LAURIN + DHANESH
I. Love. Indian Weddings. They’re SO beautiful and they’re all so different. This wedding from last year was one of my favourite weddings. I think I say that about all of them but seriously, this one was next level. If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding, they typically last three to four days with different ceremonies and rituals happening each day. And if you’ve never been to one, you’re really missing out because they're a BLAST.
I’ve done Indian weddings where both the bride and groom are Indian but their families come from different parts of India so they all wanted to partake in different rituals. One time I did an Indian wedding where the groom was Jewish so they ended the ceremony with him breaking the glass and everyone yelling “Mazel Tov!” And for this wedding, the groom was Indian and the bride was Catholic. I just absolutely love watching families with completely different cultures and backgrounds come together and celebrate the marriage and happiness of two people.
Alright, let’s start from the beginning. First of all, shoutout to David at David N Sachs Photography and Avida Bridal for letting me be a part of this day. I second shot this wedding for him and I am super grateful for all of the opportunities he’s given me to learn and grow as a photographer and as a person. ANYWAYS, we can discuss that in another post because right now I just want to talk about how incredible this wedding was.
I unfortunately did not shoot on the first day. But the second day was held at The River Mill near Stockton, CA. This little venue was so far out in the middle of nowhere that I started to question if I was even going the right way on my way there. It was SO beautiful both inside and out. The venue is this cute brick building covered in greenery with a giant “secret” garden. The coordinator let us into the garden for the couple's portraits and holyyyyyy dang it was so freaking beautiful. Seriously guys, 10/10 get married at The River Mill (and then hire me to take your pics because they’ll be straight fire), okay? Okay.
This wasn’t a traditional Indian wedding day. There was no actual ceremony on this day, we just jumped right into the sangeet. The sangeet typically follows the wedding ceremony and is a giant celebration of the union of this newly married couple. The friends and family put together choreographed dances, songs, and all sorts of fun musical numbers for the bride and groom. At some weddings, the bride and/or groom will surprise everyone and jump in and join one of the dances and it’s just an absolute blast. At this sangeet, the maid of honor and best man were cracking jokes the whole evening and telling everyone the story or Laurin and Dhanesh in between all of the dancing and singing. And then afterwards, they all had a giant dance party!
The next day was a complete 180 but in the best way! As a second shooter, I pretty much always get to hang out with the guys and take their photos while they’re getting ready and hanging out before the ceremony. So I met Dhanesh and his family and groomsmen at their hotel in Manteca that morning. The guys had beers and champagne and had a blast making fun of Dhanesh for looking up a youtube video to help him tie his bow tie. Believe it or not, this is pretty standard and apparently very few people know how to tie a bow tie.
I left the hotel and went to the church to get some photos before the guests arrived. Afterwards I went into the side room where Laurin was hiding before the ceremony and oh my goodness her dress was sooooo beautiful. It was so simple but elegant - she looked lovely.
After the ceremony, the wedding party went off to lay low before the reception. The reception was held at the bride's parent's house - cocktail hour in the front yard and the reception in the back yard. This was hands down one of the largest, ost beautiful backyard receptions I've ever seen. Don't ever underestimate a backyard wedding. I couldn't stop marveling at all of the beautiful details - from the tables and flowers to the desserts and ice cream bar. It was incredible. They also had mutliple tables of different types of food for dinner - Indian, Italian, Mexican. They really couldn't have done a better job .
At the end of cocktail hour, the wedding party rode in on the truck that Laurin used to drive in high school. Before heading to the backyard for the reception, Laurin and Dhanesh had a sweet little first dance with all of their friends and family gathered around cheering them on. The toasts were so sweet and emotions were flowing all throughout the reception. And if you didn't think that this wedding weekend could get any better... they ended it with a literal bang with a ton of fireworks.
Want to hear about all of the comical behind the scenes that happened behind this beautiful day that the bride, groom and their guests don’t even know about (because we’re professionals and do everything we can to make everyone’s wedding day the best day ever)??? Let me know! :)