Three. Day. Wedding.
When Shifally first reached out to us about her Indian-wedding-meets-traditional-Christian-wedding weekend, I freaked with excitement. We had been dying to shoot an Indian ceremony, and hearing about Shifally and Ben’s approach to it all sealed the deal. Incorporating as much Indian tradition as possible was incredibly important to Shifally, but she also wanted to include Ben’s family’s Christian upbringing, aaaand wear at least one killer white dress;) The celebration was three days long - Jago, Gurudwara, and their “traditional” wedding. With the help of the bride, I’ve broken down what went on during those days:
Day 1: “Jago" is a traditional folk song and dance. Before the dancing, a traditional yogurt base is placed on the couple by their family and friends. Shifally’s maternal uncles also put red bangles on her (21 of them because off numbers are auspicious in their culture), which are first dipped in milk. After, they finally dance:) In her words: “Jago is where the party kicks off. It’s a pre wedding party for the bride. Originally it was for the whole village - everyone stayed up for the wedding the next day. Jago means wake up.” Personally, my favorite part was watching Ben’s family and friends so whole heartedly and enthusiastically embrace the Indian traditions - everyone was so so excited to learn and participate and it was so damn cool.
Day 2: Gurudwara is more like a wedding ceremony. The bride and groom slowly walk four circles around the Holy Scripture - the circles represent the four stages of married life. They explain the journey of the souls toward God. Before the ceremony though, some real fun traditions take place. The bridesmaids “harass” the groom and groomsmen - trying to barter with him on allowing him into Gurudwara. They will later sneak and steal their shoes and ask for payment… a tradition I think should be included in ALL weddings.
Day 3: This was their “traditional” wedding, consisting of a white dress, a chapel, and one heck of an officiant - Ben’s dad. Shifally and Ben then put on a party of all parties - full of plenty of Indian color and JOY, a cake cutting that you need to see (check Ben’s face ya’ll), and a quick late night dance under the twinkle lights outside. It was a very, very good night - and the best ending to a three day celebration. Oh and those amazing portraits at Garden of the Gods? Yeah I can’t forget to mention that if you need a reason to set aside time for sunset pictures.. scroll down.
We love you and your families a ridiculous amount, Shifally and Ben. Thank you infinitely for having us as a part of your story.