Megan and Karthik
We love to get the chance to work with Indian weddings! These weddings usually last around three to four days. They are full of traditions, rituals, and big families! We were so excited to be part of capturing Karthik and Megan’s amazing wedding. Each venue location was beautiful, with colorful decorations and spacious areas for all the wedding festivities. All four days were filled with so much laughter, colors, family, and special memories!
During the first day, called Mehndi, the women and girls had their hennah tattoos done. Megan’s hennah was so thoughtfully created. Looking closely, she had the letters from Karthik’s name spread out throughout that Henna. Her hennah turned out beautifully, making it one of the best ones we’ve seen! (Link). On the day of Vedhi, a lot of religious and traditional rituals were done. The third day, known as Garba, each family member was introduced while a live band played in the background. Not only were Karthik and Megan coming together as a couple in marriage, but two families merging into one. It was a very fun way for everyone to meet each other. Ashyanna banquets was decorated so beautifully! They also had a lot of fun entertainment during the night.
Finally the last day, known as Baraat, came with the processional starting at 8 am. With Indian weddings, one of the most impressive things is the amount of energy there is! Members from both families were jumping and dancing. If that wan’t enough, Karthik’s parents surprised the couple by hiring a group of dancers and performers to add to the celebration. The energy from the group, dancers, drummer, and the speakers was so intense! Again, we could not believe it was only 8 in the morning! With all the celebration and dancing going on, Karthik came in riding on a magnificent white horse. At that time, the families came together as one with Karthik being officially welcomed into the family, and thus, beginning the welcoming ceremony. At the welcoming ceremony, each of Megan's family member-uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc- exchanged real flower necklaces with one another. They were called one by one, and some hugged and teared up with excitement to receive the gift. Afterwards, they concluded with a prayer.
Another fun tradition in Indian weddings is when the family steals the groom’s shoes. This can take place throughout the day, even at the reception. At their wedding though, it happened right after the prayer. People went all out, some even fell or were pushed over while trying to steal Karthik’s shoes! It was a little hectic, but so much fun watching this all go on.
Once seated inside, the ceremony continued. Eventually it came time for the bride to come. After each bridesmaid walked in, Megan entered. She came in on a Doli, a platform which looked like a flying carpet, carried by her uncles and closest relatives. She looked absolutely stunning. The entire ceremony was again, beautiful, ending with very emotional time. At this is the point, the bride symbolically leaves her family to be with his. After many tearful goodbyes, the couple left together in order to prepare for the reception.
After getting ready and before the reception, Megan and Karthik both took turns exchanging gifts. From Megan, a beautiful scrapbook filled with memories of their relationship. From Karthik, a creatively designed canvas with a picture of them together. Now it was time for the party! As with tradition receptions, the bridal parties and important guests take turns entering the hall, and finally, bride and groom enter as they are announced an officially married couple. We had a blast capturing it all through photography and film. Throughout the evening, people danced, spoke, performed, and had a amazing time celebrating Karthik and Megan.
Neha and Ryan Engagement Session
Our day with Neha and Ryan was a lot of fun! The two of them make a great couple, and really easy to work with. Neha and Ryan, who had met at the University of Chicago, had been great friends for a while before they started dating. December 31, 2012, Neha and Ryan attended the same New Years Eve party. As the clock struck midnight, the couple shared a NYE kiss, which lead to the beginning of their relationship. For a little while, they secretly dated. Neha said, "it was kind of Grey's Anatomy scandalous". However, that didn't last long, considering they were awful at keeping it a secret. Around the following Thanksgiving, Ryan proposed over a candlelit dinner set up at her apartment- roses and champaign included! Afterwards, he surprised Neha by bringing her to the Hancock Tower, where members of their families awaited to help them celebrate their engagement.
We asked the Neha for any advice she might have for brides planning their weddings. She said, "My advice for future couples is to enjoy the process of wedding planning. The actually wedding day happens so quickly, but the planning takes months. It's important to enjoy every moment and use it as a bonding experience with your fiancé and family. My dad always tells me this whenever I stress out and it's great advice. It has been a bonding experience for not only Ryan and me but for us to bond with each other's families. Watching Ryan's family embrace my Indian culture has been so sweet and special! Ryan always says that the details of the wedding day don't matter - what's important is that we have a loving relationship and a good life together!"
With the weather being a little chilly out, we moved to an indoor location for the wedding session where we could still incorporate the sunlight into the photos still. We loved working at Salvage One! It's a beautiful place to take pictures. There are so many different options for scenes, it's almost overwhelming. Our suggestion for photographers and couples is to plan ahead, especially because couples are paying per hour. If photographers can scout the venue before the actual photo session, take some pictures of possibilities, that helps a lot. Also, if there will be any wardrobe changes, having those planned in advance helps with the flow of the session.
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Musical Wedding with Melanie and Lyndon
Melanie and Lyndon’s special day was beautiful. The weather was perfect, and music filled the air... literally! As extreme music lovers, music was intertwined into almost every aspect of their wedding. Amongst the busy wedding preparations, Melanie started off the day spending a few precious moments playing the piano with her father. Music flowed through out the rest of the day from orchestras, live music bands, decorations, and even the speeches. As the Matron of honor said, “I’m so excited for their future together, and I’m so happy that my best friend has finally found the perfect accompanist. May the symphony of your life always be full of high notes.”
Everyone was so excited for both bride and groom, from the oldest guest to the young ring bearers and flower girls. The youngest flower girl made it just in time for the wedding- born only seven days before! No one wanted to miss any part of the ceremony, including Melanie. We caught the bride sneaking a peek as her bridesmaids left to walk down the isle. The ceremony was a mixture of being traditional, as well as including Filipino customs. Some rituals include the passing of the wedding coin purse, symbolizing the couples financial welfare. Another was a veil and cord, which represents the couple’s bond as two become one. Everyone participated in a special communion. The couple left the church as guest blew bubbles around them.
The reception took place at the Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook. The decorations, done by Yanny Designs, were beyond amazing. Candle lit tables, beautiful center pieces, and fancy chairs for the bride and groom. The Bolingbrook Golf Club did something very neat by sending in a train of their smiling, friendly waiting staff to serve the bridal party their champaign. During the reception, Melanie prepared a special gift as a surprise for the groom. She played the piano, while the band sang a modified version of “Come Fly With Me” to fit their planned honeymoon to France. The happy couple left with music still buzzing through their heads, and love filling their joyful hearts.
To see a film of Melanie and Lyndon's musical wedding day, check out our link!
Kaylin Krashesky and John Risvold
Kaylin and John met during their years studying at the University of Missouri. Even though John knew at first meeting she was the 'One', it was years later they began dating. Then, one Thanksgiving day, John asked the life-changing question, to which Kaylin replied yes!
Kaylin Krashesky is also the daughter of Chicago's own WSL Channel 7 anchor man, Alan Krashesky. At the first look of the bride, Alen, choked up by tears,tells Kaylin that, "There are a few moments in life that make it impossible to speak... And you're one of them".
Their wedding was held at the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center. The couple's adventurous and fun-loving spirit was evident throughout the day. Weddings provide fun opportunities for a special reunions. In college, the bride and groom were involved in a fraternity and sorority. Members of these groups were once again connected after years of separation. During the reception, the bride and sisters from the sorority shared a memorable time lighting a candle and singing a song in respect for the organization through which they came to be friends. These pictures capture moments of love, laughter, and precious memories for bride and groom.
To see more pictures of John and Kaylin, check out our link!