Updated: Dec 14, 2021
In September 2020, I was finally able to cover a wedding in the small gap between lockdowns in the UK. My team and I were invited to photograph Suhki & Sandeep's Sikh wedding over a 2 day period. Although there were limitations in place, with the couple only allowed to have 30 guests, we had a fantastic time capturing their intimate gathering at their family homes. This was followed by the marriage license carried out at Leeds Town Hall. And on the 2nd day, we headed to a nearby park for a very special couples shoot.
Day 1: The Home Ceremony
On the day of Suhki & Sandeep's special day, my team split up with one photographer headed to Sandeep's home to capture the traditional headdress and myself to Suhki's home which would also be the site of their intimate Sikh ceremony.
During a Sikh ceremony, or the Anand Karaj, and I believe it is also known as the Sangeet. It is very important to the couple and the family, that all the religious practices and the interpersonal details of the relationships between the family are captured. These include: the Baraat, or arrival of the groom; the Milni, or the introductions between the two families; the Ardas, or the congregational prayer; the Laavan, or marriage prayer. This is often the most important part of the ceremony, whereby the couple walk around the Guru four times to signify to themselves and the community the importance of a Guru centered life and a public promise. It serves to unite the couple together through the four verses of scripture and religious messaging and the entrance of a new stage in their lives. Following this is usually the Sikhia, where a sweat pudding is served & finally the Jaggo, a time for singing and dancing.
Following this we headed to Leeds Town Hall for a civil ceremony to obtain the marriage licence. The tone changed here and I was only allowed to stay in the one position, with the guests masked up with social distancing in place.
We then had our first couple's shoot on the steps on Leeds Town Hall and a little wander in the Town square.
Day 2: Intimate Couples Shoot
On the second day, we met up with the couple at their family home and shared lunch with the family. We organised to have a photo session in the home first before heading to the nearby park for our special shoot. A mixture of dramatic lighting and candid intimate photos of the newlyweds. I'll let the photos tell their story.