“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” —Unknown Author
And that is the reason why I think most of us try to create fairy tale weddings to represent that love. What we don’t realize is….
Marriages maybe made in heaven but weddings are definitely made on earth, with a whole lot of hard work, planning and money. That maybe even more true in case of Indian (South Asian) weddings. I got married almost 10 years ago. The wedding was local (Southern California), although ‘our’ 500 guests flew in from all over the world. By ‘our’, I mean my husband’s and my parents’ extensive list of guests. That’s how most Indian weddings are- a list of long lost relatives and friends (never mind the fact that you may have never seen these people ever in your life) that your parents “must” invite to celebrate their kids’ new beginning. Every year I hear about how Indian weddings keep getting more lavish- from sending elaborate invitation baskets with variety of over the top gifts like iPads to hundreds of guests, to destination weddings in places like Abu Dhabi. In traditional Indian families, parents save money all their lives to have these elaborate 10 day weddings for their kids. They almost always go overboard but the time spent with family during these wedding celebrations is almost always priceless.
I recently got back from one such celebration (a toned down version of it)- my brother’s wedding. It was a destination wedding at one of India’s best beach towns- Goa. Family and friends flew in from across the globe to a beautiful beach resort. It was the best wedding I had ever been to (granted it was my brother’s wedding and I maybe a little biased). The venue was breathtaking, the service at the resort (where the guests were put up- thank you, Papa) impeccable, food was unending and all the events were full of color and festivities. This wasn’t your typical crazy seven day wedding but a more traditional two day wedding with three main events- Sangeet (musical night with a whole lot of dancing), Wedding (the actual ceremony) and the Reception.
Beautiful Sangeet Night Set up:
Wedding Set Up:
It goes without saying, how much work was put into creating this fairy tale wedding by my beautiful sister in law. Especially, given the fact that the wedding was in India and she coordinated all the details from Toronto, Canada where she lives. She and my Dad had the difficult task of dealing with the wedding planner who wasn’t very accommodating. It was their combined effort that resulted in this beautiful execution.
My favorite part of the wedding though, aside from being ecstatic for my handsome brother and his gorgeous bride; was meeting family I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. I guess there is a reason behind inviting ‘the long lost list of relatives’- it rekindles the love and affection for the family we don’t even know exists. It’s like meeting new people you instantly connect with- at least, that was the case with me. And of course, having fun with the relatives you already know and the ones you newly acquired (the bride side).
Some serious dance moves by groom and bride side:
Hookah time for my favorite Uncle:
We (by ‘we’ I mostly mean me) like to pose:
Groom along with my son arrives (a tradition) on the horse:
Traditional Indian wedding ceremony:
In the mean time ‘we’ were posing away 🙂
And then there was the Reception:
I love weddings but what I love more are marriages because they last a lifetime (or so we hope). I didn’t make a speech at my brother’s reception because I knew I would get too emotional to tell him how much I love him and how part of me feels like a proud mother knowing that he has found the best partner in his wife. I also wanted to tell him that if his marriage is half as happy as my almost 10 year marriage then he’s in for a lifetime of bliss. My two cents on a happy marriage- be best friends with your partner and leave the rest to your good fortune 🙂
Throwback to 2007: