Pre Indian Wedding Rituals in Whittier

Apr 13, 2017

Rathika + Prem


We got introduced to Rathika + Prem through our good friend Anna of Anna Mae Lam Photography.  Rathika + Prem have been inseparable ever since they first met in medical school where she was a first year student while he was in his third year.  The only thing that really kept them apart was for a time when they had a long distance relationship with Prem on the East Coast and Rathika on West.   Prem actually used it to his advantage when deciding to propose.  He told Rathika that there was retreat in San Francisco that they had to go to, but they were staying in Lake Tahoe.  When they got there it was actually both sides of the family gathered to witness the big proposal!

beautiful pose of south asian wedding couple

Rathika + Prem look deeply into each others eyes after the rituals have been performed.

Ganesha Puja in Whittier

Family and friends gathered at Prem’s parents’ residence for Rathika + Prem’s pre Indian wedding rituals in Whittier.  The day started with Prem and his parents paying respect to Lord Ganesh during the Ganesha Puja.  Lord Ganesh is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, which is why he is always honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies.

sadhu in front of alter for hindu wedding photographer

Wide shot of the priest in front of the alter where the rituals and ceremonies will be performed

sadhu aids in putting on dhoti on groom

The priest helps Prem get into his outfit.

groom presents flame during pre indian wedding rituals in whittier wedding photographer

During the puja, Prem presents the flame in a circular motion over the alter.

groom glances at mother and smiles during ceremony in whittier wedding photography

Prem glances over and smiles at his mother during the puja.

water sprinkled over hindu groom during pre indian wedding ceremony in whittier

The priest sprinkles some water over the Prem while chanting.

janya ceremony sacred thread tied to indian groom in indian wedding in whittier

Yellow sacred thread is tied to Prem’s wrist so that he can be pure in his thought, word and deed.

beautiful portrait of hindu bride during indian wedding in whittier

Beautiful portrait of our lovely bride Rathika during the ceremony.

great grandmother with great granddaughter during wedding day

Great grandmother thrilled to see her great granddaughter all dressed up.

portrait of indian family sibilings during wedding day

Family portrait of the siblings


Haldi Ceremony in Whittier

The Haldi Ceremony was conducted shortly afterwards.  In this ceremony, a yellowish paste (haldi) which is made up of sandalwood powder and milk, was applied to Prem’s face, neck, hands, arms, and feet by people in attendance.  This is said to purify the body and keep evil spirits away.  It also has properties of leaving the skin fair and glowing.  Prem found some time to joke with Rathika that he was now the Beauty and she was the Beast while he was covered in the yellow substance.

indian family portrait during pre hindu wedding rituals

Portrait of Prem with his family prior to the Haldi ceremony.

sister applies haldi to hindu groom's nose in whittier wedding photographer

Sister Hema applies some haldi on Prem’s nose as mom looks on.

indian groom prepares for haldi from mother in law during indian wedding in whittier

Prem prepares for his mother-in-law to apply some haldi on his face.

indian family presents clothes to groom in whittier wedding photography

Prem’s family presents him with his clothes after the Haldi ceremony.

intimate moment with mother and indian groom getting garland in whittier wedding

After a quick bath and getting dressed, Prem’s mother adjust her son’s gold and garland.

red tilaka applied on indian groom's forehead during pre indian wedding rituals in whittier

The priest applies a red tilaka on Prem’s forehead.

twigs and flower for base of sacred fire during indian wedding photographer

Prem is handed some twigs and flower which will be used for building the sacred fire.

bride talks sweet nothings to indian groom while observing fire ceremony

Every time Rathika leaned in to say something to Prem during the ceremony, he would give just the biggest smile.

bride and groom pose for camera before sacred fire ceremony

The lovely couple take time to glance at the camera prior to building the fire.

ghee poured on sacred fire during indian wedding in whittier

Ghee is poured to build the sacred fire suring this ritual.

hindu priest applies sacred ash to groom's forehead during pre Indian wedding rituals

The priest applies some of the sacred ash onto Prem’s forehead during the pre Indian wedding rituals.

guests toss flower petals over Indian groom  during indian wedding ceremony in whittier

Guests toss flower petals over our groom Prem and his parents.  He is now ready to be married.

brother in law helps groom adjust garland for hindu wedding photographer in whittier

Prem gets some help in adjusting his garland from his brother in law.

gift of pearls to indian groom by mother in law during indian wedding ritual

A gift of pearls is presented to Prem from his future mother in law.

indian in laws feed bride sweets during indian wedding photographer in southern california

Rathika’s future in-laws feed her Prem’s favorite sweet.

intimate kiss between indian bride and groom during pre indian wedding rituals in whittier

Intimate kissing between Rathika + Prem in front of the water fountain in front of the residence.

standard portrait of indian groom and bride in sari during indian wedding photographer in southern california

Portrait of Rathika + Prem during their pre Indian wedding rituals in Whittier.

wide portrait of bride and groom at private residence in whittier wedding photographer

Wide shot of our lovely couple in front of the winding driveway at their parents’ residence.

Mendhi Ceremony in Whittier

Later in the evening, the pre Indian wedding rituals in Whittier continued with the Mendhi Ceremony.  Rathika was already out in Huntington Beach receiving her family at the actual wedding venue.  This left the women at Prem’s parents’ residence to get some henna applied to their hands.  Prem opted for something truly unique and had his background in mind when he asked for some henna of the bone structure on his foot.

The evening concluded with Prem’s sister, her husband, and their daughter performing a sweet little dance performance to get the festivities for the weekend started.

standard portrait of indian groom and his immediate family in whittier wedding photography

Standard portrait of Prem with his family while waiting for their guests.

henna artist begins design during mendhi ceremony in whittier wedding photographer

The henna artist begins on a design on Prem’s cousin’s hand.

intricate henna design during mendhi ceremony wedding photographer

The intricate designs of the henna flowing down one finger.

woman receives henna on palm during mendhi ceremony in whittier wedding photographer

Prem’s aunt receives some henna on the palm of her hands during the mendhi ceremony in Whittier.

close up of henna design on palm of the hand during mendhi wedding ceremony photography

A close up of the design on the palm of her hand

creative off camera flash shot of groom getting henna on feet during pre indian wedding rituals mendhi ceremony

Creative shot of Prem getting some henna applied to his foot.

groom gets bone structure henna on foot during mendhi ceremony in whittier wedding photographer

Prem wanted the henna artist to recreate the bone structure in his foot, which is a truly unique idea.

bollywood dance during indian wedding sangeet photographer in whittier

Hema, Prem’s sister, and her family perform a little dance number to get the weekend festivities started.

indian groom entertained by family's bollywood dance during sangeet wedding photography in whittier

Prem is entertained by the dance performance by his family.


Thank you Rathika + Prem in allowing us to witness your pre Indian wedding rituals in your parents’ beautiful residence in Whittier overlooking everything.  We are sure that all of the other wedding festivities were as fun as these were.  We hope you two are enjoying yourselves on your honeymoon out there in New Zealand!  

romantic portrait of bride and groom on stairs in whittier wedding photographer

Romantic portrait of Rathika + Prem sitting on the stairs.


In order to provide our couples with the ultimate Jovanni experience, we only take on a limited number of weddings per year.

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