Monique’s Pre-Ceremony Rituals
Documented by Berit Bizjak (Principle Photographer)
One of the main reasons I became a full-time professional wedding photographer was because nothing is more fulfilling to me, as an artist than the opportunity to document the individual ceremonies and traditions involved in marriage. This is why, when asked to document Monique and Mayank’s South Asian wedding at The Pleasantdale Chateau, I was beyond honored.
South Asian weddings are typically a multi-day affair comprised of a variety of meaningful pre-ceremony rituals. We began on Friday morning with the traditional sacraments of Manwa Muharatt, Graha-Shanti and Haldi for Monique at her parent’s home. These rituals are performed before the wedding ceremony to bring good luck and prosperity to the families. It is also done to ensure that no negative energy could be able to create any hindrance in the forthcoming ceremonies. Graha-Shanti is meant to seek the blessings of a happy and peaceful married life for the couple. It is performed at a specific auspicious time decided by a Pandit in accordance with the horoscopes of the prospective bride and groom. During the Pithi Monique was cleansed with turmeric paste which is considered auspicious and beautifying. It is said to brighten and soften the skin to produce a healthy glow at the wedding ceremony. These pre-wedding rituals were absolutely amazing to document. There was so much meaning and purpose to each and every step of the morning. It truly reinforced why I love to do what I do. Documenting ceremonies like this for families and generations is truly a blessing in and of itself.
Later that night was an evening reception called Sangeet which included Henna for the guests, performances by family members, Garbha and Raas (traditional Gujarati dances) ending with two hours of non-stop dancing to the Top 40 and Bollywood hits! It was an amazing day but the party wasn’t ending there. See more from Monique & Mayank’s South Asian Wedding Extravaganza!
To continue please take a look at Monique and Mayank’s amazing Sangeet from Friday evening!