Although weddings are in full swing all year round, what mostly comes as the cherry on top are our ‘big fat deshi weddings’. For us deshis, it’s indeed exciting to dig into a plate of piping hot kacchi, dancing at holuds or even scheming to steal the groom’s shoes or badgering their posse at the gate for money. Add to that, there’s now a number of events such as proposal dinners, engagements, aiburobhats, sangeets, mehendis, aqths, walimas, feranis – simply put, the whole shebang, followed by various ‘post-wedding dawaths’ after. Needless to say that the fervor and flamboyance of deshi weddings are rather predictable, even before the carpets are rolled out for the string of events.
But isn’t it rather surprising that in a country of 170 million people, where there are matrimonial celebrations happening (as we speak) among couples hailing from other religious communities, and yet we’ve so much to learn about their themes, colours, customs and traditions? Thankfully, some of our country’s eminent photographers celebrate love across faiths and for this special feature they’ve shared with us some glimpses of wedding ceremonies across different faiths.
Tanvir Ali Photography
Having covered more than three thousand weddings, Tanvir Ali’s interest in this particular genre of photography grew, as he feels that weddings bring forth many different moments in a short span of time which he is able to capture perfectly. “It’s the joy in my clients’ faces that keeps me coming back for more,” he says confidently. A photographer who constantly enjoys bringing uniqueness to the table, Tanvir loves capturing silhouettes and also excels at portraits and candids too.
“For candids I prefer ambient lighting, and for portraits I tend to use just one external light in a dramatic setting. Most of my frames are very geometric or with a lot of negative space,” he informs. It’s his passion and expertise that led to the creation of the photography agency, Tanvir Ali Photography in 2009 and today his team regularly covers events across different districts.
To know more about Tanvir’s impeccable photography, find his social media handles:
“I PERSONALLY LOVE OUR TRADITIONAL CLOTHES, HENCE I TRIED TO KEEP EVERYTHING VERY LOCAL. THE SAREE I WORE IN MY ENGAGEMENT WAS FROM AARONG, THEN THE ATTIRE FOR MEHNDI, ALTHOUGH AN UNCOMMON CHOICE OF COLOR, WAS A LOOK INSPIRED BY THE FILMS OF RABINDRANATH TAGORE. THE WEDDING SAREE WAS MY MOTHER’S – A 28 YEAR OLD SAREE.”
~SAKINAT ATRABA BRINTA
Pictured in photos:
Tanvir Ali and Sakinat Atraba Brinta
MUA: Glow by Larissa Fazle
A passion for photography that sparked in 2010 led Ata Mohammad Adnan to co-found Reminiscence Photography in 2012, an establishment dedicated to his love for capturing special moments.
“In the last 8 years of my journey as a wedding photographer, I have been fortunate enough to photograph people from many diverse backgrounds and faiths. I have been lucky enough to witness weddings as intimate as 10 guests to grand wedding parties with 10,000+ guests!” he shares.
Reminiscence was found from the idea that each couple is unique and the photos should represent them as they are in real life. “Our consistency and team work has helped us stay relevant for almost a decade and so far we have covered more than 1000 weddings in Bangladesh and 6 in other countries,” says Adnan.
To know more about Adnan’s topnotch skills in wedding photography, find his social media pages:
Pictured in photos:
Linda Cruze and Ben Lundsford
Venue: Tejgaon, Holy Rosary Church
“I WANTED MY HUSBAND TO VISIT MY COUNTRY AND SEE FIRST HAND WHERE I GREW UP AND IMMERSE HIMSELF IN MY CULTURE.
I HAD INITIALLY WANTED TO GET MARRIED IN THE CHURCH FROM MY CHILDHOOD (HOLY ROSARY) IN TEJGAON. UNFORTUNATELY, SINCE MY HUSBAND IS NOT CATHOLIC, THE CHURCH OFFICIALS DIDN’T ALLOW US TO DO SO, DUE TO THEIR STRINGENT LAWS. HENCE, WE ENDED UP MARRYING IN MARY QUEEN OF APOSTLES CHURCH WHOSE AUTHORITIES WERE CORDIAL AND UNDERSTANDING OF OUR PREDICAMENT. BEING SOMEONE WHO LOVES HER FLATS AND SNEAKERS, I WORE KEDS SNEAKERS FOR BOTH MY WEDDING CEREMONY AND RECEPTION.”
“IT WAS A SOUTH INDIAN CEREMONY AS MY HUSBAND IS FROM THERE; IT WAS A VERY SPECIAL OCCASION FOR US BECAUSE IT WAS OUR IN-LAWS WHO TOOK ON THE ROLE OF THE PRIEST AND GOT US MARRIED IN A BEAUTIFUL INTIMATE CEREMONY AT OUR ROOFTOP. THIS PARTICULAR CUSTOM IS CALLED DHAREHERDU, THE SOUTH INDIAN VERSION OF THE KANDYADAAN WHICH IS THE GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE.THE BRIDE’S RIGHT HAND IS PLACED ON THE GROOM’S RIGHT HAND AND A COCONUT ALONG WITH A BETEL LEAF IS PLACED ON TOP OF THE JOINED HANDS. THE BRIDE’S PARENTS BLESS THE NEWLYWEDS BY POURING HOLY WATER. FOLLOWING THAT IS THE SAPTAPADI, WHICH IS THE OFFICIAL CEREMONY THAT TIES THE COUPLE IN HOLY MATRIMONY WHERE THE GROOM FASTENS A MANGALSUTRA AROUND HER NECK.”
EMOTIONS AT PLAY
The renowned Studio Cheesecake that we know today initially started out as ‘Mirza Rajan Photography’ by Mirza Rajan himself, who’s been in this trade since 2006. In 2009, post graduation, he began working in the garment industry; when unable to cover most events, Mirza would sometimes send other photographers under his agency. “At the time, clients would feel a little uncomfortable knowing that the photographs are being taken by someone else and not me; so I rebranded the name to Studio Cheesecake at the end of 2012,” he says.
As a veteran wedding photographer he focuses primarily on the service and client’s experience and the end result certainly shows in his photographers. “We mostly focus on the emotions as opposed to focusing on how strikingly glamorous they are. Instead, we capture how they’ve presented themselves by dressing up and try to enhance those elements, keeping emotions of the events at the center so that somewhere down the line, if someone looks at the photos after 10-20 years, they can go back to those moments from their wedding day,” he says, adding that this is what he enjoys the most.
Studio Cheesecake’s services branch out beyond the capital to major cities like Chittagong, Sylhet and Bogura. In addition to that, they’ve recently taken in stride some assignments outside Bangladesh, particularly in Dubai.
Browse through Studio Cheesecake’s social media pages to find Mirza Rajan’s brilliant captures for wedding events:
Pictured in photos:
Supriti Sarkar and Aninda Sen
MUA: Makeover by Raisa Naushin
“ASHIRBAAD FOR HINDU MARRIAGES IS THE ACT OF FORMALIZING A UNION THROUGH WITNESSES. THAT’S PRIMARILY AT THE CORE OF MAJORITY HINDU CEREMONIES. AS PER ITS LITERAL TRANSLATIONS, THE WORD MEANS ‘BLESSINGS’. WE INCORPORATED THE ASPECT OF RING EXCHANGE INTO IT. IT WAS MORE ABOUT PRACTICALITY WHICH IS WHY EVERYONE WAS DRESSED IN LIGHT COLOURS – IT HAPPENED ON THE 30 JULY IN 2017, SO IT WAS A REALLY HOT DAY.
MY HUSBAND AND I HAD INDIVIDUAL FLOWER BEDS; WE WERE BLESSED ONCE WE SAT ON THEM. THE BLESSING IS A LOT LIKE A HOLUD CEREMONY WHERE PEOPLE COME, THEY FEED YOU SWEETS AND THEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TOUCH THEIR FEET FOR BLESSINGS. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DOING IT IN DHAKESHWARI TEMPLE WAS BECAUSE IT WAS A GENERATIONAL AND TRADITIONAL THING FOR MY HUSBAND – HIS GRANDPARENTS HAD THEIR ASHIRBAAD THERE, AS DID HIS PARENTS SO IT WAS ONLY NATURAL THAT WE HAD IT THERE AS WELL.”