Last weekend, I had the joy of photographing Sawina and Karan’s spring dream wedding in Pittsburgh. The festivities started on Thursday, when I photographed the Mehendi night at the bride’s residency. Sanju, from Diva Mehendi Arts, did the bride’s exquisite henna. At sunset, we went outside to get pictures; they brought smoke photobombs, which created a magical landscape of color. I’ll definitely be using them again.
On Friday Morning, I photographed the bride and groom’s Haldi ceremony. Since Karan and his family are from California, both ceremonies were at the same venue, which allowed me to go back and forth between them. In the evening, we met again at the Rivers Casino, with was stunningly decorated by Modern Affairs. During, the sangeet, family and friends got to perform for the the bride and groom on an incredible, one-of-a-kind floor of swirling color. Karan and Sawina also performed for each other in elaborate, beautifully choreographed dances.
On Saturday, we started photographing the bride’s preparations at sunrise. Jasmina Mann was already finishing with Sawina’s makeup when we arrived. We photographed the bride and groom’s details and got ready for the first look. Initially we planned on doing it outside, but right when we stepped out it started raining. Plan B was the Omni William Penn’s lobby. I always enjoy working at the Omni because it offers countless opportunities for photos while always providing a royal backdrop. The bride and groom looked absolutely regal, and I loved positioning them around the luxurious fixtures at the Omni.
After the first looks and bridal party portraits, we photographed Karan’s Sehra Bandi ceremony. In this ceremony, the groom is dressed in a traditional Sehra, which veils his face just like the bride’s veil, and adds an element of mystery to the ceremony. Elisa, my associate photographer, photographed Sawina’s chooda and kalire ritual with her bridesmaids.
It stopped raining for Karan’s baraat in Mellon Square. Friends and family of the groom’s side celebrated the arrival of the groom to the ceremony site and were warmly welcomed by the bride’s closest family. The families exchanged garlands and played games.
The wedding ceremony took place in the Urban Room, perfectly decorated by Modern Affairs. The wedding day culminated in the main ballroom, which Modern Affairs turned into a perfect spring blush dreamscape.
Long live the newlyweds!
Planning by Shayla Hawkings Events
Sangeet Venue: Rivers Casino
Wedding Venue: Omni William Penn Hotel
Design + Decor: Elegant Affairs
Video: Trillium Wedding Films
Henna: Diva Mehndi Arts
Make Up Artist: Mod Girl Studios
Photography: Jorge Santiago Photography
Second photographer: Elisa Cevallos