On today’s blog, I am featuring an epic outdoor Indian wedding here in Chicago. Vrunda and Neel are an incredible couple who finally got their chance to tie the knot! This three-day wedding extravaganza was one that I will always remember. I was so glad I got to be a part of the day. I shot their engagement session a few months ago and wrote all about their story, which you can read about here.
Vrudna and Neel decided to opt out of a downtown wedding due to the pandemic. They moved their wedding out into the suburbs. While this may have been a change to the original plan, this was not a compromise to the beauty, fun, and intimacy that was experienced in these three days.
The celebrations started on Friday night with a traditional Sangeet. This is a pre-wedding event that is traditional to the Hindu culture. It consisted of dancing, singing, and celebrating the couple and their closest relatives and friends. Combined with the Mehndi, a tradition where the women of the bridal party have their hands and feet stained with a mehndi stain. This time was so beautiful and helped me to really feel immersed in the beauty of the Hindu culture.
Wedding Ceremony at Bend Creek Nature Center
The next day, the bride and groom got ready before sunrise even appeared at a nearby hotel. We had a first look moment early in the morning where we got to catch some beautiful first light.
Arriving at Creek Bend Nature Center on a horse, Neel continued the Hindu wedding tradition with the Baraat. This is a ceremonial ritual where the groom’s side of the family dances and celebrates before the ceremony.
The moment then arrived where vows were exchanged. Vrunda and Neel got married under a Mandap (an altar that is wonderfully decorated) and committed their lives to one another. This couple was so fun to work with and I wish Vrunda and Neel all the best as they start their next chapter of moving to Cleveland and begin their lives of being husband and wife.