As promised, I am so happy to share with you photos from Aadhya and Aarav’s City Hall Indian wedding on Monday! These two met eight years ago while both were volunteering in India. And though Aadhya eventually moved to Ethiopia and Aarav moved to the UK, love couldn’t keep them apart. Their friendship turned romantic, and Aarav finally asked for her hand in marriage the old fashioned way — over WhatsApp. Such a modern couple needs a modern wedding, no?
Aadhya and Aarav’s marriage yesterday at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau did indeed honor their family’s cultural traditions, but with a modern twist. After a quick ‘I do’ at City Hall, they had a fantastic reception at Utsav Restaurant in midtown.
For anyone looking to say their vows at City Hall, my advice is to get to the City Clerk’s office early in the day and do not go on a Friday. Case in point, for Aadhya and Aarav’s wedding we arrived at City Hall around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, and the wait was all of thirty minutes. Seriously, this is the quickest I have ever gotten out of City Hall in all of my five years of shooting weddings there. Compare this with the average 2.5 hour wait that will happen if you go on a Friday afternoon. You have been warned…
We set up the ‘first look’ right in front of the City Clerk’s office. With all of the bridal party’s colorful saris, we were quite the sight for tourists. Indeed, we stopped traffic a few times during the day!
For the ceremony, the couple chose to exchange rings as well as garlands of flowers. These garlands are common in Indian weddings. We also had a chase scene in the City Clerk’s office chapel. In Indian weddings, the bride’s family tries to put up a (faux) fight to keep the groom from getting the bride. The bride in turn reciprocates, and catches her man in the end. It was a fun moment for all, including the officiant.
Another fun moment was the spontaneous bouquet toss after the ceremony. Some advice for anyone having their wedding at City Hall: the back entrance to the City Clerk’s office has lovely art deco, bronze doors that are great for photos. There is usually very little traffic through these doors. It’s a great spot to set up a wide shot of the bride and groom, or even the entire wedding party. Also, note that the little wedding garden just across from the marriage bureau is currently under construction. Plan for a secondary location for any portraits in the area.
Enjoy the pics! Are you planning on getting married at City Hall? If so, drop me a line and let’s plan your perfect day together.
If you would like to view more examples from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, such as these City Hall Indian wedding photos, then please visit my website — KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.