This past weekend I got to photograph an awesome couple + their epically fun cultural traditions! Chaldeans might just be the most fun group of people around and, I have to admit, seeing all the beautiful clothing, intricate henna, twinkling jewelry, and hearing the rhythmic Iraqi live music (provided by Intercultural Music Production) made me wish to be Chaldean for the night!
This traditional Iraqui Henna party and wedding shower took place at Sunda, a restaurant (with incredibly delicious food, I might add!) in downtown Chicago, and started out with some wedding shower games for the ladies.
The men arrived with a traditional Zeffa, a musical procession involving lots of dancing, music, and joyfully loud noises.
The dancing continued throughout the entire evening. Andrew’s parents performed a beautiful dance together and Andrew even accompanied the band at one point with his singing! Later, Amanda wrote to tell me that the band actually had special significance to Andrew and his family. One of the members, Ronnie, taught Andrew to play the oud (a guitar-like instrument shaped like half a fig). Andrew decided to hire Ronnie and his band for this event to surprise his family. Not only did everyone really enjoy it because they were fantastic, but they were also playing hits from back home in Iraq. To top it all off, Andrew’s dad and the gentleman on the keyboard (Zaya al Iraqi) recognized each other from their childhood days growing up in the same village in Iraq. Amazing!!!
Andrew and Amanda – thank you so much for making me a part of your day! Best wishes with your wedding and life together!