the one with Lavanya + Angad, a wedding in West Texas, Part 1

We are celebrating Easter at David and Davida's house, my in-laws, and I brought my lap top to go pouring through all my images from this weekend. I'm OVERWHELMED and excited all at the same time. I have to see these. The colors are still in my brain, the music is resonating in my head, I'm living this wedding over and over again and want to find a way to photograph another.

I have to photograph another.

Lavanya, is your little sister in love? HA

This is Lavanya and Angad's wedding celebration. They had a Sikh Ceremony on Friday and a Hindu Ceremony on Saturday. Doubly married and double the fun. Yes. The day is long and there is much to share.

I'll start with the turban tying. I met the guys at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock. Of course, I had to google exactly what was taking place and being a visual storyteller myself, I love the story behind any sort of custom. Maintaining long hair and tying turban is seen as a token of love and obedience of the wishes of Sikh gurus. The turban is their gift from the Guru.

The turban is our Guru's gift to us. It is how we crown ourselves as the Singhs and Kaurs who sit on the throne of commitment to our own higher consciousness. For men and women alike, this projective identity conveys royalty, grace, and uniqueness. It is a signal to others that we live in the image of Infinity and are dedicated to serving all. The turban doesn't represent anything except complete commitment. When you choose to stand out by tying your turban, you stand fearlessly as one single person standing out from six billion people. It is a most outstanding act.

I copied that from an article online. I'm all about royalty, grace and uniqueness.

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I had never met Anghad, the bride groom before. I had a few pictures to go by, but when someone is turban tied, HELLO! They look different then their picture. Also, he had grown a little facial hair since the picture was taken that I had looked at. I guessed who he was by the reaction he received from the others when he entered the room. Everyone was very happy to see him. Also, the guy is TALL. Very tall. Here he is on the left in the photo below. Handsome fellow, no?

YES.

Very.

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After the turban tying it was time to make our way to Spirit Ranch for the Barrat. I wish I had found THIS WEBSITE before the wedding. I had read what I could, but this one really describes the day. If you are planning attending a Sikh Ceremony, it could be very helpful to you.

Down in the lobby of the hotel, LOTS OF LOVE around that room. Guests were waiting for the busses to take them to the Spirt Ranch. It provided lots of chances for great photo moments.

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The sword was in Anghad's family for years. It was part of his wedding attire. We joked that he carried it to protect his bride.

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This little fellow below had his first turban tying. So cute! He quickly fell asleep.

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Pictures need sound. The excitement from the drums got everyone in such a festive mood! This is the departure of the Braat. The groom mounts a horse and with his people, goes to theGurdwara to greet the bride's family. So much happiness and laughter! Oh, and dancing! Lots of dancing! First the groom is adorned with flowers by relatives and then he mounts the horse. I almost forgot that part. Af first, I thought weird. But it's kind of cool to have the groom so dressed up and wearing a flower veil.

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I LOVE the emotion in these photos!

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Before entering the Gurdwara, the groom's family meets the bride's family. I think this is called Milnea, whichmeans introductions. A part of it was very solemn. Most of it was lots of laughter, smiles and greetings! Some of the men were lifted off the ground in HUGE bear hugs! Definitely a favorite of mine!

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And then we made our way to the wedding site. First the families and then the bride groom. And then, THEN I got to see Lavanya. Oh, my! The colors were AMAZING! How absolutely gorgeous! I couldn't take my eyes off her! I just couldn't. The reds, the golds. JUST GORGEOUS!

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Angad couldn't either. This is him looking at her after she joined him at his side. LOVE LOVE LOVE

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My favorites side by side of the bride and the groom. I just love how these two feel. I would so have these on my wall if I was them.

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How beautiful is Lavanya's mom below?

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After the ceremony, they had dinner followed by speeches and toasts. More like performances. I so enjoyed myself!

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I typically do not write much about weddings, I prefer to let photos do the talking. And I've looked at lots of wedding pictures of Hindu and Sikh weddings. I spent much time on

Dina Douglass's blog site.

I poured through her amazing images! But just looking couldn't begin to describe the ceremony, the colors, the smells, the food or the emotions of the people involved this weekend. Now I'm not supporting a wedding crashing moment, but come on! If you get the chance, have friends that are getting married in this tradition, I encourage you to go and feast your eyes. Dance to the beats of the drum. Enjoy yourself.