Navin and Faika’s wedding trilogy ended with a big bang on the 3rd day…their actual wedding day. As usual, Faika looked stunning in her wedding dress. As with most Bangladeshi weddings I have photographed, their decorations are always very elaborate. The venue where their wedding was held could cater for a few events at once. The entire palace setting on the stage was constructed on the wedding day itself. The highlight of the day was when Navin and Faika looked at each other through the mirror as husband and wife for the first time.
Navin and Faika’s wedding celebration continued with the mehndi event, held at the poolside of their family home. Considering it was winter, the temperature was just right for an outdoor party (especially for a Malaysian like me who doesn’t like the cold!). It was quite an intimate event, with only close friends and family attending the event. I love the intricate mehndi art on the arms combined with the gorgeous bangles that were given as a gift to the guests.
1.5 years before their wedding, Navin and Faika spoke to me over Skype, all the way from New York city. They were planning their Bangladeshi wedding way ahead of time, and soon, we were hired to photograph their event in 2017. By this time, I have been to Bangladesh a number of times, and it felt like familiar ground once I stepped off the plane in Dhaka once again. For Jamie and Jennifer who were with me, it was their first time traveling there, so the experience was new and exciting. The moment we arrived at our hotel, we were welcomed with a gift from the couple, which included wet wipes, chanachur snacks, medication for tummy aches, mosquito repellant and more! They were so thoughtful and we felt blessed to be part of this wedding.
As part of the usual wedding celebrations in Bangladesh, there are the exchange of gifts. It’s pretty similar to our Muslim weddings here with our ‘hantaran‘ exchange between the families. But one major difference is that we do not have this giant fish which is usually decorated to represent the bride and groom. It was a huge fish, and weighed about 20kg each!
Weddings in Bangladesh, as we’ve discovered, are usually very elaborate affairs with beautiful details, decorations and emotions. After the bride & groom holudh and the mehndi, comes the main highlight – the actual wedding day itself. It was a spectacular event with hundreds of guests. We enjoyed photographing every single element in this wedding.
Before we post the highlights of Samiul and Azrin’s wedding day, I’d like to share some portraits taken after the wedding at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. We had to fly there from Dhaka, and I was quite nervous about the shoot, as I had to do it alone for the very first time. To add to the challenge, I found out on that day itself that my aunt had passed away in Malaysia, and I couldn’t be with my family since I was really far away.
Despite all of that, I had to focus and put my worries aside as I had a job to complete. But halfway through the shoot, I accidentally stepped on a thorny plant and cut the sole of my foot while shooting. It was painful but I endured it all. Lesson learnt: Wear slippers, even if it’s on the beach!
Samiul and Azrin, thank you for being so caring and concerned for me. I am glad you like the photos that we’ve been sharing so far!