Ten Things You’ll Witness Only at an Indian Wedding

An Indian wedding is a festival in many rights. It usually comprises a week-long celebration with traditions and ceremonies that are specific to that community or region. However, there are some standard quirks that you’ll see at every Indian wedding, irrespective of which caste, creed, region or tribe you belong to. And, these are what make an Indian wedding an affair to remember.

Let’s take a look at a few:

The Shehnai

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The Shehnai is the quintessential wedding instrument for Indian festivities and ceremonies. It is a popular aero phonic, double-reed wind instrument used in North Indian music. The sound of the Shehnai is intrinsically associated with Indian wedding music and retains its charm to this day. It is predominantly associated with celebration and happiness, and no wedding ceremony is complete without a seasoned bandwala churning out heart-wrenching music from this peculiar-looking descendent of the Persian surna.

Marigold

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The marigold flower, also known locally as ‘the Genda Phool’, is another classic element in Indian weddings. Marigolds have forever been associated in India with prosperity and good fortune, and no larger-than-life celebration is complete without the presence of these sun-kissed blossoms in decorations and important ceremonies. In fact, they even hold religious significance in Hindu ceremonies. In addition, marigolds come in bright and cheery colours such as orange, yellow, and reddish-orange, which have made them a favourite with wedding decorators and event planners. They are often used for torans, draped on walls and pillars, in mandap decorations as well as in wedding garlands or they’re simply used to add colourful touches to the wedding venues.

Multiple Cuisines

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If you haven’t been to an Indian wedding yet, attend one just for the food. Food is an integral part of festivities in any part of the world, but Indians take this concept to a whole new level.  Indian cuisine is a diverse mix of regional staples from across the country, infused with their own cultural, religious flavour. However, Indian weddings usually house a host of cuisines from across the globe and not just the country. Apart from your average Indian spread of chaats, curries, breads, pulavs and biryanis, these days you’ll usually be treated to lip-smacking desi versions of Italian, Chinese, Thai and Mediterranean food as well. To experience a meal at an Indian wedding is one for every bucket list!

Haldi

Pragati & Anant's Haldi, Pithi, Mehndi & Sangeet

‘Haldi’, known around the world as turmeric, holds an important place in Indian wedding festivities. Though weddings in the country are generally religiously diverse, the haldi ceremony is a typically Indian tradition for every caste and creed. Known among different communities as haldi, uptan, peethi, mandha, roce and many other names, the essentials of this ceremony remain pretty much the same. In the ceremony, a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rose water and other goodness is applied to the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding to give them that added pre-nuptial glow. In short, it’s like your very own ancient Indian spa day!

The Baraat

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The baraat is the most fun-filled Indian wedding ceremony, and Indian weddings deserve a separate category for how fun and entertaining they are. This is basically the groom’s procession of all his colourful and festive relatives and friends that commences from his house up to the wedding venue. The spruced up groom is perched on a mare (or elephant, if you’re going for the truly regal feel) in all his royalty and escorted to his eagerly waiting bride. The highlight of this ceremony is the crazy dancing the relatives indulge in during the procession. It’ll truly make you feel like Indians are the happiest people on this planet (at weddings at least).

The Sangeet

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Sangeet, or music, is synonymous with festivities in India, be it the shehnai at the wedding reception, the bhangda at the after party, the dholakwalis at the mehendi, or the sangeet ceremony before the actual wedding. The tradition, as the name suggests, is all about dance, music, and merry making. This is usually a grand, elaborate affair, encompassing the real spirit of the big fat Indian wedding. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for the wedding party to relax, unwind, enjoy the festivities, and celebrate their happiness together. It short,  the sangeet is great to break the ice between the bride and groom’s families.

The Saree

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The Saree is one Indian trend that’s garnered attention worldwide. This long, seamless fabric worn by women varies in design, colour and significance in different regions in India. The South Indian kanjivaram is poles apart from the Gujarati panetar and bandhani sarees and Mangalorean sados. Each saree is symbolic of a different tradition and ritual. Banarasi, Nauvari, Chiffon, Chanderi, the list is endless. Needless to say, you’re bound to look elegant in this gorgeous garment as it suits any body type, skin tone, and age group!

The Safa

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Safas, pagris or turbans are known for their elegant, regal look and are a significant detail in the Indian groom’s attire. It is basically a long piece of unstitched cloth that’s wrapped around the head. Available in bright colours such as fuschia, red, orange and so on, they add a touch of grace and vibrancy to the ensemble, and can be paired brilliantly with a suit, jodhpuri, sherwani or any other traditional wedding attire.

Lots and lots of Gold

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Indians, in most parts of the world, are considered gold crazy. This isn’t far from the truth, largely because this precious metal holds a special place in Indian tradition and society as a whole. Gold purchases are also thought to be auspicious on festivals such as Dhanteras, Onam and Durga Puja. From the Indian perspective, gold not only brings good fortune, but can be an investment, a status symbol, a great ornament, a thoughtful gift item, a cherished heirloom and a religious contribution. Indian brides are usually adorned in beautiful gold jewellery as a sign of prosperity and happiness, which bodes quite well for the global gold industry.

Paan/Mukhwas

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After-meal refreshments are quite popular at Indian weddings and are the perfect end to any meal. Paan and mukhwas have been used for years by Indian royalty and locals alike as a digestive and palate cleanser. Mukhwas comprises an assortment of aromatic colourful seeds and nuts coated with various flavours. Paans basically consist of saffron, gulkand (rose jam), sweetened cashews and almonds, and other minty elements wrapped in a betel leaf. These refreshments are usually set towards the exit of the venue or near the food counters so guests can help themselves after the meal. All we can say is that these minty surprises at the end of the meal are totally worth the wait!

These little quirks and peculiarities truly help make Indian weddings memorable affairs. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what the Indian wedding scene has to offer. The details is what makes these festivities a true experience for any wedding lover.

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Destination Dubai

Destination Dubai

Glitz, glamour and good times are definitely some things you and your guests are assured of in the gorgeous city of Dubai.

A destination wedding in the Middle East would definitely make Dubai, the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates, a safe bet. Strategically located, this fast paced and ambitious city is the ideal wedding destination for those couples expecting guests from the East or West. It’s blend of modern lifestyle and strong ties to tradition enable you to enjoy a wedding that has the best of both worlds… literally!

As a wedding destination, Dubai offers you several venues that allow you to have a wedding spanning different themes and experiences. Some of the available options couples could choose from are:

A wedding on man-made islands

If you have always dreamt of a beach-side wedding on an exotic island but could not manage it, don’t fret! The Palm Dubai, a cluster of artificial islands, is sure to be just as transporting. Shaped like a palm tree, this work of wonder boasts some beautiful hotels and resorts to give you the perfect beach-side wedding. Pick your favorite from the busy and touristy Atlantis, The Palm resort or the sophisticated and picturesque One&Only, The Palm or Zabeel Saray.

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A desert wedding

If you have always believed the combination of sand dunes and the night sky have a certain aura to it that remains unmatched, you could experience it on your special day too. Desert resorts like Bab Al Shams set amidst the soft sands, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city will give your wedding the Arabian fairy tale feel that you have longed for.

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A wedding in the world’s only 7* hotel

If you have always thought that there can be no other day more special than your wedding day and it calls for some serious celebration, you are probably right. Make this big day, bigger with a grand wedding at the iconic Burj Al Arab. The epitome of luxury and indulgence, this hotel is sure to make your wedding the most talked about wedding in times to come.

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Though a pick of any of these wedding venues is enough to complete your guests’ travel experience to Dubai, additional things one can do in Dubai are:

Desert safari

A mix of adventure and culture is what best describes a desert safari. Your guests can witness the beauty and vastness of the desert with a drive that includes dune bashing. This is followed by an Arabic barbeque dinner at a desert camp along with a range of activities and entertainment including camel riding, henna, belly dancing and more.

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A trip to the Gold Souk

You’ve invited your guests to be a part of your wedding in the ‘City of Gold’ and without a trip to the old Gold Souk, their visit would be a little incomplete. Arrange a bus and get your guests to walk down these streets dazzling with gold shops on either side. Let them witness the stunning designs of this previous metal on display in perhaps what could be the largest gold market in a city.

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A visit to Burj Khalifa

And if there is a something you want to do that’s going to be a different experience for your guests, then arrange a trip to ‘At The Top’. This viewing deck situated on the 124th floor of the world’s tallest building will give your wedding guests a stunning view of the city and perhaps even a glimpse of the wedding venue from that height.

A feeling of home away from home, Dubai is definitely one of our top picks for destination weddings.

A bride called off her wedding and ended up doing something amazing with the money spent…

An Indiana woman didn’t want her canceled $30,000 wedding to go to waste, so she threw a dinner party for the homeless.

The swanky event center on Saturday saw about a dozen veterans from a local organization joining guests from homeless shelter coming together to dine on Bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichokes and Chardonnay cream sauce and wedding cake.

Sarah Cummins told the Indianapolis Star that she and her fiance called off the wedding a week ago. She declined to give a reason, but she said they were left with a nonrefundable contract for the Ritz Charles in Carmel and a plated dinner for 170 guests.

“For me, it was an opportunity to let these people know they deserved to be at a place like this just as much as everyone else does,” Cummins said to The New York Post.

Cummins said she decided that rather than throw away the food she would bring some purpose to the event and contacted area homeless shelters. She cheerfully greeted and welcomed her guests when they arrived Saturday.

Several local businesses and residents donated suits, dresses and other items for the guests to wear.

Charlie Allen, who’s spent three months at a homeless mission, received a donated jacket.

“I didn’t have a sport coat,” he said, tugging gently at the lapels. “I think I look pretty nice in it.”

Like other guests, Allen said he was grateful for the invitation.

“For a lot of us, this is a good time to show us what we can have,” he said. “Or to remind us what we had.”

Three of Cummins’ seven bridesmaids, along with her mother and aunts, came to support her at the event.

Cummins, a 25-year-old Purdue University pharmacy student, said her ex-fiance, Logan Araujo, footed most of the bill for the wedding contract, with Cummins and her parents, along with one of Araujo’s family friends, paying the rest. Cummins said that when she approached Araujo about donating the dinner, he agreed to what he believed was a selfless way to handle the situation.

Cummins said she is not sure yet what she will do with the wedding dress.

“It’s too painful to think about.”

Source: New York Post

 

Something very strange made this couple call off their Wedding…

This one trumps all levels of weird ( Although I feel that is only because we are used to the others ) as the groom and the bride called off their wedding over a debate on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This story is about an ex-couple, natives of Kanpur, in conversation began to talk about the current economic scenario in India.

The girl, a current government employee, obviously passionate about the subject blamed the current administration for what according to her was a sorry state of affairs. The groom would not have it, a businessman and a Modi supporter, he was quick to come to the government’s defense.

Now normally, a debate would turn into an argument, an argument into a fight, in this case, they called off their wedding! WTF!!!!

This adds to the increasing list of ‘bizarre’ reasons for which weddings have been called off in India.From bride’s IQ to groom’s fairness, from groom’s side demand of non-veg meals to bride’s objection on “naagin dance”, we have recently witnessed the most bizarre reasons for cancellation of marriage but we do not know what level of weird this is! 😀

All we can say is we wish them the best individually, they really really stood their ground on this one didn’t they? What do you think?

This Gujarat businessman is changing India, one year at a time!

Remember Gopal Vastapara ? I doubt it, considering all the horrible stuff we hear that is going on around the world, very rarely are the good things in the world remembered.

Let’s refresh our memory, Gopal Vastapara got his son and his daughters married last year. You are probably thinking ( Is this guy for real, what is so great about that)… read on to find out!

Gopal Vastapara is a businessman from Surat in Gujarat who is blessed enough to enjoy the best life can offer but when he decided to get his son married, he decided he still had not achieved everything.

Pursuing his keen drive for philanthropy he decided to organize a small sombre ceremony for his sons wedding inviting only close friends and family and decided to spend a large part of the money on organising a lavish mass wedding ceremony for a 100 girls, all who came of economically  backward families and who he christened as his daughters.

The girls were married on April 28 at a function in Chamardi village located in Amreli district of Gujarat.

The humble Mr.Vastapara said,”“We decided to get our son married in a very simple function and instead use the money to help 100 girls from poor families by arranging their marriages. Our motto is Sarva Dharam, Sarva Samaj (All religion, all communities). The girls who will get married are from various castes and include six Muslims too,”

Not only did the girls have the liberty to invite whoever they wanted, but Mr.Vastarpara also provided each happily married couple with all household essentials required by them to start their new life together.

The massive ceremony saw 60,000 people attending and all of the Rs 3 Crores were paid by Mr.Vastapara.

If that wasn’t enough, all Mr.Vastapara asked for in return was that each couple pledge to save a girl child and save the environment.

In a society where infanticide and dowry still blatantly exist, Mr.Vastarpara stood as a shining light to show that love for humanity should come from within.

Now the best part, Last year was just the beginning. Mr.Vastapara has pledged, that he will be sponsoring such mass marriage ceremonies for at least 10 more years if not more!

Take a bow Mr.Vastapara, we hope you keep inspiring!

A Ph.D. student committed suicide because of dowry demands by her in-laws.

Manjula Devak, a Ph.D. student at the IIT – Delhi campus had everything going for her. A bright future awaited thanks to her brilliant intellect and past work experience in the US.

Manjula Devak. Final year Ph.D. Student

Unfortunately, that was not to be. Tired of being harassed by her In-Laws for Dowry, Manjula hung herself at her apartment in the IIT-Delhi campus.

A conversation Manjula had with her sister.

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Manjula’s father confirmed that it was because of the torture that she ended her life. Manjula and Ritesh Virha got married 4 years back i.e. in 2013.

They shifted from Bhopal to IIT Delhi, since she wanted to pursue her Ph.D. in water resources.

Before joining IIT, Manjula had worked in the US as well.

When Manjula committed suicide, Rajesh was in Indore. No one had seen her since Monday and on Tuesday evening, Manjula’s friends entered her home. After finding the room door locked from within, they informed the cops who broke it down. They rushed her to the hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.

According to Manjula’s father, the in-laws were demanding a dowry of Rs 20 Lakhs, because her husband had quit his job and wanted money for a business venture.

This was not the first time Manjula had tried to take this extreme step, in 2015 Manjula had tried to end her life by slitting her wrists.

It makes me question the ‘modern fabric’ we like to think our society is made of, we are not even close to it. How can one live, knowing that they drove someone else to take such an extreme step I will never know.

It is extremely important that the topic of Dowry is broached again, very seriously. We can see it still very much exists across all strata of Indian Society and it has to be fought against and abolished.

Manjula Devak.

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Our prayers and thoughts go out to Manjula’s family, and I hope that whoever is proven responsible for this should be punished in the most extreme sense permitted within the scope of the law.

This Wedding Couple used their wedding to bring clean water to a village in Uganda!

When Billy Steere and Honey Lindo decided to get married, they not only embarked on a new journey of marital bliss but also decided to use their wedding to carve out a new future for the people of a tiny village in Uganda.

How did they do it?

They asked their wedding guests for donations to build a freshwater well there instead of gifts!

The couple were inundated with donations, and have now been able to pay for a spring in Kahororo, a tiny village in Uganda’s Rukungiri district and by the time they tied the knot, they had managed to raise the GBP 1200 required to fund a fresh water well.

Billy, 46 and Honey, 40, came up with the idea back in 2016 while they were planning their wedding.As the couple already lived together and had children, they didn’t need any traditional wedding gifts, but the chance to do something for charity was too good to waste.

‘We started thinking about what else we could do instead of a gift list and I suggested doing something for charity,’ said payroll officer Honey.

No More Durty Water, a water campaign group founded by a friend of the couple was the charity of choice which works alongside the Bridge of Hope Children’s Ministry, and local surveyors and builders got to work making their dream come true.

Life has already gotten better for the 200 villagers who can now access fresh and clean water every day thanks to the efforts of Billy and Honey and children in the village can now concentrate on getting educated instead of spending time walking miles to collect a bucket of fresh water.

Every small step each individual takes helps us make this world a better place, what say?

Source: http://www.metro.co.uk

What this father did at his sons wedding will shock you and then leave you in awe!

As far as wedding gift ideas go, we have a gazillion options for products which can be gifted and if nothing else, there is always the envelope filled with money and a coin for shagun. But what Rakesh Vaishnav asked for was something you can never ever imagine.

When Rakesh Vaishnav decided to get his two sons, Arun and Alpesh married, he envisioned setting an example which has never been set before. The wedding took place at Ramganjmandi town in Kota Rajasthan.

To give you a bit of background, Rakesh lost a family member from complications owing to lack of blood and has since been donating blood regularly.

So at his sons weddin, he saw and opportunity and seized it and requested his guests to give him just one gift, that of donating blood. He set up a blood donation camp at the wedding venue.

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Even the wedding invitations read,”Uphaar ho to aisa, raktdan jaisa” (no better gift than blood donation).

While he made it clear to his guests, that in no way should they feel obliged to donate, his efforts inspired so many of his guests to actively participate in a cause that can make a huge difference to the current state of affairs in the country.

His request did inspire many attendees at the wedding to donate their blood, including his 21-year-old nephew Rahul Vaishnav and guest Saroj Sharma, who at aged 39 donated blood for the very first time. As many as 26 units of blood had been collected in one afternoon, and more was expected to be donated in the evening.

This wedding camp is not Rakesh’s only initiative. He has also worked on awareness campaigns, encouraging others to donate blood and assisting those in need of a donation. “I started a group called ‘Raktdata Jeevandata Samooh’ in 2012. It is connected with voluntary blood donation organizations in nine states and provides blood to the needy people,” he said.

All we can say is kudos, we can not draw enough inspiration from you Mr.Rakesh Vaishnav, and it’s such small beautiful gestures by citizens which will make our great country a shining light on the global stage.

A wedding story which will make you cry…and then smile because love always wins!

After a petty family dispute, Lalita Bansi was scarred for life when her idiot and scum cousins threw acid on her in their village in Azamgarh, UttarPradesh in 2012.

This brave heart did not let this affect her spirit and moved on, undergoing 17 surgeries at Mumbai’s Bombay Hospital and has 12 more to go.

As fate would have it, the universe aligned to give Lalita the life she actually deserved after she got a response from a wrong number she had dialled. When the person called back, Lalita had scolded him and he had hung up.

He called back 15 days later to explain what had happened and that is when cupid struck!

Rahul kumar, a data entry operator from Malad was smitten by how frank a nature Lalita has and proposed to her after a couple of months of phone conversation!

Rahul Says,””Sirf ek wrong number ne meri zindagi badal di, Three months ago, I got a missed call from an unknown number. When I called back, I was scolded and I disconnected the call.”

That’s when the love story began.

“Within 15 days of talking to Lalita, she told me her face was burnt. I told her, ‘Jinka chehra jala hota hai unki life nahi hoti kya? Tum bus tayaar ho, main tumse shaadi karunga (Does someone whose face is burnt not have a life? You get ready, I am going to marry you)‘ and she agreed.”

“My parents had a love marriage so they didn’t have any problem with my choice,” he adds.

After two months of telephonic conversations, Rahul went to Lalita’s house to meet her and as they say, rest is history.

The wedding was held at the D’Silva Technical College in Dadar, central Mumbai, thanks to the efforts of Udyami Maharashtra along with the Acid Survivors Saahas Foundation, who made Lalita’s dream a reality.

There was a beautifully decorated mandap, a lavish food spread, celebrities in attendance, and the overwhelming media going click, click at the drop of a hat.

Some Photos of their Lovely wedding!

Lalita changed into a red bridal outfit and was joined by her make up artist.
Despite the chaos around her, not once did the smile vanish from her face.
The acid attack survivor had been preparing for this day for a month.

Mehendi and lavish jeweller adorned the beautiful bride!

The Groom Rahul Kumar

The Happily Married Couple.

We wish them the best life has to offer and a lot more!

Actor Vivek Oberoi graced the occasion with his presence and was kind enough to gift the newlyweds a new house 🙂

It takes a special kind of courage to overcome odds in life. Each individual is fighting their own battles and it is only love which brings people together.

We wish Rahul and Lalita a very happily married life together!

What this Couple did for their wedding guests will make you smile…

With weddings, we hear stories, extraordinary stories of love which make us believe in life and have faith all over again.

Which constantly remind us, life is beautiful.

We all know how weddings work, after the I  DO we have the Dinner and Dance and loads of other customs which we enjoy a lot.

What this couple did for their wedding guests added a whole new meaning to love and showing how much they care…and a small step by them re-instills a pride in humanity!

Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat got married in Kilis province which is near the Syrian border and invited 4000 Syrian refugees who have fled the country since the civil war, to come celebrate their wedding with them.

 

Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat

 

“We thought that on such a happy day, we would share the wedding party with our Syrian brothers and sisters. We thought this was best done with Kimse Yok Mu who could provide a truck. God willing, this will lead to others doing the same and giving food to our Syrian brothers and sisters. For us, it was an interesting wedding dinner.”

 

Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat feeding Syrian refugees

 

The father also said he was glad that the couple began a new life “with such a selfless action”. Wedding guests shared food using trucks and those providing meals included the bride and groom themselves.

All we can say is, we are left speechless. Nothing can express the kindness you have shown and may your new life be filled with Joy and Prosperity.