A sea of faces
That's one of my abiding memories from this part of the day at Ojaswini and Rishi's Church/Hindu wedding as the Bride arrived for the second ceremony of the day
Earlier on there had been a Church ceremony at St Chad's Church in Pattingham, then a lunch reception at The Park House Hotel in Shifnal.
So far, so traditional from a British wedding point of view - a Church, a Bride dressed in white and a wedding breakfast
Then we moved on to part two, a simply amazing party at the Groom's family home with a much more Indian vibe and including a Hindu blessing
Now, we're talking about a big party, a really BIG party, hundreds of guests, multiple caterers, Bangra drummers and a change of dress for the Bride & Groom
Rishi was already there as guests arrived, the marquee getting fuller, and fuller, anticipation building for when Oja made her entrance
Two large chairs had been placed on the dancefloor, you can see one to the right in the image. They were almost throne like in appearance and Rishi was sitting there waiting for some time as the crowd started to build around him
This being the first Asian wedding that I'd photographed I'd not experienced anything like this before
Of course, in a church or licenced venue there is anticipation before the bride arrives. Sometimes nerves, a few tears perhaps and lots of excitement
But the guests are seated, neatly arranged in rows, waiting
Not at this wedding!!
With everyone on their feet a path had to be cleared by the MC (done brilliantly by Tommy Sandhu) but you know what it's like, people at the back are jostling for position, pushing forwards. The 'path' a seething mass of bodies, lots holding mobile phones, some pushing forwards, some pushing backwards, and me in the middle!
It's a good job that I don't have claustrophobia because if I did I think I'd have needed some valium!
As Oja arrived the excitement built and the path surged forwards, engulfing her, me, Rishi, into a rapidly diminishing space around the thrones. I think that for the 15 minutes after this photograph was taken the only way I could have got to the back of the crowd would have been to have crawled on my hand and knees, finding a pathway between the sea of legs
So why do I like this image?
Well, it's for all the reasons I've mentioned above, the excitement, the joy and the experience of a wonderful new cultural occasion