Monday might we photographed another Muslim Walima (several days after the wedding celebration), that was put on by the groom’s family. It was at the Convention Hall in Colombo, where we did our first Muslim wedding. That time, there was 1,200 guests. This Walima there was a mere 600.
My other female photographer was still sick and so I did the women’s side alone and Lipton Jayawickrama did the gent’s side. I’m always nervous when working alone. I don’t know why, because I’ve done it enough that I should be confident. But I get nervous – that’s just how it is.
There was no need for a case of the nerves, for this Walima was so laid back. The bride and groom came in together and then sat on the throne. I took a couple of photos and then the groom left for the men’s side. The groom's sister (she was the coordinator) kept telling me to sit and rest, and she'd tell me when to photograph whom.
But I can't just sit, so I wandered around the giant room. I took pictures of ladies at this table and that table. Many were in full black covering, and didn’t want their photos taken. No problem. When I showed the groom’s sister, she didn’t know half the people, so I stuck with her for a while and when she sat down at a table to chat, then I took the pictures of the ladies at the table. Of course she’s not going to know all 600 people.
Lipton was quite busy on the men’s side. The groom's family wanted photos of every table. On my side, when the family was eating at the head table, they asked me to take a photo of them eating. It is really, really against my principle to take eating shots. I don’t think they are attractive at all and so at first I said no, but then I said that I’d only take the photo if everyone stopped eating. They seemed a bit shocked that I’d say no, but they were such a good and polite crowd that to stop eating seemed reasonable to them.
When it came to take photos of the family (the family all get up on the throne and photos go on forever), they were at first pretty serious when the camera captured their image. But leave it to the loud American (that would be me) who loves to make people smile, and laugh! Especially if they react as wonderfully as this family did – it just egged me on!
This family is strict about no couple photos or family group photos to go on the blog or onto Face Book. I always abide by family's wishes, even though I’d love to post pictures of the couple and of the smiling family. But here are some details shots, which will give you an idea of another Walima.
Father of the bride (left) and a Sri Lankan Minister
of Parliament in white.
Ministers are always honored guests.
The family's head table.
The gent's side.
Fairy lights on all the walls.
Details of bride's saree.
The bride's bouquet.
Candy is traditionally given out to all the guests.
The cake box with the couples' names.
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