Updated: Jan 12
Persian and South Asian weddings are a whole different wedding breed. Energy-wise they remind me of Latvian weddings (that's where I am originally from) with lots of dancing, no speeches, and just constant entertainment. They usually require me to stay longer, but also have lots of traditions and rituals to cover.
Let me introduce you to Vida&Hamid. They were best friends that became sweethearts. He asked for her head in marriage at her birthday in front of the whole family. As she words it - it was unexpected but so sweet.
From the dress to the venue - this couple has put in a lot of thought and a lot more manpower. Here are the wedding vendors that worked hard to make it special.
Getting ready in - Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
Venue - Folkets hus Lillestrøm
Portraits location - Schandorffs plass, Oslo
Eventplanlegger | Dekoratør - @bryllupevents
Floral designer | Dekoratør - @bryllupevents
Best DJ | Performer - Club Dj Saygin
When I arrived the bride and the bridal party was still at the beginning of getting ready. That is why I start by photographing the details - dresses, flowers, shoes, and rings. It also allows the bride to get used to my presence.
This time both the bride & the groom booked 2 separate rooms at the same hotel, and I was able to go from one to another easily. That is why the images constantly jump from one group to another.
Now it was time to go to Lillestrom where on the rooftop of Folkets hus Lillestrøm was set up for a traditional Afgan wedding.
Perhaps the most important element of a traditional Persian ceremony is Sofreh Aghd. The mother of the bride has put together elements and blessings for the couple’s new life. Like many, the Afghans have diverse religious backgrounds but being a cultural ceremony element, the Sofreh Aghd is used regardless of religion and accompanied by the Mokhaddeh - the seats where the happy couple sits throughout their ceremony.
After the ceremony, I quickly set up family formals. People usually don't have much patience to stand and pose, so in the years I have learned to do portraits realy efficiently. This works especially well for weddings with lots of guests.
I have a list, that I have prepared during a pre-wedding meeting together with a couple, and I usually ask someone in the family to make sure everyone is gathered for the next picture. But we still try to make it fun.
It was time to go back to Oslo just with the bridal party to a location available to the public that offers old greek vibes. Perfect for the look my couple was going for.
At this point, we were all done with the portraits. Everyone was exhausted from the super hot day and it was time to head back to the venue where the rest of the guests were expecting them so the party can begin.
Ragsheh Chagoo or Knife Dance is a popular tradition just before the cake cutting. Usually, one of the bridesmaids (this time it was the sister of the bride) is dancing with the knife and tease the bride and groom. To obtain the knife and complete the cake cutting, the groom is expected to bribe the dancer with money. But all is done in good humor and is fun entertainment for the guests.
Time for the first dance
When the day ended I couldn't be happier with the images I was able to create. We all had so much fun. The friends and family welcomed me in and politely agreed to all my ideas. They didn't hold back the emotions. And dancing - I wish I would be able to be a guest at this type of wedding because it feels like a party.
This was my first Afgan wedding, but I hope not the last. The energy is powerful and I feel I have 2 new friends that I cherish dearly. 🖤