Danyal & Arwa | Toronto Muslim Wedding
I still remember when I shot Danyal and Arwa’s proposal at Polson Pier! Fast forward to a year.. and look where we are! Danyal and Arwa’s wedding was filled with elaborate details, laughter and family and friends.
Weddings are a beautiful time where the friends and families of two people come together to memorialize the two people celebrating their love for one another. In the West, it’s normally confined to one day of festivities. Imagine celebrating for four days instead of just one!
I had the honour of shooting an Indian Muslim wedding for the first time and was able to experience the beauty of the culture through food, festivities, and fun.
In India, there are more than 172 million individuals who choose to celebrate their weddings following the Islamic guidelines. There are many unique aspects to these weddings, as there numerous traditions and practices that have developed over the years. These celebrations are vibrant and colourful and are a truly special experience.
Arwa’s hands were carefully decorated with intricate henna patterns, a practice known as mehendi, a common practice in Indian Muslim weddings. Many of the other women attending the festivities also had their hands decorated in beautiful henna designs in celebration of her wedding day.
Everything was awash in bright colours, and everyone’s outfits were beautifully ornate and intricate. The food throughout the four days was spectacular. Each day brought new dishes and gave me the opportunity to experience the culture in a delicious and fun way.
The first two days of the festivities were located at Arwa’s house, and both her and Danyal’s close friends and family attended the event. The days were bursting with energy and full of singing and dancing.
The third day took place at the Mississauga Golf and Country Club, and was another day full of festivities. There were heartfelt speeches from guests, many games, and more dancing. A beautiful dinner took place at the golf club, and the sun looked beautiful as it set over the happy scene. It was a night full of laughter, fun, and celebration.
The final day was a dinner located at the Anjuman-e-Fakhri Masjid Compex in Mississauga, a beautiful building that was still under construction when we shot here. The building is 47,000 square feet in total and is breathtaking from both inside and outside.
There were over 500 guests attending the dinner that night! This was probably the largest number of guests that I’ve ever seen at a wedding. Despite the daunting numbers, everyone was warm and welcoming, and you could feel a sense of community and homeliness throughout the mosque.
You could tell how perfect Danyal and Arwa were for each other just by looking at them. From the perfect colour coordination of their outfits to the radiant smiles on their faces, you could see how excited they were to celebrate their love in front of all the important people in their lives.
I had a great time photographing them and learned a lot from the experience. It was truly special and unique experience to witness a Muslim wedding, and how Danyal and Arwa’s faith and devotion was reflected in the festivities and joys of the event. Their wedding celebrated their love and exemplified their dedication to their faith.