Indian weddings in Malaysia are a spectacular mix of sights and sounds. They are usually massive in scale, and deep in rituals and customs that are based on Hindu tradition.
With so much going on, it’s essential to hire a wedding photographer who knows his/her way around an Indian wedding. We chat with a veteran photographer who gives us his top 10 ‘must-take’ photos for these weddings.
Andy Lim is a 23-year photography veteran. As an accomplished speaker, teacher and author on the subject, Andy’s company, Emotion in Pictures, attracts clients worldwide with his unique flavor of wedding and portrait photography. Andy is also a Recommend.my Verified Professional.
“There are numerous types of Indian weddings in Malaysia, depending on its sub-religion or the region of India that it originates from. I have shot Hindu Ceylonese weddings, Hindu Tamil weddings, Hindu Malayalee weddings, and even fusions of Ceylonese-Telugu, Tamil-Malayalee; you name it,” says Andy.
“With any of these weddings, we need to know the slight variations in the important rites, so we can capture truly meaningful images,” he adds.
According to Andy, these are the top 10 photos that must be taken at any Indian wedding in Malaysia:
1. Arrival of Groom at the wedding hall
The bride’s parents welcome the bridegroom and his family at the gate where the wedding is taking place. The entrance takes place with music being played and the groom’s party dancing are they are welcomed in, with red kumkum powder is applied to their forehead. Members from both families are formally introduced, marking the start of relationship between two families.
2. Bride’s entrance to the wedding hall
After much anticipation, the bride arrives in much glory, with her parents in front of her, with the guests’ eyes following her all the way to the Manavarai (stage).
3. Bride in prayer
Bride is seen in prayer as the ceremonies take place.
4. Bride and groom on the manavarai
The bride and groom take their place on the stage, or manavarai to get ready for blessings of purification and protection. Most of the ceremonies will be performed by the priest at the manavarai.
5. Both parents bless and sprinkle scented water on each other
Another important moment that must be captured is the sprinkling of scented water by both sides parents. This is followed by a ritual of putting sandalwood paste on each other’s foreheads and exchanging gifts.
6. Thaali tying
The groom’s mother gives an auspicious necklace Thaali to the bride, an emblem of marital status for a Hindu woman. The thaali is taken around the marriage hall to be blessed by the crowd. After tying three knots, they are now officially married. The tying of the Thaali usually takes place at a pre-determined auspicious hour.
7. Walking around the sacred fire
As part of the wedding, the couple also walks around the sacred fire, her pinky linked with his, with the groom leading. The couple then cup their hands together and throw grains into the fire.
8. Parents’ blessings
The couple are blessed by the elders and the priest for a long and prosperous married life. The priest blesses the couple first, showering them with rice. The parents of the bride and groom then bless their children by sprinkling rice on their heads; the rice symbolises prosperity and happiness.
9. Blessings from family and friends
Members of the congregation including friends and family now bless the couple in the same way. The ceremony finally ends after Aarthi (blessing involving the rotation of a tray holding banana wick lamps) is performed for the couple.
10. Portrait of the couple
And finally after a very elaborate wedding ceremony the couple takes their first picture together as officially married.
Thanks Andy for sharing your awesome work!
If you need to hire a photographer for your wedding, Recommend.my can help! We have listings for over 600 photographers in Malaysia. Let us know your dates, and we will get recommendations for you, along with cost estimates.