This next part is my personal favorite. After the bride & groom finish their individual ceremonies, then they get to see each other. It wasn't always like that. Years ago, the bride didn't see the groom until the last ceremony (Saat Phere - where they are officially considered married - that's in the next post). Most marriages in our country are arranged marriages (I know, I've promised to write all about that - I will, I promise :)). Some brides get to see their husbands for the first time at this part of the wedding! Jaya's was an arranged marriage, but after her Engagement Ceremony she was allowed to date Deepansh during that time. They went on a date about once a month and got to call each other daily. It's a really neat time. Anyway, I'll write more about that when I write about arranged marriages :)
So, this next part is when the bride goes to meet the groom. The pic below you can see us walking to meet him. The bride's close friends walk with her to meet him. We all held her skirt up so that she could walk and carried her flowers (mala). Here we are walking from the ceremony room through the eating room to get to the main hall where Deepansh is.
Here we are in the main room. They have photographers and videographers that have HUGE crazy lights set up (which is why half of my pics have crazy light) :)
OK, so here's my favorite part :) It's similar to when the bride walks down the aisle at a Western wedding but more exciting. Here she is approaching Deepansh.
They were so cute :) He was so excited to see her. They hadn't seen each other in over an month, so that made it more exciting :) It was so cute :)
Weddings here really are a celebration! When the bride meets the groom on stage all of the friends and family are crowding all around each other and cheering! You can see the friends and how excited they are in the pic below. Its' so cool! Everyone is excited and cheering with them :) This wedding had more excitement than any other wedding I'd been to before. It was really fun!
This next part I don't have great pictures of. If you want to be near the bride or groom you kinda have to push your way there... with this big pregnant belly, I wasn't about to do that, so you'll just have to see the pics like this :) This part is when the bride puts a mala (flower lei-type necklace) around the grooms neck. When she does this everyone cheers!!!
Here they are after Jaya put the mala on his neck :) When this part happens, everyone claps and cheers! It's so fun!
Here's a pic of Adam & Mayank (Jaya's brother).
Before the mala (and even during the groom's ceremonies), guys (groom's friends) are dancing. They stop when Jaya enters but start up again after the Mala time. It's so funny because most of the time (and the entire time this wedding), it's only guys dancing with each other. It's pretty hilarious at times.... for me it's hilarious the whole time! They are quite excited dancers!
Everyone leaves the stage after the mala part. Here are the bride and groom!!! She's not smiling. The bride isn't supposed to smile on the wedding day because she's leaving her family.
Then, for the next hour+ everyone gets their pictures with the bride and groom. They take a TON of pictures! It's kinda nice for them that they don't traditionally smile in pictures because their smiling muscles would be REALLY tired!!!
I did catch a little bit of a smile though :) It was hard for her not to smile at times though :) Very cute :)
So, after all of the pictures, most everyone leaves except for close friends and family. It's about 12:30 or 1:00 am at this time. This is the time when the bride and groom get to eat :) You'd think that would be a nice relaxing time, but I definitely wouldn't call it that :) First they both feed each other a bite of food :)
THEN, the close friends and family feed them the rest of their food. They constantly have someone shoving some kind of food in their face. They can't eat themselves, they just have to have everyone feed them. I wouldn't like that very much.
There are a few traditions associated with this though that are fun. The bride's friends try to give the groom "trick" foods. I even got suckered into doing this. They gave him big chili peppers in his bites and I gave him a bite of ice cream with a chili pepper in it. haha! Poor groom. He gets picked on a lot that night (more to come in the next post).
This part is a lot more relaxing. Most of the bride's friends and family change clothes before this time (out of uncomfortable sarees and into more comfortable suits). It's fun :)
OK, so one more post to go for the actual wedding ceremonies :) Weddings are fun :)