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A Beautiful Hindu Wedding Ceremony in Bellevue WA

Seattle Hindu Wedding, Hindu Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Photographer, Captured by Candace Photography

I have always wanted the opportunity to experience a diverse range of cultural weddings through my work. So I was honored when I received a call from my friend & colleague Alex Knight to capture this Hindu wedding ceremony in Bellevue WA! Casey + Shonoy’s wedding ceremony gave me insight into how the couple incorporated […]

I have always wanted the opportunity to experience a diverse range of cultural weddings through my work. So I was honored when I received a call from my friend & colleague Alex Knight to capture this Hindu wedding ceremony in Bellevue WA! Casey + Shonoy’s wedding ceremony gave me insight into how the couple incorporated Shonoy’s cultural values into their marriage. But, most importantly, I also witnessed how Casey + Shonoy cherish one another. And how that served as a driving force for them stepping into their union with a Hindu wedding ceremony and later a western ceremony. 

Casey + Shonoy’s Hindu wedding ceremony was held at a beautifully intimate venue called Robinswood House in Bellevue, WA. I’m going to share each & every ritual that made up their wedding, along with the intricacies, and meaning behind them. From the arrival of the groom (the Baraat) and the components of their ceremony that bonded them together for eternity. I was so thankful to be provided with an in-depth wedding program for their ceremony! Going into their ceremony, I didn’t know what to expect. Having some insight through the program gave me knowledge of what was happening with each ritual performed. Which allowed me to capture their story in a way that gave it the reverence that it deserves. So with that, let’s dive in!

Their wedding ceremony began with the Baraat. Chances are you may have seen a Baraat, on a magnificent scale! The Baraat is when the groom and his family have a formal procession to meet the bride’s family. The Baraat is the official entrance of the groom at a Hindu wedding. It can involve the groom arriving on a horse, an elephant, or a sports car. Sometimes grooms choose to make their entrance while being carried. Just like Shonoy!

Searching for a wedding photographer in Bellevue, WA to capture every intricate detail of your Hindu Wedding Ceremony?

Click here to contact me, or to find out even more about the experience I offer, click here!

With the Baraat complete, a formal engagement ceremony occurs. During this process, Shonoy is welcomed into Casey’s family by her mother. This ritual is called Arti. You’ll get to see it in the photos below! Next, Shonoy made his official arrival at the Mandap. A Mandap is specifically constructed for Hindu wedding ceremonies. It is a beautifully detailed four-pillar altar. The symbolism behind the four pillars of the Mandap represents each of the four parents involved in the union. A Hindu wedding ceremony spends much of its focus on the coming together of two families. Additionally, there are many detailed rituals throughout the ceremony that rely on the participation of the family members.

With the Baraat complete, the next to arrive at the ceremony are Casey’s parents and then Shonoy’s parents. The final person to arrive is Casey. Once the couple and all four parents have made their way to the Mandap, the Pandit (Hindu priest) chants Sanskrit mantras while purifying the Mandap in order for the ceremony to begin. Next, Casey and Shonoy exchanged beautiful floral garlands called Varmala. The exchange of the floral garland between the couple signifies the respect and acceptance that they hold for each other. It is the very first ritual performed in a Hindu wedding ceremony. 

The next ritual of Casey + Shonoy’s Hindu wedding ceremony was the Madhu Parka. During this ritual, the couple offers each other a mithai. The mithai is a sweet confection that symbolizes the relationship between their two families always remaining sweet! I love how literal but absolutely delightful this particular ritual is. It’s yet another way that the couple includes their family in their union.

Searching for a wedding photographer in Bellevue, WA to capture every intricate detail of your Hindu Wedding Ceremony?

Click here to contact me, or to find out even more about the experience I offer, click here!

From there, Casey’s family performs the Kandyadaan. This is the giving of both their approval and blessings for Casey and Shonoy to enter into and have a happy marriage. In a western marriage, we view this as “giving away the bride”. For Casey + Shonoy’s Hindu ceremony, Casey’s brother placed her hand into Shonoy’s. Next, he poured water into their hands.

Next was the tying of the knot! I think you’ll find this to be another amazing and meaningful ritual in their wedding ceremony. Shonoy’s scarf was used to “tie” the couple together. Thus symbolizing the eternal bond they are entering into with one another. The tying of the knot also represents their pledge to God, and their pledge to love one another and remain faithful to each other in their marriage. 

With the tying of the knot complete, the next ritual of Casey + Shonoy’s Hindu wedding ceremony was the Agni Pooja, the lighting of the sacred fire. The fire symbolizes the illumination of the mind, knowledge, and happiness and is the witness to their wedding ceremony. After the sacred fire is lit, an offering is made by Casey, into the fire. As the offering is made she prays for Shonoy to have a long life, good health, and happiness.

Next, Casey + Shonoy walk around the sacred fire a total of four times. Each time stopping to touch a stone in their path with their feet. The stones are meant to represent the many obstacles that life will throw their way throughout the course of their marriage. Each of the four walks around the fire has its own special meaning as well. They represent Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), Dharma (righteousness), and Moksha (liberation).

In Hinduism, marriage is viewed to be a sacrament.

Marriage is also viewed as a way for the couple to reaffirm their connection to the divine. With that, Casey + Shonoy’s ceremony contained seven Vachan (or promises) that they prayed for during their ceremony. The couple prays to the divine for a long life together, children, a home, prosperity, the strength to support each other, and so many more of life’s blessings!

Scroll through the blog below to see every moment of Casey + Shonoy’s Hindu Wedding Ceremony at Robinswood House in Bellevue WA!

© 2022, Captured by Candace Photography. LLC. Seattle, WA.