Jamie and Aisha’s Anglo Asian Wedding

Jamie and Aisha had two weddings to reflect their dual heritage as a couple. Aisha is from Pakistan and for her and her family it was important that she have a traditional “Asian” wedding as she calls it. Aisha has lived in the UK all of her life and is herself is half Scottish so she was also very welcoming of having the traditional British white wedding in keeping with Jamie and his families wishes.

The weddings were conducted over two days, the first being at the Hilton in Canary Wharf. This was the Asian wedding and it was my first Asian wedding. I have to say I loved it! Jamie and Aisha told me about significant parts of the wedding and I was hooked, knowing the reasons why there are various stages to the wedding makes it so much more interesting.

The premise as, I understand it, underpinning the ceremony is that traditionally Aisha would be going off to live in another village and would likely not see her family again. She and Jamie would only meet for the first time after they have exchanged their vows and have become husband and wife.

This concept really played on my mind, there were so many questions that I had. Aisha explained that the elders of the families would have chosen this match very carefully over many years and that the union was not just about the good of the couple but also what was good for the respective villages. In this way the marriage is elevated above the needs of the couple. Statistically these marriages work, so maybe there is a lot to be learned from allowing wiser more experienced people to dabble in your love life. For Jamie and Aisha, however, they met and fell in love many years before the wedding and they have been embraced in to each other’s families since.

At the end of the Asian ceremony there is an emotional spike as the bride’s family bid her farewell. Traditionally it would have been very unlikely that they would have seen her again as she is destined for a new life in a new village with her husband and his family. In Aisha’s case she said that she was very emotional even though she would be seeing her family later that evening. The significance of this tradition is poignant and serves to remind us of the importance of family. I was able to capture some of these moments, my favourite being Aisha’s mother holding her face and soothing her. Aisha agreed that this was a favourite image for her.

Day two and we were at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich for the English part of this Anglo Asian Wedding. The Naval College is a very enigmatic and regal venue for a wedding. I loved the architecture and the interiors that are steeped in hundreds of years of Naval history.

At this point the wedding had begun to feel like meeting old friends as a core group of us were reunited from the previous. This was a smaller wedding, around 70 people, which was in contrast to a few hundred guests from the previous day. Aisha and Jamie explained by Asian wedding standards it was still a very modest number.

The second day was a very relaxed affair in comparison to the Asian wedding. Jamie and Aisha had the venue to themselves for the ceremony and the reception, however, the outdoor photos were shared with the public and there were plenty of well-wishers to congratulate the couple.

For me Jamie and Aisha’s wedding was incredibly interesting, full of life, love and fun. They are wonderful couple and I wish them every happiness in their marriage.

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