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holudh

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’s Holudh

Photographers: Grace, Andrew & Alex

I am blessed to have such a great team with me during this shoot. A day before Nabil’s holudh, I came down with food poisoning. It was really difficult to look cheerful during the shoot and the next minute, run to the toilet while trying to make sure I don’t drop my camera with all my stomach spasms. Thank God I made it through… goes to show that photographers never ‘really’ get a break during shoots, even if you are ill! So I thank God for Alex and Andrew who was there for me.

Nabil’s holudh was held at a completely different location this time round – it was at the Army Golf Club in Dhaka. As always, I am awed at the way a simple hall was made into a beautiful location with these gorgeous lights.

Just a few of the many gifts Nabil received.

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A Bangladeshi Wedding: Maisha’s Holudh

Photographers: Grace, Andrew & Alex

Finally, these set of images are making its way to the blog. The wedding of Nabil & Maisha in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a massive week long event, planned a year in advance, and executed so well. Maisha loves planning, and she aspires to be a wedding planner one day. Our team flew to Bangladesh to cover only 5 out of the 9 events for Nabil & Maisha’s wedding. When we arrived at the Dhaka airport, I was surprised to be greeted by Nabil and an army escort as we exited the plane ramp. Maisha’s dad is the Major General in the Bangladesh army – that explains the army escort!

The first event was the Bride’s Holudh, held at Maisha’s residence. Don’t you just love the way the house was decorated? It’s an awesome idea and looks so amazing!

My jaw dropped when I saw these table ‘tents’ too!

Maisha just looks so gorgeous, waiting on the palki before making her grand entrance. Earlier that day, Nabil’s family were busy packing and organizing the gifts for Maisha’s holudh. These are just a few of the many different gifts that were there that day!

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Teasers from Dhaka, Bangladesh

It’s been about 1.5 years since I was here in Bangladesh covering Ali & Farhat’s incredible wedding in 2009. This time, I am here again in Bangladesh but in Dhaka city, photographing Nabil and Maisha. Our team consists of myself, Andrew, Mark and Alex… but unfortunately, Alex and I will have to fly back to Malaysia after shooting only 2 out of the 5 events since I have other weddings to shoot in Malaysia. Mark and Andrew will take over the baton then and produce beautiful images, I am sure! I was told there’ll be an elephant and horses at the wedding… wow sounds amazing!

Yesterday was Maisha’s holudh. I experienced firsthand how crazy Dhaka traffic can be. It took us 1.5 hours to travel to her home from where we were staying. When we came home after the event ended, it only took us 20 minutes!

So… here are some teaser images from yesterday’s shoot… Don’t you just love the way the venue was decorated?

And how gorgeous Maisha looks?