Posts with tag: "ethnic weddings"
Thursday, January 11, 2018
By Photographers in MD - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
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Hooooraaaaaay! The 2017 "People Love Us On Yelp" award is out, and our photography studio is an award-winner for the second year running! Nothing warms our heart more than having the honor of creating gorgeous portrait photography of babies, families, couples, and individuals, and having amazing, wonderful clients who are nothing short of ravingly joyous about their experience with our photography studio. Thanks to each and every one of you who took a few moments from your busy schedule to share your thoughts online with others this past year!

Thursday, October 08, 2015
By Irene Abdou Photography, LLC, Arlington, VA Indian Weddings Photographer
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As a wedding photographer, I have always loved Indian weddings, since the first one that I photographed several years ago; shall I count the ways?


I love color, and Indian weddings are awash with bright, vibrant, colorful clothing, adorned by bride, groom, and guests.


I love being immersed in other cultures. Since my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa to my pre-wedding photographer years working in international development, foreign cultures have always fascinated me. I’ve often thought that I would have enjoyed being an anthropologist or a linguist, and Indian wedding ceremonies are nothing if not full of ritual and tradition.


Indian weddings are high in energy, from baraat (the pre-ceremony processional of the groom’s family escorting the groom to meet the bride’s family) to ceremony to reception, which often include traditional Indian song and dance performances by friends and family.


And so I loved photographing Devaki & Hari’s Indian wedding, held beneath the tall Atrium of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.


It was Hari’s brother, Pardha, who originally found us through Angie’s List.


“I’ve done some amateur photography,” Pardha said. “I was looking at wedding photographers‘ portfolios, and your composition and lighting were very appealing.“


And when I met Pardha and Hari & Devaki and learned that the wedding photography for his little brother’s wedding was Pardha’s wedding gift to them, I thought how sweet and supportive that was. Hari & Devaki had met online on an Indian dating website. They excitedly spoke of their plans for the wedding, and I was easily caught up in their excitement. And then finally, the summer months arrived and soon, their wedding day!


The event design team of Nivanjoli, under the guiding eye of Prabha Bhambri, assembled the beautiful pink, yellow, and orange-draped mandap upon which the Hindu wedding ceremony would take place. Outdoors, lines of origami birds lovingly folded by the bride and boasting the name and table designation of each guest peacefully waved in the summer breeze. After the cocktail hour, when the bride & groom reappeared in their reception attire, rows of guests stood by to welcome them, throwing yellow flower petals as they re-entered the Atrium. And soon, the Atrium filled with melodies of Indian music performed by talented singers, and then, the energy rose yet more with a circle of dancers. After loving (and humorous) toasts, a delectable buffet by Fairfax’s Bollywood Bistro opened, followed by the mother of the bride taking the stage to announce the opening of the dance floor to the crowd. Seconds later, 50 people were on the dance floor, moving rhythmically to the beats of Bialek’s Music’s DJ David Grimm, who even strapped his drum across his shoulder (as he did during the baraat) to add his own deep beats to the music. It was a day and night to remember, full of happiness and love. Congratulations to this newlywed couple!


Searching for a wedding photographer experienced with Indian weddings?


Thursday, September 25, 2014
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In Potomac, Maryland, as the sun came over the horizon the morning of M&A’s wedding day, puffy white clouds adorned the sky, as warm orange light shined through. It was clear it would be a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding ceremony… a beautiful day to match M&A. And when M.’s father escorted her to the end of the aisle, I was touched by the deep bow, hand on his chest, that A. made as a gesture of respect to M.’s father. Following the Korean Christian ceremony came a second wedding ceremony, this one Persian. For the Persian “Aghd” ceremony, the Bolger Center‘s stunning Stained Glass Hall hosted a “stage” on which was set a multitude of symbolic items. Light and fire were signified by the “mirror of fate” and candelabras; an opened Qu’ran on which lay a beautiful rose reminded the couple of the importance of prayer; the evil and eye and evil spirit were warded off by the colored seeds of an ancient plant; fertility was signified by nuts and eggs; wealth was represented by gold coins; a sweet life was indicated by an assortment of traditional sweets, to be shared with guests after the Persian wedding ceremony; among other items. After the Aghd ceremony, a night of dinner, dancing, and general merry-ness followed. At one point during the evening, M&A and I snuck outside for more bride & groom wedding photography against dusk’s dramatic clouds. Absolutely romantic! Congratulations to M&A!


(Did you miss seeing wedding photos of M&A’s Korean pre-wedding Paebaek? Don’t miss out here.)


Planning your own multi-cultural wedding?

Wedding Professionals:

Wedding Photography: Irene Abdou Photography, Serving Washington DC, MD, VA, and destinations worldwide

Wedding Venue: The Bolger Center, Potomac, MD

Bridal Hair/Makeup: McLean Hair Fashions, VA

Wedding Cake: Cake Dreams, Rockville, MD

Florist: America’s Beautiful Florist, Rockville, MD



Friday, August 15, 2014
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The day before M&A’s Persian-Korean wedding at Potomac, Maryland’s Bolger Center, family of the bride & groom gathered for a Korean pre-wedding ceremony called the “Paebaek.” This was a first not only for me as M&A’s Korean wedding photographer, but also for our Persian groom, and even for A., who, despite her Korean heritage, had never before witnessed a paebaek, much less been the center of attention in one! Originally, the purpose of the paebaek was to introduce the groom’s family to the bride, and for the bride to pay her respects to her new family, with whom she would live. Of course, nowadays, since newlywed couples don’t usually live with the groom’s parents, today’s paebaek ceremony typically includes both the groom’s family and the bride’s family.


And so, M&A, both adorned in traditional Korean wedding garb called “hanbok,” performed a series of bows to parents and elder family members seated on cushions in front of a painted screen. Parents and elders, after drinking tea, give their bit of advice and best wishes to the couple, ending by throwing chestnuts and dates (symbolizing male/female children), which the couple tries to catch with the bride’s wedding “skirt.” The number of dates and chestnuts caught is supposed to indicate the number of children the couple will have!


But my favorite part of this Potomac, Maryland Paebaek ceremony? The piggyback riding at the end!


Want a professional wedding photographer who might just be more excited than you about the interesting cultural elements of your multi-cultural wedding?

During the Korean pre-wedding paebaek, the bride & groom and parents/elders are positioned on opposite sides of a low table that is decorated with dried fruits and nuts. Usually, the table includes dates (so that the couple rises early and works hard), chestnuts (to thwart evil spirits), dried meats and sweet things (so that the mother-in-law welcomes her son’s bride with generosity and kindness), and gingko nuts (such that the groom has eternal faith).

M’s mom and dad throw chestnuts and dates at the couple, signifying the number of children they’d like to see.  How many did M&A catch at their pre-wedding paebaek?!!

Towards the end of the paebaek wedding ritual, the groom places a date in his bride’s mouth, and they kiss, each biting off half. Legend says that whoever bites off the seed will have the power!

The piggybacking at the end of the paebaek wedding tradition is for the groom to show off his strength!


I love photographing ethnic weddings because of all of the fun and interesting traditions!

Posted In: Korean Weddings, Wedding Photos, Weddings.

Tags: bolger center, ethnic weddings, korean wedding, korean wedding photographer, maryland, photographer, potomac, wedding, wedding photographer
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Friday, March 29, 2013
By Irene Abdou Photography, LLC, South Asian Wedding Photographers in VA
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On Dhaval & Reetika’s wedding day, a stately Sikh ceremony graced the morning, while a beautiful Hindu ceremony took place in the afternoon, culminating in a gorgeously lavish evening reception at the Waterford in Arlington, Virginia. Congratulations to this happy couple!


Scroll down to the end of the post for information on the South Asian wedding professionals that made this special day an event to remember!

Planning a lavish South Asian wedding?

Wedding Vendors


Ceremony & Reception Decor: Liz Decorations

Sikh Ceremony Venue: Sikh Foundation of Virginia

Hindu Wedding & Reception Venue: Waterford Receptions

Makeup Artist: Mala Amin

DJ: JP Entertainment

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