It's always an amazing experience shooting the wedding of a college classmate years after you've graduated. Amrita & I graduated from the same university in Singapore way back in 2004. Although she'd been studying for a business degree & I was studying engineering, through the common "Indian orientation" aka ragging we ended up in same group of friends. Our paths diverged sometime during the course of these last ten years but we were in touch through common friends. When she contacted me to shoot her wedding last year I was in two minds. Shooting a friends wedding can be fun but also a little stressful. In the end, I decided that this was going to be a good experience for me and for her, having a photographer she knew, would make things so much better on her wedding day! And I'm so glad I decided to go this way. The photos were beautiful!
But what really made this wedding amazing was Amrita & Ashish's huge gang of friends from their days together at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This bunch was a crazy one. And I'm so thankful for that. I think the bride and the groom relax way more with friends around and that is exactly what happened here. Starting at the haldi & sangeet, the Michigan gang really brought an energy to the night that I rarely see at sangeets these days. Most of the time it is just choreographed, fake & unnecessarily grand stages. There were some really heartfelt and fun performances by their friends and family followed by a night of unending dancing and singing. so much so that I had half the mind of dropping the camera and joining in! Ah, how I wish all weddings were like this. Ashish and his gang performed an amazing "Why this Kolaveri di" number that so was good that they had to do an encore. But the highlight of the night for me was Ashish and Amrita's Tango number to cover of one of my favorite songs of all time "Smooth Criminal". It was so unexpected and a surprise for all the guests (friends included). I think they'd been practicing in secret!
The wedding was at the Ganjam Mandapam in Bangalore where I've never shot before. It's a really traditional setup without the feeling of being in those typical Chennai "mahals" and I was glad to be out for that. With a mix of indoor and outdoor space, the venue was just perfect. The wedding itself had a mix of south & north Indian rituals and some clearly UMich rituals :)