Friday 31 July 2015

Sindhi Wedding Rituals

Today's post is one of the longest wedding story posts, and it comes from a very dear friend of mine..Jaya.
Jaya is married to my husband'd best friend, and in no time she turned out to be my best buddy too. I had the privilege to attend their wedding. And what a wedding it was. Almost like a fairytale. I had been coaxing Jaya to pen down her story, and today I am sharing it with you.
Thanks so much Jaya. You guys make a lovely couple and God bless you always.
Over to you....
I have been a big fan of “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” movie since the time it was released. At the time, I was only 9 years old and I started dreaming about my Dilwala to come and take his dulhaniya ;) I belong to a Sindhi family in which we have an opposite tradition where Dulhaniya goes to Dilwala to get married that is the bride’s side of family goes to the groom’s side to get married. Sounds weird, right? But, on the brighter side, if the groom resides in a different city, it is a destination wedding for the brides family. ;)

As a child I used to dream about grand traditional weddings! I was very much influenced by Rajshri films like Hum Saath Saath Hain and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. A few years later in my late teenage, I started to dream about beach weddings and American style weddings. But when it was my turn to get married, I thought of doing a simple traditional wedding in a Gurudwara. I wanted to save the expense from the wedding celebration and instead travel around the world with him. This thought remained in my mind only. After going back and forth, we finally decided to get married in Fariyas resort in Lonavla! I was super excited and nervous about my dream come true wedding :) 
We had a couple of events in Baroda and then a series of events in Lonavla.

Kachimisri and Bherana (Jan 4th 2013)
This is the first ritual in any Sindhi wedding and is similar to Gaud-dhana that Gujarati’s have or Roka that Panjabi’s have. It is an agreement between both the families to conduct the marriage. Both the families pray together to the Kuldevta Jhulelal to bless the couple with a blissful marital life.
The bride’s and the groom’s family presents nicely decorated tokras (hampers) of goodies to each other. Primarily, the bride’s family need to give five coconuts and misri (crystallized sugar) wrapped in a new towel/cloth. Depending on the preferences additional goodies could be dry fruits, chocolates, gheni’s (gold coins)  etc. A great deal of thought and effort is put into making these beautifully decorated gifts, in fact plenty of families these days prefer to have a specialist manage this for them.
After the Kachimisri in January, we spent almost an year planning for our wedding in December. The planning part of the year was also the best part of our wedding ;) We used to spend hours coordinating with photographers, decorators, event planners during this entire year.

Anandpurdarbarsatsang (Dec 22 - 2013)
We were all set to begin the celebration. Nervousness and excitement were at the peak. We started the celebration with the Anandpur darbar satsang which is the guru that my grand parents had been following since a very long time. Sindhi weddings are generally a large-scale, razzle-dazzle affair with lots of good food, the best of designer labels, diamonds and lots of dance. There was Satsang (bhajan), prasad, dinner and dance during this event which was held in darbar itself. This was for getting blessings from the Anandpurdarbar’s guru.

Mehendi evening
: Mehendi is primarily a ceremony for women, where the bride and the women from both sides of the family and friends get henna applied on their hands by a professional. Popular belief is that, the darker the color, the more her husband will end up loving her!  All the women in my family got their henna applied during this event. I chose not to get mehendi applied on this day as it was too early for the dark color to stay till the wedding day ;) And I decided to get it applied on the day we leave for Lonavla ;)

Akhand path (Dec 23 - 2013)

Akhand path means continuous recitation without a break of the holy scripture “Guru Granth sahib” from beginning to end, (all 1430 pages,) lasting about 48 hours by a team of pathees (readers). This ritual is considered a very holy practice and is said to bring peace and happiness to the participants and the listeners of the recitation. At its completion, there is a ceremony called Bhog. Bhog in sanskrit means to conclude. It is accompanied with bhajans/ (laadas as we call it in sindhi) and dance to celebrate the completion of the recitation of the “Guru granth sahib” and also to shower blessings on the family.  
As a part of the traditional dance during bhog, we keep matki (an earthen pot) on the heads’ of every family member starting with Bride’s Mom and Dad and make them dance. The sindhi laada that plays during this dance form is (Hindi translation - rakhke matki sir pe, dulhan ki mummy nachegi… Rakh k matki sir pe, dulhan k papa nachenge ….) To give the best analogy, this is very similar to the song “BaariBarsi” from the movie Band BaajaBaraat where every family member is introduced and made fun of by the lyrics in the song. Akhand Path is a tradition followed by sikhs but staying amidst so many diverse religions we have adapted to rituals from different religions. In my family, this is one of the most important events of our weddings.

On the same day evening, we had Matakichauki. Our wedding is incomplete without MataVaishnodevi’s blessings. On this night Prayer is performed to gain blessings from Goddess Durga. Religious songs and hymns are sang by all members taking part in the chowki.One of the best parts of this ceremony is we dress up one of the cute little girls from the family as mataji and everyone takes blessings from her in addition with mataji’s idol. My favorite mataji’s song is “Maa murade puri karde, halwa batungi …”

Dec 24 - 2013 On this day we were traveling to Lonavla by train so there were no ceremonies on this day. I got my mehendi applied on this day. There were songs and laadas sung by my aunts while we were traveling to lonavla. It was a lot of fun :) 

Mehendi and Sangeet (Dec 25 - 2013) We had mehendi ceremony for the groom’s side of family on this day. I wanted to have sangeet in my wedding as I was inspired by all my gujju friends. To me, it’s a gujju tradition. Sangeet ceremony as the name suggests is all about dance and music! Sangeet is not a Sindhi tradition. Traditionally, Sindhis used to have Ladies Laadas (i.e Ladies sangeet) which is exclusively for women wherein all of them sing folk songs dedicated to the bride. It is accompanied by Dholak and spoon, for the tune and beat. After this, all the girls perform dance on different songs.Amidst the celebration, women crack jokes, tease the bride, merrily reminisce their youthful days and bless the girl for a prosperous married life. The environment quite often becomes emotional as the bride and her mother experience the pangs of separation from each other. After all the dance and singing is done, its time for refreshment. It mainly contains a variety of snacks and sweet dishes. Women enjoy themselves to the fullest, making the environment light. But with changing times, it has now become Sangeet where men and women both participate. Today this ceremony is all about dance performances from the bride and groom’s side of family.


Ring Ceremony, Cocktail and DJ
After Sangeet, we got a few hours to get ourselves dressed up for the Ring ceremony. This was the evening of my dreams :) On this evening, we exchanged our rings amidst the yay’s and aww’s of all our family and friends :) After the cake cutting ceremony, we had the BEST MAN and the MAID OF HONOR do the speech. Our party was a western themed party. This is referred to as the Cocktail Party because as the name suggests there is a free flow of alcohol at this ceremony. There was DJ, Drinks and everyone on the dance floor. Manoj and I had a dance performance on the song “Tum Mile” from the movie ‘Tum Mile’. This is the party that everybody was looking forward to and the dancing went on until the wee hours of the night.


Saath and Soond - Bride

This ceremony is done for the bride on the morning of the wedding, at the wedding venue. But in our case we did not have that time in the morning so we did it right after ring ceremony at 12:30 am. ‘SathSuhaginyu’ (seven married women) first rub off their luck on her by applying oil on her hair and then join in to help the bride to grind some wheat in the ‘jandd’ a traditional rotating grinder.

This symbolizes her initiation to household chores. A red thread is tied to one of her ankles and everybody applies oil on her head. There are some rituals done with the bride’s mother holding an earthern-pot on her head. There is another ceremony where the bride breaks a small earthenware diya with the same pair of jooti (or sandals) that she is going to wear for her pheras. The destruction of the eastern pot symbolizes end of her current life. She will be beginning her new life after she gets married to the groom. From this time until the wedding, she is not allowed to be alone and is accompanied by her sister or aunt wherever she goes.

A little portion of kutti (wheat flour sindhi recipe) is made and fed to the bride and the remnants are fed to eligible girls and boys, since it is believed to increase their chances of quick matrimony. This is also called the Vanva ceremony. After taking shower the next day, the dress I was wearing for ‘vanva’ was given away in charity. This also symbolizes giving away the old for the new.

Dec 26th
Dikha Ceremony is also called the Saathsoond in Sindhi. During this ceremony, all the relatives put oil on the groom’s head and tear off his clothes. Apparently, this signifies casting away the old life and moving into the new. This is a fun ceremony and mostly the groom tries to wear 3 layers of clothes to protect himself that are mercilessly torn away by all his cousins and friends.

The ‘bochhini’ (a white big stole like garment with a big pocket at one end) is draped on him. The groom’s mother stitches this beforehand and gets it embroider with seven large sequins. This embroidered part comes over his head. The priest then does a puja and places the ‘mukut’ on his head. The groom’s mother plays an important role in this ceremony. The misri-phala (crystalized sugar and dry fruits) are dropped into the pocket of his bochhini, first by his sisters, followed by maternal grandparents’ side and then the others. There are some rituals done with the groom’s bhabhi holding a pot on her head. There is another ceremony where the groom breaks a small earthen pot with the same pair of jooti (or shoes) that he is going to wear for the pheras. The destruction of the eastern diya symbolizes end of his current life. He will be beginning his new life after he gets married to the bride. From this time, the groom is considered as form of Lord Vishnu. Post this ritual which is between his two lives, he is not allowed to go alone anywhere and is accompanied by the aenar (his sister’s husband) carrying a knife in his hand all the time for the grooms protection.


The groom’s entourage of family and friends come to the venue dancing and rejoicing on the beats of a live dholak, in a colourful procession. The groom is dressed like a Prince who rides off on a horse in all royalty. The bride’s family welcomes them with garlands. In our case, Manoj and I were located in the same resort, so they took him 1/2 km away from the resort and brought him back on horse ;)Manoj wanted to make an entry on an elephant but unfortunately we were not able to make arrangements for one in Lonavla ;)

Vedi (The wedding) :
Pheras: The bride and the groom go around the sacred fire four times. The seven sacred vows are exchanged in the presence of the sacred fire. These vows with Agnideva are considered to be unbreakable! Each round signifies a purpose. With these pheras, the bride and the groom pray for a life of understanding, loyalty, unity and companionship not only for themselves but also for peace of the universe.
Kanyadaan: Kanyadaan literally means giving away the daughter to the groom. Placing their daughter’s hand in the groom’s, they hope that he will honor and protect her dignity. After this, they also do the Gau(cow) daan and the tulsidaan. Which is giving away the idol of a cow and tulsito the couple.
The groom then fills the parting in bride’s hair with Sindhur and makes her wear the ‘Mangalsutra’.
Jaymala : This ceremony is exchanging of garlands between the bride and the groom.  The bride’s parents offer sweets to everyone and give gifts to the aenar and groom’s family members. The priest matches their horoscope and then announces the alphabet with which the bride’s new name should start with. I was given an opportunity to chose my name and after listening to a couple of recommendations from everyone who was googling around, I picked the name Dhriti for myself. And then I was announced to be DhritiHarpalani starting that moment and then everyone started cheering !!!


Salt Shagun  is a ceremony after the wedding at the groom’s place where the new Bride exchanges salt with the Groom & his full family to ensure they have good relationships. This is the first time bride meets the grooms family after wedding. So she is showered with lots of blessings and lots of precious gifts ;)

This post marriage ritual is mainly for the bride and the groom to meet and greet their guests. On our reception, we had a grand entry where I was in a doli/palkhi and Manoj was walking in front while the song “Azim-o-shah Shehenshah” from Jodha Akbar was playing in the background. I truly felt like a queen. This was the best and the most unexpected part of our entire wedding. This entry was a surprise to both of us. Once we were on stage we had ceaseless hand-shaking, photo-clicking, indiscrimate hugging and re-uniting moments with our family and friends :)

Bidai is a ceremony in which the bride’s family bids her goodbye and see-off the newly married couple. Manoj had an idea to run away and marry, which we could not do, so we thought of running away and eloping after the reception. I was so happy after our reception that in the Bidai, I was left without any tears in my eyes.
After the Bidai, we were so tired and finally decided to run away to our hotel room.

Monday 27 July 2015

Vintage Desi Giveaway Winners Announced

Hello Everyone...!

It's finally time to announce our Vintage Desi Giveaway winners. The participation in this giveaway has been the best till date, and there are no points for guessing the real reason behind it. It was the awesome stuff at Vintage Desi.
Everyone, played hard and fair.
And it would have ben really difficult to choose one winner and so as stated earlier we did a lucky draw, and chose three names.
So without much ado, let me announce the name of the winners.

First Prize: Rs. 1000 Vintage Desi Gift voucher goes to Heer Jalundhwala

Consolation Prizes: 2 Jewellery Boxes from Vintage Desi go to Reema Garg and Sheetal Kapur

Winners please email your details to

Congratulations to the winners, and for those who didn't win, there's always a next time.
Scroll down to see my final look created with some awesome jewellery from Vintage Desi.

 Earrings: Buy Here
Bracelet: Buy Here

Friday 24 July 2015

Unique Wedding Invitation Idea

When my next door neighbour Saniya, announced her wedding I was so happy for her.
But when she gave me her wedding card, I was more than elated.
So, Saniya is a typical Marathi Mulgi who fell for the dashing Shetty Anna - Mihir.

Their wedding was a mix of both Marathi and Shetty wedding rituals, and hence their wedding invitation too deserved an interesting twist. The very quirky Saniya decided to take control in her hands and got her wedding card custom made.

Marathi Mulgi weds Shetty Anna :)
I loved the idea and thought it was quite interesting. It definitely deserved a mention on So-Saree and hence this post.
Let me know in the comments below if you like the card, and would you try this concept for your wedding invites?


Sunday 19 July 2015

Bengali Wedding Rituals

Hey All !! How are you doing?
As I mentioned in my last post, I am starting the So-Shaadi Series today with a  lot of enthusiasm.
When I started the So-Shaadi series, I thought this would be a one time affair and never thought it would be a segment on So-Saree. But seeing the popularity of the series and requests from So-Saree Readers I have decided / you can say I will atleast try to do this segment once a year.
So, when I announced the end of the So-Shaadi Series on my  blog last December, I received a sweet message from a blogger friend. She was disappointed I was putting an end to this segment, as she was going to be a bride in a few months and wanted to feature on it. And like we always say on So-Saree...Never say Never..!
So, I decided that whenever I re-start this segment it will be none other than Anupriya, who will kickstart this series.
Anupriya, is one of my nicest blogger friends who blogs on Chappals vs Stilletoes. She also heads the very fashionable and quirky brand Howrah Bridge and I am guilty of not checking out on her latest collection, coz I fear I will blow up all my money buying her stuff. It's soo good.
So Anupriya married the love of her life this February and she made a picture perfect Bong Bride. I loved what she wore, but more so I loved how beautifully she has penned down all the Bengali wedding rituals for So-Saree readers. Thanks Anu, I can't thank you enough.
Over To You Gorgeous...!!!
A Bengali wedding is as big & fat an affair as a Marwari or a Punjabi one. Preparations start from months ahead and the last out-of-town relatives leave the bride/groom’s house at least a week after all the ceremonies are over. Though my wedding date was fixed six months before, to my surprise, booking a venue took us almost a week as all major venues supposedly get booked one to two years in advance! So, after six months of running around, planning, manipulating, strategizing, going crazy and driving people crazy; the time finally came – outstation friends & relatives started pouring in, the trousseau started to get ready, last minute preparations were done and before I could say “marriage”, it was time for me to play Bride!

The day before the wedding starts with frenzied preparations as that’s the day the bride has her last (big) lunch at her maternal home as a spinster. The ritual is called “Aaiburobhaat” [aaiburo = spinster, bhaat = rice] which demands the bride be fed a traditional lunch of rice, shukto (a concoction of various vegetables), daal (pulses), five types of fries, two to three kinds of fish, chutney (a tangy preservative dish), sweets &mishit doi (sweet yoghurt). This huge meal is spread out in front of the bride, who sits surrounded by her unmarried friends, sisters or cousins, who all are fed bits of the meal by the bride, thus increasing their chances of getting married soon (or so they say)! I wore a red/yellow/gold cotton silk sari for the occasion with gold jewellery that had already come in as wedding gifts from various relatives.
Once the bride finishes her lunch and rests a bit – or rather has a photo session with her wedding photographer – it’s time for the Mehendiwala to come with his bag full of henna cones and fat albums full of beautiful designs to choose from. An evening of merriment ensues with the bride & her entourage of female friends & family having their hands henna-ed with intricate designs with filmi wedding songs playing in the background. I loved the peacocks swirling halfway up my arms and the traditional motifs on my feet even though it meant having to sit still with my hands & legs propped up till the middle of the night! Since the long & tedious process of applying henna required me to wear something comfortable, I opted for a georgette Howrah Bridge kaftan tunic & leggings for the evening which turned out to be a stylish as well as practical choice!
The morning of the big day starts very early for the bride as she has to be up before sunrise to eat a concoction of yoghurt & puffed rice, because the bride has to fast for the rest of the day till the wedding rituals get over. We went over to the wedding venue by 8am and started preparing for the Haldi ceremony and Viddhi puja. I draped a customary taant (Bengali handloom) sari for the occasion along with gold ornaments (Bengalis can’t think beyond gold when it comes to wedding jewellery and this was possibly the only time I wore so much gold for so many days at a stretch). The sari that I had to wear for the Haldi, along with the one I changed into after the ceremony, came in the twatto (gifts that are part of the trousseau) from the groom’s house – along with other saris, cosmetics, toiletries, accessories they gave me for the wedding as well as gifts they sent for my family. I gave a twist to the traditional sari by pairing it with a printed blouse.
The Haldi ceremony was a fun affair with married women encircling me, carrying out some customary rituals and then putting the first touches of turmeric on me. They were soon joined by the unmarried girls who also got a few streaks swiped on their faces, again for ensuring their quick marriage! I told them to keep the haldi-applying to a bare minimum as I had to take a bath and rush for my appointment with the make-up artist soon thereafter.
Then came the final evening that will always remain one of the most memorable times of my life. I reached the venue, all dressed up in my bridal finery, to find a few guests already waiting for me. As the evening wore on, more & more guests started pouring in, inundating me with gifts, well-wishes, greetings & lots of love. My bridal attire was an Upadda silk sari (draped in a traditional Bengali style) in shades of peach/pink/orange with elaborate gold zari woven beautifully all over the body. I chose to pair it with a contrast green brocade blouse, a customized veil & of course, all my beautiful gold jewellery! The mahurat of the wedding rituals was late in the night and by the time the actual ceremony started, only the closest family & friends stayed back to witness the bonding of our souls.

A Bengali wedding starts with the bride being carried to the mandap on a piri (a rectangular piece of wood meant for sitting on) by her brothers. In my case, all the men carrying me were friends whom I call brothers (and even tie rakhis on). As per rituals, the guys carried me, circling the groom five times – with me holding betel leaves in front of my face, so that the bride & groom can’t see each other – at the end of which, I uncovered my face for the first sight of my husband-to-be! Amidst much catcalls & excitement, we then exchanged garlands three times for the mala-bodol ceremony. Then I’m set down back on the ground, with him sitting by my side in front of the holy fire after which the wedding puja starts. My father was called to join in the puja and do kanyadaan (officially hand over his daughter to the groom). This is followed by sindoor-daan when he put vermilion on my forehead, thus making me his wife. Then the bride & the groom has to take the saat pheras (go around the holy fire seven times, chanting the vows of marriage) and culminate the wedding by pouring khoi into the fire to douse out the flames.
I left my home the next morning, after the vidaai rituals were carried out, and journeyed to my new abode to start a new phase of my life. I was received at his home by my mother-in-law who again carried out some customary traditions, while my father-in-law welcomed me to the household with yet more gold jewellery.

Thanks Anu, for this beautiful post. I have a major crush on your saree wardrobe. :)

Saturday 18 July 2015

So-Shaadi Series is Back

Something Old,
Something New,
Something Borrowed,
Something Blue...
I am sure most missed the logic behind me posting blogs with these phrases.

For those who aren't aware...Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue are referred to as the 'Four Somethings' that a bride should wear on her wedding day for good luck. This is an old English more about it here.'
So I decided to use the this rhyme to hint the beginning of the So-Shaadi Series.

 The So-Shaadi Series is back, and we are more than excited to kickstart it from tomorrow.
So stay tuned and enjoy.

Recap of the last So-Shaadi case you missed it. :)
Malyalee Wedding Rituals
Marwari Wedding Rituals
Christian Wedding Rituals


Thursday 16 July 2015

Something BLUE

Don't you feel happy, when you get more than you expect.
The same happened to me, after I bought this gorgeous blue neckpiece from .
Contrary to my belief, it turned out to be such a versatile piece.

I have worn it on my Denims, Punjabi suits, sarees and my summer dresses as well.

Even after two years of owning it, it still remains one of my favourites pieces in my accessory box.
What do you think?
Do you like it?

In other news....Last few days left for our Vintage Desi Giveaway to end. So make sure you like, share and tag your friends on facebook feveryday for better chances of winning.
And follow So-Saree and Vintage Desi on Twitter as well.


Sunday 12 July 2015

Something BORROWED

Something??? Actually everything in this look has been borrowed.
I had gone to live in my parents home... wait... that's my home too.

So I went to live with my parents in MY HOME, a few months ago, and had to attend a wedding.
So, I borrowed my sister's silk saree, my mom's jewellery and I was good to go.

What do you think of this look?


Wednesday 8 July 2015

Something NEW

This is my newest possession. It is a gift from my lovely Mom and that makes it even more special.
A Kanjeevaram silk saree in the classic combination of pearl and red.
Had worn it to a cousin's wedding a month ago.
I completed the look with red lips, red nails and of course gold jewellery.
What do you think about it?


Monday 6 July 2015

Something OLD

This is a purse I own for almost 3 years now. Had purchased it from
The simplistic design, tan colour and the fringe detailing made it a cool and chic choice for all occasions. In spite of wearing this purse everywhere I went, it never made it to my blog. And so, before I finally give it away I wanted it to enjoy its moment of glory and hence the post.

I am so sentimental about everything in my wardrobe. And bidding adieu to them is always with a heavy heart. I am sure every shopaholic, will agree with me on this. :)

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Giveaway with Vintage Desi

Hey Guys...I am back with another collaboration post with Vintage Desi and this time, I am talking about a designer top that was sent to me for review.
The sweet people at Vintage Desi sent me this very stylish powder blue shirt with white grey & pink detailing by Designer Anisha Shetty and I was more than elated to make it my own.
It is beautiful piece in flat georgette fabric and I love the way it falls on my body.
The subtle colours and the high collar give a very classy feel to it.
I wore it to a family brunch because it not only looked stylish, but also because it would help me to hide my bulging tummy after the sumptuous meal I was going to devour. Smart Choice isn't it?
Scroll down to see, how I styled the top.

Brunch on my Mind!

Matching Nails and Accessories

A pair of reflective sunnies.

Throw in some attitude.

And you are Brunch Ready!

Look ...I have WINGS!!!
And now some good news...Vintage Desi is hosting a giveaway in association with So-Saree to give So-Saree Readers an opportunity to win something awesome.

One lucky Winner wins Rs. 1000 Vintage Desi Gift voucher (valid with purchase, not redeemable as cash).
While 2 Consolation Prize Winners win gorgeous Jewellery Boxes by Vintage Desi.

All you have to do is:
1)Like So-Saree and Vintage Desi on Facebook.
2)Visit the Vintage Desi Website and tell us which is your favourite pick from their awesome collection that you would like to make your own.
3)Share the giveaway on your Facebook profile and invite three friends to join the giveaway.

This is an international giveaway and you can share as many times as you want.
Giveaway closes on the 20th of July 2015 and winners will be announced a week later.
Winners will be chosen by a lucky draw from a pool of valid entries.
So what are you waiting for?
Enter Now!


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