Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{ An INDIAN Wedding - the best! }

Us with the bride and groom on stage. 
Well, wedding season has begun here in India. Wedding season generally runs from Late September to December - with most of the weddings in November. In Delhi, some nights there are as many as 15,000 weddings! Can you believe it? 

In India, they do not practice western marriage rituals. They use lots of bold colors (no white). There is lots of loud music and partying. The ceremonies are elaborate. Oh, and they last a while...a long while. Weddings in India are a public affair. Prior to the wedding, they take the bridegroom in a procession through the town. There are often several hundred people in attendance. Over the last few weeks, we have seen the wedding tents pop up all over Delhi. 

A bride being ushered through Sector 12, with lots of the local children and relatives, before her marriage. Oh and you can't forget the drums!
For an Indian wedding, the bride wears Mehendi (henna) all over her hands with heavy wedding jewelry. Traditionally, many women also wear large stacks of red and white bangles on their arms as well (however this is a Bengali tradition). During the ceremony, at some point the bride and groom are seated together and engaged in some form of worship. They are absolutely incredible events! Everyone should attend an Indian wedding sometime in their life. A wonderful experience.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet...
Ravi and Rajni Gupta.
Aren't they just such beautiful people?! 

Words can't describe the beauty of this perfect Indian wedding. 
We met our dear friend, Ravi, upon arrival in India. He was a mission companion of one of the former interns, and our friend, so he was assigned to see that we were well taken care of in Delhi. He is such a sweet guy and I feel privileged to know him! And I'm so glad he invited us to his wedding! This wedding was a little different from the traditional Indian wedding...Rajni and Ravi were not arranged to wed. They are both LDS and they courted before he asked for her hand in marriage. In most countries outside of the United States, before a couple can be sealed in the LDS temple, they must be civilly and legally married. And, it helps to keep peace with the entire family - traditions and customs are very important here in India! Ravi and Rajni held their marriage ceremony in the local LDS chapel. It was a simple ceremony, but so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. 

Ravi invited Sarah, Katie, and I to sing at his ceremony. Little did we know, we were the only ones that would be performing that evening. He asked us to sing a church hymn so we chose "I feel my Savior's Love." It was absolutely perfect to enrich the already-perfect moment. The spirit was strong, my eyes brimmed with tears, and my heart swelled with happiness for this new couple and their beautiful future together! 

Our sweet Anita took a video of our performance, feel free to listen to it!

Ravi and Rajni watching our performance.

The ceremony was so perfect. Ravi's friend sent us with her veil from the states. I love that she is wearing a white dress (not at all traditional). She looked absolutely stunning! Ravi was so sweet with her. 

Ravi's nephews with his sister (purple) and brother-in-law. They gave a sweet talk on marriage :)

Walking into the chapel, hand in hand.

Family photos after the ceremony.

Beautiful Indian women in their sarees for the wedding!

I love how their car was decorated - just simple. Lots of flowers all over!
From here, we headed over to the reception off of Lodhi road!
This is the wedding tent! Flowers, bright colors, and lights everywhere. So flamboyant! I loved it!

Our crew - Anita, Katie, Liz, and Sarah. Too fun! I wish I had worn a saree but some say it is better to be more casual so you don't in any way undermine the beauty of the bride - oh well! I was comfy :)

The drink bar - so many drinks to choose from! And all so yummy. 

It was HUGE! There is no way to describe or use pictures to illustrate just how big this space was. 
A food booth at the reception.
Yummy food. Yes, they brought it around to us. 
Our drinks!

The bride and groom proceeding into the's a long and drawn out process. They walk very slowly forward as a bright light is shown on them, drums play, and they take lots of photos. 

They are led into this room where they sit up on a stage and get photos with all of the wedding guests! 
Drinks all around!
Wedding cake :)

Cutting the cake - my favorite part!

Rajni feeding Ravi :)

This was my FAVORITE part of the evening! I loved it. The bride and groom fed each other the cake and then, they shared with their mothers and the rest of their family and friends as a measure of good luck. I'm going to do this at my wedding - everyone, prepare!
Offering congratulations!

And the loud music and dance party begins!
The light that constantly shone on the bride and groom was so bright!

Dance the night away!
Eating Indian ice cream :)
Needless to say, it was probably the best wedding I have ever been to. So sweet, tender, and beautiful yet so FUN! Indians know what they're doing. Ravi and Rajni left the following evening for Hong Kong where they were sealed in the LDS temple for time and all eternity :)

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Ravi Gupta! You two are perfect together. 
Love to you both!

Here's to a few more Indian weddings before the end of the season! I think I'll catch one in the local market over the weekend ;) Love India!!!

1 comment:

  1. Importance of Mehndi in Indian Weddings...

    Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriages being the most important day in one's life, mehndi has become an ornament for the soon to be brides. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat".Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.

    It is a common belief that the darker the color the mehndi leaves on the hands on a bride, the more will she be loved by her husband and mother-in-law. However, the significance of applying mehndi during weddings is not restricted just to sentiments and beliefs. Although these beliefs make the application of mehndi a much anticipated and charming tradition, the actual reason is of much deeper significance. Platform for Happiness