Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here is the long awaited post of my Afgani wedding...

I know that so many of you have been waiting to see how my Afgani wedding turned out last May. I was wondering if I could photograph a wedding so different. Even though I have done many different types of weddings, this was still VERY different. But the way that I photograph is just capturing things as they happen, so that made it easy. So here are the events of the wedding, I will try to explain the pictures as best as I can so you can understand the flow of the day. Enjoy...

The day started with Hassib and Sahar getting ready. Sahar started out with her white wedding gown so we could do formals with her and Hassib.

Her dress was just beautiful...

Here they are getting ready...

We only had a few minutes to do formals because they both had to change into their traditional outfits for their first ceremony,

Then we were off to to the first ceremony in which all of the men of the families sit down to table and they men go around and agree to the marriage. This is where the marriage licence is signed. The groom is already at the table when the bride arrives. They are officially married at this time.

The place was very beautiful and decorated very lavishly. Everyone is dressed in the most beautiful dresses, mostly floor length and very expensive jewelry.

Here is Hassib and Sahar in their traditional wedding outfits, before they change into their wedding dress and tux, they line up the family and start taking the first of many many pictures.

The bride and groom changed and then re-entered to a special song
 that commemorates the arrival of the bride and groom. The song is called "Ahesta bero" which means walk slowly. They walked to the beat of the song, the wedding party in front and their parents following. They walk up the stage where they take their seats that besides a few traditional events, a little dancing and eating, they stay in those seats on the stage as family and guests approach them all throughout the night and take pictures with the Bride and Groom.


As the bride and groom are on stage they begin the first part of the ceremony of lighting candles and exchanging rings and gifts from parents, while all the close family members are on stage with them. As this is going on girls are dancing on the dance floor in front of them.

After some more ceremonial things and more dancing of guests, the bride and groom make their way to go eat. They then re-enter again and take their place on stage. Girls come in first to the song "Hena Beyarin bar Dastash gozarin" which means "Bring Hena" (which is what is on the cart type thing they are rolling in) wearing traditional outfits and then begin to dance, meanwhile on stage the bride and groom are covered by a very decorative shawl where the groom will look into the face of his bride in a mirror and will read a prayer. In the past with arranged marriages, this would be the first time the groom would see his wife. They then place a red colored dye ( which leaves an Orange Red stain on the skin) on their palms, and then it is wrapped in a cloth.

The bride and groom danced a few times and there were some people that danced as couples and then the women danced together and then the men danced together. There are different types of Afgani dances that consist of body movements and lots of turns and twists with interesting head movements where the head is snapped from side to side with their hair flinging through the air. Here are some pictures of the dancing.

The cake cutting is also a time where family gathers around the bride and groom at the cake table to take more pictures.

The last tradition of the night is the brides is covered by a veil and then her father ties a cloth around his daughters waist. The bride and groom along with their parents stand at the door and say good-bye to all of their guests.

The bride and groom then make their exit...

I hope you enjoyed this post and what I added to it to try to explain all the events. Thank you to Hassib's sister who explained the events to us as they were happening so even though we didn't NEED to know what everything meant to photograph it, but did make it easier because then we knew what each event and picture meant to them. And lastly thanks to Google and Cha cha...for helping me fill in the blanks in my information!


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