Castle Green hotel is a wedding venue in Kendal, Cumbria and while I am a wedding photographer in Kendal it is not often I get the opportunity to photograph weddings there as I seem to photograph weddings in either the Lake District or further a field such as Manchester and Cheshire.
I was delighted when Meera first got in touch and I was excited to arrange a meeting with her, Patrick and Meera’s family at the Castle Green and hear all about their wedding plans, when I say excited I mean really, really excited. Meera and Patrick would be having a Hindu ceremony followed by a Christian blessing at the Castle Green Hotel.
I was provided with a full itinerary of the day and at all times I would have someone responsible for making sure I was in the right place at the right time, having never photographed an Indian wedding before this would be invaluable as there was simply so much going on!
All correspondence complete I arrived bright and early at the hotel and saw Claire from Flowers by Arrangement dressing the venue, I think the only word to describe the flowers is simply magnificent, I understand Claire’s brief was to remain fairly traditional Indian but with pretty much free reign within the traditional colours, garlands with Chrysanthemum and Carnation, yellows, reds, whites and orange it was just so colourful, like I say – magnificent, in fact I don’t think I have ever seen as many flowers at a wedding.
It had been all hands on deck at the Castle Green as the Kendal Room was transformed, with all the floor space covered with crisp white sheets as all guests would be seated on the floor, a mandap a four post, indoor canopy, had been constructed in one corner and decorated by Flowers by Arrangement, again a large scale floral installation, wonderful! The four posts of the Mandap have spiritual significance representing the parents of the Bride and Groom.
Lots of guests arriving and as I had seen our bride and her party it was time for me to make my way to the lower car park for the Baraat. Now I had done as much research as I could and I was delighted that the weather remained kind so that the Baraat could go ahead.
Let me explain a little more about the Baraat: Traditionally the groom would be seated upon a decorated white mare and accompanied by his Baraatis, in this case it was largely the Groom’s side of the family and various band members with drums, tambourine and saxophone, sadly we didn’t have a mare but we did have a big blue Peugeot estate, decorated with garlands and playing very loud Indian music.
We had a couple of practice laps around the lower car park and we were off up the drive, it was just superb with everyone getting involved, even the hotel staff were out looking down the hill as we approached, clapping and joining in – when it comes to feeling good this was it, it was infectious and even while running backwards I was bopping.
Patrick was quite rightly the centre of attention and you could tell he was loving every second of it. We reached the hotel reception and Patrick was greeted by Meera’s dad and her family in a ritual known as a Milni, garlands and hugs are exchanged between opposite family members.
It was now time for the ceremony, to me it was fascinating and so very different to a traditional Christian ceremony, it was beautiful with so many fun elements involving the Bride, Groom and families around a sacred fire under the mandap, following the Hindu ceremony the Bride and Groom were blessed in a Christian blessing by Patrick’s grandfather.
Pimms and canapés on the balcony followed and then a few group photographs on the lawn and some Bride and Groom portraits before our Bride and Groom went to prepare for the evening reception and meal. I know how impressed the families were by the attention to detail the Castle Green Hotel had payed to the wedding, with chef even cooking traditional curries adapted from family recipes supplied by Meera’s dad, that had been passed down the generations – well done Castle Green!
While the wedding party ate I went next door to Alexanders for a bit of down time with Paddy from Disco Shed and it was soon time to head back in as the party started, my goodness did that party get started and to be honest it didn’t stop all night, a very busy dance floor and I am now a firm fan of Indian music, in fact while writing this blog I have some Bollywood soundtracks playing!
So that is that, my first Indian wedding, I enjoyed it so very much and hopefully if any couples are looking to have an Indian wedding in the Lake District I will get a call to photograph it, heres hoping 🙂 I wish Meera and Patrick all the very best for their future together, they don’t need luck though, a wonderful, wonderful couple with great families with a great future ahead of them.
Just a few images below but I hope it helps tell the story of this very wonderful day.
If you woud like to talk about the photography for your wedding day please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat, you can use the contact form here, you could ‘Like’ my page on Facebook, email, call, send a pigeon, hey the means of contact are endless!
*I hope I have all the terminology correct, I have tried my best.