Vietnamese Bride and Indian Groom Unite in Dallas Wedding Videography
Irving Hindu Temple Site of Multicultural Wedding
Wedding celebrations alive with colorful ethnic clothing, beautiful flowers and ancient tradition united a very modern, very affectionate couple from very different backgrounds. Amanda and Chandan were married in March at Ekta Mandu, the Irving Hindu Temple.
The beautiful Vietnamese bride, in her red sari and hennaed hands, embarked on an exciting journey into a completely new world. In her Hindu wedding she stepped into a new role, a new life and a new family with a new, unfamiliar ceremony. Gently guiding the way through the new experiences were her handsome Indian groom and his sweet family.
Hindu weddings are so full of wonderful festivities they cannot be squeezed into a few hours. Amanda and Chandan’s puja, for obtaining the blessing of the gods on his marriage, was held in his parents’ house on a Friday night. The relatives of the couple honored them by applying turmeric, water and other spices to their faces, hands and feet. Though the ceremony is an important one, it is also joyful and you can tell how much fun the female relatives are having as they smear on various layers of fragrant spices and sprinkle water onto the matrimonial heads.
Chandan was first to be honored and it is easy to see how happy he was to be part of such an auspicious occassion. He sits on a beautifully decorated divan in white linen garments joking with his mother, aunts and grandmother.
Amanda was equally joyful, in her embroidered red caftan, welcoming the unfamiliar ministration with good humor. Her mother was coached through the process by Chandan’s eager family. Chadon told us he was attracted to Amanda because of her silent confidence and this attribute was evident as she maneuvered through the blessings.
The wedding itself took place the next day at the lovely Irving Hindu Temple. The graceful exterior held a beautiful pavilion, set up for the marriage. Chandan’s simple white linen clothing from the night before was replaced by an elaborate silk ensemble in red and gold with rich embroidery and decorations.
As in the celebrations on the night before, the groom’s family began the ceremony with blessings and prayers. Then the bride and her family came in a procession to the pavilion. Like Chandan, they traded their simple garments from the night before for luxurious ensembles decorated with gold.
The charming groom was very gentle as he guided his lovely bride through the different phases of the ceremony. You can see the affection they share and their delight in one another as they step through ancient customs. In the beginning they are separated by a sheer curtain and only their hands touch as the exchange tokens. Soon their garments are tied together and the couples’ eyes are locked on one another as those around them attend to the ceremony.
Rice, as a symbol of blessings, played an important role in the ceremony. At one point, the groom held his bride’s hand as she stepped gingerly from one pile of rice to another. Later the couple took turns pouring handfuls of rice over each other’s heads from a large silver bowl. Laughter abounded as the tedious task was cut short. The new bride grabbed the bowl and poured the remaining kernels on to the groom’s head.
During the ring ceremony, the groom knelt at his bride’s feet and placed tiny rings on her toes. Many other gifts were shared during the rites, like beautiful floral necklaces, coconuts, flame and similar items of honor. Beauty and meaning were imbued in each exchange.
Celebrants took a break in the afternoon and then reunited at the groom’s home for the reception in the evening. This time Chandan donned a dark navy suit and tie with a crisp white shirt, more familiar to western eyes than his other outfits. The bride was resplendent in a turquoise sari and shawl ornate with gold embroidery. The bride and groom exuded an aura of delight as the bride gushed with enthusiasm for her new family.
Behind the Scenes with LeniCam Video Productions
On the night of Chandan and Amanda’s puja, Dallas was shut down with one of our rare ice storms. Even though businesses and schools had been closed all day, we made it to this precious event.
Chandan had given his mother very strict instructions about keeping the celebration low key, including having the puja and reception at home. His mom followed his instructions to the letter, but she wasn’t about to minimize her joy. When our videographer made it through the ice storm, he had to be very careful to setup his equipment in a spot which would allow him to capture all the activity without getting in the way of the fun, because Chandan’s mother had filled up every corner of the house and a tent out back with guests. Our many years of experience in all types of situations helped us to be everywhere, recording everything, while remaining virtually invisible. The family particularly appreciated this. In fact, they had only one complaint about the finished video – the photographer hadn’t learned our invisibility tactics.
There were more celebrations on the following day. Since many of the guests and family members participate in Hindu wedding ceremonies; we needed to capture the sights and sounds from a wide variety of people in numerous locations under the wedding canopy. We always put wireless mics on the groom’s and the officiant’s lapels, but this time, it wasn’t going to be enough. So, we hid additional mics on the posts holding up the drapery of the wedding canopy.
This was a two camera shoot. One camera was at the back to get that perspective and another was up close to the canopy. We put the camera at the front on a rolling dolly so that we could move quickly to catch the action from a variety of angles.
As we set up for the wedding we observed the couple trying to connect their music to the sound system. We realized something was wrong and found out their device was not compatible to the system. Having the right audio equipment for every situation is part of our job, so we dug around in our bag and found the right audio adapter. We love it when we can say, we saved the day!
At the end of the second day of celebrations, we earned a very flattering compliment. The priest, who sees weddings being videographed all the time, hired us for his own daughter’s wedding reception. We were thrilled to discover he liked our process, but we wondered why he didn’t want us to also film the ceremony. So we asked. The ceremony will be in India – a little out of our usual geographic range, but anything is possible!
Call us today to find how we can custom fit our videocameras to your ceremony.
We Sweat the Small Stuff So You Don’t Have To
LeniCam Video Productions – Dallas Wedding Videography