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Wedding in Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

20170101_WEDDING_NAVIN_FAIKA_079Navin 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.

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Mehndi, Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

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.

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Holudh in Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

20161229_HOLUDH_NAVIN_FAIKA_1221.5 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!

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Wedding in Bangladesh: Azrin & Samiul’s Holudh

Prior to the wedding of Azrin & Samiul, I had a foretaste of what a Bangladeshi wedding was like. I had a little insight on Bangladeshi weddings when I did the image editing for Nabil & Maisha back in 2011. With great anticipation and excitement, I was given the honour and privilege to cover the wonderful wedding of Azrin & Samiul in Dhaka Bangladesh together with Eric Ooi.

It was indeed an eye-opener for us to be able to witness the sights and sounds of a cultural Bangladeshi wedding. It’s a real life experience & nothing beats the “real deal”.

Azrin and her family greeted us with such warmth. We even got the chance to try out some delicious Bangladeshi cuisine at her home. They were so yummy and we had a hard time controlling ourselves! I was greedily trying all of them but Azrin warned us not to overeat or else we might get an upset stomach, which did happen to Grace during her last trip to Bangladesh (She claims it was the delicious biryani that tempted her).

Azrin and Samiul’s wedding started off with 2 individual events, called the holudh. They were held on different nights, each day to celebrate bride and groom separately. I was amazed at the detailed decorations and the vibrant colours. It was really eye-catching and beautiful! Here are some images from Azrin’s holudh.

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A Bangladeshi Wedding: Nabil & Maisha’s Walima

Photographers: Mark & Andrew

The final post from Nabil & Maisha’s wedding – the walima. It’s the event where the men come dressed in their best suits, guests dine and enjoy each other’s company.

When you have such beautiful weather (I love the cool weather!) and out in the open, the entire place decked with gorgeous decoration and my absolute favourite, fairy lights, a seemingly normal venue is turned into one that is just beautiful and magical. Nabil and Maisha did such a great job with the wedding. I did say that the weather was cold, because Andrew was really freezing through the night. But me, I just love the weather and the idea of having little pits of fire burning where guests could just go and stand by them to keep warm.

So much attention was paid to the little details, the decorations for each place setting for guests, the cut out pieces of butterflies, the colour scheme of the tents, the waterfall behind the bride and the groom and all down to the choices of flowers and stage decorations. It was truly a sight to behold.

Check out the customized tag on the Giorgio Armani suit.

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