Indian Wedding Photography: Vidhi Ceremony

After photographing the Patels’ mehndi last Thursday evening, I joined them again on Saturday to photograph the vidhi, which was even more elaborate and intricate than the mehndi; in their brightly coloured saris the women dotted the room like birds of paradise.  The vidhi is a day of traditional religious rituals held on the day before the actual wedding during which the bride and groom are prepared for the wedding ceremony and the family pray to ward off evil spirits from the wedding and to protect the couple in their married life together.  One of the preparations, called the peethi, had the women in the family covering Mickey, the groom, in a thick yellow turmeric paste intended not only to keep the evil spirits away but to enhance his skin colour for the wedding ceremony.

Because the groom’s large family lives in Brighton and the bride’s in London, the couple decided to hold separate mehndi and vidhi ceremonies for each of their families in their respective cities, and then bring both families together for the culmination of the festivities for the wedding ceremony in London – at which point they were expecting a mind-boggling 700-800 guests in all!


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