Fairmont San Jose is definitely one of the hot spots for weddings in the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact it is the only five star hotel in San Jose! Jackie and Hani planned their Sikh and Muslim Fusion wedding at the property in June and we had a blast hanging out with them for all three of their events!
The first day the at the bride’s home we covered the event where yellow paste made of turmeric and mustard oil is applied to the bride’s skin. This is known as the Vatna or Haldi ceremony. The paste makes the bride’s skin more radiant and she will appear more beautiful on her wedding day. After the Vatna, Rachna Bhatt did the bride’s Mehndi in the backyard. The intricate patterns also make the bride more beautiful and decorated for her wedding.
The next evening there was a Sangeet at the Golden Peacock in Hayward. Here families from both sides came together for a semi-formal party where there was dancing, speeches, food, and and then more dancing. This is a great time for us as photographers because we get to meet the families and learn who everyone is. We can easily tell the most important people to the bride and groom on both sides and then when we see them the following day at the wedding, they are already familiar with us which is really nice when it comes to building rapport with our subjects.
The third day of the wedding was the actual wedding and reception! With this wedding being a combining of two faiths, Sikh and Muslim, two ceremonies were performed. The day started with both the bride and groom getting ready in separate rooms at the Fairmont Hotel. After the groom got ready he went downstairs to do the Baraat, which is the procession of his family to where the ceremony would take place. The groom came in on a white horse which is traditional to Indian customs and the Milni was where the two families officially converge to exchange garlands. The garland is symbolic of the two families joining.
The couple performed a traditional Sikh wedding in which the Holy Book was brought to the hotel from a local Gurdwara. The exact same ceremony they perform in a temple was done in the hotel. After which a short break allowed guests to stretch their legs before the Imam, which is a Muslim Holy Man came to perform the traditional rites of the Muslim wedding. The Imam read versus from the Koran which is the Muslim Holy Book and the bride and groom exchanged rings. Within minutes they were officially husband and wife for a second time and all the guests were ushered upstairs for lunch. We then took the bride and groom around the hotel for photos for approximately 45 minutes.
During the middle of the wedding day we move all of our gear from the downstairs ceremony room to the upstairs reception ballroom. We then prepare to capture the cocktail hour and or getting ready photos of the bride and groom before they enter their reception. Prior to the grand entrance we took more family photos and couple photos of them alone. Once the grand entrance occurs it is pretty much party time and is all candid from then on out. The bride and groom cut their amazing Mardi Gras themed cake and danced the night away!
We have had so many great weddings this year at San Jose Fairmont. We always look forward to working with Glen and George. They offer top notch service at their property and are always a pleasure to work with. Mita Productions did a fabulous job coordinating the event, as well as, providing the decor for both the Sangeet and Wedding!
Stay tuned for Jackie and Hani’s wedding highlight coming soon!