Capturing an Asian wedding as a photographer requires a special skill, being able to capture the raw, pure, natural essence of the wedding and the love between the couple and their families without any preparation.
Wedding pictures are forever and with that said the special day will be with you always, and on occasions this memory must reflect and chronicle every precious moment. It is imperative that delicate care is given when identifying a photographer, who is responsible for capturing every single movement and its meaning on this sacred day.
In India the Bridal Mehendi is a traditional ceremony in which the bride receives elaborate henna paintings on her hands, wrists, arms, legs and feet, each is different with a meaning for each color and symbol from a swan- success, the scorpian- love, flower- happiness, tortoise- fertility, sun/moon/stars are the long lasting love between bride and groom. The Saptapadi is very important element vows are exchanged in the presence of a sacred fire that must be circled three times. After which the groom presents a silver ring which symbolizes his love for her.
In Korea the bride and groom exchange the vows at the bride’s family home in a ceremony called kunbere: Bride and groom bow to each other and exchange their vow by drinking a special wine poured into a gourd grown by the bride’s mother. The wedding banquet is called kook soo sang , meaning “noodle banquet” symbolising a long and happy life together.
The Chinese can be superstitious and often couples consult an astrologer for the wedding date based on the alignment of the stars, moon and planets location! For centuries brides wore a Qipao, a bright red floor length silk dress because this colour is considered auspicious.
In Japan brides wear a beautiful white dress called shiro the symbol of purity, their bodies are painted white and after the ceremony the dress is exchanged for a red, white, gold or silver kimono called Irouchiakake. Sake, is an important tradition, called san-san-kudo:three different cups, offered to their families as a symbol of the new bond.
Everyone drinks three times to represent the couple, families and three human flaws: hatred, passion, and ignorance. Another tradition is the 21 bead rosary representing the bond between the couple, families and Buddha.
The photographer must inherently know these traditions and have the ability to capture every nuance; from promise, rite, bond, culture, tradition, memory and love.