A few years back I received a phone call from Kajal wondering if I would be free to photograph her Asian Engagement ceremony in Tweksbury. Of course, I photographed it and had a wonderful time in doing so. Nikheal (Nik) Kajals then fiancée and his family travelled up from London for one of the most spectacular engagement parties I’ve ever been rivalled to witness. They kindly asked me then if I also did Asian Wedding Photography.
Fast forward a couple of years and the wedding ceremonies and plans came upon us during the months of June and August last year. Kajal and Nik are a dear dear couple, clearly in love with each other and were keen to embrace both western and Asian elements of their celebrations.
The first part of this wonderful quartet of Indian wedding events was a civil ceremony at Malvern Registry Office. Kajal and Nik both looked absolutely resplendent of course and the emotion simply crackled as Kajal walked down the aisle in the arm of her father. Many of their close family and friends were here for this part of the celebration including Niks grandfather who features in these sets of images. Very sadly he passed away recently and I know just how important he was to both Nik and Kajal and their extended families. I spoke to him several times during the two months and he was a wonderful gentleman that I know is sorely missed now.
After the service, Nik, Kajal and their guests headed back to Kajal’s family home near Tweksbury for a beautiful English Summer garden party. The sun was shining on them that day and as I left the party I genuinely couldn’t wait for the Mehndi which was to be a few weeks later.
So, onto the mehndi itself. What can I say about this evening that isn’t perhaps shown in the images? Well, it was a gorgeous occasion of course, with the ladies getting their Henna tattoos applied, lots of drum beating, singing and dancing. It was a real carnival atmosphere and Kajal once again looked beautiful as her transition in her bridal appearance continued. There was some awesome drum beating by Ami – Kajal’s sister and incredible Indian dancing. Laughter and celebration was the order of the evening.
And so to the big day. And what a day. Kajal’s moment had arrived and it all started with some final bridal preparation make-up in the house as the Nik and his family headed up from London. It was a wonderful site to see the whole of the village turn out to watch Nik’s car drive to the house, surrounded by dancing and celebrating family members, friends and drummers. Joyous is not a strong enough word to explain how everyone appeared. It was an exhibition in love, dance and colour – and this was just Nik arriving at the wedding venue!
Obviously, as with most Asian Weddings, there are lots of different sub contexts within the day and I’ve selected a very small selection of some of my favourites from the day below.
And finally the big party. For this, we headed to the Marriott Hotel in West London where hundreds of the guests congregated for a brilliant evening organised by Nik’s side of the family. The room was absolutely stunning, the dancing was incredible (again), the speeches were emotional and the heart warming touch and emotion shared was humbling to witness to be honest.
As a documentary wedding photographer, traditionally we are not associated with large Asian Weddings. However it was an amazing privilege to be part of Kajal and Nik’s incredible celebrations. I know they will have a long and happy life together and look forward to catching up with them and their family on many more occasions in the future.
As always, comments are more than welcome – also, please do share via Twitter or Facebook if you are so inclined. If you are looking for Asian wedding photography then please don’t hesitate to contact me.