Rajendra & Alyana’s Hindu Temple of Minnesota Wedding
I had the honor of being the wedding photographer for Rajendra & Alyana at their Hindu Temple of Minnesota Wedding back on May 12th and once again last Saturday evening at their Minneapolis Marriott City Center wedding reception.
Along the way I’ve tried to get a better feeling for some of the Hindu wedding traditions that they included into their Hindu Temple of Minnesota Wedding. Hopefully I have my facts straight.
Raj & Alyana’s ceremony included Jaimala, which is a wedding ritual in which the bride and groom put fresh flower garlands into each other’s necks. The wedding ceremony is not just the meeting of two souls, but is a union of two families, a merge of traditions, values and customs that make the entire wedding complete. The jaimala or also known as ‘varmala’ is an ancient tradition which has been practiced and followed ever since Indian weddings originated.
Kanyadaan is a popular Hindu ritual in which the father gives away his daughter in marriage to the groom. It is a highly valued Hindu marriage ritual. Kanyadaan literally means ‘gifting a girl.’
Gath Bandhan (Tying of the Nuptial Knot). The scarves placed around the bride and groom are tied together symbolizing their eternal bond. This signifies their pledge before God to love each other and remain faithful.
Panigrahana – a ritual in presence of fire, where the groom takes the bride’s hand as a sign of their union.
Shilarohan is climbing over a stone/rock by the bride which symbolises her willingness and strength to overcome difficulties in pursuit of her duties. Both gently walk around the sacred fire four times. The bride leads three times and the fourth time the groom leads. He is reminded of his responsibilities. The couple join their hands into which the bride’s brother pours some barley, which is offered to the fire, symbolising that they all will jointly work for the welfare of the society.
Saptapadi is the most important rite of a Hindu marriage ceremony. The word, Saptapadi means “Seven steps”. After tying the Mangalsutra, the newly wed couple take seven steps around the holy fire, that is called Saptapadi.
Mangalasutra: A mangala sutra is a necklace that a Hindu groom ties around the bride’s neck in a ceremony called Mangalya Dharanam which identifies her as a married woman.
Sindoor: Sindoor is made up of vermilion, a red powder that is applied as a red streak along the parting of a woman’s hair. It is also known as kumkum or sindur. It is a symbol of matrimony and is never applied by unmarried women or widows. It is always applied in the centre and is a symbol of female energy. It is first put on a woman by her husband on the day of her wedding, and is a sign of devotion.
I’ve created a highlight music video from the wedding day that includes some short video clips of some of these Hindu wedding traditions as well.
There’s a second highlight music video with many of their wedding reception candids with family and friends that occurred last Saturday night.
To Raj & Alyana, thank you for asking me to capture your wedding photographs for you. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you both and I look forward to a lasting friendship for many years to come!