Ramneek & John - When Stalactites and Stalagmites Meet (Fusion Wedding in Mexico)

on Saturday, December 31, 2011

 OK, let's slow down a little bit... This is the last wedding of 2011and the first one to involve two distinct types of ceremonies: one Sikh and one Catholic. It is also the first wedding that finds me in Mexico, at the opulent all inclusive resort Azul Sensatori, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea:
 The celebrations last 3 days and begin with a ladies' sangeet/maiya/choora party:
 We even have the rangoli:
 It's a mix of all rituals in one:
The Hindu flavors makes it more confusing:
 It looks familiar again when the jaago starts:

 How do you know when the jaago is too big for you? Easy: when the jaago is too big for you:

  Everybody keeps dancing till they kick us out.
 The second day is for the Sikh ceremony:
 This image has a few unusual characteristics. I let you find them:
 A few more:
 A successful sehra bandi ritual is when the groom's head is not poked by too many needles:
 And his mouth is stuffed with sweets:
  In the same time, the bride to be gets ready in her room. Makeup artist extraordinaire and friend Sunita Sumaru came all the way from Edmonton, Canada to help with this part:
 Everybody else gathers in the main lobby of the resort for the milni. The officiant flew in from Mexico City:

 Ramneek is introduced  by her brother and sister in law:
 And her father gives her away:

 Ramneek is probably on some kind of diet, because she gives some of her prasad to John:
 No worries, nobody saw it! Your secret is safe with me:
 She may be married, but she's still mommy's little girl:
 The week before the wedding I've spent a lot of time wondering all around the Mayan Riviera searching for a good spot to do the portrait session. I guess I found it:
 It's called Aktun Chen - which is Mayan for 'natural well inside of a cave' - and it's one of the many underground cave systems in the area:
 I was extremely lucky with Luis Ortiz, guest services manager at Aventura Mexicana hotel, in Playa del Carmen, who went above and beyond to facilitate the whole operation. Muchas gracias, Luis!

Also, a million thanks to Aktun Chen management for allowing us to play super models in this incredible place:
 Last part of the cave is a spectacular cenote:
 The following day is a pretty long one, as well, reserved for the Christian ceremony and the reception.

 Now I know why Ramneek doesn't want to eat... With a total weight of well over 30 kg - maybe close to 40 kg - her dress can barely fit her:
 We have a few minutes for some shots in the resort. This is not the first look, but if it was, it would have been the best 'first look' picture:
 Some abstract work. Don't worry if it doesn't make sense to you! It's not supposed to.

 I've been waiting quite some time for this moment, a wedding ceremony on the beach, and not even a thousand words - reportedly, that's how many a picture is worth - could express my feelings right now:
 But forget my feelings! There are others more important to capture:

 Thank you, Ioana, for this shot:
 With this ring John takes Ramneek:
 With the same ring, Ramneek impresses her maids:
 John has to show something to the girls, as well:
 The sun goes down quickly and we mange to snap a few more portraits before it gets completely dark:
It's a breeze:
The reception hall is ready:
And the newly weds wipe the sand off their clothes (unlike me) and make an entrance:
John takes the cake cutting opportunity to mess with his new wife's diet:
Preet makes almost everyone cry with his speech:

But, skilfully, turns things all the way around. This is also my best chance to take a historic and rare image with Ramneek's father laughing:
First dance:
Party begins. DJ Vijay is brought from Edmonton to ensure the top quality entertainment:
And the quality is ensured!

Even Dejan - the food and beverage manager who took good care of us the whole week - and the resort staff are enjoying the Punjabi rhythm:
Nia is John and Ramneek's daughter they don't have ... yet:

At 73 years of age, John's dad is unstoppable:
Naz, on the other hand, should be stopped, but it's more fun not to do it:

Congratulations, Ramneek and John! Thank you so much for inviting us to your exotic wedding! Let's do it again!
 You guys are all kinds of awesome!
Happy New Year, everybody! See you in 2012!