- 5 years ago
- Wedding: February 2013
Picture Heavy (sorry in advance about the size)! Here are some guest generated photographs of my recent Indian wedding with a western twist. We had a pretty typical ABCD style wedding but it was more unusual for India, where the guests typically arrive, eat dinner and leave before the actual marriage ceremony. We had a morning ceremony (date demanded by my in-laws per astrological Hinduism), wedding lunch, a break and an evening reception. We also had a mehndi, mehndi lunch, sangeet and sangeet dinner the night before.
It was AMAZING. My wedding coordinator pulled everything together except for the cake. Fortunately, since I got married in Goa and there are a significant number of Christians, I was able to find a baker 2 weeks before the wedding and she did a fabulous job and delivered a 3 tier mango-white chocolate cake right on time. The venue was fabulous. I mean, I can’t get over how amazing it was.
Downs? There was a lot of dramz before the wedding, the wedding flew by pretty fast and it was hard to be in the moment. Also, while I think my makeup looks awesome in the pics, when she put it on I felt a little…insane looking. I was going for an old Bollywood/Brigitte Bardot look.
ANYWAY, it’s all about the marriage, not the wedding and what’s done is done. I am just insanely grateful to my parents for singlehandedly organizing this thing.
Mehndi (henna tattooing ceremony)
One mistake we made was not doing my henna the night before the sangeet. I got a more delicate, Arabic design than brides usually get, largely because I didn’t have the time needed to dry a heavy, up to my armpits look. Also, my mom thinks the typical Hindu designs are ugly and heavy-handed and convinced me out of it. Whatever. It turned out nice.
We had a Hindu, primarily Maharashtrian-style Vedic ceremony. My husband is North Indian but I am Marathi-Konkani so we dressed up more North Indian and had a Marathi style ceremony. That said, I did not veil my hair as is typically done in the North (but not in my culture) because my wedding coordinator informed me at the last minute that my beautician was only hired for my wedding and not my reception. I did not want to crush my hair in any way so I demurred on veiling for the ceremony. Also, I object to veiling, quite frankly, so it was nice to have an excuse. If I could do it over, I would have thought to get my husband the Maharashtrian bahshing but it might have been overkill and he hates them.
Other than that, I LOVED my saree, which my parents bought for me back in October when they went to India to see the venue. It was a Carnelian red net saree with kundan embroidery and purple velvet embellishments. They also bought white stone kundan jewelry. I am sad I will never get to wear this getup in its entirety again, though Indian women typically do re-wear their wedding sarees for fancy events.
The wedding was about an hour and a half long. This isn’t all of it, I’m just choosing some pictures that I like.
Arrival: the bride arrives last escorted by the oldest uncle. My mom’s oldest brother filled in for the job.
Fire Puja: when my sister had her Hindu wedding in the US it took a fire marshal and a permit to light a candle at the Ritz Carlton but they lit a stoked figer with twigs and kindling right in the middle of this 5 star resort! My eyes started watering about 5 minutes after this from the smoke.
Mangalsutra: the mangalsutra is our version of the wedding ring, so it’s a pretty big deal when the groom puts it on the bride.
Saptapadi: the 7 steps of marriage. Here I had to merge the 7 piles of rice, which was new to me, as I’ve usually seen people take the 7 steps one by one. My friends took shots of this.
Tying us Together: this was actually somewhere at the beginning. Our shawls get tied together and we are also bound together by a string, which I assume has something to do with the fact that we’re both Brahmins.
I have no idea: it’s not my fault, Vedic Sanskrit wasn’t on the curriculum.
Mandap: like a Hindu chuppah. Ours was in the shape of a lotus. At once tacky and awesome. It was beautifully decorated.
Our priest noting that we’re idiots: he yelled at us several times during the ceremony, which we found funny, because he’d let us know we were morons in between super serious Vedic mantras.
Yay, we’re married: I just really like this photo. It was taken right before all the group shots, by one of my really good friends from college who flew all the way out to India for the wedding.
The tailor I hired in the US ruined the blouse piece for the reception saree my parents had purchased along with my wedding saree, so I bought a lehenga in Bombay as soon as I landed. I was pretty zen about it and I got compliments on the dress all night. It was spectacularly bedazzled, lol. It weighed something like 20 pounds.
We had the wedding inside because it was during the day and Goa is HOT, but the evening reception was held on the beachside lawns. My jaw dropped open at how gorgeous it was. And hot. During the cake cutting my sister-in-law snuck on to the dance floor to swab me down for the photos, which was simultaneously embarrassing and hilarious. I could not deal with the climate at all.