India: Wedding preparation

On to the reason we went to India - for a wedding! Now, an Indian wedding can go on for a long time and is very different to any wedding I've ever experienced before. They can vary in ceremony length and what they entail, so this is in no way a definitive guide to an Indian wedding.

The day before the wedding prayers take place to bless the bride and ensure she is spiritually pure. As with the actual wedding ceremony itself, money - a bribe - is involved for the bride to agree that she is getting married. Before she will leave the prayer area, she demands money from her family to get married.
This was followed by the pithi in the afternoon. Both bride and groom partake in this, though separately, and they are covered in a paste that is supposed to cleanse them as well as making the skin lighter. In the West we strive to have a tan, in the East they strive to be fairer - go figure!

In the evening, there was the Mehndi night.This is where the bride gets her hands, arms, lower legs and feet adorned with mehndi, aka henna. Female guests also can have it done. It looks super intricate, but my design took less than ten minutes. It chips away and becomes a brown colour - the darker it is, the more warm-blooded you are apparently.

The Mehndi night also involves lots of dancing, food, shisha, fire eaters and fun. Plus it gave Olly the chance to wear his first Indian suit!

1 comment

  1. I work with three Indian Ladies who told us about how both Sikh and Hindu weddings differ but some bits are the same. One of my colleagues got married last year and she has all these bangles that traditionally are worn for anything up to a year after the wedding - they come like half way up her forearm.

    I've had mehndi on my foot - Chris bought a tube of it when he was in India with his college trip. I sat in the middle of our living room floor and drew a pattern across my foot - I'm sure it would have been better if I'd actually known what I was doing but it was good fun all the same!