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Seattle Wedding by Lake Washington

Some of you may have seen Surina and Aman’s engagement photos here.  Ever since we wrapped up that session, I’d been looking forward to their wedding weekend.  Every wedding, like every couple, tells a unique story.  In this case, the story is one of love, dedication and so much joy!  I had the chance to spend several days not only with Surina and Aman but with their wonderful families too.  As Surina mentioned in her speech during the reception, “…a marriage is not between two people, but between two families.”  This wedding was certainly proof of this beautiful idea.

Surina and Aman have been living a long distance relationship for a while now and I’m just so happy that they finally get to be together!  Congratulations to them and their families.  Cheers to their happy marriage!

 

bride's maiyaan

maiyaan

maiyaan

bride's maiyaan

indian bride maiyaan celebration

 

Groom’s Maiyaan

 

groom's maiyaan

maiyaan celebration

maiyaan rangoli

 

Baraat and Milni at the Sikh Gurdwara

indian groom on horse for baraat

sikh wedding milni

 

Sikh Wedding Ceremony (Anand Karaj) at Gurdwara


indian wedding bridesmaid

sikh wedding flower girl

sikh wedding groom

sikh wedding groom

Indian bride

lavaan in gurdwara during sikh wedding

Sikh wedding photographer seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

 

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

Dholi Ceremony at Bride’s house
 

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

 

 

Reception

 

 

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle

sikh wedding photography seattle first dance at reception

sikh wedding photography seattle reception first dance

reception cake

reception cake

reception dancing indian wedding photography seattle

reception dancing indian wedding photography seattle

reception dancing indian wedding photography seattle

 

To follow my work on Facebook, please follow this link to my Facebook page. Thanks everyone, and thanks to Surina, Aman, and their friend’s & family 🙂

 

It was an honor to photograph Kruti and Pritesh’s beautiful Gujarati wedding. Their traditional Hindu ceremony took place at the Westin Hotel, in Bellevue, and came to life with bright colors, loving family, and happy friends.

Throughout the wedding festivities, it was evident that Kruti and Pritesh had developed a deep, meaningful, relationship with each other, their friends, and most importantly with their families. The love & joy in the air was invigorating and it created such a happy and celebratory feeling. Many of Pritesh and Kruti’s guests travelled from all over the country, and the world, to attend their special day. New Jersey, Texas, Canada, London, and India, are just a few of the places.

I hope these photographs show the love, friendship, and joy that we felt from everybody. They are just a small glimpse into some of the traditions of a Gujarati-Hindu Wedding ceremony. Kruti and Pritesh were such a fun bride and groom. They were so relaxed, happy, and stress-free. They just enjoyed their special day, and I think that really added to the overall positive vibe. I’m so thankful to have them as friends, and can’t wait to see them again!

Their Hindu wedding ceremony and reception took place at the wonderful Westin hotel in Bellevue, WA, and the Westin did an excellent job of hosting this special wedding. I also want to thank Parm for second-shooting with me. He has such a happy and fun spirit, and it was truly a pleasure to work with him. Thanks for all your help, and look forward to next time.

Thank you to all the friends and family, who helped to make this evening so special! And a huge congratulations to Kruti and Pritesh!!

 

indian-wedding-photography-seattle

indian-gujarati-bride-seattle

indian-bride-photo-seattle

 

 

 


Gujarati Bride in Red White wedding lehenga

Gujarati Wedding Outfits

 

 

 


Gujarati Groom beginning his Baraat

 

Baraat:  In traditional times, the Gujaratis’s did not marry within their own town; therefore, the groom’s family had to travel to the bride’s town.  The baraat is a processional of the groom and his family making the journey to the wedding. It’s been so awesome to see this same tradition occur in Sikh Weddings, and even Cambodian-Khmer weddings!

During this baraat, Pritesh, his friends, and family, walked around the Westin Hotel, in downtown Bellevue.  They gathered in the front of the hotel, where they danced and celebrated.

Gujarati Wedding Baraat

Indian Wedding Baraat Bellevue

 

Indian wedding Westin Bellevue

Hindu wedding Ponkvu Seattle

Gujarati Wedding Bellevue

 


Gujarati Wedding Photography Bellevue

The photo below shows the “Hasta Milap,” where the groom’s scarf is tied to the bride’s lehenga.  This is to symbolize the union of their souls as the pundit (priest) prays to Goddess Parvati and Goddess Lakshmi to bless the couple. At the same time, friends shower the couple with grains of rice and rose petals.

Indian Wedding Photography Bellevue

 

During the “Mangal Pheras,” the bride and groom circle the sacred fire four times. Each circle signifies one of the four human goals: Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.  (Natural Law, Purpose, Love, Liberation)

traditional-hindu-wedding-ceremony-fire

 

Indian Bride and Groom pay respect to Elders at Hindu Wedding Ceremony

Indian Bride putting on Blue Lehenga for wedding reception

emotional-bride-photograph

Groom taking photo on dance floor

Gujarati Bride wearing blue Lehenga

Happy Indian Bride wearing blue Lehenga

Congratulations Kruti and Pritesh!! You guys are awesome! Wish you both so much love and happiness!

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This is part two of Kris and Lollie’s Chinese-Cambodian Khmer wedding ceremony, which was held at the beautiful Piper Hall Mansion at Loyola University in Chicago.  Part 1 described the groom’s processional and hair cutting ceremony, and these photographs show the Monk’s Blessing (Soat Mun), Pairing Ceremony, and Knot-Tying Ceremony (Sompeas Ptem).

Cambodian Khmer wedding photography

 

Honoring the Parents

Kris and Lollie honored their parents by thanking them for the hard work of raising a child.  They also acknowledged their duty and responsibility to take care of their parents for years to come.

honoring parents cambodian khmer wedding

Kris honors his parents during the Khmer wedding Ceremony

 

smiling chinese cambodian bride during khmer wedding

 

Chinese-Cambodian bride honoring parents during khmer ceremony

Lollie honors her parents

 

Monk’s Blessings  (Soat Mun)

 

During this ceremony, Buddhist monks blessed Kris and Lollie by sprinkling them with flowered water while chanting specially selected blessings.  During this peaceful ceremony, Kris, Lollie, and guests, remained very quiet with their heads bowed and hands folded in prayer.

monks blessing khmer wedding ceremony

Buddhist Monk's blessing during Khmer ceremony. Guests hold their hands in prayer and remain silent during this peaceful ceremony.

 

 

Chinese-Cambodian Khmer Wedding ceremony

Monk's blessing during Khmer wedding

 

 

Pairing Ceremony and Knot-Tying Ceremony (Sompeas Ptem)

The Pairing Ceremony was the final and most energetic stage of the wedding. Family members and friends tied Kris and Lollie’s left and right wrists with blessing strings. The praises of happiness, good-health, well-wishes, success, prosperity and long-lasting love are acknowledged and witnessed by a loud gong and joyful cheer!

During the knot-tying ceremony (Sompeas Ptem), friends and family came forward to bring their best wishes and blessings to Kris and Lollie by individually tying red strings around each of their wrists. These knots were tied on both the bride and groom, and were worn for three days afterwards to preserve good luck.

While Kris and Lollie’s wrists were tied with the blessing strings, the following song was sung:

We tie, we tie three strings to each wrist of our children.  We wish for true happiness and success to this couple, who will always be together like wet grass seeds.  We tie your left wrist to make you remember your parents.  We tie your right wrist to make you carry on the family lineage and traditions.”

 

The ceremony concluded with a shower of palm flowers thrown over the couple. It was a very exciting and energetic part of the wedding. The guests were having fun as they showered Kris and Lollie with white Palm Flowers.

 

groom honoring grandparents during khmer wedding

Khmer-Cambodian-wedding-ceremony

 

 

 


Parents and bridesmaids at traditional Cambodian wedding

 

brides entrance for pairing ceremony at Cambodian-Khmer wedding

Lollie enters for the pairing ceremony during the Cambodian-Khmer wedding

Pairing Ceremony Cambodian Khmer Wedding

bride and groom during knot-tying ceremony at Cambodian Khmer Wedding

Knot-tying ceremony during Cambodian Wedding. Family and friends tie red blessing strings on the wrists of bride and groom.

Cambodian bride and groom during pairing ceremony

 

 

Thank you Kris and Lollie, for the wonderful opportunity to photograph your beautiful Chinese-Cambodian Khmer wedding in Chicago.  We enjoyed celebrating with you and your families, and wish you both the very best on your new journey together.

 

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Congratulations to Kris and Lollie!

Welcome to the first of two blog posts dedicated to Kris and Lollie’s Chinese-Cambodian Khmer wedding.  Their wedding day included several beautiful ceremonies and my goal for these photographs is to convey some of the beauty and meaning of the Khmer wedding tradition.  The text has been provided to me by Lollie, and I also found some information online.  Thank you to my brother, Tanvir, for helping me photograph this beautiful wedding.  I’m always very appreciative of his support, creativity, and awesome energy!

Kris and Lollie’s Chinese-Cambodian Khmer wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful Piper Hall Mansion at Loyola University in Chicago.

Piper Hall Wedding Loyola University Chicago

Piper Hall Mansion - Loyola University Chicago

 

cambodian khmer bride green dress

cambodian bride's green wedding dress

Traditional green silk Cambodian wedding outfit

 

 

Although this was my first Khmer wedding, the experience was similar to an Indian wedding and I felt very comfortable the entire day.  The language and prayers were different, but the culture and traditions were quite similar.  Traditionally, a Chinese-Cambodian wedding consists of ceremonies and celebrations lasting three days and three nights. However, due to the demands of modern day life, today in Cambodia and overseas, all the following wedding ceremonies are completed in one day.

There were four main parts to Kris and Lollie’s wedding. This blog post will focus on the first two parts.

 

  1. Groom’s Processional (Hai Goan Gomloh) and Arrival (Neay Pream He Kaun Kamlas), Presentation of Dowry (Chambak Rouy)
  2. Tea Ceremony / Honoring the Ancestors (Sien Doan Taa), Hair Cutting Ceremony (Gaat Sah)
  3. Monk’s Blessing (Soat Mun)
  4. Pairing Ceremony, Knot-Tying Ceremony (Sompeas Ptem)

 

Groom’s Processional (Hai Goan Gomloh) and Arrival (Neay Pream He Kaun Kamlas), Presentation of Dowry (Chambak Rouy)

During the processional, Kris and his family arrived at Piper Hall bearing gifts. This was the first ceremony of the day and the guests were handed trays of fruits and gifts so they could join in the procession. The processional is a symbolic journey of the groom traveling to the bride’s house. Upon entering Piper Hall, the gifts were arranged on a table in the center of the room, in front of the bride and groom. The event was filled with beautiful Cambodian music and was a very fun and happy ceremony.

 

Groom's processional prior to Khmer ceremony

Groom's Processional (Hai Goan Gomloh): Groom and his family walks together (parade) to Piper Hall where they are welcomed by the bride, Lollie, and her family

 

 

Groom's family meets bride's family prior to Khmer Ceremony

Cambodian bride, Lollie, greets her groom, Kris

 

 

groom's processional prior to Khmer ceremony

 

fruits and gifts brought to the khmer ceremony by the groom's family

 

Tea Ceremony / Honoring the Ancestors (Sien Doan Taa)

Kris and Lollie paid homage to their ancestors by lighting incense, bowing, and offering tea. This is also a call to the ancestral spirits to witness the new family bonds being formed, and to also impart their blessings upon the families.

 

Cambodian bride and groom at Khmer wedding ceremony

Chinese-Cambodian Khmer Wedding Ceremony

 

 

Cambodian bride and groom exchange rings at Khmer wedding ceremony

 

Cambodian Khmer Wedding Ceremony

 

Hair Cutting Ceremony (Gaat Sah)

To prepare the bride and groom for their life as a married couple, their hair is symbolically cut, representing a fresh start to their new relationship together as husband and wife.  The master of ceremony performs the first symbolic hair cut and wishes the couple happiness, prosperity, and longevity.  The bride and groom’s parents, relatives, and friends then take turn to symbolically cut the bride and groom’s hair and give them blessings and well-wishes.  (In the old days, the bride and groom’s hair were really cut during this ceremony, but in modern times it is only done symbolically.)

Two songs accompany this ceremony:

Sarika Keiv Vong (The Beautiful Cardinal Bird)
The bride’s beauty is extolled and compared to that of the beautiful cardinal bird.

Trapeang Peiy (The Village Pond)
This song describes a pond with clear water where the bride was brought to take her bath.  It also symbolizes the bride and groom working together in beginning their new life as wife and husband.
Cambodian Khmer wedding musicians and instruments

 

cambodian-khmer-wedding-hair-cutting-ceremony-gaat-sah

Lollie's brother and sister participate in the hair cutting ceremony (Gaat Sah)

 

 

Gaat Sah hair cutting ceremony at Khmer Wedding

Gaat Sah hair cutting ceremony

 

 

 

Hair cutting ceremony at Cambodian Khmer wedding

 

Cambodian Khmer Wedding at Loyola University Piper Hall Mansion in Chicago

Gaat-sah hair cutting ceremony

 

Cambodian Bride wears gold jewelry and traditional blue silk dress

 

bridal party at Khmer wedding

 

cambodian bride wearing traditional green silk dress

 

 

beautiful bride at her Khmer ceremony

 

 

happy smiling cambodian bride princess

 

gold cups and red string traditional khmer ceremony table setting

 

Congratulations Kris and Lollie. Stay tuned for part 2:

  • Monk’s Blessing (Soat Mun)
  • Pairing Ceremony, Knot-Tying Ceremony (Sompeas Ptem)

 

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