© 2018 knorthphotography

madhu & prahlad: an auspicious autumn hindu wedding ceremony

My last wedding of the season was truly exceptional, and all because of these two individuals and the love they exude for each other.  Madhu & Prahlad’s wedding day began before dawn, with snowflakes gently falling outside the windows of their hotel in Brampton. They dressed to the nines, caught a quick morning glimpse of one another and then straight away to the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation Temple for hours of ceremony: the preparation of fruit, coconut and flowers, the chanting of prayers amplified throughout the building, blessings through the sprinking of rosewater and coloured rice. Adornments are bestowed: the couple exchange garlands, a bright yellow thread loving tied to the wrist of each spouse. A fire fueled with sacred branches and clarified butter symbolizes purification. It burns stealthily while prayers continue, consuming handfuls of flower petals and puffed rice kissed with well-wishes. Each mother feeds the couple yogurt and honey from a betel leaf. Precious wedding necklaces are touched with the good intentions of every guest, then with great anticipation, strung around the brides neck to represent her marital status. Following this, Madhu stands upon a rock to demonstrate her fortitude and the couple take seven sacred steps together. This entire process is mesmerizing. In fact therein lies the professional challenge for me: to stay focussed and present while being lulled in fascination over the many elements that comprise this ardent ritual.

At it’s near completion, the priest takes bride & groom outside to point out the sun, to seek blessings for a creative and passionate life, and then the polar star, for steadfastness in their marriage. Then family & friends gather for portraits and food (mouthwateringly delicious South Indian food if I can express my joy in that for a moment), and then what do we do? We take a walk in the woods of course! – in the brilliant amber light of an autumn forest, to catch a bit of a chill and refresh while capturing a few moments of simple togetherness. Madhu and Prahlad, lovebirds and bird lovers (their wedding day signified a donation on behalf of their guests to www.difficultbirds.com), are two of the most gracious and gentle individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Thank you M&P for a full day of photo ops – this is one I will never forget.

Happiness, health, prosperity and long life to you both, xo.