Wednesday, 31 December 2014

So-Shaadi Special: Reception Pictures

Engagement and wedding, the two most important events of the day were over.
Finally when it was time for our Wedding Reception, I was tired to death. My face felt like it was semi paralysed and the only expression my face was capable of giving was a wide smile. That's what, a whole day of smiling for the photographers can do to you.

Anyways, we were late by an hour for our reception and my very punctual Marathi family was already too upset about the delay.
So we could hardly get any good shots of our reception outfits.
Below is all I have to share.

A gold net saree with some stonework. Hope you like it.


Thank you for being part of So-Shaadi series part 1.  I had so much fun blogging about it.
The So-Shaadi series will continue in the future, owing to popular demand.
We will now meet in the new year. Gosh..Can't believe one more year is over already.


Happy New Year In Advance Everyone.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

So-Shaadi Special: Wedding Pictures

Hey Guys, I am back to share my wedding outfit pictures.

Kutchi Bridal wear comprises of two sarees: The Panetar and the Gharchola.
To know more about the Panetar, read this post.

The gharchola typically is deep red in colour with gold zari checks all over the saree. There are little white dotted motifs inside the checks which are done using the bandhani or tie and dye technique. Some of the common motifs done on the Gharchola are elephant, lotus, flowers, peacocks, etc.

The Panetar is gifted by the Bride's maternal Uncle and the Gharchola from the Groom's family. The combination of both these sarees represents the beautiful union of the Bride and Groom's family.
When both the sarees are draped together they create a magnificent look fit for the Royals.
Add to that the traditional Maang Tikka, Nathni, and loads of other jewellery and you have a picture perfect Kutchi Bride.
Scroll down and see for yourself.





                                         Some more pics from the wedding.
 



 

Tomorrow I will publish the the Finale post of the So-Shaadi Series.
So make sure, you come back.

Monday, 29 December 2014

So-Shaadi Special - Engagement Pictures

Hey Everyone..
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the different Indian wedding rituals.
Since the past few posts were all text heavy, I am going to keep this post, light on text and heavy on pictures.

This 25th of December 2014, I completed four years of married life, and you will be surprised to know that I still haven't shared my wedding pictures on any social media forum.
But this year I decided to make an exception and share it on my blog.
My wedding was a very rushed affair, with very little time to plan.
I wish, I had some more time to plan and execute it. But then, there's always a next time. ;)
Jokes apart..
We had three ceremonies on one day.
8.30 am: Engagement
12.30 pm Wedding
7.30 pm Reception


Phew..can you believe that?
Me..being me..chose saree for all the three ceremonies. I do believe my fashion choices were not as refined four years back, or else the story would have been different all together.
But..Anyways!!!
So I am a Maharashtrian married to a Kutchi, and though we had included both the rituals in our wedding, my attire was that of a Kutchi bride.
And so, I chose a simple Kanjeevaram saree for my engagement, and kept the styling, jewellery and make up simple.
The reason for keeping the engagement look simple was because I was having a colourful and flamboyant Kutchi wedding, and I thought it was best to keep my engagement look simple, in line with the simple Maharashtrian wedding look. In fact, I did my own make-up.
Scroll down and see what I wore for my engagement ceremony. 
   


And now some more pictures from the engagement ceremony.
Next post, will be about my wedding attire. So stay tuned.



Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christian Wedding Rituals

Hey Everyone..how are you all doing? I hope you are enjoying the festivities around. I can't believe the year is finally coming to an end. Time surely flies by...
Anyways, today another friend of mine shares her wedding story and I coudn't have been happier.
Priyanka also happens to blog under Corporate Kettle and submitted this post on a very short notice on my insistence. Thank You Priyanka, I owe you big time.
Thank you for sharing your special day with So-Saree Readers.
Marriage is a sacred fellowship that unites two souls. It’s the most important day in a person’s life. Especially for a girl, marriage indicates the beginning of a new life. As a child, marriage was a fairy tale story and I would imagine myself dressed in a beautiful flowing white gown awaiting my prince to take me away. As our story books always had these images resembling a Christian wedding.        
The church ceremony, often termed as ‘nuptials’ begin sharp at 4 p.m. followed by the reception at 7 p.m. Before the big day arrives, there are too many preparations involved. Firstly we need to get the church choir ready for the main day. They are the heart of the ceremony. They lead all the weddings hymns and most importantly add life to the service. The choir needs to be well versed with the hymns and activities that will follow during the Holy Matrimony. Then the page boy, flower girls, best man, bridesmaid all have to be vigilant about their roles during the ceremony.

Arriving of the Groom & Bride                                         
My husband arrived along with his parents and best man before the scheduled time and took his position near the altar. The groom has to wait inside to receive his bride.
Then the priest entered and took his position at the altar. He requested the congregation to arise and welcome the bride.                                           
After the priest it was the Page Boy’s turn. His role is to carry the Bible and hand it over to the priest.
                             
The flower girls entered next. As they walked, they dropped flower petals on the floor preparing the walkway for the bride. After the flower girls, it was the bridesmaid turn. My sister was the bridesmaid in my wedding. This place is given to a close friend or relative of the bride. She entered the church and took her position near the altar. While all these events take place, the choir leader (the one who usually plays the piano) plays a hymnal in the background.
                                   
Finally it was my turn. I was walked down the aisle by my father to the tune of ‘Here comes the bride’. This is called the wedding march which is a slow walk towards the altar.

Nuptials                                        

The service began, with a hymn followed by a prayer. Then the priest asked us to stand as he was about to solemnize the wedding. He asked the congregation if there were any legal issues or reasons why we shouldn’t get married and if anyone had any objection about the wedding taking place. This practice is often done to verify if the boy or girl are single and not secretly married or are having any legal issues like not yet divorced from first wife, does not hold any church membership, not a Christian, etc. If there is no response from the crowd, holy matrimony begins.
Our wedding was solemnized by the Bishop. He is the highest authority in a Christian society. The Bishop asked my husband if he was willing to take me as his wife and a similar question was asked to me as well. The most important part of a Christian wedding is the exchange of vows. These words form the covenant that establishes the couple’s marriage. The Church calls the exchange of vows, consent—that is, the act of will by which a man and a woman give themselves to each other.
The marriage can’t happen without the declaration of consent. The priest asked us the following question - I, (name), take you, (name), for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. 
                          
Once our consent was received, we exchanged rings and my husband tied the mangalsutra around my neck. Thus we were pronounced husband and wife by the priest and our wedding ceremony ended there.     
                  


Signing of the Marriage Register
The Bishop delivered a sermon, which is traditionally followed in every Christian wedding. He wished us good luck and spoke few words of wisdom for a healthy married life.
Post the sermon we headed to sign the register. The church issues a certificate of marriage which is considered as a valid document and a proof of our marriage. We both signed on it along with one witness from each end.

Closing Ceremony
Finally the ceremony was over. We clicked snaps with the dignitaries and walked out of the church as husband-wife. The crowd wished us and showered us with blessings in the form of flower petals.
Reception ceremony                                    
The Master of Ceremony welcomed us as we entered the reception ground. The crowed showered confetti’s on us. We were brought in the middle of the ground where the bridal march would take place.                                 
All close friends and family members were asked to join the bridal march. It’s more like a fun walk where everyone is following the bride and groom.

First dance
                            
It was time for our first dance together as husband and wife. The crowd was encouraged to join us again. A romantic song was played and everyone danced along with us. I danced with the best man, my uncles and cousins. The groom takes this opportunity to dance with the bridesmaid, his mother and sisters as well.

Cake cutting & Raising the Toast                                  
Post this was the cake cutting ceremony. During the ceremony both the families were introduced. After the cake cutting my husband’s eldest uncle raised the toast for us. Usually a person who is very close to the boy’s family has the privilege of raising the toast. Cake and wine is offered to everyone for raising the toast.

Bidding Goodbye
                             
Finally I changed into a royal pink colour saree. Dinner was served, dance floor was open and people were invited to wish us on stage.                                     
Post the celebration we sat together as a family for dinner along with relatives and close friends - all waiting to bid me goodbye and wishing me a happy married life.


Thank you once again Priyanka...I loved the post too much and ending it on a saree note was the best thing ever. ;)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Marwari Wedding Rituals

What happens when you ask a blogger friend to do a post on wedding series for your blog?
You not only get a detailed description of the wedding rituals, but you also get picture perfect moments captured flawlessly.
I coudn't get any luckier, when Shreya of Bric-A-Brac agreed to do a guest post for So-Saree and shared the details of her special day with us. So make way for the Queen of India Kitch.. Shreya Jhunjhunwala.
There is a reason why Suraj Barjatya choose Marwari Weddings as a backdrop for many of his movies. Marwari weddings really are Big Fat Indian Weddings in the true sense with their opulent outfits, grandiose decor, song and dance and the yummy, yummy food.
Behind the shiny facade however, the main focus of a Marwari wedding are the elaborate rituals. And there are lots of them.To summarize them all in one post would be nearly impossible for me as I do not even remember the small ones but I will try to outline the main ones that I do remember and cherish for So-Saree Readers.

The wedding began with my husband arriving with his 'baraat' at the wedding venue with the traditional Band-Baaja where my immediate family was waiting to greet him and the baraatis with refreshments. My husband was given a neem stick with which he hit a small idol of Ganeshji at the top of the entrance. He then proceeded to the stage for the Varmala. My mother steps onto the stage to do his 'Aarti' and 'Tilak'. My bhabhi's then stepped onto the stage to do his tilak and apply Kohl to his eyes.



After this,I am escorted to the venue under a 'Phoolon ka Chaadar'(Blanket of flowers) by my brothers and a few sisters follow. Hubby appears to be teary eyed about how pretty I look but I am later told that is the kohl which he is not used to. We exchange the varmalas in the traditional fashion which is a considerable task since I am about 5" shorter even after my heels and a higher stool.

 After the Varmala,we had the reception and High Tea. Traditionally, the reception happens after the wedding but mine was before as we had a later 'mahurat'(auspicious time) for the Pheras. After a lot of pictures, I had some free time so I could rest in my bridal suite while my husband started with some ceremonies where I was not required.
After around half an hour or so, I was called to join my husband at the mandap for the wedding rituals. At the mandap, the 'Ganthi-Bandhan' takes place. Here,the priest ties the red cloth around my husbands waist to a chunni which is placed around my shoulders. A holy thread with a sathiya is also tied around my forehead.
This is followed by the 'Paanigrahan' ceremony where my father places my hand over my husbands.This signifies the union of the bride and groom and the promise to always support each other through good and times. After this a cloth is placed over our hands (I guess to give our hands some 'privacy) while the priest chants some 'mantras' which we repeat after him.


After this we begin the 'pheras' in which we circle the holy fire while the priest recites the mantras. In a Marwari wedding, we have only four pheras and saat vachan.The rest three pheras are taken in different ways according to different castes. Some brides take it along with their maama(uncle) and the groom at the entrance after the varmaala, while some like me take it after they have their first child.

At the beginning of each phera, my brothers pass a handful of puffed rice onto our joined hands which we offer to the fire. This symoblises the brother wish for well-being of their sister in her new life. After each phera, I put my foot over a grinding stone to symbolise the bride's courage to face the challenges of life. After each phera,the bride and groom make two 'vachans' other. Some of the 'vachans' are quite redundant in todays times but I have listed them for you.
1)Every woman other than than his wife will be like a sister or mother to the groom. Every man other than her husband will be like a brother or father to the Bride.
2)The Husband is supposed to take his wife along for any auspicious task and religious pilgrimages. 
3)The bride is supposed and respect and care for the husbands parents like her own and groom has to care and respect the brides parents as his own.
4)The husband has to give a record of all the household finances to his wife and not spend irresponsibly. He should spend money taking in consideration the needs of the whole family.
5)It is the duty of the husband to provide for his family as It is the duty of the wife to provide for the house.
6)The husband and wife vow to raise their children with good morals and practice good moral themselves.They should welcome all guests and try to be calm and righteous.
7)After taking all these vachans, the husband asks the final vachan of the wife. He asks the wife to always follow his advice and trust in him.

After this,the wedding is considered complete and my father performed the 'kanyadaan' or the ceremonial giving away the bride by her parents. A silver coin is placed on mine and my husbands hand by my father as he offered my hand to him in marriage. I then moved over to the left side of my husband signifying the shift to his heart from my parents. The final 'Sindurdaan' ceremony is performed in which he applies 'sindur' or 'vermillion' to the center parting of my hair which the most important sign of a married woman. Some of the sindur falls on my nose which is considered very lucky but make my photos a bit funny.

After a break and dinner, several smaller rituals are performed. During the 'sargunthi',my husbands buas and sisters welcome me to their family by adorning my hair and changing my 'nath'(nosering). Red and green bangles are placed in my hand by my mother-in-law. My Father-in-law gave me a pouch of 'chillad' or loose change to signify the acceptance of household responsibilities. My husband was taken to a new seat where he was given envelopes in exchange of witty compliments and quotes for the women of my family. We also play 'Jua' (Gambling) which are a few fun games to determine who will be more dominant one.
The last and final ritual is the 'Vidai' where I prepared to leave the mandap along with my husband to his home. Along with the emotions running high and lots of tears,I also get a lot of envelopes full of money. We then leave in a car decorated full of flowers to our happily ever after. :)

There are several rituals even after we get home and in the morning but I'm assuming you have had enough of these for one post. Hope you enjoyed reading about my wedding and a huge shout-out to Aditi for letting me relive the most cherished day of my life!

Thank you so much Shreya, I am so thankful to you for this wonderful post.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Malyalee Wedding Rituals

Hello There...I hope you guys are excited to start with the wedding series aka So-Shaadi series on So-Saree, Coz I am more than excited. We start the series with Malyalee wedding rituals, and I cannot thank my childhood, long lost friend (who I found on FB) for kick starting this series. Thank you Vinita for this fabulous post and for sharing pictures of your special day with us.
Over to Vinita.

My Friend Vinita- Isn't She Gorgeous?
Sushil & I had a traditional Kerala wedding. I am an Iyer and he is a Malayalee (caste thiyaa ; belong to north malabar)

Usually wedding rituals in any religion keep the families occupied for a week but a Malayalee wedding: Blink and you will miss it!

Our wedding took place in Thelicherry, Kannur district, in the Indian state of Kerala. We tried to follow most of the norms, however it was customized based on comfort & convenience. 


Since I am born & brought up in Mumbai, we had to arrange an accommodation for all our guests in the nearby hotel. All the rituals that traditionally take place in the bride's house took place in the hotel.

A day before the wedding, the grooms parents invite all the relatives and guest from their side home for a feast, The feast comprises of the mouth watering chicken biryani, raita and the famous bakery items. Men have their alcohol session followed by music and dance.

Podava Kodukkal (giving of the saree)
The grooms sister along with some elderly ladies go to the bride's house (in my case they came to the hotel) to handover the wedding saree, stitched blouse and the vanity case. The vanity case had all the essentials that a bride requires to get dressed for her wedding day. The bride in turn gives a gift to the grooms sister. This ceremony takes place either on the wedding day or a day before.

Temple Visit
On the morning of the wedding, the bride dressed in a simple mundu veshti (traditional Kerala saree), visit the family temple and makes a ritual offering, takes blessings of the Gods and all her loved ones. The groom too visits his family temple and follows the same ritual

Thaleluarieduva - Thala (head), Ari (rice) – eduva (receive blessing
This is a custom, that happens separately in the girl and boy’s side. This happens
on the day of the wedding. The girl/ boy receives blessings from everybody older than them in their families. They pour raw rice over their heads and the girl/boy in turn touch their feet to be blessed by time.  The best part being, even your older cousins are not exempted from this.

Following the ceremony, the groom and the party proceed to the wedding hall
Welcoming the groom
Dressed in a cream silk shirt and cream silk munduthe groom enters the madapam with his wedding party. At the entrance, his feet are washed by the bride's brother. The bride's uncle garlands him and hands over a flower bouquet. The bride's family along with all the relatives escort the groom and his family to the mandapam.
Welcoming the bride:
The bride dressed her in wedding saree, hair tied with white & orange flowers and loaded with yellow gold (yes a malayalee wedding is incomplete without the gold) - makes her way to the mandapam. The female relatives of the bride form the thalam procession. They carry a lamp and lead the bride to the mandampam where the groom is waiting for her. 
Thalikettu (tying of the knot)
The time for the muhurtam/thalikettu is prefixed and it is important that time is adhered to. Once the bride and groom are seated on the mandapam, the bride and the groom exchange their wedding rings. 


Then the groom is given the thali (mangal sutra). The groom ties the thali around the brides neck and two knots are tied by him. The third knot is tied by the grooms sister.
Kanya daanam (giving away of the daughter)
The bride's father places the bride's hand over the grooms and blesses the wedding. After this, groom holds the bride's hand and walks around the sacred fire thrice.



 
Blessings
After the couple's wedding ceremonies are done, the bride and groom's immediate family offers them a spoonful of sweetened milk and bananas.
Sadya
The sadya,or meal, is the most important part of the celebrations. It is only after eating the food from the wedding sadya that the bride and groom can leave.
Following their meal, the bride and groom leave from the madapam. The bride's family do not accompany her. At the groom's house, the bride is given a villaku (lamp) and she enters her new home, putting her right foot forward first.
The bride's family along with the relatives come to the groom's house on the wedding evening. The grooms parents welcome the family and they are served dinner. The bride's family and relatives bless the couple and leave.
Thank You Vinita, for the lovely post. You and Sushil make such a smashing couple. God Bless.

 

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