Capturing priceless moments at weddings is an art.
And when it’s an Indian wedding, it is art etched in Gold!
South Asian Weddings and Indian weddings in particular are known for their culture-rich ceremonies and rituals, not to mention colors. Every rite has a historically relevant story to tell, and each moment runs high with emotions.
It takes a veteran to wholesomely capture all of the click-worthy moments in an Indian wedding without fail. It takes a passionate team to capture beautiful hidden stories in the ceremony as well.
This is where Shan Photography shines!
We know and adore how the South Asian Community celebrates love, like no one else! We have witnessed those moments that cannot be expressed in words a hundred times over.
We know a good moment that hits home.
That’s why you can trust Shan Photography to be your reliable Indian Wedding Photographer in Chicago and all over the US.
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Indian weddings are vibrant, to say the least. Most Indian weddings extend over 2 or three days of celebration, with each day being more colorful than the other. It is common for Indian weddings to have two or even three pre-wedding events leading up to the main event on the wedding day, and each of these events is soaked in rich tradition.
Apart from the culture and the tradition that has been passed down for generations, there is also a priceless sentimental factor that makes each moment special. The format of the events and the rituals performed at every event hold deep meaning in many ways.
This makes Indian wedding photography slightly more complex and more beautiful at the same time.
Here’s an overview of the most important elements a typical Indian wedding will likely have:
As mentioned earlier, Indian weddings usually have two to three pre-wedding events leading up to the big day.
The Haldi ceremony, which can happen one to a few days before, is an event where the bride and groom undergo a symbolic purification with a paste made of turmeric. The couple and the guests mostly wear shades of yellow for this event following the natural color of turmeric, and the day is filled with song, dance, and laughter.
Next is the Henna ceremony, when the bride’s hands and feet are decorated with beautiful and intricate Henna designs. This is also conducted one or two days before the wedding.
Lastly, there is also a Sangeet ceremony, when close friends and family come together to celebrate the union of the couple and engage in song and dance festivities. The evening proceeds with exciting entertainment and ends with a scrumptious dinner after which everyone parts to get prepared for the big day – the next day.
At Shan Photography, we know and understand the sentimental value each of these ceremonies holds. We have a professional team of Indian wedding photographers in Chicago offering nationwide services to capture exotic moments at every event and make your entire wedding event a memorable one.
The day of the wedding is filled with a handful of culture-rich ceremonies as well, just like the pre-wedding events, all of which have to be captured in great photographic detail.
One of the main ceremonies is the Jaimala ceremony or the Varmala ceremony which symbolizes the union of the couple. There are also a few other interesting ceremonies like the “baraat” or the incoming procession of the groom’s family, the “first look” when the couple meets for the first time on the day of the wedding,the arrival of the bride, the recital of wedding vows and the “vidaai” which is a grand send off for the couple.
Each of these events has striking details that make the entire wedding event beautiful, not just in reality but also in the reels. We believe that pictures and videos are meant for the couple to re-live their most important day, which is why we make sure to capture every single important detail in each event. The couple and their families get to cherish these memories for life.
The very first event is the adornment of the bride and groom and it is indeed a sight to behold. Unlike a traditional American wedding where the bride wears an angelic white gown and the groom looks sharp in a tuxedo, in an Indian wedding, the couple typically wears bright colors paired with statement jewelry. Most wedding couples also change into more than one outfit.
For the main event, the couple usually wears shades of red or pink. However, new-age couples have been breaking the norm lately, opting for off-white or pastel shades as well.
The bride is typically clad in a long flared skirt with a matching top and shawl, while the groom wears a Kafni, which is a long shirt that extends below the knees paired with matching leggings. The bride and the groom may also wear statement head-gears to finish the look.
For a South Indian wedding, the attire is usually a traditional sari for the bride and a white dhoti with a matching kurta for the groom.
We at Shan Photography believe that an Indian wedding story is only complete with the sights of the stars of the day getting ready. We love the detailing in the outfits and the jewelry and at the same time, we love to capture all the feels running rife in the dressing room.
Our team is highly experienced in capturing those hidden feelings and emotions that make your wedding story extra special.
Once the couple is ready, it is time to take those frame-worthy portraits of the bride and the groom. These shots add to the color and grandeur of your wedding album and make you fall in love with your wedding moments over and over again for the years to come.
The location is of prime importance for these shots and only the best Indian Wedding Photographers in Chicago or the US can make the portraits look as picture-perfect as your love.
Apart from the location, the smaller details like outfit coordination, the colors of the accessories, the props, the lighting, the angles, etc. must work together to create a beautiful shot. And our photography team is nothing short of a perfectionist when it comes to getting frame-worthy portraits. We love being extra-attentive to the details so that the end result is as amazing as you.
The couple proceeds to the venue now and each of them makes quite a grand entrance. The groom typically arrives at the venue on a decorated horse with friends and family dancing to festive tunes as they walk called “baarat”. This is usually seen in Hindu Gujarati and Sikh Punjabi weddings.
To create a high-level wedding viewing experience, we at Shan photography like to use drones to film the “baraat”. It creates a cinematic vibe and at the same time allows us to capture all the little details of the event such as the horse adornments, the groom’s attire, the outfits of the family and guests, etc. It also lets us pick up the most amazing moments from multiple angles, which adds to the cinematic effect.
Next, the bride’s family receives the groom’s family with warmth and love and that sets the cue for the rest of the events of the day. The groom is then escorted to the “mandap” where more ceremonies follow.
After the “baraat,” it is time for the bride to officially enter the scene. Friends and family of the bride bring her over to the “mandap” or the platform on which the couple is blessed to be one. Following the arrival of the bride, the couple meets for the first time on their wedding day which is called “milan”. Once again, the ceremonies call for a rich exchange of emotions. The first look is especially a moment where the couple shares deep emotions, and it takes a passionate photographer to record them.
Our team has filmed some of the most heart-warming first-look moments filled with overwhelming love, laughter, and happiness over 18 years of our work. Feel free to scan our gallery to see some of the magic we capture.
Once the couple has met, it is time for the official wedding ceremony to begin. A lot more culture-rich rituals are about to unfold.
The main ceremony called the “varamala ceremony” involves the exchange of flower garlands between the bride and the groom. It symbolizes the acceptance of the relationship by the entire family and the union of the bride and the groom.
Following this is the “kanyadaan” ceremony where the father of the bride gives his daughter away to the groom. It is one of the moments that is perhaps the most emotional in the entire wedding event.
We have been able to film many beautiful moments like these over the years in our wonderful journey. And with each moment, we feel more privileged and happy to be a part of these wonderful family occasions.
Count on us to document these special moments and deliver them in a cinematic immersive experience, without disturbing the natural flow of the events.
It takes immense photographic expertise to film the right moments from the right angles and our team at Shan Photography are masters of the craft. Our gallery speaks volumes about the emotional richness of Indian weddings in Chicago.
In this ceremony, the bride and the groom circle the sacred fire together while holding hands, around four to seven times depending on the couple's religion. The pheras are based on ancient Sanskrit scriptures that hold significant meaning in Hinduism. To complete the final event, the shawl or dupatta of the bride will be tied to the groom’s dupatta to signify their connection and destiny to be together.
At Indian weddings, this event marks the “tieing the knot” part of a wedding story and our team has witnessed and documented many of these over a span of 18 years.
Each “mangal phera” ceremony we have captured has been more beautiful than the other, and for it to be caught on tape from an angle that invokes the exact same emotion many years down the line, indeed takes a great level of experience.
The “mangalsutra” is a special necklace that the groom places around the bride’s neck while he recites vedic “mantras”. Along with the “sindhoor” it acts as an indicator that she is a married woman.
Apart from being a special adornment for married women, it also holds immense cultural significance. It is said to be made with 108 fine cotton threads, wound together with a centerpiece called a “thali” which further symbolizes their long-term bond and commitment. It essentially portrays the idea that the bride and groom are bonded for life. As the vows go, “Till death do us apart”.
Photographing these unique elements with a magical touch in a Hindu wedding is one of our specialties as an Indian wedding photographer in Chicago, and we love doing it.
After the “mangalsutra” is placed, there will be a symbolic ring exchange ceremony followed by “saptapadi”. It involves chanting mantras to reinforce wedding vows as the bride and the groom take seven steps together, symbolizing seven kinds of vows or promises.
The seven steps are taken by the couple, around the sacred fire in the center of the “mandap”. The couple holds hands and circumambulates the fire called “Agni” symbolizing reinforcement of the vows holding the element of fire as witness. It is said to represent the ultimate and most powerful source of energy which is the Sun.
We know just how precious this moment is and we use our arsenal of specifically designed lenses and devices to perfectly film them with grace and ease.
To officially conclude the wedding ceremony, a special sending-off ritual is conducted where the newly married couple is seen off by friends and family as they leave the venue to start their new life together.
This is a moment when beautiful emotions and feelings are at play but at the same time are dispersed and complex to capture. However, with our 18 years of experience and our modern technologies, we have been able to film them raw and real, leaving viewers teary-eyed.
That sums up an entire two or three-day Indian wedding event. There may be additional ceremonies depending on the preferences of both families.
Clearly, covering an Indian wedding and capturing all the right moments from the many ceremonies in it, is indeed a tough task. It takes an experienced and knowledgeable Indian wedding photographer in Chicago operating nationwide like Shan Photography to pick up and stay with the pace of the events.
Colors are one of the most distinguishing aspects of Indian weddings. Our culture-rich wedding ceremonies are made even brighter and more vibrant with the colors of the outfits, the décor, the food, and the rituals. As an experienced Indian wedding photography team in Chicago offering country-wide services all over the US, we know how important a role, color plays in the whole experience.
That is exactly why we make sure to perfectly capture the colors, even in the tiniest of details.
Our client diaries are always bursting with color for the same reason, once again, telling love stories that will inevitably remind you of home.
The Shan Photography team is the only studio in all of Chicago offering services all over the US that invests in the latest photo and video technologies to capture wedding events. Our arsenal includes mirrorless lenses, wide-angle lenses for dance events, zoom lenses for the reception speech, and even drones to capture high-angle shots of the “baraat”.
Having been around for many years, our team has the experience and knowledge to film precious moments in ways that touch families, and for that, we deliberately use technologies used by large production companies. This is so that we can offer a rich cinematic experience to families.
Apart from that here are a few more reasons that make us one of the biggest studios in Chicago.
Our professional team specializes in an array of South Asian wedding photography and videography styles including Indian Hindu, Sikh, Punjabi, South Indian, Pakistani, Telugu, and Gujarati.
We have experts in our team well-versed in an array of South Asian wedding styles including Hindu Gujarati, Sikh Punjabi, Muslim weddings, and South Indian. Apart from these we also have experience covering other South Asian weddings such as Bangladeshi, Bhutani, Afghanistani, and Pakistani styles.
A typical Hindu wedding will have two to three days of festivities as explained above. Filled with historically significant rituals, traditional practices, and a plethora of vibrant colors, Hindu weddings are a feast for the eyes and the soul. Starting from the wedding preparations to the “vidaai” ceremony, our team makes sure to capture every single important detail of your big day.
We have captured Gujarati, Tamil, Malayali, and Telugu styles in Hindu weddings over a span of 18 years and each one is magnificent in its own way.
We understand that it can be challenging to find a photographer who films through the endearing complexities of a Hindu wedding and manages to deliver something extraordinary.
At Shan Photography, not only do we have extensive experience with Hindu weddings, but we also go the extra mile to deliver a refreshing new wedding experience for our clients.
Shan Photography offers the most extensive converge in Sikh weddings as well. As per the Sikh culture, the bride receives “chuda” or red bangles from her maternal uncle or “maama” which marks the beginning of festivities. The bangles are one of the most important elements of a Sikh wedding and it cues other events which are equally culture-rich and symbolic.
The Sikh culture also boasts of many religiously significant rituals and ceremonies before and after the main event. The wedding as such is called “Anand Karaj” which translates to “blissful union”. It is most often held at a Gurudwara during the daytime, centered around the ‘Guru Granth Sahib” and it is conceded by a spiritual leader called “Amritdhari”.
The families proceed to more wonderful and culture-rich ceremonies at the hall and move on to celebrations.
Only an experienced photographer can deliver the perfect Sikh love story with grace, while promptly recording all the Sikh rituals and ceremonies. If you are looking for a reliable photography partner that “gets” a Sikh wedding and makes a beautiful story out of it, we are your best bet.
In a Muslim wedding, the bride and groom make an eternal promise to stay together through thick and thin along with grand celebrations. The event is usually conceded by the “Qazi” or the head of the mosque who officiates the union. At the main wedding event called the “Nikah”, the bride and the groom are required to repeat the word “Qubool” three times as a mark of accepting the other as their spouse. It is when the couple legally becomes one.
The entire ceremony comprises many delicate details including the recital of “du’as, the different elements of the attire, and the ceremony itself, all of which have to be captured accurately using close-up shots, and multi-angle shots.
We have more than 10 years of experience filming Muslim weddings as well, and we know an epic shot before we see one.
Contact our team if you have an extraordinary Muslim ceremony in mind.
Shan Photography offers extensive coverage of many other South Asian wedding styles as well, which makes us one of the best South Asian wedding photographers in the US. Our team perfectly clicks the most precious moments in Pakistani, Afghanistani, Bangladeshi, Bhutani, and Indian weddings. The distinguishing factors of each of these cultures have to brilliantly come through in the wedding pics and only a professional can do that. You can rely on our team to record and deliver an amazing South Asian love story and enjoy a relaxed and stress-free wedding.
Right from filming the groom wearing his turban, to shooting the emotional “vidaai” ceremony we love soaking in the sentiments, the happiness, the laughter, and the love that is so richly evident only in Indian families. We believe it is our calling to create love stories that hit home for couples that have had to leave their families in India. And this is why you can trust us with your special day.
We go above and beyond to give you a fantastic wedding experience that warmly reminds you of home.
We operate from Chicago and provide services all over the United States.
We use the latest in wedding photography and videography technologies to create an immersive and cinematic experience for our clients. To name a few, we have mirror-less lenses for lighter, faster, and more compact video shooting, 4K resolution cameras to achieve the highest level of clarity in your wedding pictures and frame-worthy portraits, wide angle lenses to capture dance movements, zoom lenses to capture the emotions during wedding speeches and drones to shoot high-angle pictures and videos of the “baraat” etc.
We also have automatic sliders for better angles, better framing, and timely accuracy, automatic gimbals for perfectly stable 360-degree portraits, and many more.
We use two to three photographers for Indian wedding events, depending on how big they are. In most cases, we have separate teams covering shoots for the bride’s preparation and arrival and the groom’s.
Shan Photography was founded by Shan Kapoor back in 2005. Since then, our team has been covering vibrant weddings all over Chicago and the US. We have grown by leaps and bounds and now we can proudly say that we own one of the biggest and most equipped Indian wedding photography studios in all of the United States.
No. Wedding albums are not included in our packages by default. However, you can request customization and discuss options with our team to include an album. The charges will be extra depending on your album preferences.
We know how big and extensive Indian weddings can get. We offer coverage for all pre-wedding and post-wedding events through customized packages. Contact our team and discuss options to develop a package that meets your budget and requirements.
Having been in the wedding industry in the US for many years, we have been fortunate enough to cover an array of South Asian wedding styles. We have extensive experience covering Hindu Gujarati, Sikh Punjabi, Muslim weddings and South Indian weddings. Apart from that, we also shoot complex South Asian styles including Bangladeshi, Bhutani, Pakistani, and Afghanistani wedding styles.
Our thoughtfully developed wedding packages include services starting from photography planning with the lead storyteller, shooting of events, editing, mixing, and delivery of videos and photos in requested formats. We also offer trailer videos and drone coverage in our videography packages depending on the tier chosen and subsequent customizations.
Having been a part of the Indian wedding industry in the US, we know and embrace our rich Indian culture in many ways. This helps us capture your weddings in the best way possible, highlighting the most precious parts while at the same time capturing family sentiments equally well. This also makes us one of the most preferred Indian wedding photographers in the US. Apart from that, we use the best technologies available to shoot your stories so that they turn out nothing less than magical. In addition, we offer customizable packages with unique attractions like photo booths and drones.
We offer attractive wedding photography and videography packages as well as hourly arrangements according to our client’s preferences. Our three-tier packages allow clients to choose from affordable as well as extensive coverage options. We also provide some of the best destination wedding packages at the best prices. In addition to these, our packages for Indian wedding photography in the US are customizable and can be altered to fit your unique requirements too. For more details and inquiries you can visit our pricing page. Contact us to develop a custom package for your wedding.