My initiation into the world of Hindu weddings was busy, exhausting, colourful, vibrant, noisy, fun, tasty - don't forget tasty - I was fed like a prince!
While I wasn't engaged to shoot the wedding itself in Watford I was asked to shoot three nights of celebrations as a corner of a wet and cool October Bournemouth was transformed into a small piece of Mauritius with the food, music and customs of Mauritian Hindus.
The first night was Mehndi night - with the bride and her guests only. Mehndi night involves lots of henna tattoos - the artistry is truly amazing - some rituals and customs with everyone taking part from the youngsters to grandma, vegetarian curries - all great fun.
The following night was Haldi night, another bride and guests only occasion, where the bride is purified with saffron and turmeric paste - it seemed every guest lined up, eager to brush some of the mixture onto her shoulders, knees and ankles as well as daubing her face and hair! It was all good fun with lots of laughter and some great pictures.
I then had a night off on the Saturday before returning on Sunday for the big gathering where both the bride and groom (Sabrina & Rishi) and their guests descended on Bournemouth - there were customs involving money, a milk pudding and money, throwing and catching of rice, washing of feet - a real education for someone who has only ever attended civil weddings and church weddings.
I had great fun - I think everyone had great fun - and I shot some great pictures - here is a (very) small selection.