Unveiling Weddings through the Lens

(By Peggy Lin)

It is the beginning of a life-long journey together, it marks the milestone you share with one another and it becomes the most precious day in your relationship with your loved one: marriage. There are many forms of routine and tradition all around the globe when it comes to this important event. Whether you are religious or not, everyone has at least experienced or took part in a wedding ceremony once in their lives.
Following a special events photographer named David Lin, he brings to us an array of Asian weddings that he had the pleasure of being the main photographer and shares information, as well as his memories with us. David Lin has been in the photography industry for over 26 years and runs his business, Photolosophy Inc./LinPhoto based in Queens. Even though he is based in Queens, that has not limited him from traveling to other places for events. David specializes in weddings and sweet sixteen parties. There are the occasional birthdays, christenings and anniversaries but weddings are truly his passion.
One of the most incredible and colorful weddings are Bengali weddings. A traditional Bengali wedding is arranged by matchmakers who could be friends or relatives of the couple, and who also facilitate and guide agreements to any kind of settlement. The traditional Bengali wedding usually separates into 2 days – the first day being an informal ritual where the groom presents the bride with a ring marking the engagement, the second day consisting of the wedding ceremony and reception. The turmeric ceremony also known as gaye holud, takes place before the actual ceremony because this is when the groom goes to the bride’s home with her wedding outfit, wedding decorations which includes turmeric paste, henna, food and gifts. There are many variations to this ritual, but the general routine has been carried out in every Bengali wedding that David has attended for photography.
The bride’s female relatives and friends traditionally should all be in similar clothing and color, with the bride receiving henna artwork to decorate her hands and feet with elaborate and abstract designs. Additionally, the turmeric paste is applied to the brides’ body to give her that distinctive yellow hue indicating the very essence of the ceremony. After that, the bride is fed by all the guests in the party. This is also done in the grooms’ gaye
Finally comes the wedding ceremony on the second day mainly organized by the bride’s family. Upon arrival of the groom, members of the bride’s family barricade the entrance of the venue and demand money from the groom in exchange for allowing him to enter. Bargaining, fun pushing and shoving are involved as well as practical jokes on the groom. During the reception, the bride and groom see and dine with the guests together. Bengali weddings are
truly an event to see! Much like a Bengali wedding, a traditional Nepali wedding event is also spread out over two days or more and arranged by either a matchmaker or a priest. In recent times, it is more popular for the couple to choose their
mate but an arranged marriage is said to be the method that predominates in Nepal. When the initial marriage arrangement occurs, the wedding event starts with a gathering in the grooms’ residence.
A priest and the guests travel to the brides’ place with the procession mostly consisting of males only. Once they arrive, the groom’s family celebrates and socializes while the priest carries out the ceremony. The groom dabs a pinch of red powder on the brides’ forehead because it symbolizes the marriage and the color indicates that the bride is married. In a traditional Nepalese wedding, both the bride and groom are carried out in a wooden casket and then the bride is handed over to the groom by her parents.
Traditional Tibetan weddings are of similar nature. With the bride and groom’s family approval for marriage, suitable gifts are presented to the bride’s family. The day before the wedding, the couple is not allowed to see each other and praying takes place for their marriage to have good luck. On the day of the wedding, there is a traditional Tibetan speech of congratulatory words followed by the guests showing their best wishes to the bride and groom by offering white scarves also known as khadas. They can also offer other gifts and blessings. Later on, there are a variety of performances, a routine toast from the parents and relatives and then the couple toasts with
the guests.
In the end, David always learns and experiences something new in every wedding event he attends. David Lin has become the main family photographer for many of the clients he has had the pleasure of working with. Most Asian weddings take up more than one day and there is a lot that goes on, with specific details and schedules that no ordinary photographer can keep up with. From Tibetan to Bangladesh weddings, David has become the go-to event photographer. If you would like to know more details about his work, you may visit www.photolosophy. com or www.linphoto.co