Uchi + Aashish
New Jersey, The Imperia, The RockleighBook STAK Studios
After photographing Uchi and Aashish's 5-day Indian wedding celebration which culminated in an opulent affair at the Rockleigh, I can tell you one thing: attending an Indian wedding should be on everyone’s bucket list. They are surreal!
Uchi and Aashish met in NYC, at a time when they were both trying to figure out the next steps in their careers. Thanks to their mutual love for medicine, they spent long nights studying and cooking together. They inevitably fell in love. They rely upon each other for help and support as they fulfill their career goals, always with the occasional break to watch sports, drink old fashioneds and enjoy a nice meal. One thing that has been a constant in their relationship has been a friendly competitive spirit. It started with games on XBox, progressed to racing at crosswords and culminated with an epic dance off at the wedding. Through it all, Uchi and Aashish have pushed each to be better dancers, family members and partners.
The couple’s traditional wedding involved multiple elaborate ceremonies, and I was truly honored to witness every one of them. After five days full days of photography, including Thanksgiving, they started to feel a bit like family. Every day something new and exciting happened. There was the Bride’s Pooja at Uchi’s home (a ceremony only for the family, bridal party and very close relatives. Mendhi night, during which Uchi had her hands and feet beautifully painted with henna. The Groom’s Pooja at Aashish’s home. Garba night, a dynamic and super-colorful dance party. And the night before the wedding, the stylish Sangeet thrown by the bride’s family for all the wedding guests. Sangeet means music night so you can only imagine the degree of entertainment: everyone had their dancing shoes on and partied the night away. And boy, do their families love to dance! Sangeet was all about henna tattoos, wild dancing, a free flowing bar, extravagant bling, bright clothes and lots of fun, preparing the mood for the next wedding day.
Uchi and Aashish’s huge wedding reception took place at The Rockleigh. And, I set a new STAK record photographing from 7am to 2 am (there was so much going on that time just flew by).
Uchi and Aashish could have easily been the leading actors in a Bollywood mega production, that’s how great they looked. They flaunted several outfits during the five days of festivities, but the actual wedding gown and outfits were out of this world. First, Uchi channeled a red sari (the most auspicious color for Hindus), and was adorned from head to toe with dazzling jewels that gave her an authentic Oriental princess look. Aashish was clad in an exquisite gold ensemble accessorized with a spectacular turban and matching shoes. During the reception Uchi changed into a ravishing purple velvet outfit and Aashish wore a seriously dapper tux.
Once every guest passed through the Rockleigh’s iron gates and entered the elegant lobby, they were wowed by this Georgian-style mansion located amidst manicured gardens. Oozing the charm of a country estate and the sparkle of a luxurious mansion (check out those chandeliers!) the Rockleigh was decorated for the two superstars with lush red rose arrangements, all put together by Premini Events.
The wedding had several epic highlights including the Michael Jackson performances of the bride and groom (Uchi danced to Billie Jean, while Aashish performed to Dangerous, and the choreography was absolutely insane!), the Vidaai, the last ritual of the wedding ceremony when the bride bid farewell to her parents, and the final badass moment when the couple drove away in a Tesla Model X.
The photos above are highlights from all 5 days. Prepare your eyes for a visual feast. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in Uchi and Aashish’s wedding week. They welcomed us like family and fed us endless amounts of delicious Indian food, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more!