Backyard Traditional Hindu Ceremony and Reception Captured by Durham Photographer Mark Maya
John Aaron Murray and Uma Tadepalli met online in 2020, and their relationship grew from a mutual love of gardening and South Indian food. Hindu culture emphasizes the use of astrology when making big decisions, so when Aaron asked for permission from Uma’s parents before proposing, her mother recommended a date. “After he proposed,” Uma says, “he found out it was the same day his dad and brother proposed to their now-wives!”
Uma’s father had long dreamed of hosting a colorful, traditional Hindu ceremony for his daughter in the backyard of their house in Durham’s Arrowhead neighborhood – and the pair did just that on June 10, 2022. Uma says that getting married in her parents’ well-tended garden at the home where she grew up made the event all the more personal. “It was a lot of work, but Thoran Creations did a fantastic job with the decorations,” Uma says.
The couple selected the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club for the reception to utilize its outdoor space and hire outside caterers. Aaron selected some of the couple’s favorite dishes from Sitar Indian Cuisine and Lime & Lemon Indian Grill & Bar for guests to enjoy. While Aaron and Uma wore traditional colors for the ceremony – white and red, respectively – they switched it up for the reception. “I wanted green and cream, and found a fun lehenga with peacock-themed embroidery,” Uma says.
Durham-based Mark Maya photographed emotional moments and decor details from the ceremony and reception while simultaneously capturing the day on film. “I don’t know of any other photo-videographers in the area with his distinct aesthetic who are also so tuned in to capturing all the moments,” Uma says.
“Mark makes everything beautiful, even in the potentially challenging, harsh midday light we had!” Uma says. “He takes the time to connect and meet with you beforehand at the venue to get a sense of the program and what you’re looking for.”