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Indian wedding ceremony outdoors at Willows Lodge on a beautiful sunny day

Indian wedding at Willows Lodge

Akansha and Tejas – Wedding at Willows Lodge

On March 5 Akansha and Tejas held their wedding and reception at the beautiful Willows Lodge in Woodinville.  Akansha and I had been emailing, talking by phone and meeting to go over the wedding details for weeks before the actual wedding date.  The wedding was planned to be a traditional Indian ceremony, and this can create some problems at many venues since the ceremony involves an open fire, and many (most) indoor venues will not allow this.  But Willows lodge has a very nice outdoor gazebo that would work perfectly – IF the weather was not too cold or windy to have an outdoor ceremony.  Indian ceremonies are rather complex, and also quite lengthy, so bad weather conditions would not be helpful for either the participants or guests!

The weather forecast for almost the entire week of the wedding was quite bleak; cold, wet and windy.  But it did look like there might be a break in the weather for a few hours on Saturday morning, the day that the wedding was scheduled.  I arrived at Willows Lodge ~9:30 that morning, and the skies were a bit overcast but not raining.  The gazebo had already been set up and was beautiful, but the grassy areas all around were both wet and muddy in the aftermath of the rain we had experienced all week.  I noticed that the gazebo had some very nice overhead heaters, and though there were no walls it was very comfortable inside.

Akansha and her family arrived and started to move everything into place for the ceremony.  Then Tejas arrived, and brought with him a surprise (for me, at least); Teddy, their gorgeous young (and very exuberant) Golden Retriever.  I had not known that Teddy was going to be at the wedding, but we quickly made friends.  I grew up with Goldens, they are some of my favorite dogs and Teddy was an absolute sweetheart.  By the time the ceremony started the weather had actually improved, and the skies were now mostly sunny, and it was getting warmer.  I got busy trying to catch as many details with my camera as I could.

Once Akansha and the priest were ready the first part of the ceremony began.  This involves just the bride and the priest, and is fairly intricate.  Next, the second part of the ceremony was held, this time involving the parents of Akansha and Tejas, but not the couple themselves.   Lots more great photo opps and I clicked away like crazy.

After this part of the ceremony was concluded, there was a break with snacks and everyone was able to relax for a bit, before the main event got underway!  We had a chance to take a few family photos at this point, and Teddy was prominent in many of the photos.  🙂

Finally it was time for the main part of the ceremony.  By now the weather had decided to go against all predictions, and it was sunny and warm, much more like mid-May than early March.  For this part of the ceremony, not only were Akansha, Tejas and their parents involved, the rest of the family and guests were also able to participate in some parts of the ceremony.  During this part of the ceremony there is a small fire, and the bride and groom first drop things into it, then stand and circle it several times.

But that is only a small part of this part the ceremony, which takes ~45 minutes.  I was in photographer heaven, with all of the wonderful colorful saris worn by the women and almost equally colorful clothes worn by the men.  I tried to post a decent sampling of photos here to show what happened during the ceremony, but could have easily posted twice as many and still not really done it justice.

All in all, it was an amazing day, and everyone there seemed to have a great time.  I know that I did!

Here are some photos from the day, hopefully enough to give you some idea of what a cool wedding this was.  I hope you like the pictures!

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