Post and pictures by Amrit – one of the best wedding photographers in India and co-founder of ShaadiGraPher
That’s Anne and Yannick sipping coconut water in the picture above. They got hitched last weekend (yes the Diwali weekend) in Kochi and I had the opportunity to be the candid wedding photographer for the occasion. I reached Kochi a night before and shared room with a guy called Neelesh. He asked me which place was I coming from. ‘Goa’, I replied. ‘And you’? – I asked him. ‘Vancouver’, he answered.
I told him how much I loved Vancouver even if I had been in the city for only a day or two (this was during my month long travel in North America more than two years back). ‘Ah, finally I have someone around who can also vouch for how great a place Vancouver is’, Neelesh seemed delighted. He soon left with another friend of his for Lulu mall (the mall has almost become a tourist destination place for first timers in Kochi – I didn’t care to visit it the first time I had come to Kochi, and I didn’t care this time either)! Yannick dropped by to my room to say hi. This is when I first met him. He was a French. And so was his entire family. And not all of them spoke English. Anne and her family were from Kerala. Likewise, not all of them spoke English. :) And yet, as I would observe the whole of next day, this language barrier was no barrier at all. Yannick and Anne’s love united everyone. The couple could converse thoroughly in both French and English by the way.
Anyhow so after Yannick left and I had a phone-call with Anne to discuss next day’s plan, I went to sleep. In the morning, I visited Yannick in his room where he was getting ready for the big day, being helped by two of his best friends!
Top candid photographers Kochi
Part A: the wedding
The hip-flask and the handkerchief were pretty important I was told by Yannick’s best friends.
Once Yannick was ready, I left for Anne’s house, in a mini-bus, along with some of her other friends. Most of them had studied together at NIT Trichi (including Neelesh). I wonder how and when did Anne move to learning French! The guy in blue shirt in the picture below is Neelesh by the way (the one who works in Vancouver). The other guy is Satya and he would later in the night, win a great competition!
And then I saw Anne for the first time. She looked pretty. And happy.
At her house, bridesmaids were putting together the final touches to their costumes, posed pictures were being clicked, prayers were being read and kids were being naughty. There was this typical chaotic buzz that precedes any wedding.
Once enough pictures had been taken, and the bridesmaids were done with all the preparations and the kids started to get too restless, we all moved to the church.
Anne waited in her car for a while till Yannick and his family arrived.
And then she joined Yannick and the procession began.
Songs were occasionally sung, throughout the procession.
The procession had been been on for over an hour when Anne suddenly complained of uneasiness. And before she knew, she fainted. She sat down for a while, was helped with water and the procession continued (I obviously didn’t find it right to click pictures once she fainted).
But Anne was a strong girl. She soon stood up carried on with the procession till its end. ‘I always faint when I visit Church’, she would later explain to her friends.
And well, Anne and Yannick were a finally a happy married couple. Everyone wanted to take a picture of them of course!
These cute kids (in the picture below) waited with garlands in their hands, at the Church’s door. They garlanded the couple before they left the church for the reception venue.
All of us were soon on our way to the reception venue.
Part B: the reception
The reception was about lighting of lamps, cutting of cakes, speeches, sipping coconut together, raising toasts and a lot of hugs, congratulations and good laughs!
Part C: the party
Post lunch, all of us moved to an indo-French resort. Tables and chairs had been arranged in the open. And then it started drizzling. We thought it would stop soon.
It was still drizzling and was already kind of dark by the time I could take fun pictures (that we had planned earlier). And before we could start having fun, the rain picked up speed and so did the winds. The canope-tents that had been setup to take care of drizzles were now on the verge of flying away and one had to soon take them away and let all the arrangement get washed away by the rains.
So was the party ruined? No one was sure when the rain would stop (if it ever did). Yannick, now pretty much drenched, was sad. Anne consoled him. It didn’t look like they had just gotten married. Their chemistry made you feel they had always been with each other!
She decided to call her family and update them about what had just happened here at the resort. Yannick suggested that it was pointless for them to come over any more. But they were already on their way and so they said they would come over anyway. Party or no party.
We all moved to the small covered restaurant area of the resort as we waited for the rains to stop. And slowly everyone forgot about the rains. It was time to drink and eat and enjoy the evening with the couple. Afterall, life is like a bicycle – to keep the balance you have to keep moving!
Anne’s family arrived shortly thereafter and by that time it was back to mild drizzling. Celebrations intensified and a round of toasts were raised!
And then it was slideshow time. Everyone had a hearty laugh as pictures of both Anne and Yannick where shown on a screen. There obviously were afew awwwws in between the laughs! Unfortunately, because I was trying to capture everyone’s reaction, I never got to see the slideshow myself! :)
By this time, it was midnight and that meant it was Diwali. So some of their friends decided to burst firecrackers. A pretty eventful evening after an equally eventful day, I must say! Hey – that even rhymed! :P
Before everyone could just get more drunk and fall off dancing, there was this one last French ritual left. Men and women were to bid for Anne’s skirt – if men placed money, Yannick would pull up the skirt (a little bit) and if women did, the skirt would be brought down. The guy who would place the last bid would win and would get a chance to pull down the garter with his teeth. The game entertained everyone and guess who won? Remember the guy in the bus (in the first few pictures) whom I had introduced as Satya? He did. And oh boy, he was euphoric over the victory!
And with this my friends, we come to the end of this wedding story. Everyone danced till late in the night and I was too tired after a while to do any more work. I didn’t realize when I dozed off. After few just two hours of sleep, I had to rush to the airport to catch my flight back to Bangalore where I waited at the airport for few hours before I took the next flight to Goa and from there I jumped into another flight to Mumbai which then went all the way to Kolkata from where I boarded a train to reach my parent’s place -just slightly past Diwali. Belated happy Dipawali wishes to all of you and hope you liked the picture-story!