Aminder & Jatinder had an amazing 3 day wedding celebration full of traditions, food, color, emotions, energy and lots of family. I love photographing Sikh weddings here in Calgary. I have many friends who are Sikh so, even though I may stick out a bit, I always feel welcomed and feel like I am a part of the family. After 3 days, I kind of wished there was more, because I actually start to miss all the people I had met.
The first day was Aminder’s henna day and it was quite calm. It was the second day where things got more fired up. What I experienced could probably be best described as a song battle in the street. Kind of like a rap battle if you know what I mean. It was very, very fun to watch even though I didn’t understand a thing. Some of the words were translated to me later and they were much more “aggressive” than I thought it would be. But not in a bad way at all. After many of the different traditional nuances that day, we had the big wedding day to look forward to the next day.
The Gurdwara is a place of worship for the Sikhs. Everyone and anyone is always welcomed, no matter what religion you practice or the color of your skin. The best part is they will always feed you too. The ceremony was traditional as usual with hundreds, if not thousands of photos, shot between Ryan and I. Once the ceremony was complete, Aminder and Jatinder were whisked away in a beautiful old school Rolls Royce. We headed to downtown Calgary to photograph the wedding portraits.
When we got back to Aminder’s house, they groom and the groomsmen had to pay their way into the house for the official ring ceremony. This is also the ceremony where the bride’s parents give her away to the groom. But before they could get in, there would be some negotiation. The bridemaids did not really let up from their asking price that was over $10,000. When negotiations turned sour and the boys had enough, they attacked the girls with silly string, but the girls had answer for that. It was quite crazy and it was the first time I had experienced something so crazy! My camera got splashed with water too. Good thing Nikon’s pro bodies are weather sealed. Eventually the boys had to pay serveral thousand dollars to the ladies, who then split it with all of the girls in Aminder’s family.
The reception took place at the Magnolia in NE Calgary. The most memorable moment was when Aminder’s little brother could not contain his emotions of his sister departing the family home to live with Jatinder in Seattle.
Aminder and Jatinder, thank you so much for having me be a part of your big wedding celebration. It was a true honor and a great experience. I really felt like part of your family after 3 days and everyone treated us so well. We couldn’t have asked for better clients with better families than yours. Good luck in Seattle and don’t drink too much Starbucks.