Deepa & Rahul — Dulles Westin Wedding — Indian Wedding

I was thrilled when I got an e-mail this past spring from a former wedding client, Shaily. I had photographed her beautiful wedding to Ajay more than three years earlier. Theirs was my first Sikh ceremony and one of my favorites of the 20 or so Indian weddings that I’ve photographed over the past six years. So I was delighted and honored when she contacted me about photographing her cousin’s wedding reception. Deepa and Rahul planned a July wedding in India — interestingly, exactly four years and a day after their first contact on the old social networking site Friendster — followed by receptions in New York and the DC area, making it as easy as possible for their many far-flung friends and relatives to celebrate this momentous occasion with them. The DC-area reception fell on Labor Day weekend — exactly four years after Deepa and Rahul’s first official date. (He came down from his native Albany to Richmond, where Deepa was attending school at the time, and they’ve been a couple ever since.) With Deepa in India and then school, Shaily took on most of the planning for the reception at the Dulles Westin for her cousin. She couldn’t have done a lovelier job. The room was awash in warm tones of pink and orange and gold. There were touching toasts and fun performances by cousins and friends. And despite having been posed this way and that by professional photographers at two previous wedding celebrations, Deepa and Rahul were so much fun and so obviously in love with each other in front of the camera during our portrait time together. Here are some of my favorites from their beautiful day:

I always describe Indian weddings as the photographic equivalent of being a kid in a candy store — the colors and textures, the sacred fire and the flower garlands, the traditions and oh, did I mention the colors? Despite not having a ceremony to photograph on this occasion, I was thrilled to capture all the gorgeous details of Deepa’s preparations as she got ready at the hotel before seeing Rahul for portraits.

Deepa, looking stunning.

Seeing each other before the reception for photos. Deepa told me that one of her favorite elements of my photography coverage from her cousin’s wedding were the relaxed portraits I made of Shaily and Ajay outside the Sikh gurdwara after the first of their two ceremonies. So my assistant and I arrived extra early to scout out some beautiful spots near the Dulles Westin for photos with Deepa and Rahul.

I loved the look of this weepy tree with the pinks and greens in Deepa’s wedding attire.

After a momentous list of family photos, it was time for the party. A few details of their lovely reception space.

A first dance.

A little fun with the reception’s littlest guests.

A few performances.

A series of beautiful toasts.

A little cake cutting.

And *a lot* of fabulous dancing.

Deepa and Rahul, it was an absolute pleasure to photograph your DC wedding reception. We hope you have a little time to relax now and just enjoy being married — and give those smile-for-family-photo muscles a little break, too!

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Reception: The Dulles Westin in Herndon, Va.

Catering: Aditi Cuisine

Lighting designers: The Dulles Westin

Bridal attire: A lehenga, purchased in Mumbai, India

Cake: Amphora Bakery

Band/DJ: DJ Vishal Harnal & Twilight Productions


  1. Santhi Nair Menachery

    What a beautiful and enchanting photography!! love it

  2. Shilesh Nair

    Wow…perfect capture of life’s few moments, as I feel they were…truly Amazing!


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