Royal Destination Wedding at Samode, Rajasthan
From the Photographer:
The colors of Rajasthan have drawn me to this desert state several times but this was the first time I was shooting a destination wedding there. The wedding was in Samode Jaipur. When I saw the palace I was surprised that I did not come here on any of my trips to Rajasthan. Samode's magnificent palace is barely known to tourists.
It is almost an hour’s drive from Jaipur and I think it’s the seclusion from the touristy circuit that gives Samode its appeal. Films have been shot here and during the wedding season it is the haunt of destination weddings.
Nirali, the bride and her groom Alfonzo live in the United States. It was a cross cultural wedding and the couple had already had their Church wedding in the US . They were now coming to India to do the nuptials the Indian way. The wedding was as grand as the setting. It was done in typical Rajasthani Maharaja style. There was the liveried wedding band. There was the Rajasthani song and dance. There were elephants and the camels. There were pool side cocktails. And there were all manner of cuisines on offer.
Rajasthan's grand palaces offer breathtaking venues for weddings. The palace weddings have a regal charm which make even simple wedding ceremonies look grand. Old magnificent palaces are all over this desert state and are regularly hired as wedding venues. The most popular destination weddings in Rajasthan happen in Udaipur, followed by Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
Nirali's and Alfonzo's Samode wedding had all the majesty of an imperial wedding. The American guests who formed the baraat got as exotic a glimpse of India as they could have ever imagined.
The highlight of the wedding was the baraat's entry into the palace when Alfonzo rode a elephant right through the palace gates. Nirali meanwhile waited for a glimpse of the groom from a high window of the palace just like a latter day Maharani awaiting her suitor.
There was a lot of song and dance and Alfonzo gamely tried to match the steps with his Indian bride to all the Indian song dances.
Image Courtesy: Wedlocks India