Rehana & Shameer’s wedding was my second Muslim wedding and very different from our first one 3 years ago. I was excited to be a part of different ceremonies and traditions that I hadn’t seen before.
One thing that we’ve seen before: the application of mehndi.
A new ceremony for me, the pineapple ceremony. The groom’s uncles place pineapples in four corners of the house (or a room, in this case) in order to protect the house and the wedding festivities from evil spirits. Holy water is brought from the Mosque by Shameer’s sister.
OK, a quick glimpse at Shameer’s ordeal after his pithi – his groomsmen basically get to do whatever they want to him. In this case they chose to cover him in all sorts of condiments, eggs, sardines, and flour. I’m not going to lie, I was gagging a bit as they were applying everything to him. I’m sure he won’t forget this moment when his friends get married in the future.
Rehana’s pithi ceremony was scheduled to be held in this beautiful gazebo at her aunt’s home in the west end of Edmonton. Unfortunately, the rain forced the party inside, but the gazebo was too pretty not to show here.
Rehana’s sister performed a dance that brought Rehana to tears.
The ceremony at the Belle Rive Jamarkhana Mosque was so interesting to see. At the front of the room, a long table where Rehana and Shameer’s parents, and the appointed officiants sit on one side, and Rehana, Shameer, the best man, and matron of honour sit on the other.
All of the wedding guests sit behind the ceremony table and watch the proceedings.
The ceremony itself, as Rehana described it to me beforehand, is a lot of paperwork. The couple signs the provincial marriage documents as well as a Muslim wedding contract. The officiants place the wedding rings on the couple’s fingers, and the ceremony is completed with the recitation of the nikah, which from my understanding is like a sermon that confirms the wedding contract between the couple. (I’m always up for learning new things about culture, so if I have any of this wrong, please let me know!)
After the ceremony, we had some time with the bridal party at the U of A. Other than the ferocious mosquitoes, we had a great time.
So here’s a tale of ‘you know you’re meant to be a wedding photographer when…..’
I quite literally had a dream the night before this wedding about a picture I was going to take of the wedding rings. I could see it in my dream, as clear as anything, and I woke up on the morning of the wedding knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I wracked my brain to try and remember if I’d seen it anywhere recently, but I came up with nothing. So here it is, the ring shot that I dreamed up.
Just a quick peek at the reception, and a decision that Rehana & Shameer made. They made the really cool decision to sit among their guests rather than at a head table. It says a lot about who they are – not wanting to be the center of attention but wanting to really celebrate with their guests.
Congratulations you two! Thank you for bringing me to your wedding, and teaching me so many new things.