As an Indian Wedding Photographer I cover lots of traditional Indian wedding ceremonies. I chose this image of the week from Jaemi’s haldi ceremony that I covered last year in Kent, before her wedding to Viresh which was held in Epsom Downs Racecourse. This photograph was taken at the end of the ceremony while Jaemi was looking around at her guests.
A little more about Haldi ceremony – a couple of days before the Indian wedding, the bride and groom each organise a haldi ceremony (sometimes called pithi ceremony) at their respective homes. From this point until the time of the wedding, tradition says that the couple should not see each nor should they leave the house.
The haldi paste is made from turmeric, rose water (or water), and sandalwood powder. It is gooey and cold but smells strong and pungent yet refreshing. The paste is put on five places: the feet, knees, arms, hands, face. In this Image of the Week, we can see that the strong haldi paste on Jaemi’s face. The paste serves as a cleanser for the body and soul and signifies the bride’s preparation and welcoming into adult married life. The haldi in some Indian communities also signifies protection, hence why the couple cannot leave the house after the ceremony.
As an Indian Wedding Photographer I enjoy the Haldi ceremony as its full of colour and laughter. I encourage the friends and family members to apply the haldi paste and while they are pasting on the bride and groom’s face, I aim to capture the whole atmosphere of this enjoyable ritual.