Dave & I have photographed many East Indian weddings, but Madhu & Amit’s wedding at Le Meridien Resort in Cancun was the first time we had the opportunity to photograph the pithi ceremony and the sangeet dance party. The pithi ceremony entailed rubbing a paste of tumeric and rose water onto the skin of Madhu & Amit. The end result is supposed to be a skin that glows and shines for the wedding day. Personally, I think it’s an excuse for family and friends to have their fun with the bride and groom, lol! As you’ll see in the following images, the paste goes EVERYWHERE. :o) As fun and playful as this ceremony is, what I love witnessing is the community that comes together to partake in it. It’s a messy ritual, but it’s also intimate, affectionate and requires trust (mostly by the bride and groom). By the time it was done, everyone there had touched Madhu or Amit and connected with them in a deeper way than simply witnessing their marriage.
The sangeet dance party involved song and dance performances to Madhu & Amit, as well as a couple traditional dances that everyone got involved in. This evening would define “Bollywood” in my mind forever. Everyone rocked out their most gorgeous glam and brightest bling. The fashion fused today’s modern trends with traditional Indian style. When everyone started dancing the dandia raas, a traditional dance with sticks, under the stars of the Cancun sky, I truly felt like I was in a bollywood movie. It was a one of those nights that I’ll look back upon and feel so blessed that I got to be a part of it.