Portland Indian & Mien Wedding
From the moment we first met Holly and Nikhel, they were friendly, open, and full of excitement for their big day. Holly is incredibly kind and wears her heart on her sleeve. Nik is her perfect counterpart. He is generous and warm, and so in tune with Holly. It was a collaborative effort leading up to the wedding. They made sure we knew of all the important moments that would unfold and worked with us closely so we had a game plan for best capturing everything. Our collaboration felt effortless and we were just overjoyed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this wedding.
When the big weekend arrived, Holly and Nikhel continued to make us feel like part of their family. Their positive energy and love for each other was contagious, and the emotions were flowing. Their wedding was a blending of two cultures: Nikhel’s Indian family and Holly’s Mien family. We couldn’t wait to capture such a special time in their lives and preserve what would surely be a significant day for both families.
Holly and Nik hired us to photograph three days of festivities, beginning with the Sangeet on a Thursday evening. The Sangeet is a lively and musical night where the two families come together to bond, mingle and dance together. The celebration traditionally occurs after the Mehndhi where intricate and stunning henna designs are applied to the bride and family. Holly’s Henna artist, Rashmi Patel, was incredible. It was the first time we’ve seen such detail that included the initials of both Holly and Nik on their palms.
Friday was the day of the Indian ceremony at the intimate Portland Hindu Temple in Tigard. Indian weddings are known for their vibrant colors, intricate rituals, and lively celebrations. And when these elements come together, the result is a truly unforgettable experience. As a photographer, it’s such a privilege to capture the joy and beauty of these events. And an honor to know you are helping to preserve the memories for generations to come.
From Holly getting ready at her home in the traditional Indian wedding attire to the the Baraat, where Nikhel and his family arrived to the temple on horseback, the day started off with every bit of excitement that we had come to expect. Nikhel was lucky enough to led by an incredible dholi, Harmen, who led the crowd with such positive and infectious energy. His drumming kept the crowd excited, moving and LOUD. All the best parts of the Baraat!
Beneath the Mandap inside the temple, their Indian ceremony unfolded with all the traditional elements. Holly’s family were by her side to participate. There was a real “coming together” feeling for their two families. This is truly what makes multicultural weddings so special. It’s not just two lives joining but two families and two cultures. And this is further embraced through significant rituals that date back thousands of years.
Emotion was overflowing from everyone by the time the nearly two hour Indian ceremony concluded. In particular, Holly was filled with emotion several times during the ceremony, and Nik was just the loveliest groom who never hesitated to pause for an embrace or a knowing glance to check in.
On the third and final day, Holly and Nik had another ceremony in a church followed by a Mien tea ceremony at the reception. Their church ceremony was held in NE Portland with the reception following in the Crowne Plaza Downtown Portland ballroom. It was every bit as emotional as the Indian ceremony. Filled with a tearful first look, joyous reactions and lots of hugging. At the Crowne Place, The Mien tea ceremony greeted the guests to the reception. This was a new one for us, and it was such a touching way witness the welcoming of guests and the receiving of blessings from family. Holly and Nikhel were so gracious and welcoming to each person, exchanging laughs and hugs from across the table. Bridesmaids and groomsman all participated to receive the gifts, pass out tea and honor this important tradition of the Mien community.
Holly and Nikhel’s wedding reception did not disappoint, you guys! With their incredible DJ Noop and Harmen as emcee, there was no way it wasn’t going to be a fun night. Not to mention that Holly and Nik surprised their guests with the incomparable White Lotus dragon dancers mid way through the party. Speeches were touching, hilarious and heartwarming. The dancing was bursting with enthusiasm. What more can I say…it was truly so. much. fun.
When reflecting on this wedding, the words that come to mind are energy and emotion. There were plenty of both and it was a whirlwind of three days that we are so grateful to have captured. Holly and Nikhel’s Indian and Mien wedding was most definitely a celebration of love, family, and culture. We feel so honored to have had this unique opportunity to capture the beauty and joy of their weekend. And can’t thank them enough for their trust in our artistic vision.
Portland Wedding Vendor Team
Quick shoutouts to the amazing Portland Wedding vendors who made this wedding come together!
For the Sangeet and Indian ceremony, we worked with the team of Dhillon Decor who were so gracious and helpful with every detail. Holly and Nik’s wedding coordinator for the Saturday wedding events was Emee Pumarega of EJP Events. Emee is the queen of Portland Indian weddings and has planned dozens of multicultural weddings. We are always impressed with how she emphasizes the important details to have captured, while also managing all of these events that culminate such a big wedding celebration.
Holly’s hair and makeup team were THE BEST. Her hair was masterfully done by Desiree Cage and makeup by Makeup by Shannel. Both were so lovely to work with, and made sure that Holly was not only looking beautiful but also feeling comfortable. We can’t wait to work with these two again! Steady State Studios was there for video and managed to bring in a team of three to cover as much as ground as possible during the events. Nice work, guys! We always want to recognize one of the best florists in the biz, Geranium Lake, for nailing the florals for the entire weekend. I mean, wow. From Holly and Nik’s garlands to the church details and the table displays at the reception…impressive as always.
Party Cat Photo Booth was at the reception for all the candid shots of guests one could want. Jacivas bakery created an intricate and stunning cake for the happy couple to slice. Last but not least, let’s not forget to mention The Crowne Plaza Hotel was the perfect house for this large and lively gathering, and their on site coordinator Monique executed the evening events flawlessly.
Thank you to everyone for making Holly and Nikhel’s weekend a dream come true! Let’s do it again, yeah?? :)
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