Tradition, Beauty and Romance : Westin Chicago Indian Wedding

July 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I have photographed over 100 weddings, and I can honestly say that they have ALL been beautiful. Every ceremony reminds me of how much I love my own husband, every reception makes me want to plan a big rocking party for all my family and friends. But deep down, as an artist and photographer, I sometimes crave a little visual variety. So when the inquiry came about shooting a local Indian wedding, I was VERY excited for a change of scenery. And then when I met Sam and Padma, and saw first-hand how much they ADORE each other, I just could not wait for their big day.

Sam and Padma kicked their wedding weekend off with a traditional Mehndi ceremony. They entrusted their wedding decor to the amazing Yanni Design Studio, the otherwise lackluster banquet room was completely transformed and set the perfect backdrop for their celebrations.

Padma found the most amazing henna artists, the women all looked so elegant and regal with their intricate designs. And these artists were FAST, they created my gorgeous tattoo in about three minutes! I felt so honored to be included in this beautiful tradition. 

After dinner the guests were treated to a Bollywood dance lesson, so much fun to see everyone bust a move! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful celebration in anticipation of Sam and Padma's wedding.

Sam and Padma's wedding day started early, with hair and make-up arriving at 5:30am. Padma's joy and excitement brought so much energy to the room no one seemed to mind the early wake-up call. The suite was buzzing as preparations were underway to make Padma into the most stunning bride. As each layer of fabric and jewelry was lovingly laid on her by the women she holds most dear, she somehow became more and more radiant.

Sam waited patiently and nervously for his bride just outside the Westin North Shore. Their first look was such a quiet and beautiful moment, I wiped away a few tears from behind the camera.

In Indian tradition, the groom travels to the ceremony with his family and friends while celebrating and dancing  This processional, known as the Baraat, is often elaborate and can feature everything from fireworks to elephants. Sam's baraat was much more understated, but just like him, it was fun, peaceful, joyful, and full of love.

Sam arrived at the ceremony site and was led to the stunning Mandap created by Yanni Design Studio. The ceremony was filled with gorgeous details and romantic moments. Each tradition was lovingly explained by the officiant, and through it all Sam and Padma kept their eyes locked on one another.

After the ceremony we found time to take some portraits of Sam and Padma together. The way they look at each other makes my heart soar.

Sam and Padma's pride and joy is their beautiful golden Bea. She is the sweetest puppy, and the center of their lives. Lucky Bea had a gorgeous custom sari made just for her for Mom and Dad's big day, I love that she got to visit after the ceremony ended.

Later that evening Sam and Padma hosted a Western wedding reception for all of their friends and family. Padma changed into another gorgeous dress and they danced the night away in each others arms.

Thank you, Sam and Padma, for opening your hearts and sharing this unforgettable weekend with us. We love you and wish you a lifetime of happiness together!







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