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Henna to Honeymoon: Meaningful Traditions in Middle Eastern Weddings

Splendor, grandeur and beauty—these are the words that best describes traditional Middle Eastern weddings.

With centuries-old traditions, weddings in the Middle East follow customs from ancient civilizations. Wedding rituals and beliefs are passed on from one generation to another. Some will celebrate week-long of dinners and entertainment prior to the actual nuptials, while some celebrate after the wedding for seven days (yes, seven more days!). Here are some of the most notably meaningful traditions you are ought to come across in a Middle Eastern wedding.

Palestinian’s Henna

The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. According to Saiaf Films, a Middle Eastern Wedding Photographer New Jersey, Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.

Even though Palestinian brides traditionally dress with hand-embroidered gowns known as a thawb, brides nowadays tend to have different themes for their henna nights. It could be Bollywood, Arabian nights or any other ethnic ambiance.

Female friends and relatives of the bride join her in the celebration, which includes food, drinks, dancing, and a woman in charge of drawing the henna—a temporary skin tattoo—on the bride and female guests. And with such beautiful occasion, there’s always a Middle Eastern Wedding Photographer Los Angeles around to document the entire celebration.

Iraq’s Qiran Union

The Qiran union is commonly known as the lawful or religious wedding. Like most Muslim countries, Iraq requires the bride and groom to get married through a religious representative known as the Maazoun.

The religious event is as important as the wedding night. During the ceremony, the groom joins hands with his future father-in-law to make the marriage official in the presence of two witnesses.

After the Qiran, the new couple gives out candy in special cups to family and friends to inform them of their union.

The Lebanese Zaffe

The zaffe is a cultural dance that takes place at weddings in Arab weddings, more specifically in Lebanese weddings.

In recent years, the zaffe has become a modern wedding tradition in Beirut, with a troop of dancers performing in anticipation of the couple’s entry. Definitely a beautiful, festive scene to capture by your Middle Eastern Wedding Videographer New York.

Weddings in Saudi Arabia are celebrated in two separate halls, one for males and the other for females. Thus, we suggest hiring a second Middle Eastern Female Wedding Photographer to help document the two separate events.

During such time, Saudi women don’t wear the traditional abaya (cloak) during a wedding night, but extravagant and distinctive dresses as they aren’t in company of men.

Weddings in Saudi are very luxurious and expensive, and each bride wants to make her night unique. During the wedding night, the bride and groom would only be seen together during the zaffe.

Egyptian Honeymoon

The honeymoon in Egypt differs from one part of the country to another. In the countryside, the newlyweds rarely travel for their honeymoon.

Instead, they stay home for the first seven days of their marriage, before receiving friends and family who bring gifts, food and other supplies.

In urban parts of Egypt, married couples commonly spend the first night of their wedding in the hotel where they celebrated their union, before travelling to resort areas such as the Red Sea or abroad.

What is a Bridal Portrait Session?

With all the hype surrounding engagement photos, you might be surprised to learn that there’s another photo opportunity you might need to consider—the bridal portrait session. These bride-only photo shoots are famous to both Western and South Asian Weddings, like Sikh Weddings, and are a favorite among Colorado photographers

What are bridal portraits?

Bridal portraits are solo images of the bride in her wedding attire. These photos are taken by a Colorado Sikh Wedding Photographer and frequently mimic fashion shoots, with the bride posing in classic, artful, and perhaps even fashion-forward and dramatic ways to showcase her wedding-day look—think of it as your very own fashion photo shoot. These photos may be displayed at the wedding itself and/or in the couple’s and relatives’ homes.

Where do bridal portrait sessions take place?

Traditionally, bridal portrait sessions are held at a Colorado photo studio. Nowadays, brides are opting for more atmospheric outdoor photos, similar to engagement shoots. If your wedding venue allows, you can have your bridal portrait session there. Otherwise, you can choose any favorite location—a local park, a garden, the city streets—or even your own backyard.

When is a good time to schedule my bridal portrait session?

Bridal portrait sessions for sikh weddings here in Colorado commonly take place just before the wedding ceremony begins. But there are also some brides who prefer to do it a month or weeks earlier to save time on the actual wedding day. Usually, it can be done close enough to the big day that a bride’s gown has already been altered and ready, and far enough away that if the gown gets dirty or damaged during the shoot, there will be enough time to clean it.

The goal of a bridal portrait session done in most Sikh Weddings in Colorado is that the bride looks as similar as possible to how she will look on her wedding day. So, try to avoid making any major changes to your look in the time between the shoot and your nuptials.

Why do I need a bridal portrait session?

As mentioned, bridal portraits are an important part of Sikh Weddings. Being able to display your bridal portraits next to those of your mother and grandmother is a truly special chance. Also, like engagement photo shoots, your bridal portrait session will help you get even more comfortable in front of the camera, so you’re sure to slay your Colorado wedding-day photos. And it’s a great opportunity to try out your wedding dress, hair, and makeup before the big day so you can make any necessary tweaks. Perhaps best of all, taking your bridal portraits in advance will save you time on the big day, giving you more time to focus on oh-so important photos with your soon-to-be spouse, instead of taking dramatic solo shots.

5 Auspicious Wedding Beliefs and Traditions Around the World

You may want to incorporate these traditions into your own wedding day to increase your chances of a lifetime of love and happiness—because even the most loving couple can use a little bit of luck. And of course, don’t forget to invite your arab wedding photographer indiana to document all those meaningful traditions for the best memories of a lifetime.

1. A rainy wedding day is good luck for Indians

Indian weddings are colourful, joyous, and as lucky as the guests can make them. A little bit of luck may fall on every couple, but for Indian weddings, when it rains, it pours. Plus, rain or shine, guests throwing fragrant rose petals and other flowers at the betrothed is like wishing the newlywed couple the best of luck for their entire marriage.

2. Vietnamese brides are all about red

No white weddings here! The color red, which symbolizes good luck, is the color of choice for attire, and décor, at most Vietnamese weddings. Leaving nothing to chance, the groom’s family will even travel to the bride’s parental home, bearing wine, fruit, and cake, wrapped in red paper and presented on red platters.

3. Wedding date is determined by stars for Hindu couples

Before the wedding, an auspicious time, known as the muhurta, is fixed for the event. Using the bride and groom’s dates of birth, astrologists calculate the position of planets and stars to reflect the celestial union of the couple. During the ceremony, the gautra of both bride and groom (going back at least three generations) are announced. A gautra is the ancestral lineage or the ancestor’s original clan (this is not related to caste or religion). In Hindu law, marriages should not take place within the same clan.

4. Arab grooms pay for the bride’s hand

Arab bride and groom do not register their union in the marriage venues. They pass the ceremony in the face of Allah. This procedure is called nikah. As an arab wedding photographer Indiana, we’ve witnessed a lot of this tradition, which is considered by Arabs and Muslims the most important part of their weddings. During this time, the bride and groom is giving each other a vow of eternal love. At this time, the groom pays a bribe for the bride – a ransom, giving her a large amount of money, real estate, car or jewellery. Even in case of divorce, the gift stays with the girl.

5. Mexican brides keep a secret

Mexican wedding rituals tend to be deeply religious, and brides always wear white, but good wedding luck is ensured in a colorful, albeit hidden, way. Brides sew three ribbons into their lingerie for good luck, and wear them secretly on their wedding day. The ribbons are red, blue, and yellow, to represent passion, financial stability, and abundance of sustenance. No one sees the lucky ribbons, until the bride unveils them to her groom, when they are alone, after the ceremony has taken place.

5 Traditions You’ll Likely See in Every Muslim Wedding

With over 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world, all from different countries and backgrounds, their customs are obviously going to be a unique fusion of religion and culture—making Muslim weddings all more exciting! That is why it is one of our favorite weddings to cover here at Saiaf Films. If you are looking for a Dallas Pakistani Wedding Photography team to document your Muslim wedding, you might want to check out our Muslim Wedding Gallery.

There are countless Islamic traditions, but if you’re heading to an Islamic wedding in the near future, here are the five customs you’re bound to see in person!

1. Fatiha

A Fatiha is a blessing for the new couple. This custom involves the reading of the first verse of the Quran in the presence of the new couple with their immediate family and sometimes extended relatives. The purpose is to allow the couple to visit each other’s houses and interact with each other’s families under God’s will. The Fatiha is an intimate affair that lasts a few hours. You’ll be pleased to know that if you’re ever invited to one of these, you’re in for a baklava and knafeh overload! Tea and coffee is also given (forcibly!) to wash it all down.

2. Nikah or Katb El-Kitab

It’s safe to say that without this ceremony, the marriage technically does not exist! The Nikah, in Pakistani/Indian culture or Katb El-Kitab in the Middle East, is the Islamic marriage ceremony that is of utmost spiritual importance. The couple sit in the presence of a Muslim cleric along with two witnesses for both groom and bride. Think of it like a “for sickness or for health, for better or for poor” type of exchange. A Dua (prayer) is recited and both parties are required to agree to the marriage. The family then read Surat Al-Fatiha to bless the marriage. Finally, the couple sign the binding contract which ensures their marriage is both civilly and religiously legal.

Depending on the couple, this event might be an intimate one or an elaborate affair with extended family and friends. Of course, yummy sweets and the Islamic staple food—dates—are given out to treat the guests and wish the new couple the best, and a Las Vegas Muslim Wedding Photographer is always present to document every part of this important event.

3. Walima

The Walima is the second part of a traditional Muslim wedding. The traditional wedding banquet includes relatives, friends and neighbours and is usually hosted by the groom’s family at a hall, reception or house. The Walima is to wish the newlyweds a prosperous life. It can be a bit of a culture shock when you go to your first Walima, as it’s a colorful, loud feast of the senses, with cultural food, dancing, music and festivity.

The Walima is practised in a variety of cultures. In Pakistan, it’s the bride’s responsibility to organize and pay for the Walima; while, in Arab and Afghani cultures, the groom’s family are required to organize the reception.

4. Mahr

Grooms get your money up! The Mahr is a form of dowry that is offered to the bride’s family during the ceremony. It’s usually monetary, but doesn’t have to be. It’s a symbolism of the groom’s commitment, love and what he has to offer in life.

5. Picking Up of The Bride

This custom is very popular in Middle Eastern weddings. Because there’s no church and the ceremony has usually been done in advance, the bride anxiously waits for her prince charming to arrive and pick her up before heading off for the location shots. The groom comes with an entourage of sport cars, motorbikes and luxury vehicles, while traditional Arabic drummers wait on the street for the grand arrival. This is followed by dancing, celebratory clapping and loud drums that make it impossible to just stand still—definitely the most fun and festive happening that your Virginia Arab Wedding Videographer can capture. The stakes are high and we can’t imagine what goes in the reception. It’s truly epic!

A Guide to Asian Weddings: The Bride and the Groom’s Outfit

Choosing an outfit for a wedding can be tricky, especially if you haven’t been given a dress code to follow, yet attending a wedding of a different culture can make this decision even harder. Saiaf Films, one of the award-winning Santa Monica Indian Wedding Photographer, shares some thoughts on how dress codes look like on different Asian weddings.

The Bride

Japan
Japanese weddings are huge affairs. It is often the parents of the couple who organise the wedding, and they are willing to spend excessive amounts to save face. As such, the large scale of the weddings means that the bride can have as many as five costume changes.

The traditional wedding is called a Shinto wedding and at one of these ceremonies, the bride often wears a white kimono. At more modern-day ceremonies, the bride chooses to wear a dress similar to that of a Western wedding dress but with a Japanese print.

India
As witnessed by almost every Afghan Wedding Photographer Austin, the location of the wedding often determines the bridal outfit of an Indian bride. In some regions, the bride wears a saree, a garment that looks like a long drape; while in others the bride wears a lehenga, which is a long skirt. Often the bride is dressed in red or another vibrant colour, and her garments will be carefully embroidered with an impressive design. The bride and the rest of her bridal party are often painted with delicate henna patterns on the back of their hands.

China
A Chinese bride often chooses to dress in red as this is the colour of good luck in China. In some regions, typically in northern China, the traditional attire for a bride is a one-piece dress that is embroidered with gold and silver designs. In southern China, the typical wear is a two-piece frock.

On their feet, they often wear a small heel that has been embroidered with a recognisable symbol. For example, this could be a turtle or a deer which are symbols of happiness and longevity. Even here in the U.S., Saiaf Films often see Chinese brides still following the traditional dress code and ceremony, especially if the couple has pure Chinese bloodline. With such, it is important to hire the right Malibu Arab Wedding Videographer who’s familiar with Asian weddings and traditions.

The Groom

Japan
The traditional outfit for a Japanese groom is a wedding kimono called a montsuki, which often displays the family crest. The groom then changes into a tuxedo for the after-party, although more recently grooms start the ceremony in a tuxedo, too.

India
Grooms from different places in India choose to dress differently on their wedding day. According to some Fullerton Hindu Wedding Photographer, some husbands-to-be wear traditional dress, such as a dhoti, which is a rectangular cloth that is tied around the waist. In other regions, they wear a sherwani (a long coat), a kurta (loose falling shirt that hangs below the knee) or a Western suit.

Men, like their brides, often have henna on their bodies but it is not as elaborate and often hidden under the clothing.

China
A traditional Chinese groom is dressed in a silk coat over an embroidered robe. Nowadays, the traditional overcoat is sometimes not worn.

The groom often has to wear special headwear which is a black hat with a decorative red tassel. Some younger generations no longer follow the traditional dress code and simply wear a tuxedo or a Western-style business suit.

4 Often-Forgotten Wedding Details

There are a million and one things to plan when it comes to a wedding. So is it any surprise that one or two or even twenty-five wedding details might fall through the cracks? Planning a wedding — whether big or small — can be extremely overwhelming, especially when juggling full-time job. There are so many details and so many people, vendors and logistics that have to be managed, so it’s not hard to believe that sometimes a detail here and there gets overlooked.

Here, Saiaf Films — your most trusted Chicago Hindu Wedding Photographer — will break down the top things that brides usually forget when planning their wedding. With any luck, this list will save you from forgetting these details, too!

Starting to Get Ready Later Than Planned

The time spent getting ready should be as relaxed and fun as possible, but once you find yourself behind schedule, the pressure can build to catch up. Do a test run and talk with your stylist beforehand to figure out how much time you and your wedding party will need on the big day. Also, it’s ideal to get started preparing earlier than planned, so your New York Hindu Wedding Videographer and photographer will have enough time to snap more photos and videos of you and your party before the ceremony actually begins.

Underestimating the Cost of Drinks

When mapping your budget, bear in mind that, aside from your Dearborn Muslim Female Wedding Photography, a good chunk of your expenses will go towards drinks. It’s common practice to have an open bar during the reception, but not every couple can afford to shell out for an all-night open bar. Instead, consider the alternatives. There are many ways to save big without having to resort to a cash bar, including serving two signature cocktails, wine, and beer, or asking your venue for a corkage option. This will allow you to keep unopened bottles which you can return, if allowed.

Being Pressured and Hurried to Pick the Bridal Party

This one is more like a mistake than a forgotten detail. Picking your bridal party can be stressful and even awkward, but don’t forget that it’s your day and you shouldn’t feel an obligation towards anyone. The most important thing is to pick people who you want standing up with you on your wedding day and be in most of your photos shot by your Houston Arab Wedding Photographer. So, take your time before you ask anyone.

Traditionally, you’ll ask your sisters to be bridesmaids (assuming you have any, and you’re at least relatively close) and also any future sisters-in-law. Also, were all in favor of appointing a “man of honor” or having close guy friends in the bridal party. It’s 2018 folks! You can have whoever and whatever you want for your wedding!

Acknowledging Each One of Your Guests

It may seem silly, but plan how you’re going to greet your guests. Often, the bride and groom will stand at the end of the receiving line after the ceremony. This ensures the couple can greet all of their guests. If you want to skip straight to the reception, you might consider, instead, making the rounds while guests are seated at their tables. Whatever you decide to do, try your best to say hello to everyone and thank them for coming. This is particularly important for all of your out-of-town guests. Let them know you appreciate them making the trip to be there on your big day.

Do I Need a Second Photographer for My Wedding?

So, should you pay for a second shooter at your wedding? Having a second photographer is becoming more and more popular among bridal couples nowadays and also seen a lot in photographer pricing packages. Whether you should decide to have a second photographer depends on a number of things.
The benefits of having a second shooter are extremely useful for…

Getting Ready Photos

With the bride and bridesmaids all getting ready together, these can make for some fun and lovely photos, shots of the bridesmaids helping the bride put the dress on, drinking wine together with the emotion and excitement of the day captured through photos.

But what about the groom? If they are getting ready somewhere else, then this is where a second shooter is useful, you have your main Colorado Indian Wedding Photographer capturing the bride getting ready, while the second shooter is with the groom, best man and the rest of the guys.

Guest Shots

If you have a very large number of guests at your wedding you may benefit from a second shooter that allows you to capture more of your guests and the emotion of the day. This is not to say that a single Denver Indian Wedding Videographer cannot do this nicely, but a second shooter allows your main photographer to focus on the bride and groom during the ceremony, allowing the second shooter to focus on the guests only. The more guests you have, the trickier it is to capture those fun moments, emotions and joy on your guests faces while also doing formal shots, for example.

The Venue

Be it for the ceremony or the reception, larger venues that offer a few different vantage points allow for a range of different shot. Requesting for a second shooter from your Colorado Indian Wedding Photographer allows you to take advantage of this by being able to capture the same moment from different angles. This could be shots of the bride and groom walking down the aisle with shots from a photographer on the ground level and a second shooter capturing the moment from a balcony above, for instance.

Overall, it comes down to whether you need an additional Denver Indian Wedding Videographer and photographer, and whether you have the budget for it.

5 important Tips for Every Indian Wedding Guest

If you have been invited to an Indian wedding for the first time, you may want to know what to expect at an Indian wedding. Attending a traditional Indian wedding is quite a unique experience—you will witness a wide array of vibrant colors, food, ceremonies, rituals and dances blended together in a large and long celebration. If you decide to attend the wedding, be it a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh wedding, it’s very likely that you’ll get overwhelmed by the bewildering array of Indian wedding traditions, rituals and etiquette. But with the following tips in mind, you will enjoy the Indian wedding with grace, ease and fun.

1. Dress modestly

Many first-timers wonder what guests wear to an Indian wedding, so that they can dress themselves accordingly. While there is no specific dress code at Indian weddings, dressing modestly is a must, meaning no bare shoulders and bare knees. For female wedding guests, a traditional sari or lehenga is perfect to show some respect to the religious wedding rituals, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have. For men, suits and sherwani (a long coat-like garment) are fine.

Jewelries are also very important part of Indian outfits. Bindis and bangles are most common jewelries for Indian wedding guests we’ve seen as an Indian Wedding Photographer Arizona. A pair of chand balis or jhumkas is good adornment for your ears. Necklace with Indian touches, even a simple gold chain with a sparkling pendant, is perfect accessory to adorn your neck. Payals and mang tikkas can also be your choice to go with your wedding sari or lehenga. For male guests, choose a gold chain or jewelled buttons to make your outfit complete.

2. Prepare for strange hours of the day or night for the wedding ceremony

Many Indian weddings are timed at some strange hours of the day or night. The auspicious time for wedding is often chosen by astrology at around 2 or 3 am, especially for weddings in north India. So remember to ask if it is a late night or early morning wedding so that you can get some sleep the day before.

3. Plan accordingly for a long wedding

An Indian wedding lasts at least 3 days, even for a week! From pre-wedding rituals like Mehndi (henna) to the 2-3 hours long main ceremony and finally, the reception, there are a lot of events taking place, some of which you may be invited to participate in. Plan your time accordingly and get enough rest to be engaged in the events you’re invited to attend.


4. Learn the customs

Indian weddings are known for their colorful rituals, especially the Hindu weddings. Each individual ceremony, such as the Mehndi, the Saptapadi (seven steps), or the recitation of vows, has a meaning behind it. Knowing about them will help you enjoy the wedding to the fullest. For instance, at Indian wedding Mehndi (henna) ceremony held at the night before the wedding, the bride and her female friends and family members will have intricate mehndi patterns drawn on their hands and feet. It’s a common belief that the darker the color of the mehndi leaves on the hands of the bride, the more she will be loved by her husband and mother-in-law. In some regions, the groom will apply vermillion or kumkum to the bride’s forehead or put toe ring on the bride to symbolize that she’s now a married woman.

5. Money is the traditional wedding gift

Giving gifts is a common tradition at Indian weddings. The traditional wedding gift is money, which is regarded as the most thoughtful gift for the couple to start their lives together. This is better done by placing money in a pretty envelope or embroidered bag, along with your best wishes. The amount of Indian wedding gift money should be an “auspicious” number ending in 1, regardless of what the currency is. As to a reasonable amount, it mostly depends on how much you can afford and how close you’re to the bride and the groom. Other gifts that you will give for a non-Indian wedding would also be appropriate, such as decorative items, jewelry, and silver items.

How to Perfect the Natural-Look Photos

Perhaps, you’re thinking: “Perfecting the natural? That’s two different things.” But yes, natural-looking photos can be scripted subtly. How will you and your Goodyear Sikh Wedding Photographer make it look natural despite the posing directions? Here are some tips to pull it off.

1. Natural Light

Nothing is more natural looking than taking images in natural light. There’s always something very romantic about natural settings, and couples that pose together in any way outdoors are always going to create some lovely images.

2. Pictures in Motion

Some people don’t like to stand perfectly still and pose in front of the camera. Fortunately, you don’t have to as long as your Maricopa Indian Wedding Photographer is talented enough. You and your fiancé can get together and try to act like you’re just enjoying a romantic moment in motion, and your photographer can take the snapshot at the very exact moment.

3. Look anywhere but the camera

Pictures where everyone looks at the camera are always very unnatural. Sometimes, it’s reasonable to try to get shots like that. However, in many cases, people are going to want to take pictures that are far more casual and real. Pictures look significantly less ‘posed’ when you are not looking directly at the camera.

4. Try to laugh as naturally as possible

People often smile in picture. But if the goal is to look natural, then try a soft laugh. There’s always something natural when you laugh. And when your Hindu Wedding Photographer Jerome is able to capture the perfect moment, it will look evocative and genuine in photo.

5. Shot from all angles

This one is on your photographer. Photographing people only from the frontal view isn’t always a good idea, since it creates more of a posed impression. When the couple is photographed from lots of different angles, people can also appreciate the wholeness of the image.

6. Physical contact

Weddings are all about love and romance, and wedding portraits need to really capture that love and romance. That is why our photographers here at Saiaf Films always encourage the couples we handle to be physically affectionate. Physical contact creates a warm vibe between the couple that makes them relax and feel a bit more comfortable in any given situation.

Wedding Photography Trends

Just like any industry, wedding photography evolves and changes through time. Here, we have rounded up popular trends when it comes to wedding photography and what to plan about and what to include (and not to include) in your wedding.

Reportage/Documentary Style

Gone are the days when all we see in wedding albums are posed and staged photos of every family combination possible. Today, it is all about capturing moments as they naturally unfold, and wedding photographers being discreet in the background rather than being directors.

Reportage, which is also known as documentary style, is a popular style among Sikh Wedding Photographer Yuma. This is a style preferred by most couples nowadays because of its relaxed and casual flair, highlighting raw emotions and priceless reactions.

Unplugged Ceremony

More and more couples are adapting this trend due to the extensive use of mobile devices. First, this is to ensure that your Glendale Palestinian Wedding Photographer captures high quality photos. And secondly, for the guests to enjoy the moment and just be there with you. No phones, no cameras, no tablets and iPads on hand.

First-Look Photos

Your Sierra Vista Muslim Wedding Photographer will likely recommend going for a first-look photo shoot as this is one of the growing trends right now. Photographers see this as an advantage since they wouldn’t have to combat with guests in capturing a dramatic first-look as you walk down the aisle. Plus, you get to shake those nerves away for seeing your partner before the ceremony actually starts.

Drone Photos

Drones are used to capture aerial shots, which showcases the entirety of the wedding. This is an effective way for our photographers here at Saiaf Films to capture the blissful spirit and highlight the splendid setup of the venue, especially if yours is an outdoor event.

Day-After Photos

Weddings cans be stressful and chaotic. Many times, things may arise that are beyond your control (e.g. intoxicated guests, lighting problems, time crunch, etc.) and may limit the photos that your photographer may get on the day. As a solution, there’s day-after photography. This photography trend allows photographers to shoot the newlywed couple in an alternate location and gives couples more photo options to include in their wedding album.

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