Nadi and Spiro

Today’s couple Nadi and Spiro had a jam packed two week wedding extravaganza – truly a feast for the eyes and the senses culminating in a Melbourne ceremony. Today though, I’m going to share their Mauritius Hindu ceremonies which are completely amazing in their vibrant colours, drama and beauty.

Today’s photographs are by James Boddington of Xiss Photography who has a magic in the way he captures life. This wedding is full of it and he’s managed to do it stunningly.

James tells the story of Nadi and Sprio’s origin and the beginning of the celebration. “Nadi is Mauritian, her father, Arvind is Indian/Hindu and mother, Havva of Iranian/Muslim, husband Spiro is…you guessed it… good Australian/Greek boy, what a mix!

Even by Mauritian standards this wedding was big, 2 big parties before the first official ceremony being the Hindu wedding, another party the night after that then the final ceremony, a Persian wedding honouring the heritage of both Nadi’s parents.

Nadi’s parents’ house was a buzz for the entire week. With around 20 guests staying including a large contingent of Havva’ family from Iran and elsewhere many who hadn’t seen each other for nearly a decade..”

Day one of the ceremonies starts with a henna ceremony. James recalls “The day before Nadi getting her hands and feet decorated with beautifully detailed henna tattoos. The painstakingly delicate application of the henna paste takes well over an hour with another 2 hours for it to dry, during this time Nadi couldn’t move”

James says “The following day is the actual wedding. It started in the morning with a small ceremony at the family home – as Prahba described to ‘cleanse them for the their conjugal life’. Here the Priest and close family members bless and anoint the bride and groom with Tumeric paste dabbed on their outfits with dried grass brush. They’re not supposed to see each other and are blessed separately and when bought together sit with their backs to each so as to not see each other.

Late that afternoon we had a photo session at the house. Formal Bollywood style portraits of the Bride and Groom, we all had a lot of fun and it added to the pomp and sense of occasion.”

“That evening it was the wedding. It’s a long service, about 1.5 hours where  the bride and groom for the most part sit in 2 chairs on a low stage surrounded by various offerings and objects whilst the priest and family members perform many rituals and blessings. It was then a vegetarian feast followed by, you guessed it….more dancing….yeahhh.”

James was enchanted by the final ceremony. “The final ceremony in Nadi and Spiro’s Mauritian wedding was the Persian wedding held at the Hilton in Flic En Flac on the picturesque west coast of the island.

The evening started at dusk with a cocktail party on the beach then moved inside for the ceremony. The wedding itself was a beautifully detailed ceremony punctuated with great passion, some incredibly moving speeches and much dancing and joy.

The ceremonial area where Nadi and Spiro sat most of the night looking like royalty was dressed with beautiful baubles and decorations bought from Iran by family members especially for the wedding. It was stunning and profound and a fitting end to a long, passionate week.”

The final chapter in Nadi and Spiro’s celebrations was just the two of them. James says “The final chapter in our Mauritian adventure was a dusk shoot at Flic En Flac on the beach in front of the Hilton.

Despite spending a week with Nadi and Spiro this was the only shoot we did unencumbered by their frantic schedule of wedding and family commitments.

The weather for most of the week had been dull and overcast but like the parting of the Red Sea the clouds that had graced the Mauritian skies for the majority of our week there cleared for some beautiful late afternoon  light and a stunning sunset. We had a lot of fun and when the sun had fully set I packed my cameras, cleared the sand from my shoes then jumped in a cab straight to the airport just in time for my flight back to Australia.”

Nadia and Spiro returned to Melbourne less than two weeks later for a Greek Orthodox ceremony and traditional reception.

Congratulations Nadi & Spiro on your wedding day! Thank you for allowing us to share it today! Thank you also to James Boddington of Xiss Photography for sharing today’s extravaganza with us!

Photos by James Boddington of Xiss Photography.