Rhea and Prateek's Big Fat Destination Wedding at the Atlantis, Dubai.
It was back in early 2013 when I was testing my yet to be published website, I got an enquiry from a surprise visitor, Rhea. To this day, I have absolutely no idea how she found her way to my website. She had nonchalantly mentioned her wedding was to happen in Delhi and partly in Dubai. Besides being incredibly happy to have roped my first international assignment, I didn't really think of it much then. But what was to come simply blew my mind away.Couple of months prior to the wedding I was in Bhutan and I received a message from Joseph Radhik saying we were shooting this very same wedding together, it hit me then that this was going to be big ! But, It wasn't until about a month before the wedding when Rhea asked me to take a look at the wedding website, I got to know how big it was to be. Behold, Atlantis, The Palm Islands Dubai. The closest I had ever come to the Palm Islands was on Megastructures in the National Geographic Channel. Not in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined that I would get to shoot the proverbial Big Fat Indian Wedding at a venue as grand as this. The four days that followed was so overpowering, the mere scale and grandeur was a humbling experience.
Day 1 : I arrived in Dubai a day earlier to get a feel of the magnanimity of what The Atlantis was to offer. It was to be a work free day, but we were soon summoned over to the Dubai Marina for a sunset party on a Yacht ! At this point I gave up and just allowed the opulence of it all to punch-drunk me.
Day 2 :The wedding festivities started with a Mehendi party that looked straight out of a Yash Raj film with a gorgeous palette of canary yellows and hot pink decor cascading against the sunny day, followed by a professional belly-dancing performance.
Day 3 :The Sangeet event can sometimes be the most important day, even more than the actual wedding itself. This was proven yet again by the sheer scale of the production. It was nothing short of a grand Bollywood award function.
Day 4: The wedding day. It started out relatively low profile with the choora and haldi ceremony and slowly upped the ante by the time it reached the Baraat and the wedding. The wedding venue was truly one of the best I have shot at so far. The Phera's happened by the beach with the Dubai night skyline forming the backdrop. The wedding was followed by a mesmerising performance for over 2 hours by the Pakistani band 'Overload'. But above all what really overwhelmed me was the endless variety of food! Fun fact : Masterchef Australia had their elimination round few weeks prior to the wedding at the Atlantis and that quality was there for everyone to see.
I have made a short compilation of photographs from the wedding, I hope you enjoy it. Do not forget to Turn the music on (on the bar below) before you check the pictures out :)