“Oh my goodness Alice, I bawled my eyes out when I watched this. How perfect these pictures are. It was so comforting to have you around, you felt like an old friend!”

Fusion wedding photography at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate 

Last week I had an absolutely amazing new wedding experience capturing Jen and Sandeep’s fusion wedding as their Old Swan Hotel wedding photographer in Harrogate. The expression fusion wedding means brining two different cultures and/or religions together and combining them within one or more beautiful ceremonies. I often find fusion weddings especially moving because they show the beauty of love in every shape and form despite our backgrounds. Exactly how it should be.

In Jen and Sandeep’s case I had the pleasure of photographing their intimate Harrogate wedding three weeks earlier. They had a registry office ceremony, followed by afternoon tea at Jen’s mum’s house and a beautiful small church wedding ceremony at St. Mark’s Church in Harrogate. Since I had been invited to photograph all their wedding blessings I got to see them again three weeks later for the big Hindu fusion wedding. This ceremony was held at a beautiful, historic hotel in Harrogate. I really enjoyed my first time working as an Old Swan Hotel wedding photographer, an experience I want to share with you today.


Getting ready

Jen got ready with her sisters and family at Jen’s mum’s house just down the road from the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate. When I walked in the room with my camera in hand I couldn’t believe my eyes. Jen looked absolutely incredible in a traditional Indian wedding lengha. One of the things the bride looked forward to most on her wedding day was to “experience something completely new with my family”. I don’t think anyone was disappointed. Her family members, including Jen’s two lovely nephews and her niece, all wore traditional Indian wedding outfits and dresses which where a joy to photograph.

Although Jen had been up since six in the morning to get ready, I was still in time to photograph her putting on her wedding bangles, other jewellery and beautiful red Indian veil. A lot of safety pins, reshuffling of fabric, admiring looks and excited atmosphere later and we were picked up by an old white Bentley. We travelled in style to the wedding location, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate where the groom, Sandeep had been getting ready with his best man Neel. My second photographer Rhi was able to photograph the grooms side of the preparations.

Bride in red Indian wedding Lengha putting on foot braceletBride in red Indian wedding outfit looking in mirror smilingLady in orange wedding Lengah adjusting fabric on girls dressTwo pageboys in Indian wedding outfits smiling on stairs landingIndian groom putting on red scarf before wedding ceremony Indian groom sitting on bed in hotel room Indian groom putting on wedding turbanBride in Indian outfit sitting in Bentley smiling Bride with red veil sitting in Bentley next to driver

The wedding ceremony warm up

Once I arrived with the bride at the Old Swan Hotel, Jen was brought into a room where her best friend Hannah joined us and got to see her for the first time. I absolutely loved photographing her reaction as it was just so moving and said it all. Once I heard the drummers outside, I knew things where starting to get really exciting. I rushed downstairs, camera in hand to photograph the groom and all wedding guests having a big dance outside the Old Swan Hotel. The dancing was led by two drummers in colourful clothes which made a big impression on me. It was such good fun and made for some great photographs.

The drummers were certainly one of my highlights. The beat went straight to my heart. I always have to cry at brass music but I didn’t know drums had the same effect. When I photographed Jen’s mum leading Sandeep through the hotel to the ceremony room, led by the two drummers, I couldn’t stop a little tear of excitement. I knew that Jen was hearing the drums too whilst we walked past her room. Yes, sometimes I do cry at wedding. Always for the right reasons.

Sing of old swan hotel in HarrogateMaid of honour seeing the bride for the first time The groom driving up to the old swan hotel in red Jaguar Two Indian drummers in sunshine outside old swan hotel harrogate Indian wedding guests dancing in sunshine outside old swan hotel harrogate Indian groom dancing in sunshine surrounded by wedding guests Wedding guests dancing with walking stick in the airTray with items for Indian wedding ceremonyElderly lady in Indian wedding guest outfit dancing in sunshine Wedding guests in Indian outfits dancing in sunshineIndian wedding egg in grooms handIndian drummer in colourful outfit playing at wedding ceremonyMother of the bride with Indian groom walking through corridor at old swan hotel harrogate

Photographing the Hindu wedding ceremony at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

Once a couple more rituals where performed and all guests seated, Sandeep was shown his seat on the stage under the Indian wedding mandap. Jen was ready to make her entrance. My heart was beating whilst photographing her and her brother-in-law down the aisle and I couldn’t wait for Sandeep to see her for the first time.

Many rituals and details followed within this wonderfully meaningful and colourful Hindu wedding ceremony. The priest Arjun explained all rituals in English first so everyone could join in. It was an absolute joy to attend and photograph the wedding ceremony filled with colours, laughter, prayers and beautiful Hindu wedding traditions. Here is a selection of photographs of some of my favourite parts:

English bride in Indian wedding dress
Portrait of English bride in Indian wedding dress
First look on the stage at Hindu wedding ceremony

Bride and Groom exchanging flower crowns at Hindu wedding ceremony

Bride and Groom with brides mother at Indian wedding ceremony

Brides mother pouring water over bride and grooms hands at Hindu wedding

The family holding a string over bride and groom at Hindu wedding

Grooms sister tying bride and grooms scarfs together at Hindu wedding

Bride and groom putting things into a little fire on stage at Indian wedding

Bride and groom walking in Indian outfits whilst petals are being thrown

Bride laughing at Hindu wedding ceremony

Groom laughing on Mandap at Hindu wedding ceremony

Indian bride and groom taking the seven steps together

Indian groom putting Henna on brides head

Groom putting neckless on bride during Hindu wedding ceremony

Mother of the bride feeding groom during Indian wedding ceremony

Items used for Hindu wedding ceremony

Woman whispering into brides ear during Hindu wedding

Lady in orange Lengha whispering in brides ear

Rise being thrown of wedding couple during Hindu wedding

Gold statue of Hindu elephant god

The wedding reception

After the ceremony, we took all group photos on the stage under the mandap. There were a lot of group photos but I had a brilliant team of wedding guest who helped round people up so we sped through them and no ones cheeks were hurting by the end of it. Afterwards, we sat down and enjoyed a really delicious Indian buffet. I took Jen and Sandeep outside for a little stroll in the gardens of the Old Swan Hotel whilst taking beautiful photos of them together in their Indian wedding outfits. Sandeep told me a few times that he wasn’t very romantic so we had a good laugh trying to set some scenes for the couple wedding portraits.

Everybody had a break before the evening reception started. Guests got changed, relaxed in the sunshine or played garden games outside the hotel. Jen and Sandeep had special evening outfits to change into and again they both looked absolutely stunning.

Shadows of Indian wedding couple Old swan hotel harrogate wedding photographer Indian bride and groom heads touching and smiling Indian groom looking at bride in gardens Bride looking at Indian groom smiling Indian bride and groom in gardens Bride with red veil looking at Indian groomWedding guests playing giant jenga outside old swan hotel Children playing in garden of old swan hotel harrogateWedding guest sleeping on lawn

The evening wedding celebrations

Everyone came together again in the late afternoon for a champaign reception. I took the chance to get some more candid pictures of guests mingling and some more little group photos of wedding guests. The drinks were followed by a delicious three course Indian wedding breakfast and moving and funny speeches by Jen’s mum, Sandeep and his best man Neel.

After the cake cutting, we went straight into the first dance which was “Sit down” by James as Jen said that Sandeep would probably spontaneously combust if they had anything cheesy :).

Candelabra at wedding reception Old swan hotel harrogate wedding reception Wedding cake in white with white rosesFemale indian wedding guestWedding photographer old swan harrogate Bride and groom in evening outfits smiling Bride and groom in gardens at old swan harrogate Groom looking at bride with braided hair Bride and groom playing lawn game togetherGold candelabra with white flowers Mother of the bride giving speech Bride looking lovingly at mother after wedding speechGroom in blue suit giving wedding speechMother of the bride laughing at wedding speech Bride smiling at groom during wedding speech Female Indian wedding guestBest man giving speech during wedding receptionGroom hiding under towel at best man's wedding speechBride and groom laughing at wedding speechFirst wedding dance at old swan hotel harrogate First dance at wedding reception Sax player at wedding party Indian wedding guests dancing at wedding reception Bride and groom backlit in front of the old swan hotel harrogate

I finally left the happy couple to party the night away with their friends and family after taking one last beautiful evening wedding picture outside the Old Swan Hotel.

I had such an exciting, unforgettable day. Thank you so much for having me as your Old Swan Hotel wedding photographer! I loved every minute of it.

Are you thinking of having your wedding at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate?A bit about the wedding venue:

Having your wedding at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate combines historic architecture with elegant contemporary style. It is a beautifully renovated four-star hotel in the heart of Harrogate. The hotel has a big reception and ceremony room and peaceful, pretty gardens which provide a beautiful backdrop for your wedding photos. There are 136 rooms and suites available which provide accommodation for plenty of guests who would like to stay. It is conveniently set in the heart of Harrogate and the grand architecture dates back to 1840. You enter the hotel through its revolving doors which Agatha Christie would have walked through when she hid in the hotel for 11 days in 1926! All in all, a beautiful and historic place to celebrate your Yorkshire wedding. I really hope I can be back soon to work again as an Old Swan Hotel wedding photographer.

If you are looking for a fun and relaxed Yorkshire wedding photographer have a look at my portfolio or get in touch.

Other awesome wedding suppliers:

Wedding venue: https://www.classiclodges.co.uk/the-old-swan/
Hair stylist: https://www.mobilehairharrogate.co.uk
Flowers: http://www.leonorarose.co.uk
Cake: https://www.cakesandcarousels.co.uk
Caterers: https://coriandergroup.com
Musicians: http://www.jonnyrossmusic.com