One of my husband’s colleagues married this past Saturday night. He comes from Texas where a large community of physicians from India settled and reared their families beginning in the sixties and seventies. When we received the invitation, we quickly visited the bride and groom’s wedding website to learn about the various traditions and ceremonies that we would witness. The invitation was ornate and decorated with “bling.” We found out that the bride and groom would wear during the cermonies several traditional outfits that weighed over ten pounds between the jewels and the fabrics.
The wedding events began the night before the wedding with a four hour application of henna on the bride, her attendants and any guests who desired the decoration. The bride and groom’s names, written using henna, were hidden on her body. Part of the tradition of the wedding night is that the groom locates their names and then they proceed to share “wedding night bliss!”
The wedding day ceremonies began at 2:30 in the afternoon in a hall that had been converted through decorations into an Indian temple. The bride and groom sat on throne-like chairs with a priest seated on a low stool chanting, ringing a bell, and lighting a sacred fire. The guests had a small book filled with explanations and details about the various ceremonies of the wedding. We followed each step while engulfed in the scent of incense. Guests had arrived from as far away as Delhi, India and many participated by approaching the bride, groom and their parents while chanting special prayers and blessings.
My husband and I enjoyed the wedding so much! Dancing lasted until midnight! The traditions, fun-spirited guests, the beauty of the women’s saris and the men’s dress, the haunting music, and the delicious, exotic food made this wedding one of the most interesting and enjoyable we have ever attended!