India: The wedding

Now to the wedding itself, which took place at the Grand Hyatt. The groom arrived on a horse - apparently it *could* have been an elephant - and a big noise is made with drummer boys, cheers and dancing leading us to the bride's family. This is called the Jaan.

Once the groom is in place at the mandap - where the ceremony takes place - the bride arrives, covered and carried by men. The Hindu marriage is more than just uniting bride and groom, it's about forming a tie between the two families. The bride and groom are not allowed to see each other at first, hence the white cloth. You can see the bride here approaching the groom. No one is also allowed to wear shoes on the mandap.

After the wedding rituals are performed in front of sacred fire and the groom's scarf is tied to the bride's sari - memo, never do it through the chairs, always over! - mantras are chanted and the couple is blessed by family and friends who shower them with rice grains and rose petals. Vows are taken and a necklace - the mangal sutra - is placed around the bride's neck. The groom also places sindoor by the parting of her hair - both signify she is now married!

At this point, when the bride and groom try to leave the mandap, they can't as the bride's family have stolen the groom's shoes. Now, this was one of Olly's job as best man to guard these shoes - though he is supposed to let them get them at some point - and it was far from the best guarding in the history of Indian weddings. The bride's family asked Olly about the shoes... he handed them straight over and forget about the charade! More bribes are expected - the best man has to buy the shoes back - then the groom demands money from his new mother-in-law before they leave the mandap. A lot of money is involved in Indian weddings, as you can tell!

After the ceremony, everyone gets changed - there are a lot of outfit changes over the course of an Indian wedding - and there's a reception afterwards. Just like an English wedding, there are LOTS of photos taken, though I'm sure none are as glamorous a location as a sunset over the beach with waves crashing in the background. Aww!

Here are the bride and groom - that sari was so heavy with all the detail and finery on it. The outfits and accessories get more and more elaborate as the various parts of the wedding proceed.

And this is what I wore to the evening reception. {^_^} I was covered up in another dress for the actual ceremony. Again, there are food, fireworks, dancing and entertainment at the reception to conclude a very eventful - but apparently rather tame - Indian wedding. It's very colourful and very different, so if you ever get the chance to go to an Indian wedding in India, make sure you do!

1 comment

  1. My friend at work showed me her wedding album and the front cover looks like a Bollywood poster. It's amazing.