On June 30, 2012, I married the love of my life!
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. Getting married is a lot of fun!
I woke up at 5:45 am, took a quick shower, and headed downstairs to get ready in a specially designated conference room. The makeup artist did my makeup while the stylist worked on my sister’s hair. Such a fun process. My mom joined us two hours into the morning and watched with such happiness in her eyes. She was so cute!
Because I knew that by the end of the wedding ceremony I would be a huge mess, Vishnu and I decided to do a “first look” and pictures before everything officially started. Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition, but honestly, it was the best decision we made. It wasn’t too hot, my makeup was fresh, and it was actually a great way to relieve any stress that we were feeling.
A preview picture Amy, the photographer, sent me a few weeks ago…
After our photo session with our siblings and my bridesmaids, we parted ways. Vishnu headed to a pre-wedding religious ceremony with his family, and I headed back to the conference room to hang out and eat lunch.
Around noon, some of my bridesmaids headed outside to see what was happening with the baraat.
Let me explain…
Vishnu and his family and friends all met in the back of the parking lot where a horse carriage was waiting for them. Once Vishnu’s side made it to the front of the hotel, they were greeted by my family. Before heading to the ballroom, everyone danced to Bollywood music. And get this, it was over 100 degrees that day. Some of our friends were soaked in sweat. That’s how you know it was a good baraat.
Before Vishnu was officially welcomed by my family, he and and his friends did a pre-game chant. For those of you who are football fans, the chant was inspired by Drew Brees. The only difference between Vishnu and Drew was that Vishnu chanted about his shoes.
This brings me to another fun tradition – stealing the grooms shoes. I have no clue how this one started, but the basic gist is that the bride’s side has to steal the groom’s shoes and keep them hidden until the end of the ceremony. If they are successful in doing so, the groom has to pay them big bucks. Vishnu ended up dishing out $210 for his shoes – my side prevailed! It was quite the fight though…
And yes, that is Vishnu’s brother lying on the floor. I don’t even know.
Anyways, before I knew it, it was my time to enter the ballroom. Vishnu’s little cousins, the flower girls, led the procession. Next came the most amazing bridesmaids ever! And then it was my turn!
I had been dreaming of that walk down the aisle for as long as I can remember. And it was better than I ever imagined – I can’t even put into words what I was thinking and feeling. I just know that I’ll never forget it. Ever.
Once I made my way into the mandap (an Indian altar), the pandit (priest) performed a number of ceremonies, including the giving away of the bride by her parents (Kanyadaan), walking around the fire, and taking the seven steps together. And just like that, we were declared husband and wife!!!
Before I knew it, the group pictures were over, and it was time for the vidai (the bride’s farewell). Vidais are incredibly sad, and mine was no different. I cried…a lot! So did my family, especially my mom. Even though I’m still my parents’ daughter and my sister’s sister and everything else I was before, it was an emotional moment that marked my new role in life, that of a wife, daughter- in-law and sister-in-law.
After the vidai, Vishnu and I headed up to the honeymoon suite to relax for an hour or so before the reception madness began…
One more wedding recap to go!