Mehndi & Bhatwaan Hindu Pre-Wedding Celebrations

As you may have noticed, our blog has been quiet for a few weeks now, and that’s because we’ve been very busy with some epic weddings! At last, we’re ready and super excited to start sharing. Today, we feature some of our favourite images from the four days of the absolutely gorgeous, colourful, vibrant, emotional, energetic, fun-filled, and completely epic wedding of Niru and Charlie! Jeff and I are so in love with the vibrant colours and traditions of Hindu weddings. No sooner did we start chatting with Niru and Charlie that we got hooked on the idea of being the photographers for our first multi-day Indian wedding with this super cute, energetic couple! Our playwright groom and classical Indian dancer bride met in university through a theatre production for charity. That really tells you something about them. They are super sweet and full of creativity, so we knew their wedding was going to be something special! The fun all started two days before their ceremony, with a very essential part of a Hindu wedding, the bridal henna. Her lovely henna artist spent over three hours creating the intricate patterns over her arms and feet, in preparation for the upcoming Mehndi celebrations that night with members of her extended family.

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As soon as Jeff and I heard the story of how Charlie planned out his proposal to Niru, we knew that this couple were going to go all out for their wedding. The plans were put in motion six months before the proposal and involved a surprise overseas trip to Europe! Family and friends were not the only ones in on the top-secret mission. Charlie also had to involve Niru’s employer! A fake work trip to Melbourne was concocted so that Niru would pack her bags. Niru fell for it, although only because Charlie knew that she would be hard to fool! Charlie went to great lengths to create a fake airline itinerary, even going to the post office to ask a worker to stamp the envelope, so she’d think it had actually been sent through the post! Charlie smiled and sighed with exhaustion at the memory as he said, “Do you know how hard it is to find the Virgin Blue font??”

Bridal henna Mehndi night photography, Hindu wedding photography

Charlie finally revealed the plan to Niru surrounded by her parents. Niru was told she needed to call her bank to verify where she was going. Still assuming she was going to Melbourne for work, and with her bags packed, Charlie said, “you need to say you’re going to France and Switzerland…” The bank teller said “Have a nice trip!” And finally, the surprise trip was revealed. Wow. Other grooms, do you feel like your own proposal was inadequate yet? :)

Creative photography of bridal henna being applied

Thankfully Niru said yes, and a few months later here we were! Niru’s henna was looking amazing…

Mehndi celebration bridal henna creative photography

Niru’s brother and parents returned from the Telwaan celebrations covered in flour from the ceremony with Charlie’s family. Haha!

Bridal henna bride on her Mehndi nightCreative Hindu wedding photography, Indian bridal Mehndi photos

When Charlie finally revealed the surprise Europe trip, Niru was pretty certain the proposal was coming. But Charlie made her wait until they were at the Eiffel Tower in Paris before actually popping the question and giving her this amazing ring. What an epic proposal!

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With Niru’s henna completed, it wasn’t long before the guests began to arrive for the festivities.

Bride on her Mehndi night in Sydney

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The guests were treated to some henna of their own. Even the smallest guests participated!

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Everyone was also treated to a delicious buffet of Indian cuisine.

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After dinner, there was some important dancing to be done! Niru’s bridesmaid got the guests involved in a cheeky bollywood-inspired lesson on what to expect of married life.

Photos of Hindu Bhatwaan night celebration with groom

Niru is an amazing classical Indian dancer, so of course she got to show off some of her skills! Just you wait until you see her in action at the reception.

Indian bride dancing on her Mehndi night

Niru and her three bridesmaids showed off their individual designs. So beautiful!

Henna at Mehndi night party, Hindu pre-wedding celebrations

What fun we had with all these lovely ladies!

Mehndi night party, Hindu pre-wedding celebrations

The next day, it was our groom’s turn. His family hosted a traditional Bhatwaan celebration, a very festive pre-wedding event! They really went all-out with the decorations, and their home looked amazing and welcoming in the evening light.

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They also set up a tent in the backyard with these festive decorations.

One of the main events in a Bhatwaan celebration is the spreading of turmeric paste all over the groom! Charlie’s family and friends took turns completely covering him. His reactions were fantastic!

Creative Hindu wedding and pre-wedding photographyHindu pre-wedding ritual for groom with turmericGroom

Love this—what fun!

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Charlie was given a handful of rice, a gold bangle, and a ball of dough to hold, to symbolise his family’s hopes that he will never be without food and that he and his new wife will be prosperous.

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Charlie’s family touched him with bits of grass in a ceremony to ward off negative forces.

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The guests all enjoyed some homemade Chai while they watched the fun.

The dancing began as guests presented the groom’s mother with gifts.

Bhatwaan celebration for Hindu groom

Then some of Charlie’s family members popped a bunch of popcorn the traditional way, to be used the next day at the wedding ceremony.

Hindu pre-wedding Bhatwaan party with groom

Bhatwaan popcorn ceremony, Indian pre-wedding celebrations, Hindu pre-wedding photos

After that, the dancing really got started!

Creative Hindu wedding and pre-wedding photography

One of the youngest attendees dazzled everyone with a beautiful solo dance performance. Well done!

Photos of Hindu Bhatwaan pre-wedding party with groom

What a blast! This was only just the start of the wedding festivities, and everyone was up bright and early the next day for the most important event of them all. Stay tuned for all the beauty of Niru and Charlie’s wedding day, up next week on the blog!

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