Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My Uncle's Big Fat Indian Wedding

[[Warning: Picture HEAVY!]]

If you've been following my Facebook and Twitter, you will know that I've been busy with endless nights of parties and very early mornings. My Uncle got married. And here are tons of photos for you to look at! Yay! With a lot of explanations too, so this will be a sort of diary / guide to a Sikh wedding.

The Engagement

My lovely sister & sister in law ♥

The engagement was a small event that just involved close relations of the bride and groom to-be. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the actual engagement. Oops..

The Ladies Sangeet (Thursday night):
This was basically the first night of the pre-wedding parties. The Ladies Sangeet just involves the ladies getting together, to sing wedding songs and also to apply mendhi on hands. There is probably some extra history about it; but this is just the main thing about it. So yeah; we put on some music, sing some songs, have a dance, and have some food!

Jago Night:
Historically (and in modern times in India) this is when the ladies and girls of the villages would sing and dance, but with these steel pots (pictures below) on their heads. These pots would have small tea light candles fixed on them. But anyway, back in those days, women would dance around with these pots on their heads, and go through villages to other peoples houses (and if they were sleeping - they would wake them up and get them involved). Like to signify a wedding is happening and that everyone should take part in the party and have fun. But now, this happens in the party halls and both men and women dance with these pots.
It really is a lot of fun!

Also at this event, the Maiyaan happens. The Maiyaan includes a few things. a) a pattern which is made using coconut shavings that are mixed with powdered colours (bright and summery colours) and therefore the sisters of the groom/bride will make a pattern.

Which then, we will tie these threads around our wrist:

and originally, these were tied to the girls and boys that are unmarried. I have no idea as to why it was only for those that are unmarried but nowadays, everyone ties one of these threads on their wrists. It's a bit of tradition really.

The next thing that happens now is b) the application of a paste made up of tumeric powder, water and gram flour. This will be applied on the groom/bride-to-be.

I don't have any photos after we applied it on my Uncle. But for those who are unaware of Tumeric; it is an incredible herb which helps fight off colds/flus, prevent cancer, it's awesome for the immune system, and it has all these different purposes. But in this case, its applied to the face and arms. Tumeric powder when mixed with milk or water, stains you yellow. It's crazy. So when mixed with gram flour, it doesn't stain as much; but it leaves a tint of yellow on your skin. We apply this on grooms/brides-to-be so that they look really healthy and glowing for their big day!

The food ♥ rice, lentils, yoghurt, salad and an amazing fruit salad made with grapes, bananas, pears and mango pulp mixed with ice cream or yoghurt. It's so yummy!

The Wedding Day:
If you're a bride, you have to wake up around 4am to get ready (you'll see why when you scroll down to see the photos). My new auntie didn't have any sleep; I'm guessing she was really nervous. But for this day, I woke up around 6:30am, and then got ready and managed to get to my Grandmas place for 8:20ish.

Before the wedding - Groom (left) with all of his brothers and sisters (my uncles and aunties) stood around him. On his left is the best man (my cousin).

This is all of the boys side; we got to the temple, and it's a bit of an introduction before our breakfast (of pakoras and samosas and tea ♥). So after the breakfast, we go up to the room where the wedding takes place.

My mum and my auntie :D ♥

Before the groom went inside the wedding hall.

Now, here comes the bride.

See, now you know why brides have to wake up so early to get ready. Their outfits are generally encrusted with crystals and therefore they are really heavy; and the hair and makeup needs to be applied to perfection. And the jewellery that they have to wear... just writing about it actually makes me think about what they have to go through! Haha! Well, it's the one main day in their life where they will dress up so much, so why not go all out, hmm?
So the bride walks in with her brothers and sisters (it's generally her immediate family) and then they sit behind her.

So the groom's sisters will sit behind him, and the brides sisters will sit behind her.

So anyway, the wedding ceremony takes pace, and it usually is for about an hour and a half. Sometimes it might take a bit longer, it just depends. But roughly all weddings take that amount of time.

The Reception Party:

The reception venue was so beautiful! It was decorated well, and there were juice poured out for guests as they walked in, and the DJ's were already blaring out music for the guests to feel settled. We walked in the the Bride and Groom (it's usually the grooms family who walks in with them) and then they married couple went to cut their cake.

And then the groom and bride's mothers will cut some cake and feed both of them.

The groom and bride then had their first dance together as a married couple.

These were the starters; the caters who provided the food were ApnaKhana. The starters were nice, it consisted of Veggie spring rolls, lamb (which wasn't cooked properly :/), aloo chaat (which was to die for ♥, seasoned fried fish (which was absolutely lovely. Except thre were some bones that were still inside the fish).
There were drinks available too, and one of my cousins got me and his sister a bacardi and coke - and we were sat there like "I can't actually taste anything. It just takes like coke..." LOL oops... Where's the Jack Daniels at?!

Yummy fruit salad was available or those who wanted something sweet and healthy.

This was a curried chicken (which wasn't too spicy, so I was pleased with that!) this was all I ate for the main course as I ate too much fried fish haha.

Ice Cream for dessert; there were other options available like Gulab Jamun and ice cream, and also a sweet carrot dessert. Also, small pieces of the wedding cake was being served to guests. It was so yummy too, it tasted a little like toffee and caramel - it was really delicious for an eggless cake!

Me with my second cousin Soniya, and her mum :)
After the Reception:
The bride goes back home with the groom and his family, and then says her goodbyes to her own family. And a few games are played there, and a few tears too. Then they both come back to the grooms house where they will both be living.

So this was the wedding! And I hope you have enjoyed this post, and has helped you understand a Sikh wedding a bit more :)

Congrats to the happy couple! ♥ ♥ ♥

~ xoxo

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