bridal prep at Park Inn by Radission/Grand Victorian Convention Centre was very entertaining. This was the first time Melanie had ever really worn her Indian bridal lengha on her own. While I have photographed a lot of Indian weddings, I do not consider myself an expert on the attire. Normally my Indian brides are Indian and have a similar hair and makeup team who are pros in this area. Luckily between the two of us, we were able to get her ready.
The couple had their first look at the hotel and then proceeded with their family to Gage Park for photos. Gage Park has a gorgeous white gazebo that looked majestic with these two. The architectural details reminded me of old temples in India. First, we worked our way through the family portraits so they could enjoy the park. The remainder of this portrait session focused on the couple. It was a beautiful day and as such a lot of people were enjoying the park themselves. However when they saw an Indian couple taking photos, they made themselves scarse.
The groom’s arrival, or baraat, kicked off this Hindu wedding ceremony at Bombay Palace. Normally this would involve a lot of dancing as the two families meet. However, it was pouring rain so the goal was to get the groom inside before he got soaked. The family had a small prayer for him before the bride arrived.
The wedding mandap acts as a wedding alter in Hindu marriage ceremonies. This particular Mandap was quite simple and draped with bride coloured fabrics. The couple was joined by their parents. The ceremony begins with lighting the fire. A Hindu marriage is a sacrament, not a contract. To signify the viability of the ceremony, fire is kept as a witness and offerings are made. The bride and groom exchange floral garlands similar to how they exchange wedding rings. It expresses the desire of the couple to marry each other. The groom places a necklace of black and gold beads on the bride as a gift to her.
The saptapadi is an important ritual in North Indian Hindu weddings. During the saptapadi, the bride and groom have their garments tied together. While joined, the couple walks seven steps together to signify their friendship. This couple also made seven circles around a ceremonial fire, each round signifying a specific blessing they request of the gods. Finally, Sindoor, a red-orange powder, is applied to the parting of the bride’s hair. This symbolizes her new status as a married woman.
Indian wedding receptions are grand affairs. The bride and groom sat at a lavish sweetheart table that served as the focal point of the entire room at Bombay Palance. Guests approach to congratulate the couple and take photos throughout the night. The parents often gift the bride a rolling pin. This is a cooking utensil needed to make a lot of Indian dishes. It’s also a nifty tool to keep their husbands in line. There’s often an assortment of songs and performances during dinner. And once the dance floor opens, everyone is on the floor showcasing their best Bollywood dance moves.