Chicago Westin Hotel Indian Wedding | Gautam + Sheetal 8.31.13

Chicago Westin Hotel Indian Wedding

Mark and I had an early start for Gautam and Sheetal’s wedding at the Westin Hotel in Itasca.

I began by photographing the lovely Sheetal’s preparations.  I was amazed at the intricate and beautiful detail of her sari, jewelry, and mehndi. And so much color!  As I asked her to open her palms so I could photograph her mehndi, she explained to me that it is symmetrical (see below!) and took two hours to complete.

baraat.  The groom is mounted upon a horse, both of which are elaborately decorated, and accompanied by music and merry dancers into the wedding venue.  The celebration quieted in reverence for prayers and the exchange of garlands by the elders of the families.  The baraat was a fun and festive ceremony filled with joy.

One custom that I thought was particularly amusing was the stealing of the shoes.  A member of the bride’s family will try and take the groom’s shoes.  Traditionally, he must leave the ceremony with the same shoes upon which he had arrived, so he must pay money for their return!

Next up we have the reception, complete with outfit changes!  Both of their fathers gave a heart-warming speech, as well Gautam and Sheetal themselves and each one of the bride’s maids and groom’s men.  Entertainment included a performance by a dance troupe!  The night ended with, of course, much lively dancing.

This wedding was an expansive learning experience and a privilege!  Thank you, Gautam and Sheetal, for including us and for being such great sports throughout the whole day.  And thanks to Mark for all your hard work!

~Hannah

To see photos from their Sangeet: Sangeet Celebration

Last spring we got to spend some time getting to know Sheetal and Gautam doing an engagement session: Sheetal + Gautam

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Event Designs by: Shaadi Creations

Caterer: Cuisine of India

Bride’s Henna: Anisha Creations

Wedding Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery

Wedding and Reception Venue: Westin Chicago Northwest

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