I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful pre-wedding ceremony called a Chunni ceremony. I wasn’t familiar with this tradition before being hired by my client. What a fun experience, deeply rooted in their culture. For anyone that doesn’t know what a Chunni ceremony is, you can learn more here. I love learning about different cultures and my diverse clients love stories, so this Seattle Chunni Ceremony was no different.
These ceremonies are often held at the soon-to-be Bride’s home or a venue. This particular ceremony was held in a home, but they transformed the backyard space to give a venue feel with a large white tent. There were long tables with sage green linens set for the guests, and cute eclectic centerpieces down the center of the long tables. Little bud vases were mix-matched with photos of the soon-to-be confirmed fiancés’ (bride-to-be and groom-to-be). It just had great light and airy feels.
The groom-to-be’s family arrived as all the guests excitedly waited inside to greet them. The bride’s sister laid oil at the door front before the groom and his family stepped into the home. It was just a pleasure to witness as everyone greeted one another. Then they ate. Okay, I will admit it is no secret I am a foodie and 100% getting to eat meals at the events I capture is always a treat. The food served was traditional Indian dishes and man was it good!
Then the actual ceremony traditions began, the groom’s family arrived with all kinds of gifts for the bride-to-be. Each having its own significance. From what I recall there was:
It was fun to document as the women from the groom-to-be’s family adorned the bride-to-be with all her gifts. Placing jewelry on her, feeding her sweets, applying make-up, etc. After which family members gave their love to her and placed money in her lap. Then took photos with her. At some point, the groom-to-be joined and they both sat there being sprinkled with love by everyone there.
I am no pro on this event, so I can’t provide tips per se, but it was a wonderful ceremony to photograph for my client. Different cultures, traditions and customs enrich our lives so much when we can share and experience them. I hope to capture more pre- and post-wedding traditions for many couples. If you are planning a pre-wedding ceremony, a bachelorette party, a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, a post-wedding reception, or a day after brunch and are considering having a photographer I’d love to chat!
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