Indian weddings are always very special for me and I’m more than grateful that I had the chance to shoot nine Indian weddings so far including two in India. My upcoming trip to India in a few weeks for my tenth wedding makes me even more excited! The work of a wedding photographer shooting a Indian wedding in Greece is certainly a challenging task, which apart from technical skills in wedding photography, requires a certain acquaintance with Indian wedding customs and conventions. These customs have a strong spiritual foundation, while they are filled with colors, music, dance, food and fun for everyone. And this is what actually makes a destination Indian wedding in Greece so interesting for me.
As far as the spiritual aspect is concerned, the notion of marriage in Hindu culture is a sacred communion. It is a union of the bride and the groom so that they essentially become one in soul and spirit. It is also one of the most important defining moments in a Hindu’s lifetime and constitutes a transition from the first stage of life, devoted to learning and education, to the second stage of life, devoted to the creation of a family and raising children.
Ashesh and Nika met through friends 4 years after college. Although they had attended Rutgers University the same time and had mutual friends, they didn’t remember even seeing one another. After their first meeting time flew by and three and a half years later Ashesh proposed to Nika in Disney World in Florida in Cinderella’s castle during a surprise dinner as true to a fairy tale as it can be. On the flight back from Florida to New York, where they live, they decided they wanted to do a destination wedding to keep the gathering as intimate can be for an Indian wedding. Both of them love summer and water and an Indian wedding in Greece seemed an excellent idea, so once they threw out Santorini as an option, no other location seemed to compare. Ashesh’s family is mainly all based in America, while Nika’s is mainly in Europe and India so Greece and Santorini in particular worked out to be very favourable.
The festivities started one day before the wedding with the Sangeet ceremony in Cavo Ventus. The Sangeet is a pre-wedding celebration filled with signing and dancing. Although it started as women’s only, nowadays it is a joint affair allowing wedding guests to meet and get to know each other.
The wedding day started very early with the ceremony taking place also at Cavo Ventus. The Indian wedding ceremony is a whole love story, which starts with the first meeting of the bride and the groom and their decision to get married. Then the bride’s parents give away the bride and the couple commits to marriage under the wedding Mandap (a decorated, covered structure with four pillars, which represents the four goals of life as well as the bride and groom’s parents) in front of the sacred fire of Agni, the Fire God. The colourful decoration was taken care by the experienced Wedding Wish team. The spectacular two-day celebration ended at Theros Wave Bar where the couple arrived in a helicopter and partied till late.
The Wedding day