“Indian weddings are all full of fun and color”. There are thousands of things to do, and there are so many rituals and preparations of exciting things happening around, tons love and joy in the air” I often heard these types of talks between my friends who had attended Indian weddings and can see the excitement and glow in their faces when they talked about Indian marriages. They always say Indian weddings are full of rituals and enjoyment. Still, unlike my friends, I had never attended one till I this particular invite from one of my Indian colleagues to her own Punjabi wedding. I was very excited about this. I had never gone to India before but heard about its mouth-watering food, beautiful dresses, and welcoming of people from around the globe. I got this invitation from my colleague who works with me in my office as a Software Engineer’ and it was an opportunity I just could turn away.
Being Portuguese American, I was drawn to the unique richness of her culture and was so interested in witnessing it. She was Punjabi and was married to a Punjabi boy in Punjab, she was getting married to her first and only love. They have both been in love since childhood, and when they told it to their parents, their parents agreed to the marriage without hesitation. Just another fairytale love story that exceeds my expectation from love. Four days before leaving Denver, even though about arriving in India and traveling to completely foreign part of the world, I could barely contain my excitement; I began picturing an Agraba would. when I got to her home, it was entirely decorated with flowers and lighting, and I could feel how excited they were. All were busy with some preparation work or another; some were ordering sweets while some were ordering people’s dresses.
When I arrived at the house, they greeted me with so much love and care; they gave me room while I had my bookings in the hotel, but they said, “Hotels are for guests, families live in the houses”, so I have to stay in their house. They had this big multi-story house decorated with green plants, comfortable furniture, and long-living memories captured in photographs all around the house. As I never had an Indian wedding, I didn’t know what type of attire we would wear at an Indian wedding. I have indeed seen a couple of pictures of an Indian wedding where the bride wears the floral printed lehengas with embroidery and the groom wears Sherwani, a long embroidered kurta. Still, when it comes to guests, I got confused as every picture captured different dresses. So I asked my friend, and she dodged my stress with her tittering laughter, she was so typical about it like this is an everyday thing like someone coming to their wedding without any clothes to wear in their marriage, she told me to go shopping with her sweet-hearted mother and her affectionate sister as she wasn’t able to come due to her salon booking and I agreed. I wasn’t so much acquainted with her family, but they were acquainted with me as they have known me since I was born.
Me Heading Towards The Loud And Colourful Indian Markets
We went to the Indian market, her mother, aunt, and her sister were helping me to shop, we went to various shops, thousands of beautifully embroidered outfits, some were lehengas, some were sarees, and some were even modern but traditional dresses were shown to me, which confused me, it was impossible to choose any one of them like every lehenga was a different masterpiece but thanks to her relatives for helping me.
I purchased two outfits, one was a lehenga for marriage which was light pink salmon color with zari embroidery work with a dupatta, and another one was from a different shop which was Patiala salwar with crop embroidered peach top covered by a long blazer.
I wanted to buy more of their clothes as two dresses can’t quench my thirst for beautiful Indian dresses. Still, we had to buy more jewelry and other stuff, and as I have brought one or two dresses for rituals.
Hence, buying more than two would have exceeded my baggage only, and also, they were busy with so much wedding stuff, and I didn’t want to disturb them. Hence, we proceeded to jewelry. Her mother and aunt had an appointment for a salon. Therefore, her sister helped me a lot, we went to shops and bought jewelry matching my dresses, and then with some more purchasing stuff like accessories for her sister and all we came home.
Indian Wedding House Decor
Shopping was tiring but exciting, till we arrived at her house in the evening, the house was beaming with lightning and flowers all around. At night I had an excellent pep talk with her family, her sister and I were so comfortable with each other. As we both lived in the same room, we talked nearly for two hours at night like she was telling me how sad it was for her to see her sister leaving this house. She shared their beautiful memories, and finally, at 1 pm, after listening to the captivating tale of their bond. I went to sleep.
The Haldi Ceremony
The night passed, and due to the hustling noise in the house, I was awakened. It was the next day; people were in double the rush than yesterday. I found out from her sister that Today is her “Haldi”, as I had read her invitation card but didn’t know what this ritual was about. Still, what is the fun if we know all the things, so I just got ready and wore my light purple long straight A-line dress. Still, when I got out of the room, I saw everybody was in yellow. Even the whole house was decorated with yellow, and the house looked like it had a sunlight filter, so holistic vibes were coming from the house.
Males were wearing yellow shirts and pants, while some were wearing yellow ethnics. All the females were wearing the attire of yellow. Only the clothes were different, even some of their accessories were also made of flowers. I reread the invitation card to see if there is any yellow theme today and asked her sister why everything was yellow? And she told me it was because of ritual, but I was so obsessed with everything wearing yellow, so I changed my purple dress to a yellow crop top with a long A-line skirt, thanks to my instincts. It wasn’t so beautiful like her mother's yellow foil ruffled saree with a golden blouse or like her sister's yellow mirror work lehenga, which was not only beautiful but was accessorized perfectly with big rings and floral earrings, but my dress perfectly fitted the theme.
The bride was in a yellow Tuscany yellow net lehenga with the floral tiara on top of the head.
Floral yellow bangles on her hand, and one by one, everyone was applying haldi on her face, on her bare hands, and was wishing her best for future endeavors; first, it was family and relatives. Then friends, so when I got the chance, I applied Haldi on her face with two leaves and wished her best wishes for the future. She was delighted, and the whole family was dancing with joy. After the ritual, I learned that haldi came from her future in-law’s house. Haldi is one of the ingredients known to be auspicious, according to Indians. I really had great fun in Haldi tradition and ate some types of sweets too, like Kaju Katri and gulab jamun; I was never a sweets fan as I am very health conscious, but the taste of these Indian sweets is irresistible, which forced me to eat a lot of sweets.
The next day was the Mehndi ceremony (Henna ceremony). I was informed of this ceremony yesterday, but it was a thrilling experience to witness with my own eyes. In the evening, the ceremony started, they played Bollywood songs and danced on them while two girls were called to apply henna on the hands of the bride and her relative.
Everyone was dressed in traditional but then also they were bringing the vibes of elegance and feminine. I liked my friend’s dress the most, which was made up of taffeta silk of royal blue with heavy digital print with latkan. It was my first time applying henna, and I heard from them that it is as dark as the color of henna, as deep will be your love. After applying Henna, we danced a little bit and then ate some Indian tasty, spicy food.
The vibes of Indian enthusiastic tradition are difficult to find in America, which I know I will miss the most. No one was judging each other for bad dancing; they all were celebrating each other's happiness and the night ended joyfully.
The Final Day: Attending The Wedding
The next day was marriage day, and the salon was already booked. Everyone was busy with their makeup and decorations, and we were getting late for the marriage hall too. The bride’s sister and I were there with the bride. She was sad to leave her house but happy to settle down with the love of her life. She got ready in this beautiful lehenga which I often saw on google images wearing Indian brides, It was a light brown georgette lehenga with Resham and zari embroidery in which she looked like a fairy, and with this, she wore two big gold necklaces which were doing nothing but making her more like a goddess.
We managed to get on time to the marriage hall. After a few minutes, we heard the voices of instruments and songs and people screaming with joy, and Bharat was here. Just like I ever thought, what Fairytale marriage would be like, her king was on a horse, his eyes were searching for his beloved to-be-wife, but still, there was time. With a lot of respect and care, the groom entered the marriage hall. In the evening, they got married by taking seven vows to each other. Everything was perfect, just like a fairy tale. They were happy. Now it was nighttime, reception time, the groom and bride changed their clothes, she was wearing a red embroidered lehenga, and her partner wore a red sherwani. They were on stage, smiling, giggling, and having photoshoot sessions with their relatives and friends and many food stalls were arranged in a marriage hall.
Indian Wedding Food: Spicy Crunchy And Blast Of Flavors
I tried a few and became a fan of Indian food. There was a panipuri stall which was the most crowded area, so I went and tasted some panipuri. The tangy and sour taste of panipuri was immensely addicting. I tried many, but I had to make my way to another stall due to so much crowd. It was a joyful trip to someone’s celebration. Indians traditions are all about welcoming, respecting, and celebrating every festival like a fairytale dream.
The Traditional Indian Wedding Attires
The dresses they wear, from the food they eat, all were so incredible and addicting to your eyes. Every color was selected for every ritual. Every color had its significance. Every food has its taste. This marriage had maligned the flavor of joy, happiness, and love. The reception ended now the groom and bride’s family were having their dinner together.
The whole marriage thing was joyful but tiring and was added to one of my best memory lists. Today I got to know the real words behind my friends talking about Indian marriage. After dinner, the Bidai ceremony happened, everyone was crying. She may have met with the love of her life, but still, her parents will miss her. Her sister was crying. She was crying about leaving her house. She will be making someone else's house. Leaving all her memories back to her house, she will make new memories in her and her husband's house.
The day after the wedding I left India as I was in a hurry to go to America due to some client meeting, but at last, the whole four-day trip to India was worth living and joyful.
Fairytales are the tales of Indian marriages.
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