Recap: Indian Wedding Extravaganza Part 1

Oh where to start? So much food, fun and festivity to discuss! I didn’t quite know what to expect from Suji’s wedding. She’s second generation Indian, and so is her now husband. However, when were in college together, I never realized her culture was such a huge part of her identity.

So many pretty saris!

I expected the wedding to be infused with Indian tradition, but didn’t realize it would be the other way around: “ballywood” with a hint of American ;-). In fact, by not wearing a sari, I was in the minority! The sight of all of the different saris and glamorous jewelry was truly breathtaking and of course, the bride herself stole the show! There were two different celebrations: the wedding night and the groom’s reception the next night. I’m going to dedicate two whole posts to these recaps!

Day 1 – The Wedding

We arrived at the Chateau around 3:00 and sipped on pina coladas while we waited for the ceremony to start. The venue was the perfect location for a wedding.

Weddings and pina coladas are a dynamic duo

The chateau

But before the actual ceremony was a sort of groom’s dance party, which is an Indian tradition.

Bollywood!

They walked towards the bride’s party, with the groom riding in a horse and carriage! It was fun to be able to witness the excitement from everyone in the wedding, and the Indian music was sooo catchy and contagious!

Next, we moved outside to where the ceremony took place. The ceremony was completely traditional, so it lasted about 90 minutes. However, it didn’t feel that long because it was fascinating to watch all of these wedding traditions I had never seen before.  While the priest spoke mostly in Hindi, he broke into English every now and then to clue the guests into what was happening. When they put a sheet in front of Tanuj (Suji’s husband), we figured this meant Suji would be coming out soon. Unlike in American weddings, we couldn’t rely on “Here Comes the Bride” or Pachabel’s Cannon to help us out :-)

No peeking!

Suji was carried in on a chair covered in white roses that only made her look all the more stunning. Of course, being the person that she is, she added a touch of humor to an emotional moment by crossing her fingers as they brought the chair down to put her on the ground (oh Suji ;-))

The bride makes her entrance

One of my favorite moments in the ceremony was when they pulled the sheet up and Tanuj saw Suji for the first time. I guess it was similar to lifting the veil in an American wedding, but this felt much more significant to me.

From there, they participated in many rituals, including this one:

An Indian wedding ritual

When it was all over, the guests blessed the bride and groom and they were officially husband and wife!

Next it was time to party, and I had heard Indian weddings are generally quite the celebration!

College Friends!

First, cocktail hour featuring lots of delicious appetizers and of course vino!

Potato Somosas!

yummy!

Next, we moved inside for a dinner of Mexican food (Suji loves to add random touches to everything, so a traditional Indian wedding with Mexican food is typical ;-)) and the wedding toasts.

Mexican food is always a good option - you can never go wrong!

Suji then changed into her wedding dress, which was absolutely stunning

The newlyweds!

The  father of the bride had nearly everyone in the audience almost in tears! He first talked about how being Indian is so much a part of who they are….it made me think of how being from Omaha (while not quite the same) has really shaped me into the person I am today. But the best line was when he said, “I haven’t lost a daughter, I have gained a son.” I think the whole room was looking around for some Kleenex!

Father/Daughter Dance

The bridesmaids’ speech was quite entertaining. Suji, over the years, had provided them with a lot of material to discuss! The audience began cracking up as the bridesmaids recalled how Suji, now a lawyer, once thought Legally Blonde is based on a true story.

Beautiful bridesmaids delivering a touching speech

And once the speeches were over, the dance party began. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where so many people were on the dance floor, both young and old. I attempted to learn the traditional dancing, and I was unsuccessful. Luckily, I had a fun time trying!

Showing us all how it's done

I will not be in a bollywood movie anytime soon

As if the night could get any better, we also got to take in a bit of fireworks!

Magic!

I took it easy the entire evening with the ol’ alcohol knowing that I had another giant celebration ahead of me the following evening. But, it didn’t matter. No alcohol was necessary to enjoy this memorable evening! I spoke with Suji the next day by the pool, who said it was the most magical night of her life, and that everything was absolutely perfect.

I did sneak in one beer...you can take the girl out of the honky tonk...

Now, I’m back in NYC and I arrived just in time for some good weather. I’ve been sitting outside typing this post and soaking up this gorgeous day…and of course eating some of my fave, 16 handles.

Writing and taking in the view on a gorgeous day

Cereal, yogurt, beautiful weather. life is perrrfect

Stay tuned for Part II of the wedding recap, the groom’s reception!

8 Thoughts on “Recap: Indian Wedding Extravaganza Part 1

  1. I would’ve loved to be at this wedding! It looks like a blast..plus I’d love to see all of the Indian tradition!

  2. That wedding looked so exciting. I think it would be great to see all the traditions of the wedding. I’ve never been to a wedding of another culture.

  3. I’ve never been to an Indian wedding, but now I really hope I get invited one day! Looks like it was a great time had by all and I love the Mexican food curve ball. I’m loving the weather in NY right now. Its gonna be in the high 70s tomorrow, I think spring has finally arrived!

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