Monday, August 31, 2009

It really was a great weekend. We got to go to Philly for M.'s cousin's wedding. It was my first "live" experience with an Indian wedding....and I really enjoyed myself.

I thought the reception was beautifully done. We went to help set up Friday night. Everyone there was Indian....except when the florists came. They were a white American family. When they were working I thought, "Huh. They really stand out don't they! So white." It just looked so interesting when everyone else was dark. And then I was like, oops, the joke's on me. I guess I stick out pretty good too....especially when I was the ONLY one of about 30 people eating at the rehersal dinner. ha ha!

It was a pretty traditional wedding....took about 2 hours for the actual ceremony. We got up at 5:30am on Saturday....and were all done around 4pm. Wow!
You can't tell from this picture very well, but the color was burnt orange and gold. Very pretty I thought (there was some disagreement on this among the cousins)

In the morning, the groom's family all comes over for a buffet style breakfast and then the priest comes to pray and bless the groom. Pictures are taken. Lots of people chatter in a language that I am just starting to speak like a baby. The groom's family gives all the ladies a gift of a saree. (That's a lot of sarees)
Astrology plays a big part in these ceremonies too I guess, and it was found out that it would be "bad" to be in the house between 9 and 10am. So, we had to be finished with everything and out of the house by 8:45am. A limo came to pick up the groomsmen and groom. We (M and I rode with the wedding co-ordinator/a cousin) took a quick side trip to the bride's house too, and saw the limo there. (they weren't ready quite yet though)
At the church we got roped into being ushers and co-ordinators. My job was to pin the corsages on. I did okay for about half of them, and then about reception time I noticed a lot of them were leaning or flipped upside-down! (We fixed those)
The ceremony was mostly in their language, with a little bit of english. Lots of prayers and congregational responses and blessings. The most important part is when the priest says something over the bride and groom's gold chains ("crowns") that they then exchange (like rings). Once on, they are officially "wed" (though the service isn't near over yet). They did also do rings. And then there is a part involving giving of a red and gold saree to the bride. And then more blessings and ordinances. Then they are pronounced man and wife and exit the stage to the back. (no PDA)

The guests then went to the reception hall and ate appetizers, while the family stayed to take pictures. Then the bride and groom go change (I can't believe I didn't take a picture of them after that)...the bride into her red saree and the groom into a gold traditional outfit.

Then we eat.

And a bunch of cousins and aunts and uncles did things like songs and dances and toasts during the recpetion. And the mother's came up and lit a big oil lamp with the couple. And then presented a pineapple to them, and they drank out some juice. Oh yes, they cut cake too, but just to give each other a piece, not for everyone. (But I'll tell you a secret....since we were at Auntie and Uncle's house, a cousin and I got to eat cake later....and it was good!)

Everyone had to hurry and be finished by 2 since there was another program coming. So at 2 we all headed over to Auntie & Uncle's house (at least all the realatives on both sides) and then there's more ceremony there. The bride and groom have to step over the threshold with their right foot. The bride accepts a lit oil lamp from the Mother-in-Law. Then everyone is served juice and tea and snacks. The couple has to drink some milk out of cups. Everyone visits and then the bride and groom head off to the bride's house to do a similar thing.

Then all the cousins and aunts started diviying up the leftovers and laughing and talking. The men went outside to sit. I just kind of puttered around....can't do a whole lot when you don't know what everyone is saying, and also we were very tired at this point.

Around 5 M's school advisor (who is also in Philly) came to pick us up with his family to take a quick tour of the city, so I don't know what happened after we left, but pretty much everyone finished up and went back to another cousin's house to do stuff together.


martha said...

Sound like a fun time.

Abbi said...

Sounds very interesting! Thanks for telling about it. The pictures were fun too. I am glad you had a good weekend and are back home safe.

Keren said...

Looks like it would be a rather fun experiance. The Orange and gold does look pretty. kinda like fall.


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