Sheena and Ilyas were married at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. They live in New York, but Sheena’s family is here, so the wedding was on a beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sheena and Ilyas were both raised in Hindu homes, but have been living western lives so, both cultures were very important to them, so the wedding included both culture’s wedding rites, which made for fantastic photographic opportunities. It was like I was shooting two weddings on on day. My team and I had a great time. And thanks to the efforts of the many wedding professionals (led by none other than Jennifer Thinnes from Outstanding Occasions) that put the wedding together, we had a beautiful backdrop for some fantastic images. Here are some of my favorites.
And let me say, if you are planning your wedding how important it is to have a wedding planner on the team for both the pre-wedding planning and for the day of the wedding. The girls at Outstanding Occasions come up with such great ideas and do such an amazing job executing the wedding plans, they are worth their weight in gold. And having them there to keep everything moving smoothly is absolutely indispensable. After a wedding like this, I have to put a little plug in for wedding designers, planner and coordinators. If you look at this wedding and think, “that’s amazing, I want a wedding like that and photos like that…”, then you need great professionals, with experience and creativity. They make weddings better in every respect.
So, on to the photos. Enjoy…
I absolutely love the henna hand painting in the Hindu culture. In Sheena’s hand paintings (by Darvina), you can see her and Ilyas in the paintings.
Even though the couple saw each other before the wedding, the tradition is to place a veil between the couple at the beginning of the ceremony and then there is a reveal, where they see each other for the “first time.” It was tricky getting my position correct on this shot to be able to show them both and not be in the way of all the guests, but as I reached the correct vantage point, Ilyas glanced at me with the greatest expression on his face. I love this shot.
Oh, and have I mentioned the colors! I am the kind of photographer who puts a lot of black and white into my weddings and portraits, but almost every photograph in this wedding so full of color that I couldn’t help but show them all in color.
I love all the rituals. There are so many opportunities for beautiful and meaningful photographs.
The yellow rice is fantastic. I love these shots.
The runner was fantastic. I love the printed logo, it was designed by Idieh Design. The programs, the place cards, everything was perfect.
I heard it in a the maid of honor’s toast, that Sheena’s laugh is infectious, but really it’s more than that. it is her natural cheerful nature. She is constantly full of happiness. I like photographing her very much because that joy shines through.
This is one of my favorite images from the day. The bride is kneeling before her parents (her’s and his). There is a reverence for family in the Hindu culture and therefore in the wedding rites that is not common enough in America. And as much as I like a non-traditional wedding that breaks the mold, there is something very special about tradition and lasting culture. It says a lot when a young couple continues the heritage of their parents.
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort stands on the north edge of Scottsdale, Arizona and it’s back yard are the desert mountains. It makes for a very beautiful location for a wedding.
An absolute home run for Avant Garde who designed the Mandap. You will see more shots of it throughout the this blog post. They really did a fantastic job designing and building it. But I have seen their work before and I expect no less than the best from them.
I will let you in on a little secret. Although the bride and groom planned to see each other before the wedding, things were running a little behind with getting ready, so we didn’t have much time for portraits before the wedding, and since the wedding had both a traditional Hindu ceremony and a western style ceremony, it ran a bit long. And after the wedding, the couple needed to change from their wedding attire into their reception attire. So… that means the sun went down and there was no time for portraits after the wedding with the help of the sun.
No problem. That’s why I always come prepared. Boy scout. As I saw the time slipping away from us, I shifted gears and assigned assistants to get to the vehicle and grab the heavy gear (big flashes). After the wedding, as the couple was changing, we created a very large studio set outside on the lawn of the Marriott. I’d say it turned out extremely well. Wouldn’t you?
While we were shooting, I couldn’t see a thing, so Ryan, my assistant would run up to Sheena with his iPhone and hold it near her face so I could focus on the iPhone. Then he had to run out of frame. Lots of running…
With no more light outside, we moved into the hotel (which has a lot of great interior locations). Sheena turned model on us and we got some great shots of her. This is my absolute favorite.
Sheena and Ilyas made their grand entrance through the fog.
We put up a couple additional flashes in the back of the room to accentuate the fog and the crystal trees.
Dr. Prakash, Sheena’s father designed and built the cake stand for the wedding. It’s quite beautiful.
Event design, floral design, lighting design… compositional design. Put it all together. This was simply a beautiful wedding for the greatest couple. And there are so many people to thank for making it so perfect.
Thank you Sheena and Ilyas for trusting us with your wedding. And thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make their wedding such an incredible experience.
Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Officiant: Scott Morgan
Slideshow Music by Kevin Burdick, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music