At the peak of wedding season, I had the pleasure of photographing Arti and Rickpaul’s unforgettable Indian wedding day filled with laughter, love, and beautiful, timeless traditions. We started the day with a first-look photo shoot at the Chicago Riverwalk across from their hotel. Then, we strolled across to Lurie Garden at Millennium Park to add a bit of greenery to their urban portraits. (I especially love this subtly manicured garden’s wild and whimsical aesthetic. You’d never expect to find a natural gem like this in the middle of downtown.) Although it was scorching hot outside, Arti and Rickpaul never complained. They were simply so happy to be documenting their beautiful love story!
After their first look, we headed to the Chicago Cultural Center for their wedding ceremony and reception. This venue showcases some of the most stunning architecture in the city. Arti and Rickpaul decided on a traditional Indian wedding ceremony, with Arti wearing a red sari and Rickpaul wearing a white sherwani. Both outfits were stunning, adorned with intricate details. You don’t have to know them long to see just how much Arti and Rickpaul love each other. From contagious laughter to quiet, intimate moments, it was an unforgettable day that the newlyweds will treasure forever.
Many couples choose to incorporate several traditions into their wedding day because traditions honor family, culture, and history. They allow us to feel connected to multiple generations and honor our loved ones. With so many little ones in attendance, my favorite tradition that Arti and Rickpaul added to their wedding day was a game. One of the guests hid the groom’s shoes, but once the shoes were found, Rickpaul had to pay money to get his shoes back. However, one thing led to another, and several people started fighting over his shoes to win the prize money. It was all in good fun, and everyone laughed over the whole game. (And yes, Rickpaul finally got his shoes back.) I also loved how the couple incorporated a traditional Indian dance lesson into their reception. It allowed them to honor their heritage and teach others about a beautiful dance form, which was a ton of fun for their guests of all backgrounds.
The beauty of incorporating traditions into your wedding day is that you can pick and choose which ones you want to add or leave out. It is also possible to have modern elements and meaningful, time-honored components. For example, you may decide to wear traditional Indian outfits during your ceremony but then switch to a white wedding dress and black suit for your reception. It’s completely up to you on your big day!
Indian Wedding Attire
Customarily, an Indian bride will wear a red sari or lehenga, and the groom will wear a sherwani or kurta. If you are attending as a wedding guest, you might want to wear similar outfits. Feel free to borrow from a friend or rent from a company if you don’t own an outfit already. Also, reach out to the couple or a friend to ensure you are wearing the outfit correctly—they’ll be more than happy to help!
Even if you are not Indian, partaking in these traditions is a great way to honor the couple and their culture. However, if you cannot find a traditional Indian wedding outfit, wearing a wedding-appropriate dress or suit is also perfectly fine. Indian weddings are colorful! Feel free to pick an outfit that is bright and filled with pops of color.
The Chicago Venue
Arti and Rickpaul had their ceremony and reception at the breathtaking Chicago Cultural Center. Once I saw the brilliant architecture, sparkling mosaics, and stunning chandeliers, I could instantly tell why this sweet couple chose it as their dream wedding venue. The design was beautiful, elegant, and filled with intricate details around every corner, similar to Arti’s gorgeous red sari. I also love how the Chicago Cultural Center blends modern and traditional elements, much like Arti and Rickpaul’s wedding day. This venue was a perfect match for their elegant cultural wedding.
Indian Wedding Photography
Photographing cultural weddings is one of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer. Every wedding is different, and there’s always so much to learn, which is creative fuel for my photographer’s eye! Indian weddings hold a special place in my heart—filled with many bright colors, symbolism, multi-day events, and family traditions. There’s never a dull moment, and you’re guaranteed a unique and fun-filled experience.
From traditional Ukrainian and colorful Indian weddings to trendy urban weddings and everything in between, my goal is to photograph each unique wedding in a way that celebrates and honors the couple. This is your experience, and it’s an honor to create art with you as I document your day, your way.