This Summer is full of weddings and I attended a Punjabi Indian wedding of a very good friend. Well I've been to one temple function few years ago, but it wasn't of a close friend so I didn't have all the insight to the wedding, and what was going on etc.. so this was the first official Indian wedding, if one would wanna call it that.
It's true when they say the Indians party for almost seven days leading up to a wedding. So first I went to two temple prayer sessions hosted by bride's and the groom's families, to pray for the new couple for a successful marriage. Then few weeks after that I attended their engagement party/ring ceremony which had very cool traditions that I've not seen before. After giving the engagement ring to the bride to be, and showering both of them with gold and other gifts, everyone danced 'til the wee hours. This party had about 300 guests, which is less than half the number of guests invited for the wedding.
The next was a party thrown by the groom's family for the groom. and since my friend is the groom I was invited for this groom's party (not a bachelor party or a stag) Mayyaan Sangeet, which is an evening of singing and dancing. No joke this reminded me of a hindi movie, where the cousins or sisters dance and sing for the groom and rub turmeric paste all over him. and I dressed in my first punjabi suit borrowed from a wonderful friend who was lovely enough to lend me one out of the thousand she owns. The suits everyone wore was just amazing and so beautiful. and this is not even the wedding yet!
Couple of days after that was the actual marriage at the temple. Few weeks prior to this I had done some serious shopping in the Indian shopping district and purchased my first indian shalwar suit, and was so excited to wear this. I have been to an Indian temple wedding before so I knew most of what to expect while squirming around sitting on the temple floor. It included lots of prayers and then bride and groom walking around the holy book attached with a red piece of cloth. After a yummy vege meal at the temple, the wedding portion came to an end for most of the guests, and then it was time to party. The close family of the bride and groom would have then gone to bride's house where her family bids farewell to her, and the groom then brings her to his house.
Most couples usually have their reception the same night of the temple wedding, but because of the farewell and bringing the bride home rituals the day become exhausting and quite rushed, and they would have shown up at the reception hall so late when guests are ready to leave. However, it wasn't the case here, they decided to have the reception the day after the wedding ceremonies. The reception was very similar to a sri lankan wedding or home coming reception. The hall was gorgeous, candle lit, with dimmed lights, the ambiance was romantic. Few performances and speeches were followed by the usual dancing the night away type thing. We all had an awesome time, took some pictures in the photo booth, and had a late night hot dog before calling it a night!
Congrats to the happy couple :) xoxo