Swati & Akhil : Chateau Laurier & Hilton Lac Leamy Wedding

This wedding was one for the books.  18hrs from start-to-finish, and not a dull moment in any sense.  This wedding had everything: beauty, emotion, crazy weather, amazing food, and crazy good dancing!  This was my first time being hired to photograph a traditional Indian Wedding – something I’ve always really, really wanted to do.  The challenge with breaking into this market is that the customs and ceremonies are so entirely different from any other culture, that it’s kind of risky to hire an Indian Wedding “rookie”.  Not to mention the scale of Swati and Akhil’s wedding.  Somewhere around 450 guests, in two of Ottawa’s most beautiful venues – The Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau.

Thankfully (for me), Swati attended a wedding that I photographed last summer, and she and Akhil liked my work enough that they were interested in hiring me for their wedding…and asked if I had any experience with Indian Weddings.  Nope…I wish!  My solution?  Beg and plead my good friend Ryan Chan to come to Ottawa to shoot it alongside me, since he has photographed Hindu Weddings in the past.  You know it’s a good photographer friend when they will keep a prime Saturday free in June (almost a year in advance), drive back-and-forth from Toronto, and sweat it out for 18hrs in June heat…for about 1/4 of the money he could have made shooting a wedding on his own in Toronto that weekend.  Let’s just say I owe him one.  I never thought that my Chinese friend would end up helping give me “Indian street cred”.  Who knew?

Regardless…we both had an amazing time, and I think we got some killer photos!

Congratulations to Swati & Akhil – you are both amazing people, and both of your families are warm & wonderful people.  It has been great getting to know you – thanks for believing in me.  Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Also, special thanks to Seema Haider, for doing such an incredible job with Swati’s hair and makeup.  It doesn’t need to be said, but she looked absolutely stunning all day.

Side note:  The photo of Swati peering out of the window of the room at Chateau Laurier is kind of funny.  It’s actually a pretty frequently (read:over) done photo, usually staged by the photographer.  Interestingly, Swati was genuinely looking outside onto MacKenzie Ave. to see if the Baraat had begun (Akhil arriving by horse amid a huge celebration), when I got this photo.

Henna and engagement ring - Ottawa Indian Wedding

Bridal portrait - Indian Wedding Ottawa

Bridal portrait - Chateau Laurier Wedding

Indian bridal portrait Ottawa

Bridal Portrait - Chateau Laurier

Bridal portrait - Chateau Laurier

Baraat - Major

Baraat - Chateau Laurier

Baraat - Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Photo by Ryan

Chateau Laurier - Indian Wedding

Grandfathers - Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier

Indian bridal portrait in Chateau Laurier lobby

Processional - Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier OttawaProcessional - Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Processional - Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Processional - Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Photo by Ryan

Indian Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Vidaai - Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Exit - Indian Wedding at Chateau Laurier

Indian Couples portrait - Chateau Laurier

Rideau Canal Bridge - Wedding portrait Ottawa

Under NAC - Wedding Portrait Ottawa

War Memorial - Couples portrait Ottawa

Wedding Portrait Chateau Laurier

Wedding Chateau Laurier Ottawa

Indian Wedding Hilton Lac Leamy

Hilton Lac Leamy Wedding

Wedding photo in lobby of Hilton Lac Leamy

Wedding Dance at Hilton Lac Leamy

Sweetheart table at Hilton Lac Leamy

Bride and Groom table at Hilton Lac Leamy

Photo by Ryan

Kids watching wedding toasts on dance floor

Groom being lifted up - Hilton Lac Leamy

Father of groom on dance floor

Dance floor at Indian wedding Hilton Lac Leamy

Dance floor at Indian Wedding Hilton Lac Leamy

Photo by Ryan

Crazy dance floor at Indian wedding Hilton Lac Leamy



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