A Traditional Indian Wedding – Dallas – Texas
Once upon a time there was a young lady who lived in a faraway land…this article could have easily started like this since all fairy tales start with “Once upon a time”.
The fairy tale that I’m telling today starts with a father saying to his young daughter that one day they would leave India and go to a faraway place, a place where many people find a land of hope; the USA.
More than once I asked myself during that day if Sindhuri’s eyes were filled with hope or fear for the journey she was about to embark upon.
Sindhuri has big, deep eyes, I often looked at them while taking their photo, they never hide what she is thinking.
As we all know, in every fairy tale there is a Prince Charming, in this fairy tale his name is Stephen, a young Californian surgeon.
I don’t know how they met but ever since I encountered them for the first time in Italy I noticed how they could be attached. They are united by long distance love, by patience and numerous trips to see each other, a love that is sure and strong to have lasted while the distance separated their bodies, but never their souls.
It was the first time I’ve photographed an Indian wedding, I was excited to narrate this ritual, I’d studied a lot about other photographers that had had this experience but in the end, I thought it would be best to tell this story from a different point of view. Mine was one of wonder.
My western eyes were astonished at the myriad of colour and light of this traditional Indian wedding.
Just as we passed the gate of the Indian Cultural Centre in Dallas, it seemed as though time had stopped. The groom arrived on horseback escorted by a community full of life, dancing, listening to music, accompanying Stephen towards the temple.
At the same time, Sindhuri was getting ready to wait for her groom. The photos of her preparation were taken by Serena who waited for Stephen’s arrival from inside the temple.
The ceremony was incredibly moving, an essential element of the ritual was that the bride and groom were parted by a veil that stopped them from seeing each other. Perhaps this is a custom of an ancient culture that hid the bride from her groom similar to how, in our tradition, we cover the brides face with a veil.
However, all this wait, these religious rituals made Sindhuri’s eyes ever greater and filled ever more with emotion once they could gaze into Stephens’.
This is the first day of the wedding, you will see the full ceremony in the next few days as we publish the other three articles.