Prathama & Richard | Hindu Odia Wedding | Bhubaneswar

Prathama & Richard (P&R) spoke to me sometime last year, saying they’re getting married and that too across three different continents - Asia (Odisha), Europe (Bath) & Africa (Johannesburg). I almost leapt for joy at the prospect of shooting all three weddings! The dreamer in me woke up and went to work. I pictured myself geotagging my social media posts with exotic locations like Paris (instead of Pallakad), Cape Town (instead of Kanyakumari) and Bali (instead of Bengaluru) with hashtags like #internationalweddingphotographer & #shootlife! I swear the only place where I didn’t check-in was the moon itself!

Life, Prathama and Richard however had other plans. P&R told me that they wanted me to only shoot their Odisha wedding. Sigh! My dreams, hopes, aspirations and social media strategy came down crashing that very instant. But their wedding turned out to be exactly the fun, intimate and ‘non-wedding’ wedding that I’d dreamt of attending someday. Be it the Odissi & Chhau dance performances, daily parties or Sobriety Tests (i.e. drunk people asking the sober ones to prove their sobriety by walking in a straight line. Nice try!) - It was fun! Everyone danced together on Odia classics like Rangabati among Hindi/English tracks like they knew each one of those songs! P&R were personally involved in all aspects of their wedding. Their family & friends from across the world were coming down and P&R ensured they got to see India the way many Indians haven’t. Everyone at the wedding was having a great time. And personally, I didn’t feel I was working as the vibes were such.

On Day 1, Prathama’s & Richard’s respective fathers got onto the stage to speak. I am pretty sure neither had any idea of what the other was going to say. But it was beautiful how both speeches complimented each other perfectly. Richard’s Father mentioned that he grew up during the peak of Apartheid in South Africa where fraternising with people of colour was a taboo. And that to see the very next generation in his family look beyond all these material differences was just so heartwarming! Prathama’s Father on the other hand quoted Indian Astronaut Rakesh Sharma - “People always ask me what I looked for when I first viewed Earth from orbit. Well, the thing that astronauts of other countries did was to look out for their country. And that's exactly what I did. It was a wonderful sight and when our then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi asked me what India looked like, I told her: Saare Jahan Se Achchha (the best in the world). Then, slowly, you begin to realise that borders are not visible from space and then you start looking at your country as part of a whole and the whole being planet Earth itself. You come back feeling how fragile the planet is and how it needs to be protected.” Different perspectives, similar inferences!

I think I’ve said enough. So let’s see some pictures from the wedding, shall we?! :)

Photography: Elvin ‘Almost International‘ Jacob
MUH: Shubhraseema Nayak / Manu’s Midas Touch
Venue: MAYFAIR Lagoon, Bhubaneswar
Entertainment Courtesy: Pruthwiraj Panigrahi, Anashwara Radhakrishnan, Prasunna KP
Special Mention: Plasma :)

Sneha & Manoj | Hindu Tamil - Sindhi Wedding | Bengaluru

Most love stories have three versions - Her Story, His Story and The Actual Story. The love story of Sneha and Manoj also has three versions - One for Sneha’s family, One for Manoj’s family and lastly ‘The Actual Story’ that only Sneha and Manoj know of! :D I sincerely hope their families never get to read this blog so that Sneha’s and Manoj’s secret remains safe ;) Oh and yes, if you know them personally, ask Manoj why he likes to rub his nose on Sneha’s cheeks :D

Sneha’s & Manoj’s wedding was the perfect fusion of the legendary punctuality of Tamil Brahmin Weddings and the outrageously high energy levels that Sindhi weddings are famous for. It was three days of almost non-stop wedding celebrations for their family and friends. Legend has it some of them are still dancing :)

I personally consider this as one of my favourite weddings of 2018. Be it Sneha sporting jewellery designed by her own Mother (Sarita Aunty) or the family portrait at Manoj’s place on a swing that has been with the family for several decades - the warmth felt real.  

Photography: Elvin Jacob, Nishal Lama
Traditional Photography & Videography: Sudheer Hebbar, Revanna, Prasad
MUA (Mehendi/Sangeet/Reception): Kulsum Parvez
MUA (Engagement/Wedding): Shreya and Chandini Asrani
DJ: Vipul Khurana
Wedding Film: NJM Productions
Venues: Radisson Blu Atria (Bengaluru), Taj Westend (Bengaluru), ISKCON (Bengaluru)

Srishti & Vishal | Vedic Hindu Wedding | Isha Yoga, Coimbatore & Ooty

Srishti - "Elvin! We are getting married in Isha Yoga, Coimbatore and I want you to shoot our wedding."
Me - "So Cool! I would love to shoot your wedding."
Srishti - "But you won't be allowed to shoot the actual wedding." 
Me - "Huh?!!!"

So Srishti & Vishal are Sadhguru followers and they hired me to shoot their wedding in July. And I ended up shooting everything but the actual wedding. :) Instead, Srishti & Vishal invited me to attend their intimate wedding at Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore. Thanks to them, I got to witness one of THE MOST beautiful weddings that I have ever seen. Their wedding was conducted as per ancient Hindu customs. The setting, music and rituals were such that everyone just kept mum and participated in the wedding. Read more about this vedic Vivaha here.  Also, photos can not do justice to the statue of Lord Shiva at Isha Yoga. It's HUUUUUGGGGEEE!

Needless to say, the wedding was an emotional affair. Srishti & Vishal couldn't really hold back their tears. I get laughed at often for admitting this, but it's easy to get me all emotional. I have shot many a Vidaais with blurry vision (Thank God for Auto Focus!). This wedding wasn't very different. 

Srishti & Vishal did have some rituals as per North Indian customs at Coimbatore and later in Ooty, that I got to photograph.  Throughout the wedding, Srishti had an infectious but reassuring smile on her face. Vishal, on the other hand, had a calm demeanour. And they are both Doctors. So if I am ever ill, and I get doctors with faces like theirs, I know I would already be on the road to recovery.

Photography: Elvin Jacob
Wedding Film: Amal Roy Films
Jaimala Venue: Celebrity Resorts, Coimbatore
Wedding Venue:Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore
Pheras & Cocktail Venue: Sterling Ooty Elk Hill, Ooty
Special Thanks: Tanjul Sarkar and Pranjal Patel

Priyanka & Paul | Arya Samaj Hindu Wedding | Bengaluru

Bangalore Winters are cold enough for one to pull out their sweaters & cardigans. But this wedding, held over two nights in December 2015, warmed everyone up. It was the lovely coming together of two families - Priyanka's & Paul's. 

Read More

Anna & Riju | Marthoma Christian Malayali Wedding | Bengaluru

You know that feeling you get when you are a senior in college, and you see a fresher/junior absolutely worth crushing on, walk in through the college gates? Most guys know exactly how this feels! Even if the guy musters enough courage to go speak to her, chances of something concrete materializing between them is quite bleak. Well, not in this case! What started off as a casual friendship, blossomed into a beautiful relationship between these two architects. I wish I could record their couple shoots because a good chunk of what they spoke would qualify as proper standup comedy material! :) But for now, I think the photos will suffice! 

Photography: Elvin Jacob & Ernest Edison
Make-Up: Wild Pink
Wedding Venue: St Stephen's Marthoma Church
Reception Venue: Park Plaza, Bengaluru
Music: Rijin Thomas