Whew! It has been a crazy couple of weeks! I recently returned from photographing Sanjay & Alexandra’s gorgeous wedding in New York City. I first met Alexandra four years ago when I photographed her sister Melissa’s wedding at the old art museum here in Grand Rapids. Crazy to think it has been four years since then! We arrived in NYC the evening before the wedding to photograph their Mehndi party (henna painting party).
We met Alexandra in her suite at the hotel where she was getting ready and then went with her to get a cab. It was the funniest thing — here we were in the heart of Manhatten, with beautiful Alexandra dressed in head-to-toe colorful Indian attire — and there was not a cab to be found that was available! The shots of her waiting for a cab, and texting Sanjay while standing at the curb were worth the wait! Isn’t she stunning?!
The Mendhi was held at 632 on Hudson – a perfect setting for such a party! The interior is exquisitely decorated with a talented artistic eye given to every area. Even the bathrooms were works of art in themselves. It was once the home for the cast of The Real World, New York and is now an exclusive location for those wanting a completely unique venue.
We had a few moments to photograph Alexandra before the guests arrived.
Then she settled in to another room where she patiently sat for 2+ hours while the henna artist painted the most beautiful and intricate designs. There was another henna artist in one of the main rooms that painted henna art on the guests. Sanjay and Alexandra planned every little detail to cater to their guests and you could tell that every single person was thoroughly enjoying the party!
You’ll notice soon that very few images from this party are in black and white. When going through these, it just seemed almost a crime to take away the incredible array of color that was everywhere I turned. I tell you, I was one happy photographer!!!
There was one guest that was definitely extra-special, and that was Sanjay’s Grandma. She is the sweetest lady with such a great sense of humor. It was obvious that Sanjay and her share an extremely close bond.
A friend of Alexandra’s from college. I can’t remember her name, but I do remember how Alexandra’s face just lit up when she arrived. :) Don’t you just love being silly with old friends?!
Even though the brownstone was 5 stories, including a roof-top garden, rooms were often full to the brim with guests — which led to looking for unique angles to shoot from (or in this case into a mirror). And Sanjay, the one on the right is just for you. It was a special photo request I couldn’t turn down. If it makes you laugh out loud while you are in some quaint little cafe in Italy… I will have done my job!
Much of the action was going on at a long dining table in one of the main rooms on the 4th floor. You’d hear laughter, “Salut!”, more laughter, a toast, “Salut!”… over and over again. Once Alexandra was done with her painting, she was able to join Sanjay and the others in all the fun.
Towards the end of the evening, the dancing started. Within minutes, we knew we were just seeing an intro. to what the dancing would be like at the wedding! Beautiful Indian dresses, mixed with latin dancing… It really doesn’t get better than that.
The middle area that was open up to the top floor provided perfect places to gather and watch the dancing!
This last photograph I’m going to share really says it all to me… Two very independant individuals that are completely comfortable with their friends or on their own – but when they are together, they are together. Watching them, it is obvious that there is no one else but each other in their world.
Alexandra & Sanjay – I hope you are having your fill of beaches, pasta and wine (ahhhhhh!) while on your honeymoon! I will pull some photographs from the wedding next and post them in the next day or two. ~ Mary Beth