Scarborough Convention Centre
Scarborough Convention Centre is one of Toronto’s most luxurious yet affordable banquet halls and reception venues. It provides a perfect setting to host weddings. The breathtaking wedding and party hall decorations are their trademarks. Whenever I photograph a wedding there, it looks completely different. In this case, it was completely decked out for a Southasian Wedding. The setup included a colourful draped stage for the wedding couple, candelabra centrepieces, and a beautiful multi-layered cupcake arrangement to match. I originally thought the decor from their Henna ceremony was amazing, but it got so much better with this multi-day wedding.
The golden french stairwell is a fantastic backdrop for indoor portraits. We did originally plan to do the couple’s portraits at a park nearby. However, it was such a cold day that we cut the session short. So later in the evening, once things settled down, I stole the bride and groom away for some formal portraits on this stairwell.
Sometimes you have to go pretty far to find the person you want to be with. Aisha found her’s all the way in New York. After 5 years of long-distance travel and communication, they are finally getting married. She’s leaving her old life behind to start a brand new one with a man who can’t stop smiling when he looks at her. The wedding, in this case, was not just them tying the knot, but her saying goodbye to everyone she knows. There was drama, tears, and the occasional crisis. But what comes next is the easy part. They get to finally be together.
Southasian weddings are colorful celebrations full of rich traditions. While most Indian-Canadians couples have Hindu roots, Islam is also a common religion. The nikkah ceremony is the heart of an Indian-Muslim wedding. This particular couple had their nikkah ceremony at Scarborough Convention Centre followed by a grand reception.
The Nikah ceremony has three important steps. Before the groom can even see his bride he must present a mehr, or symbolic gift. For modern couples, this would be an engagement ring. However, this couple was a bit more traditional. The groom and the bride’s father had come to an agreement of the mehr. They negotiate a dollar amount until both sides agree. This is often the longest part of the nikkah. During this process, the bride waited in a separate room and didn’t get to witness the negotiations.
Next comes the religious marriage contract. If the bride accepts the marriage, the couple says qubool hai three times each when asked by the Imam (officiant). The couple then agrees to the terms of the contract and signs it during their ceremony as their guests look on. Arsi Mushaf is the first time the couple looks at each other as husband and wife. As structured as the rest of the ceremony is, this moment is amazing. First looks are pretty emotional at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. They’re even more so after the ceremony is over. Cause now when you look at him, it’s not “this is the man I’m going to marry.” It’s “this is my husband.”