We didnâ€™t know what to expect when we arrived in Middlesbrough for Kara and Chuchâ€™s weekend wedding celebrations. The first part at Judges Hotel (see blog below) was a familiar civil ceremony. In the afternoon however, we were introduced to the first of three Asian ceremonies.Â The Nikaah was first and was held at Chuchâ€™s parents house. Upon arrival we were all invited to eat an exquisite finger buffet while Kara changed into Indian dress. Friends and relatives then gathered into the lounge for the ceremony. It is a religious ceremony conducted by an Inman from the Mosque. Chuch and Kara were each asked three times if they wish to marry and they repeat back three times that they accept one another as husband and wife. This has to be witnessed and is then followed by a reading from the Qurâ€™an. I was guided and told what was going on throughout by the other ladies who were so kind, caring and helpful. After this we had a full meal (how do you all stay so slim).
We returned in the evening for the Mehndi which is an Asian hen night. The men were allowed to stay for a short time and Chuch took part in the procession which was beautiful. Four people held a canopy over their heads and they were guided in by the cutest little girls and everyone carried candles, food and scented petals which were placed before them at the foot of the alter. I have to tell you that I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes when I walked into the community centre and saw the elaborate alter all festooned in ribbons lights and flowers. There were some more traditions of food being fed to the couple and oils put on to their hairÂ after which the men went off together for a meal. The woman carried on with their own meal, along with dancing and Henna painting by a professional henna artist. I have to say the children joining in with the dancing has to be the cutest thing ever.
We returned the following afternoon for the Valima which is the Asian wedding reception. It is by far the biggest and most elaborate event out of them all. There was a grand entrance by the Bride and Groom who I have to say looked absolutely amazing, then just like a western wedding reception there is a meal, speeches and cake cutting. We had taken a few images of Kara and Chuch inside the hotel but as the weather improved we were fortunate enough to take the couple over to the park where to our amazement and sheer delight we were able to have a portrait session using the little temple and bridge. Our favourite shot has to be the one where the sun was setting which gave us a starburst just above the roofline. I was so excited I almost got us locked in the park! Chuch and Kara also wanted to have some shots peeking out from behind the pillars Bollywood style which was great fun.
Thank you Kara and Chuch for allowing us to share all these wonderful celebrations with you and for everyone being so generous towards us.
We would love to bring you lots more images to the blog but once again here are a few we particularly liked.