Colorful Indian Wedding in Bull City
Couple Sarah and Anirudh’s colorful Indian wedding took place at The Cookery in Durham, North Carolina, and it was a day steeped in tradition with some unique modern twists.
The bride wore a stunning red and gold lehenga with bold cultural jewelry and changed into a chic white lace dress for the reception. Bright colors and accents of gold and red were showcased throughout the decor. The groom arrived in a joyous procession—called the baarat—a parade of dancing and celebrating that brought an uplifting feel to all the events and rituals that followed. It was a day to remember and luckily, Raleigh, NC-based wedding photographer Elyssa Kivus, of Kivus and Camera, was there to capture every moment of this colorful Indian wedding. Keep scrolling to see this unique wedding and the artistic photographs and get inspired to bring color into your wedding day!
From the photographer:
“Sarah and Anirudh really embraced Durham,” says Kivus. “They both went to school in the area but were planning their wedding from afar. They were also living in different cities while planning the wedding.… Since they met in Durham and love the city, they were excited to do portraits around downtown, capturing distinct features of the ‘Bull City,’ including the water tower and smokestack from an old tobacco factory, popular murals, and the statue of Major the Bull.
"One challenge that arose during the planning was the scheduling. They first had an intimate wedding in 2021 and then the Indian wedding took place last year. Due to Covid, they had to postpone/adjust plans, and I’m sure Sarah & Anirudh found planning from afar a bit challenging, but I was always happy to hop on Zoom and their coordinator for this wedding was also a big help. On this day, fortunately, there was not a cloud in the sky, so I was photographing their first look, some of the downtown portraits, and the baraat in very bright, very high sun.”
Kivus’s wedding day approach is mostly journalistic. “I like documenting everything as it unfolds,” she explains. “I like to be close, so I can be photographing ‘in’ the action. As an example, during Sarah & Ani’s ‘second’ ceremony [the Indian one shown here], I was up on the mandap with them, and anytime there’s a dance floor, it’s a guarantee I’ll be on it and not just on the edge. For portraits, I do provide instruction and some posing suggestions, but my approach is sort of that of a director. I love portraits of couples actually interacting. That allows me to photograph genuine moments within the portrait setting.”
We love the unique perspective that Kivus brought to this colorful Indian wedding day and it is an honor to showcase her work. Check out her portfolio and website. Based in Raleigh, she is available for weddings worldwide.
Looking for colorful inspiration for your wedding? Don’t miss our searchable galleries where you’ll find all the ideas you need to plan your wedding with loads of personal style.
Prep Suites: 21C Museum Hotel
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Cookery
Planning: A Swanky Affair
Florals: Color Fields Farm
Baraat & Ceremony music: DJ Paradime
Officiant: Hindu Priest Vikasananda Krishna
Catering: The Catering Company of Chapel Hill
Band: Eight Past Midnight, Sam Hill Entertainment
Cake: Taylor Street Sweets
Chalk Art: Marika Wendelken
Rentals: American Party Rentals
Elyssa’s Gear for the Day:
Camera: Sony A7iii (x2)
Lenses: 16-35mm, 85mm f/1.8, 135mm, and a 90mm macro (that Elyssa says comes out just for ring shots)
Lighting: multiple flashes from Godox/Flashpoint, Manfrotto light stands, and “all the MagMod things!”
Second Shooter’s Gear: Canon 6Ds with 35mm, 85mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm lenses.