Choir In The Hills - Emma & Mar wedding in Nagaland
While the whole of India can be deemed exotic, Nagaland turns up the spice volume a little more. Lying in the very far east of India, on the border with Myanmar, Nagaland is colourful and culturally diverse, with 16 traditional tribes adding to the mix. It's also fascinating because each of the villages is almost a tiny state of its own, with its own definitive area, population and administration.
Marriage in Nagaland is centred around many interesting beliefs, facts and principles that are rooted deep within the tribal people of the state. They strictly follow a set of traditional morals of marriage. As far as the marriages of Nagaland are concerned, the different tribes have different beliefs and morals, which they maintain with dedication and commitment. All these curious and peculiar facts make the Nagaland marriages very exciting and interesting.
I, as a Candid Wedding Photographer, am always inclined to capture weddings from various cultures…weddings that are not known to all. When I knew that I was to shoot a wedding in Nagaland, I was, naturally, thrilled. It was a dream-come-true project for me. And to this day, shooting Emma and Mar's wedding remains one among my most special assignments.
My first Naga wedding!
Leaving aside the traditional Naga wedding, Emma & Mar decided to have a modern Christian wedding ceremony.
Emma & Mar were genuinely happy to share their beautiful story, and here it is.
Emma decided to host her wedding in her own beloved quaint little Sema village in Dimapur, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city. It was a fine wintery sunny day of December and the day looked more than beautiful and perfect, quite like in a fairy tale.
Emma, who is a fun loving, forever smiling, talkative and friendly girl, is a wedding planner herself. And she has always dreamt about her dream wedding...her BIG Day!
"I hadn't known it then while it was happening to me, but when I look back, I realize my love story had played out pretty much like the fairytale I had always imagined for myself," says Emma. "I met Mar Aier, my then to-be husband, at a friend's birthday party. Although I hadn't known it then, it seems I was invited to the party so that I could be introduced to him. But apparently, there were other things happening in my universe that I was not still aware of. I realized some days later that the night of the party Mar had taken quite an interest in me."
Emma took a while to understand Mar, and slowly but surely, she was falling in love with him. "We were meeting more often and I don't remember how or when our quaint meetings turned into a relationship," she says.
Mar's personality, on the other hand, is completely opposite to that of Emma. He is mostly quiet and calm...and one who loves to listen, with a keen ear for all of Emma's stories—he could listen to her for hours. And he always has a strangely peaceful persona around him. Of course, for Mar, it was love at first sight—it clearly showed that if he ever wanted to get married, it had to be only to Emma.
It seemed like a mutual, unspoken understanding that they were both headed to that one ultimate of being together for life. They both just couldn't wait any longer for the BIG Day!
"It was a beautiful affair, and I have some beautiful pictures of the day that bring back the wonderful memories of the day Mar and I became one," remembers Emma. "And it is thanks to Amrita for travelling all the way from Bangalore just to be a part of our wedding."
And the BIG Day is here
Naga weddings don't last for many hours. It is just a half-day affair, where the guests attend the wedding, head towards the couple to bless them and leave after lunch.
The decor was decided by Emma herself, and doubling as the wedding planner, she was, obviously, more nervous than she could ever be. But everything turned out to be perfect—in more ways than she had expected.
The cutest flower girls I have ever photographed.
The can't "wait no more" moment
We've been blessed!
From this day every story is "US."
The "I Do" moment
You touched my soul!
"Close your eyes, fall in LOVE, stay there!"
And life was happy again!