Bengali Wedding

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On Friday evening, the bride's hands were decorated by an artist, using paste made from the henna plant.

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The paste was removed on Saturday, revealing the fine red pattern left beneath. Tradition has it that the darker the henna, the deeper the love.

The Nikah, or religious Muslim ceremony, took place this afternoon, and I was honored to be entrusted to capture images from the event. I've just begun to process the gallery, but this image is already my favorite.

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More to come on this thread.
 
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Great job controlling the exposures and the flash. What an unusual custom(for us westerners anyway). Love em, and I too can't wait to see more!
 
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Thanks for all of your kind comments. As usual after an event, I've spent a good part of the night editing my catches. Here's a sampling of the Begali Wedding Gallery.

Arriving early, I was greeted by the bride's son and mother. The home was warmly decorated in anticipation of the arrival of the guests.

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Their beautiful, muted outfits didn't prepare me for the rainbow of bright colors that the guests would be wearing.

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When this gentleman arrived, I didn't need to be introduced to understand that he would be conducting the ceremony. He's one of the leaders of the local Bengali cultural and religious community, and his quiet presence and dignity were felt immediately.

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At 4PM, the solemn religious ceremony took place.

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After the customary hugs, kisses, and congratulations, the bride and groom were re-seated for an interesting tradition.

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As I understand it, the groom and bride are not suppose to look at each other before or during the ceremony, and their first glimpses of each other afterwards are to be by looking into a mirror.

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Since the groom comes from outside their community, his acceptance by the ladies was a matter of importance.

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Here's my formal picture of the couple.

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Guess what? This was just a teaser! The big reception, will be held in July. I can't wait!
 
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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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The colors are AMAZING Frank!! You did a great job as usual. What were your weapons of choice for the wedding? I'm going to guess the beast, but I'd like to hear it from you... :biggrin:
Thanks, Keith!

The 28-70 was my primary lens, but I also found uses for the 20/2.8, 60 micro, 85/1.4, and 180/2.8. I used flash for many of the pictures, though not for the ceremony itself.
 
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... what an honor for you to be allowed to take them.
That's my feeling at any wedding, but particularly at this one, Gordon,since I was allowed to witness and photograph a sacred ceremony from another religion. I'm sure I'd feel the same way if I were allowed to photograph an LDS wedding, but the cultural differences added to the religious one multiplied the impact this ceremony for me. It was rather amazing.

I spoke to the officiant before the ceremony, to make sure I wouldn't offend with my camera work, and he identified the sacred portions of the ceremony for me.

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I still worried, since I'm not built for stealth, but after the ceremon, he came over and said, "May I embrace you?", and gave me a big hug. I was honored.

But when all's said and done, a marriage ceremony in any culture or religion is about witnessing two souls uniting in love.

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Amazing how two people, worlds apart, can come together and fall in love.

Thanks for sharing. I absolutely love it.
 
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When this gentleman arrived, I didn't need to be introduced to understand that he would be conducting the ceremony. He's one of the leaders of the local Bengali cultural and religious community, and his quiet presence and dignity were felt immediately.
There are priests, ministers, rabbis, and whatnot but only a few are "Men of God" and you can sense it the instant you find yourself in their presence.

Peace is the best way to sum it up.
 

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