Some of you may remember that awesome e-session I did in the desert just outside Las Vegas Nevada back in February. That was Kelly and Joey where they both reside now. I just completed editing their 4 day wedding extravaganza and wow, do we have a lot of memories for them to cherish. Kelly came to me after her distant cousin Baaj had told her about me. Baaj is one of my best friends for the last 27 years. He’s the only friend I have that I have known that long. At first Kelly was worried her cousin was referring his buddy who was dabbling in photography. Kelly soon contacted me by email after checking out my website. And soon we met, but sans Joey. Joey was in Las Vegas, where he lives and works, but is originally from here… and a big Habs fan too by the way. So I met with just Kelly and we talked about her big wedding day in Calgary and her photography needs. She told me all about her big plans. Typical Sikh weddings span over multiple days, with different ceremonies and rich traditions. Joey did finally make it back to Calgary and we finally met over a nice brunch at Cora’s.
The first day of shooting was Kelly’s mendhi party. The house was full of women getting their henna done. The henna is absolutely gorgeous with very intricate detail. The second day was Kelly’s maayan ceremony where her friends and family all came to prepare for her to be married the next day followed by feasting and dancing.
On the third day we all met up at the Sikh Temple in Springbank just west of Calgary. We arrived with Kelly and her family and Kelly headed straight upstairs where she would remain until she is the last person to enter the temple. Alicia Price joined me on this day to second shoot with me. We hung out with Kelly and her bridesmaids and shot some photos until Joey arrived. When Joey finally did arrive, things were about to get started. I really really dig the traditions Sikhs do when the bride’s side of the family lines up on one side and the groom’s family on the other side. Even though Joey is not Sikh, today he was. When the 2 families line up on either side it always looks like something is about to go down to me. I just love the intensity! After a few passages were spoken the fathers would then meet in the middle and exchange garlands. Then Joey’s brother and Kelly’s brother would do the same thing. Once that tradition was done, the next would begin and that was a breakfast for all the guests. All this was happening while poor Kelly was waiting upstairs all by herself.
The ceremony in the temple would start after breakfast with Joey going in first and paying respects to the temple. The guests soon filed in and Kelly came in last. The Sikh ceremony is much longer than your usual church ceremonies. Unfortunately for me, I don’t understand Punjabi so I can not elaborate what was said, but I am sure it was beautiful religious passages. After the ceremony, we all headed back out side for lunch. During lunch, their guests lined up to give them a monetary gift and blessings.
We then headed to Cochrane to do photos of the newlyweds. It was Canada Day and Cochrane’s main street outside McKay’s Ice Cream store was packed. I was thinking, oh no, but then I thought to myself, we can really embrace this. Kelly & Joey were fully dressed in traditional Indian garbs and I knew this would attract a lot of attention here. And they sure did. The way they stood out was too great to ignore. I knew I had to photograph them in front of McKay’s eating ice cream with the rest of the Canada Day celebrators. They got of looks and compliments and well wishes from every one there. It was quite the sight.
Day 4 was the reception day. The reception took place at the Calgary Polish Canadian Cultural Centre. But before that, we met K&J at the Hotel Art where they were staying. Today they would look completely different than the day before. Joey shaved the beard and took off the turban. Kelly was in an Indian bridal dress that probably made her feel 50 lbs lighter. We hung out around the Hotel Arts shooting bride and groom portraits of them before we headed up the wedding reception venue in northeast Calgary.
The reception was filled with awesome speeches, dancing and of course food. Calgary’s newest digital photo booth, Hoot Booth was setup in the lobby for the guests to entertain themselves and create wacky photos for the bride and groom.
What can I say about Kelly & Joey? I can’t wait for them to come back to Calgary so we can hang out again. I feel almost kind of sad they live so far away. My tickets for the Flames vs Habs are yours if you want them Joey! I got 3, so we can all go together. I am so happy to be able to say I have friends that live in Las Vegas now. When ever I am down, I will be calling you guys to take me to Inn-N-Out Burger!
The photos posted below are a mix of images from myself and Alicia Price.