Unlike western weddings, Asian weddings are typically a multi-day affair and a sangeet ceremony is usually held 2 to 3 days prior to the wedding and signals the start of the wedding celebrations.

As I was booked to photograph Saras and Nehas wedding celebrations which covered 3 days. I started with their sangeet ceremony at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. This was followed a couple of days later by part 2: The Haldi Ceremony at Saras’ family home, then part 3: Their Hindu Wedding Ceremony and After-party was held at The Hilton Metropole Hotel by the NEC, Birmingham.

Hindu Sangeet Ceremony

The word “Sangeet” literally means “Song”, as that’s exactly what happens during this festivity. Members from both sides of the family gather to sing, dance and enjoy the happiness of 2 families being joined together.

Before the festivities began, there were a few formal greetings and official welcome-to-the-family events, as the bride and groom are formally welcomed by each family.

This part of the celebrations is always an emotional time, especially for the bride and her family, as this marks the start of her “leaving” to make a new home for herself.

An important part of the sangeet is where female members gather to sing traditional songs relating to the bride and groom.

The singing is usually led by the bride’s family welcoming the groom’s family, but the songs will also often include jokes about the in-laws, the bride leaving her home to make a new home for herself, and how to have a happy family.

Not only were Saras and Nehas’ various family members called on to join in the lively dancing, but some of their friends joined in too, as they’d meticulously practised some fabulous dance routines. I must say: “They can dance!!”

What a treat to witness and document it all for them.

Part 2 is saved for their next celebration, the day before the wedding: The Haldi Ceremony

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