Reshem was so generous to loan me her Punjabi Suit complete with matching accessories.
At the beginning of the year, sometime in the middle of January, I was lucky enough to be invited to the wedding of the cousin of my best friend, Reshem. We’ve been friends for over a decade, and I’ve already met a large number of her extended family members which is why the bride, Sheetal, extended the invitation to me as well. Admittedly I was a bit nervous about what to expect and worried a fair bit about what the customs were and what I was expected to do upon arrival. But once I actually got there, I realize that all my worries were completely unfounded.
Being at a Punjabi wedding is completely unlike any traditional Chinese wedding that I’ve ever been to. There was such a lively atmosphere, and an overwhelming senses of joy and celebration. Even before the wedding dinner started, the bride and her party were already singing and dancing on a beautifully set stage with multi colored cushions and backdrops. Some time later in the dinner, Reshem’s dad told me that the singing and dancing is very typical of Punjabi wedding. It’s so fun, I really love them!
The Beautiful Bride Sheetal and her gorgeous glass bangles and henna.
I brought my camera as a habit and wasn’t quite expecting to shoot much, but in the end I had a really awesome time photographing everything and just feeling the great vibes from all the happy smiling faces. It was quite a little challenge to shoot in a dark and fast moving environment. Plus with my photography skills not quite up to par, most of the pictures turned out blurry and out of focus. I’m not a big fan of flashes, so I did the best I could without them throughout the dinner.
Surprisingly though, after sending the photos to the bride and her family, they ended up really loving the stuff that I took for them. Reshem even told me that they loved the photos I took for them more than the professional photographers they hired. I initially brushed off what they said as simply politeness. But recently I got another invitation to Sheetal’s brother, Jag’s wedding. And they have requested that I bring my camera down again to shoot pictures of the dinner for them.
Bride and her party singing & dancing waiting for the Groom who is stuck in traffic to arrive.
Looking at the photos again, I still do see the missed focal points, and the hand shakes and blurs. But on the other hand, I also find myself inadvertently smiling when I scroll though the feed. I wonder if it’s because I’ve managed to properly capture the feels of the place at the time, or if I’m smiling because the wedding left such an impression on me that I’m having fun recalling the details of it all. I think it’s a little of both…
Either way, I’m excited to get to attend Jag’s wedding next week. Punjabi weddings are so joyous and everyone’s having such a great time, it never fails to remind me what weddings are truly meant to be… a celebration. And nothing else.