Hindu Wedding Engagement
Engagement parties are very rarely part of a Hindu Wedding. A Hindu wedding are often big multi-day events. However those events are often back to back. With so many family members flying in, it essentially makes the whole try more worth it by offering a full week of activities. As opposed to a single day engagement party happening months before the actual wedding. So when I do photograph an engagement shoot for a Hindu wedding, it’s likely small scale. That was not the case for Parul & Adam. Hey, if you’re only going to marry once, you might as well do it right. The guest count was surprisingly large, and many of them did travel in for the occasion at Woodbine Banquet Hall.
The reason for this bigger event was because the couple planned to do their Hindu wedding ceremony as a destination event in Italy. And this engagement party was being merged with a Chuni Ceremony and Sangeet to give their local family and friends an opportunity to celebrate without necessarily making the trip across the world.
The Chuni Ceremony is similar to the Shagun, but directed to the bride. The ceremony involves the groom’s family being welcomed by the bride’s family. The groom’s family brings gifts comprising food and a complete outfit for the bride. Women who are closely related to the groom, present the bride with a red outfit. They usually bring matching cosmetics and nail varnish that they apply to the bride. Gifts like traditional jewellery, bangles, hair accessories, and mendhi for her hands. Once the bride is dressed, the groom’s mother places the red chuni on the bride to complete the look. The groom’s parents will then give the couple Shagan by feeding them ladoo. This same ritual is repeated by the remaining family.
The Sangeet was more intense. It is a fun celebration where guests will sing and dance to entertain the bride and groom. Normally these events are pretty mellow. Guests sit on a cushioned floor playing the drums and singing. This was not one of those event. Both the bride’s family and the groom’s family loved to dance. So there was a full night of coordinated performances.