16 August 2010

Goddess of .. My Big Fat Indian Wedding !

Finally, I'm posting about the awesomeness that was the Indian wedding I went to last month :)

The bride is a friend of mine from college and also a long time friend of some of my close friends from High school. The event lasted two days and it was wonderful, colorful, bright, especially full of love and I got to attend it with my close girlfriends ! What more could you ask for ?

The first day was the pre-wedding ceremony where everyone gives the bride and groom their blessing and the women get hennah tattoos (mehndi) on their hands and / or feet. 

The 'Mehndi' : Personally, I wanted the full experience and would have wished for tattoos all over my hands and feet !  

However, so many girls wanted the mehndi and there just wasn't enough time to have more than a hand done per person. 

I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. The paste they apply is in a tube with a tiny opening, allowing the artist to make some pretty detailed drawings. 

And it smelled so good !!! I know a lot of indians hate the smell because they're used to it or are sick of it, but I loved it. It smelled minty fresh to me :) 

You leave the paste on your hand for a few hours until it dries completely. They also recommend that you dab on some lemon juice with sugar to help the tattoo set and last longer. 

Eventually, the paste dries and falls off .. or you can rinse it off.. and it reveals a dark reddish-brown (in my case) hand tattoo. The tattoo can last anywhere from one week to three weeks. Mine lasted a week, I guess I wash my hands pretty often .. :( Boo !

The bride, of course, had mehndi done on her full arms, both sides and on her feet as well :) She was a trooper because it took forever and then, she had to spend most of the evening without bending her arms because the henna paste was setting in.

The blessing : One by one, every guest gave the bride and groom their blessing. To bless the bride & groom, you dipped a finger in turmeric paste and smudged it on your own forehead. Then, you would smudge some on the bride's forehead and then, the groom's. It was a tricky thing, considering that the bride and I were both wearing bindis (forehead decorations). 

Also, I was grateful that one of the bridesmaids had babywipes in her purse because turmeric paste is babypoop green ! Note to self ... always carry wipes.

After the turmeric paste, you had to hand feed the bride and groom some sweets. It was really cute and I thought it was a great way to show your approval of their union and to literally "feed" their love for each other.

The 'saris' :  The very generous bride had arranged for all bridesmaids to have matching saris (dresses) which she had bought in Toronto beforehand.

During the afternoon of the pre-wedding, my friend and I went to the bride's parents' house and picked out our saris for the evening.

All saris were made of stiff (cheap) cotton, rather than silk, because according to my Indian friend, the Holud  (pre-wedding ceremony) is supposed to be hosted by the village (poor) women. The Holud is a Bengali tradition (Bride's family is from Bengladesh) that takes place before the actual wedding.

The colors were red, dark red, orange and pink .. I was pretty happy to get the pink one ! And especially happy that we got to keep the sari and take it home :)

And now, I have an awesome Halloween costume !

The food :   It was delicious ! The bride's family hired a caterer for the pre-wedding and wedding.

.. and I have to hand it to him, wedding food is usually not impressive but he made awesome wedding food :) 

On the night of the pre-wedding, we had daal (lentils), another veggie dish, basmati rice (YUM !) and chicken jalfrezi that was just to DIE for. 

Actually, it's making me hungry just thinking about it now. The chicken was really well cooked and the whole dish was not too spicy .. it was just perfect !

I could eat it all the time :)

The dance :  Towards the end of the night, one of the Bride's Bengali aunties (or cousins..) performed a traditional dance for the Bride & Groom ! 

She's an amazing dancer, without a doubt, and a very pretty girl .. so I thought I'd post the video for you guys. It gives you a good idea of the overall feel of the pre-wedding celebration night :) and embraces tradition. I loved discovering everything that the Holud entailed and that's part of it .. so I hope you enjoy it !

P.S. I'm really sorry about the poor sound quality, I recorded it with my camera.
*You might want to lower the volume on your speakers before pressing play*

Wedding celebration re-cap.. to be continued !


siovhan said...

oh i want to come to the next indian wedding! it looks like so much fun! and saris are sooo beautiful. i love their vibrant colors.

KT said...

Looks like a lot of fun! I have never been to an Indian wedding, but have heard stories. I'm sold on anyplace where I can eat Indian food- YUM!

Andy said...

I have always been fascinated by the whole Indian culture and this just makes me REALLY want to go to India. Badly.

Falling Up said...

Oh yayy it looks like it was a lot of fun!! Indian weddings are so festive, I always say I'm sick of them and there are too many parties, but they're always so fun!