“Jonny is very easy going and we felt like we had a new friend at the end of our wedding. We wanted a photographer to tell us the story of our wedding outside of our own eyes. That is exactly what Jonny did for us.”
CHATEAU DE MALLIAC WEDDING PHOTOS | FRANCE
This was a wedding which, hand on heart, was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The colour, the chaos, the beautiful and the bizarre. I was in my element shooting this Indian wedding photography in the heart of France. The setting was perfect; think typical grand chateau surrounded by vineyards that disappear over rolling hills. It’s a picture postcard moment when the sun sets I can tell you. This traditional Hindu marriage took place over three days. Trying to condense three days into one blog post and keep a narrative is a hard task. Mostly because I spent the majority of the three days genuinely not knowing what was going on, and I loved every minute! I’m not convinced even Arun and Diya knew exactly what was happening at any given moment! It was exactly how I love to shoot. It was spontaneous and exciting.
Arun & Diya actually met half way across the world in Australia. Diya was working there as part of a gap year. Arun also travelled through Australia for 6 weeks also during a gap year. The friend who he was travelling
with introduced them and the rest is history! He popped the question during a trip to Kruger Safari where he’d arranged a private dinner at the lodge on a secluded table surrounded by candles.
INDIAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Their wedding was in privately owned Chateau De Malliac in a town called Montreal du Gers. The wedding events went on for three days! A lot of friends and family arrived to the town a few days early and enjoyed the local sites and wine! The surrounding vineyards were a big selling point for this couple. They like wine.. A LOT!
The brief for the location was somewhere abroad that was sunny and in a venue that had character. Chateau De Malliac fitted the bill perfectly! The Chateau had plenty of room to cater for ceremonies outside and in. Hostess Florence was so helpful with everything!
“We wanted a photographer to tell us the story of our wedding outside of our eyes. That is exactly what Jonny did for us. He is very easy going and we felt like we had a new friend at the end of our wedding. He seamlessly integrated with all our guests and it was a pleasure working with him. Our schedule was jam packed over 3 days with family and friends around us all the time. However, Jonny made sure he grabbed us at the important times to make sure we got the best shots.”
INDIAN WEDDING FASHION
Diya’s dress was a traditional Indian Lengha for the wedding and a gown with Indian embroidery for the reception which she purchased on a trip to India the year before. During the day Arun wore a traditional tamil outfit and in the evening a simple black tuxedo.
How hot it was.? Nearly 40 degrees! That was the biggest surprise about the wedding for the couple. That and waking up the morning after the reception and finding Arun’s younger brother in the same bed!
Arun and Diya’s Indian wedding photography ceremony commenced with the arrival of Arun and his family. The two families greet and Arun is officially welcomed by Diya’s mother who performs an aarathi to ward off the evil eye. Arun is then led in procession to the mandap. To make some sense of all the happenings I admit I have pinched the below from their order of service.
The priest chants mantras. firstly to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesh, the dispeller of darkness, ignorance and the remover of obstacles. A ring made from special grass is given to the groom to be worn during the rites for the purification of his mind. the priest also ties the Raksha Pantham, a holy saffron thread on the right hand of the groom as a symbol of protection. Performing these rituals seek divine protection and to purify and bless the groom.
Diya’s grand entrance
Diya enters with her face hidden behind paan (betel) leaves. She circles Arun seven times before the couple looks at each other for the “first time.” The couple exchange their garlands three times, accepting each other as bride and groom.
With Lord Ganesh, Agni and those present as witnesses, the groom assures that he will cherish the bride as his wife. Diya’s father then places her hand on Arun’s over the ghat (coconut). The Kanya Dhanam concludes, Diya and Arun are seated next to each other and their clothing is tiedtogether to symbolise the union – literally tying the knot!
Thalikattu & Sindoor
This is the most significant part of the ceremony where Arun ties the Thali (the wedding necklace) around Diya’s neck. The Thali signifies the sanctity of marriage and symbolises the eternal bond of love to one another. Arun then puts vermilion in the part of Diya’s hair to present her as a married women. The couple exchange garlands three times symbolising the unification. The couple is blessed by the congregation who shower them with flower petals to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Pradaksinam / Mangal Fera
A sacred fire serves as a divine witness of the union of the couple. Diya and Arun circle the fire and dropped puff rice into it three times in prayer for a happy, peaceful and prosperous married life. On the first round, Arun places Diya’s right foot on the Amni (granite stone) symbolising strength and courage during her married life. he puts a ring on her second toe. Second round this is repeated on the left foot. The third round involves a lighter moment where Arun and Diya compete to find a ring at the bottom of a pot filled with water. This game is played to indicate their willingness for mutual restraint and compromise throughout their married life.
Saptapadi, Aarathi and Asirvadam
The couple hand in hand take seven symbolic steps to start their journey as husband and wife. Two married ladies circle a tray of three lights in front of the couple, this is done for good wishes and to ward off inauspicious forces. The ceremony reaches the finale with the couple being blessed by the priest, their parents and family by showering them with yellow rice and flower petals for a long, happy and prosperous life together.
CHATEAU DE MALLIAC WEDDING SUPPLIERS:
Love the look of this Indian wedding photography? Getting married at Chateau de Malliac or anywhere else for that matter?
If so then please get in touch with Jonny I’d love to hear more about you & your wedding day plans.