Mendhi, Hurdee, Welcome Dinner – Part 1 of a 5 day Hindu Wedding – Shani + Ashay

I’ve shot hundreds of weddings in my time and I can honestly say that up until this point none of them have involved a holi fight, an aquarium and a magic projection cake! Shani and Ashay’s 5-day Hindu wedding extravaganza was a spectacular event that will remain in my heart forever. It was so much more than a few functions designed to marry off a couple it was an experience for all the senses and so many of our emotions!

My week of shooting started with a gathering of close family and friends for a relaxed Mehndi evening in Zimbali, the next evening everyone met at Durban Ushaka Marine World for a Welcome Dinner and the following day saw everyone treated to one of the most fun Hurdee parties I have seen! Later came the wedding at Jex Estate and then a Gala reception dinner at Zimbali’s Marula Ballroom. By the end of the five days the family and friends of these two families felt like old friends!! It was a gruelling wedding to photograph but I feel like it was a highlight of my career because working with Shani and Ash was just such a pleasure. We laughed, I turned 41 years old, I cried, Ashay laughed A LOT, we ate so much delicious food, we got covered with coloured holi powder and I got to do a portrait shoot in the aquarium, which all happened before the actual wedding ceremony!

I have divided these blog post into two parts as trying to condense it all into one would bee too much… so here is Part One! Part two coming very soon.

And now a few words from the Bride and Groom and the Credits
a few words from us….

This wedding was everything we intend it to be and so much more, an unforgettable, experience of a lifetime! While putting together the credit list we realised just how many pieces of this mammoth sized puzzle came together to create what was the most mesmerising days of our lives…so far! Nothing could prepare us for the week that would infinitely change our lives. Getting married was the aim of course, but more than that, we wanted this wedding to be a creative collection of surprises and enjoyable experiences for our guests as well.

As challenging as it may have been to plan this 5-day Hindu wedding, incorporating traditional and modern elements, with me being a super perfectionist and stubborn creative, Ash was my rock and pillar of strength. Advice for future grooms: the only thing you need to tell your crazy wife to be when she’s in a state of panic is “as long as we are married by the end of it, we’ve done a good job, that’s the only thing we really need to do, everything else is just a bonus”. Don’t tell her to “calm down”. Advice for the couple: remember to enjoy what you’ve created with the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Stay until the very end, when everyone has left and take it all in. Even 5 days isn’t enough to spend time with everyone, so choose carefully whom you give your time to on the day. No matter the circumstance, everything will always be ok.

We are forever grateful to our families, friends and service providers who embraced us with all the love and support we needed to carry out this incredible celebration. We were blown away with everything, from the warmth of the Thiluk, the mystery of the aquarium, the youthfulness of the Hurdhee, the energy of the forest and the elegance of the Reception. It was so humbling to see how many people chose to be there for us, to share in our happiness and celebrate our love. We were incredibly proud and appreciative of everyone who sacrificed their own time from work, traveling from other cities and countries to be there. This was truly immeasurable to us. Thank you so much.

To you, Jacki, Liz and Charne, we will never forget what you did for us, not just as our photography team but also as our friends and more so as our family. You went over and beyond the duties of traditional photographers. Thank you for being there for us, for looking after us, for all the words of wisdom and the subtle reminders to make sure we didn’t forget what was important in the moment. Thank you for being so patient and working so hard to capture our memories!

Second Shooter/ Assistants : Liz Donnell Charne Wesner

Thiluk:

Venue: De Charmoy Estate www.decharmoy.co.za

Decor: Eastern Elegance 

Flower garlands: Maithree Ramluckan 0844916777

Groom’s Suit: Frank Bespoke Suites in Johannesburg www.frankbespoke.co.za

Priest: Pundit Shane Maharaj 0828681297

Catering: Chilli Chocolate Chefs and Nirus Foods

 

Mehndi:

Venue: Holiday Rental at Zimbali Coastal Estate

flowers: Muzi Allan Events shannonhlangu@gmail.com

Brides outfit: Magic Mirror, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, India

Catering: Panish Foods www.panish.co.za

Mehndi: Hajra Latiff 0833000724

 

Welcome Dinner:

Venue: Ushaka Marine World Durban

Event Organiser: Audrey Naidoo anaidoo@ushakamarineworld.co.za

Decor and Flowers: Muzi Allan Events shannonhlangu@gmail.com

Hair and Make up: Mithal Brijmohan 0844806145

Brides Dress: Seasons, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, India

Brides shoes: Dune

Groom’s Suit: Frank Bespoke Suites in Johannesburg

Music: Allegro Strings www.allegrostrings.co.za

 

Hurdhee:

Venue: Ayoba Restaurant Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Event Organiser: Tina Chetty and Candice Clarke Zimbaliwedings@favoured.co

Decor: Koogan Pillay Set Design Sabashni Pillay 0837773765

Flowers: Koogies Florist

Brides Dress: Paaneri, Andheri, Mumbai, India

Groom’s Suit: Paaneri, Andheri, Mumbai, India

Music: Mugan Sarugaser 0812628306

Priest: Pundit Shane Maharaj 0828681297