September 21, 2010

Narmada + Bjoern: a Buddhist wedding at Brantwyn Estate


I drove to Delaware thinking, “we’ll be fine. It’s just a little overcast. The weather forecast is wrong all the time”. Well, they were right that day. About an hour and a half before Narmada and Bjoern’s Buddhist ceremony was set to begin, we had a torrential downpour. Their wedding at DuPont’s Brantwyn Estate was supposed to be in the lovely gardens behind the mansion but that was clearly not happening with so much rain.

Narmada and Bjoern hardly blinked an eye over this. Indoors, outdoors, or wherever… they were getting married and that was all that mattered. This multi-cultural Sri Lankan + German wedding happened and it was beautiful.

The two met at the University of Delaware and became fast friends. They kept in touch as he followed research out to Wisconsin and moved to Chicago. She won a one cent bet and went to visit him and sparks flew once more.

But let’s get back to the getting ready pictures… Narmada’s mother made the stunning sari and personally sewed on the thousands of Swarovski crystals that adorned the gorgeous gown. Narmada was glowing.

I loved her details. Shoes, hair orchid, jewelry, and those super long eyelashes.

Meanwhile, Bjoern and best man, Chris, getting ready.

Despite being indoors, the Sri Lankan Buddhist ceremony was lovely. Having never witnessed this type of ceremony before, I was enraptured with all of the details. I had studied up before the wedding but it was awesome to see it happen in front of me.

There was also a Western ceremony with the customary exchange of vows and kiss.

And then the lighting of the lamp.

We took a few formals, which are never totally formal…

Luckily, the rain stopped for a bit and we were able to take a few shots outside in the gardens. Brantwyn has gorgeous grounds and I was so happy to be able to make use of them. Narmada and Bjoern are adorable. They practiced their dance before performing in front of their guests. Just blissful.

We rejoined the guests for their choreographed American waltz first dance to “You Light Up My Life”. (Narmada was on ballroom dance teams all through college and grad school.) Shout out to Ken Little of KBK Music Solutions!

It was a glorious day, rain and all.

Narmada and Bjoern, thank you so much for letting me be a part of it. Have a great honeymoon in Hawaii!

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song
~ “You Light Up My Life”, Debbie Boone

Special shout out to my second shooter, Gary!

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