I recently had the honor of capturing the story of a unique and special wedding that took place in Istanbul, Turkey. The bride Shazma is from Pakistan and the groom Yamma is from Afghanistan who later settled in America. The guests from these three countries; America, Afghanistan and Pakistan attended the three-day wedding ceremony held at Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus.
You can find the complete story at the bottom of the page….
Before the wedding I had the opportunity to read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by the famous Afghan writer, Khaled Hosseini. This book tells the story of two women Leyla and Meryem. Their lives intersect through the regime changes in Afghanistan, which led thousands of people to flee the country. The book’s simple yet strong writing style left a profound impact on me. As I read the last pages, I learned that Yamma was of Afghan origin and felt a strange connection with him.
The first day of the wedding was a henna night. It held at the Qubbe on the roof of the Gayrettepe Dedeman Hotel. It was an Afghanistan themed night with professional dancers, henna artists and guests who were just as good at dancing. We took a pre wedding photo shoot near the Galata tower with seagulls as the background.
The second day started with preparations at the Istanbul Hilton Bosphorus hotel where we took photos in the garden after hair, make-up and dressing. Then we proceeded to the wedding area where the baraat, The groom’s entrance and the doli, the bride’s entrance were held, followed by the wedding ceremony and Indian dance shows. The day ended with a knife dance during the cake cutting and entertainment that continued until midnight.
On the third day, we took another photo shoot at the Suleymaniye Mosque and captured the breathtaking view of Istanbul. After the exterior shooting, we had a night reception on a boat in Arnavutkoy where Yamma even serenaded Shazma.
It was an enjoyable and full three days spent with Shazma and Yamma. I was accompanied by Nilufer Nalbantoglu as the second photographer on the second day and Gokhan Celen from Story Films. You can watch the movie from this link:
I am grateful to have captured this unique and special wedding and I will never forget the powerful moment when Yamma and I embraced like brothers after I shared my feelings about “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. Shazma and Yamma, it was a pleasure getting to know you and I wish you a happy and healthy life forever.
Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus Wedding Photography in Turkey by Ufuk Sarisen