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Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

DoubleTree Lawrence Kansas Indian Wedding: Priya’s Pithi and Ganesh Puja Ceremonies

If you have ever been to an Indian wedding, you will see that it carries many symbolic rituals. If you have not ever been to an Indian wedding, you may want to become friends with an Indian because their food, clothing, dancing, and contagious laughter is definitely something you may want to witness up close! In such Indian weddings like Hindu weddings, it is customary that they will last several days and will have smaller ceremonies. Many of them will just have the bride perform ceremonial rituals with her family while the groom is elsewhere performing his ceremonial rituals with his family. In this wedding, We followed the bride until the two started the shared ceremonies such as the Garba ceremony (posting theirs soon!).

Because Our Indian bride (Priya) was raised in Lawrence KS, it was important to her to celebrate part of her wedding in the city she grew up in and called home most of her life. She was all smiles when she saw everything coming together! It was all coming together and it was all beautiful! All the time and effort she and all the wedding professionals put into her and Ashish’s wedding worked out beautifully! And because their wedding ceremonies were indeed a few days long, we are excited to show you what we have captured from their wedding festivities in the next few blog posts.

The first three ceremonies took place in the DoubleTree in Lawrence KS. The location was perfectly close to home and very accessible to those who did not live close to home right off of exit 202 from I70. We know this exit well since Josh and I have taken it many times ourselves since Josh was raised there and we moved there shortly after we had graduated from college. I can completely understand why Priya wanted to have these ceremonies performed closer to home, it feels good arriving there. It is basically the only other place around where I can put the GPS away and navigate myself by the tender memories we scattered through town.

The Floral Jewelry

I love it when our Indian brides use live flowers in their jewelry for their pre-wedding ceremonies! I’ve seen this both in the pithi ceremony for our Indian brides and in the mehndi parties for our Pakistani brides. Here in Priya’s case this is for her pithi ceremony! I especially loved the green hypericum detail! Pink and yellow flowers decorating her as bracelets, earrings, and as a belt were eye-candy! But I must accentuate the necklace the flowers plus the gold necklace accent just caught me off guard! It definitely became a highlight of this outfit. Merinda from A & L Floral Designs just took my breath away with these pieces! The white wood traditional Indian swing was rented from Kiran’s Decorations.

Indian Wedding Pithi Ceremony
floral jewelry for Indian bride
indian bride yellow and green
Indian bride and family during pithi

Indian Wedding Pithi

In the pithi ceremony, the bride gets anointed with a yellow turmeric paste on her feet, legs, arms, shoulders, and face! This is such a fun to capture moment because the ladies who love the bride (close family and friends) each come to participate. I love to see how each sister, auntie, bestie, and the mother come up one by one whispering good wishes. It is especially fun to see when someone decides to rub the paste in real good, causing much laughter! And then there are moments that while the pull on a tear or two mainly when mom comes. Is it bad for me to love capturing crying moments in wedding ceremonies! Capturing emotion are probably my favorite things to capture!

pithi ceremony coconut
pithi paste
tumeric paste for pithi
pithi ceremony
fresh floral jewelry on Indian Bride
pithi with sisters
priya pithi with mom

After the ladies finish rubbing on the turmeric-and-chickpea paste, the uncles come. They listen to the priest pronounce the blessings and then pick up the bride. Priya was so light that it just took one uncle to pick her up quite effortlessly! They later escorted her out to the staff planted by her uncles and carried by those of family prior to her generation. I can only guess what this symbolizes, but the sentiment is beautiful!

uncles picking up the bride

pithi staff

Indian Wedding Ganesh Puja

After the wrapping up the pithi ceremony, Priya leaves to get ready for the Ganesh puja. In this ceremony, the Hindu priest spoke only in Gujarati so it was hard for me to understand. I loved, however, that he called me by name a few times! We definitely do not have priests or officiants call us by name much at all (unless we knew each other before the wedding)! In this ceremony, Priya and her family perform rituals and make offerings to Ganesh. This ceremony symbolizes the beginning of a new venture for Priya. Again, there was a crying moment when both of Priya’s parents laid their hands on her head, it was beautiful to capture the tears.

indian bride garland
Ganesh puja details
Hindu Priest surrounded by incense
hindu parents blessing bride
Ganesh puja decoration
bridesmaids and friends with Indian bride

More to Come

Yes, I did mention above that they celebrated three ceremonies in Lawrence, and there are only two in this post, well the next post will introduce the third ceremony for two reasons, it took place the next day, but also because, it has such a beautiful sentiment behind it! Come back to find out what it is.

PS: Remember Them?!

Do you remember Hetal and Samir 6 years ago? I love it when previous brides become guests to a wedding we are shooting especially as the family! Hetal and Priya are sisters! Josh and I are tremendously honored that we got to continue capturing their family’s wedding moments ♥

remember hetal and samir
All Photos captured by Mojica Photography

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