Category: Journal.

Colorful Wedding Festival in India

The most beautiful Colorful Wedding Festival in India

Last February, we had the chance to visit India for the first time. We already imagined that this experience would be special, but once we stepped out of Chennai airport, we were certain that we would experience a whole new planet on the following days, after all, we were in the incredible India.

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Into Chennai, India

Chennai is the capital of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. Chennai is home to many museums and galleries, and it is a major centre for music, art and culture in India, known for its classical dance shows aswell.

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The Arrival

We already imagined that this experience would be special, but once we stepped out of Chennai airport, we were certain that we would experience a whole new planet on the following days, after all, we were in the incredible India. Sim and Kartik gave us such a sweet welcoming and they comfortably installed us in Chennai’s Novohotel alongside with all their invitees from all over the world.

We spent the arrival day walking on the streets and damn, we were absolutely overwhelmed with the colors, the smells, the sounds, the beyond chaotic streets! Planet India was presenting itself to us in all its glory! 

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The 4 Days long Celebrations

The First Day: Couple Session

Day 1 was a day to get up before the sunrise. We had planned to do some shots on this amazing temple by the beach (Mahabalipuram Temple). However, once we got there, we were told that a special permit was required in order to shoot inside the temple area. The session was lost but the visit to the temple and surroundings was unforgettable. At this stage, jet lag was hitting us hard so we decided to go for a power nap after lunch. What was supposed to be a 30min/1h nap took 3h. Regardless, it was needed as the wedding celebrations would start on that night with this amazing welcome dinner on the Blue House.

Day Two: Haldi Ceremony and colorful Holi Party

Day 2 celebrations would include the Haldi Cerimony (in which a paste of haldi is applied on the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding by their near and dear ones), the Holi party, traditional dances and Dinner with Sarangi Music. We had such a big expectation for this day!  The venue, Dakshina Chitra was absolutely amazing, we couldn’t be more amazed! Regardless, the sun was unforgiving and the temperatures were really hard to stand, yet we guess the adrenaline kept us going, and we had so much fun! The holi fest with that unique Indian background was an experience to remember. india-chennai-sangeet india-color-run india-color-run2

Day Three: Mehendi Ceremony and Sangeet

After a good night sleep, we headed to The Royal Palms for the Mehendi Cerimony. Celebrated by the Bride’s family, in this ceremony, a henna paste (Mehendi) is putted in the hands and feet of the bride, in beautiful and intricate designs, especially done with the help of an expert. After the Mehendi, everyone was ready for the Sangeet Party. The word Sangeet means music, but in an Indian wedding, it translates to Music Night or Musical Party. This music night is a celebration of the union of not only the couple, but the bonding of both families. It is here that both sides bring down their barriers and mingle in a fun environment. It’s usually held a day before and Sim and Kartik chose this amazing venue to celebrate it. It was huge, it was loud and it was fucking epic!!

Day Four: The Wedding

We finally got to the wedding day that happened in the Ideal Beach Resort. We still wonder how Sim, Kartik and all their invitees found enough strength to wake up at sunrise to kick off with the celebrations.

The Groom’s arrival (Vara Yatra) is a celebration in itself… we were absolutely amazed with the vibe and with every single sound that was surrounding us, we were completely out of this planet, damn, what an experience! Kartik’s epic arrival ended with a Tilak ritual! The wedding was held in a Mandap which is a temporary structure constructed for the purpose of the marriage ceremony. This Mandap is an elevated platform and it was amazingly decorated with flowers, greenery and fabric.

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The ceremony has a lot of prayers and meaningful “steps”, yet we can underline the beautiful necklace the groom places in the bride. Then, both their garments are toed up together as they circle a fire seven times (saptapadi). The main significance is establishing friendship, which is the basis of a hindu marriage. After this, the newlyweds showered each other with rice (talambralu), and this symbolizes fertility, prosperity and happiness. 

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Crazy to think how everyone travelled to India just two months ago. None of that would have been possible a few days later, as the entire world dive into this crazy lockdown.

We are so grateful for the epic days we had and for being able to return home safely.

We miss those days so much. We were all together.

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Explosive 2 days Wedding in Oaxaca, Mexico

Into Oaxaca de Juarez

Oaxaca de Juarez it’s the picturesque capital of the Mexican State of Oaxaca. Located deep inside the Sierra Madre Mountains (460 Km away from Mexico City) this city stands out for being a famous gastronomic hotspot  and for serving the best food of the country. At the same time, this city establish an unique balance between its unique culture and history and a cosmopolitan vibe.

It’s quite common to hear Zapotec dialect on the streets (which is the language of the native tribes that live in this region forever), and one of the wedding cerimonies we attended, was according to the Zapotec tradition. It was so mystic and so out of this world… We can still hear the drums and sounds echoing in our heads. Visiting Oaxaca it’s like connecting with Mexico in its purest state and dive deep  into the ancient traditions, flavors and colors. We can almost feel the Mexican heritage pride in all its glory.

The days before the Wedding

Fortunately enough, we had 4 days before the wedding  to explore the city and surroundings and to shoot one of the most breathtaking couple sessions that we’ve ever had. We’ve started on Monte Albán (which was the Capital of the Zapotec Empire) and then we headed up to the Mitla ruins. We’ve decided to leave Hierbe el Agua as the last place to visit (70Km away from Oaxaca) and DAMN, what an incredible place… We still get goosebumps every time we think about that place. It’s very, very difficult to get there… the roads are non-existent and to get to the right location you have to deal with the local tribes so they allow you in. Despite all the issues you may have to get to the top, one thing we can promise you, you’re about to see one of the most magical places of Mexico and that’s quite something.

The 2 Days Wedding

Gosh, the wedding day(s)… These were by far the most intense 2 days of shooting we’ve ever had.

The First Day: Zapotec Ceremony

We were far, far away from home somewhere in the middle of the Mexican Mountains, in this surreal place (Quinta Real) shooting Joel’s preps for the Zapotec Wedding Cerimony. In between, we’ve jump places and went to Casa Oaxaca where Maria was getting ready in this amazing rooftop with Oaxaca and the Mountains as back scenario… we were already blowed away!! Both Maria and Joel were dressed with traditional costumes handmaid by the Zapotec comunity. The Zapotec Ceremony started only after the sunset, and we would always be short in words to describe it…

The celebration afterwords took place in Parador de Alcalá right in the heart of Oaxaca, and again, we were surrounded by such a blazing mood, damn!! We called it a day eating burgers and driking beers at 2a.m. in a small rock bar, and we’d could not ask for more, we were over the moon.

The Second Day: Religious Ceremony

The catholic wedding came in the next day. The Unesco heritage Santo Domingo’s Cathederal was the place for the ceremony. Joel had already set the mood with his cool Hugo Boss suit, while Maria was beatifully dressed in white, walking in Santo Domingo’s Cathedral.

But what happened after the ceremony, was definitely the postcard we brought from Oaxaca. The city gathered for this huge and amazing parade… we were deep diven in Mexico, the colors, the sounds, the people and their rhythms and colors were really alucinating.

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We were ready to party from that moment on, in Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca (one of Mexico most well preserved and important gardens).

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This was really a life changing experience (as you may see by our I-Phone photos). Plus, the Pixel brothers could travel with our dearest friends and photographers João and Vassalo. We came home very tired, but with a big smile!

We are ready for the next adventure!

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The Amazing RISE FILM RETREAT

RISE FILM RETREAT

Just got home from one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had. Having the privilege to speak to such a bunch of cool people moved by the same passion was such an humbling and rewarding experience. Cornwall & RISE FILM RETREAT will be forever in our hearts. Leanne Perrins we can’t find enough words to express how thankful we are for your blind trust in us! You are the sweetest and all the Pixels are officially in love with you.
Love**

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