Stefan Dottor captures the unexpected humanity in Mumbai’s booming wedding business.
Indian weddings are known to be some of the most extravagant events in the world. As a city with close to 19 million residents, Mumbai is a huge hub for traditional weddings, and it’s very likely you can stumble into one by accident. The love business is booming in India, but what is happening behind the scenes?
It’s my last day in Mumbai before taking the journey to Pune in the afternoon. The cab driver is taking me towards Worli Fort, where I am supposed to document the Christian Fishing Village. As we drive down Chowpatty Seaface something catches my eye—one wedding banquet hall after another appears on the right side. In haste, I make my driver stop and leave me there.
It was a busy day at those banquet halls—a lot of young men ran around, carrying heavy loads while the sun was burning down on them at a scorching 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of these young men came from Bangladesh. I started taking their portraits and catching as many of their stories as I can, but this is not supposed to be a piece on working conditions, on oppression, on dark destinies, and it is not a political statement.
This is a visual essay on the aesthetics of Indian weddings and the beautiful everyday humans who make it all happen.