Chicago Indian Wedding where East meets West

The very first wedding I ever photographed- all be it completely unplanned and possibly unwarranted - was in India when I spent a semester studying the continent’s myriad of culture and colors. I was attending that wedding as a guest and when my trusted host literally pushed me into the mix and shouted to me ‘start shooting!’, I did just that. Of course, I now know it’s really not a pro move to step in the way of the photographer actually hired to capture the full storyline. Nonetheless, I was immediately swallowed by the colors, patterns and amazing tempo that South Asian weddings exude. As a forever student of photography, even then I had a camera on hand: a 35mm film, a small tank of a Nikon. Needless to say, I’ve not stopped capturing the colorful world around me since being pushed into that wheel of excitement so many years ago.

At the risk of having this ‘Dear Diary’ entry run on and on, I am excited to share this highlight reel featuring each chapter of P + D ’s wedding weekend. The plentitude of rich color, delicious texture, perfect patterns and above all else, love, makes choosing faves for this teaser set extra challenging and so much fun! As we enter into the American holidays of bounty and brightness on this side of the pond, I want to take a minute and think on why I love doing what I do and just how it fills me with so much light and love to share this work with the world.

My team and I are like a small band of sociologists with cameras. With one look at our captures below, you’ll see all things merry and bright; from the mehndi through the pithi and onto the sangeet, and certainly through the wedding day, the deeply saturated colors and emotion of everyone involved are palpable. This, in fact, is one of the first memories I still carry with me from that inaugural Indian wedding I captured on film during my undergrad studies. In fact, this wedding weekend also coincided with the Indian holiday of Diwali, which literally translates into the festival of light, perfect timing as our days grow shorter and darker into the winter season in Chicago and the around the world.

Both our bride and groom’s family was above and beyond involved in keeping the energy level high and the spirits bright all wedding weekend. From the start of high tea, through the many dance performances of Friday night’s program at Theater on The Lake , all the way to the last dance at Rockwell on the River, our father of the bride was alive with so much synergy and excitement for his daughter’s wedding that we couldn’t help being carried away with his exuberant laughter and dancing! I love how the parades within parades carry the emotionality of these two individuals coming together in front of their entire circles of friends and families. Our groom’s grand entrance on a white motorcycle was a super cool spin on the traditional baraat entrance and our bride designed her second look for the evening: a classic silk pantsuit, complete with a detachable skirt from one of our very favorite bridal houses in Chicago, Mira Couture. At every turn of this weekend’s celebrations, the style, elegance, and glam sparkled perfectly. Then again, anytime we have the occasion to work with the brilliant team at Events by Nisar + Yanni Designs, we can’t keep our shutters still because gorgeous wedding photo ops are everywhere! Exhibit A: THE 5 TIERED CAKE by Cake is pretty much a show stopper on its own accord!

Simply put, the energy of long wedding weekends like this one is just magnetic and it truly keeps our entire team a buzz for days after the celebration has been tied up with a great bow! I am so very grateful and thankful for the brilliant vendors that help us create such beautiful captures of culture, color, movement, and momentum. Truly, without them, our work couldn’t shine as bright!

I was trying to keep this post a-political but with an undergrad in Political Science, I usually can’t avoid the subject altogether, especially lately. So please pardon me briefly as I step onto my small soapbox. I see it as my job to use my resources in the world to lead with love and share on the platforms I have access to; to use the tools of my trade in the best way I know how and lead my team with careful kindness on all of our projects. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and see outside of the confines of my own experience so that I can better understand the world around me. Compassion and love know no skin color, no state, no religion, and no gender. Our lenses get to serve as a mirror to our vibrant and incredible world full of love and light so that the reflection we create can outshine anyone who tries to lead our world into darkness. In working in the world of weddings where the talk is all about love, sparkly details, perfect uplighting and who has designed what, I think it’s really important for my team to keep our eyes on the prize: the focus is really on connectivity and care. After all, isn’t that why people get married?

I am forever grateful for my skills as a wedding photographer, for my team that listens aptly to my crazy, creative ideas and executes them and, of course, for our dear couples that entrust their love story with us.

P + D, a million thanks to you, your beautiful families and all the incredible love you shared with us last weekend. Your killer dance moves, indelible style, layers of generation standing in support of your love story are all the making of our photographic daydreams. We love your love and couldn’t do what we do without it! Thank you.


Rose + Co