This is going to be a long one so I hope you're strapped in. I'm going to split the blog into 3 parts as I joined Ibrar & Binta for their awesome colourful wedding in Somerset for 2 1/2 days. Having spoken quite a lot with Ibrar in the build up to the wedding I got a really good feel for what style of photography they were both after, relaxed natural images with loads of colour, perfect for me then! I was pretty excited after hearing all of their plans and with this being my first Indian wedding I couldn't wait to get down there for it. Ibrar & Binta and all of their friends and family are some of the nicest people I've met, I stayed on site at Knowle Manor for 3 days where I really felt part of the wedding party, rather than just the photographer, it's always such a pleasure when this happens. Right lets make a start......
Day 1 - Dunster
As I had a pretty short drive from Scarborough to Somerset I thought I better get down there in good time so I could have a good look round the area. I always like to do this if there is the opportunity. I think one of the best things about this "job" is that I get to travel to parts of the UK I've never been to before, I love that for whatever reason my bookings are spread all over the UK it always makes it extra exciting to shoot somewhere new. I arrived on Friday afternoon where the sun was shining and prep work was under way for an awesome outdoor Indian ceremony on the Sunday, little did we know what the weather had in store for us!
Day 2 - Mehndi Ceremony
I learnt quite a lot about the traditions of an Indian wedding in the lead up, Ibrar & Binta were really helpful and created a wedding website so there was plenty of information about the weekend and the traditions surrounding each day. The mehndi ceremony didn't really get going until the evening but there was lots of people around and lots of prep going on so I just walked in between Knowle Manor, where Binta was staying, and the nearby cottages where Ibrar was based, chatting to people and taking images of what I saw, I learnt pretty quickly there is never a dull moment at an Indian wedding. I'm going to lift a few lines from their wedding website to help explain a bit more about a mehndi ceremony -
"The entire mood of a mehndi ceremony is fun and laughter and music. This is the day when mehndi is applied to the hands and feet of the bride and even the groom. Mehndi is a very important part of both Hindu and Muslim weddings in India. It is common belief that the darker the colour the mehndi leaves on the hands on a bride, the more will she be loved by her husband and mother-in-law!"
Day 3 - Arrival of Baraat & Nikkah Ceremony
The mehndi had really given me a good taster for what the full day was going to be like, colour, dancing & music I haven't experienced at a wedding before. The sound of the drums was insanely good, I can still hear them now! When they booked this venue I think it was in the hope that the weather would be fine as a huge part of the day was to be spent outdoors in the stunning surroundings of Knowle Manor. The traditional arrival of baraat was outdoors and a stage had been erected outside for the nikkah ceremony. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas and it rained, and I mean really rained for pretty much the entire day. The theme of the wedding was hands, which featured everywhere from the wedding invites & the mehndi to Ibrar and Binta's favourite artist Gregory Porter. Many hands made light work and an indoor stage was created in the morning inside the marquee where the reception was to be held. Even though I got seriously drenched for the arrival of baraat, I think this may of been my favourite part of the day, the arrival of Ibrar and his entourage was so good, the noise, the drums (again), the dancing, the bartering, oh yeah and the camel!!!
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