A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Wedding Mania – The marriage ceremony

Posted by Pepper on March 14, 2011

After the reception, we were asked to proceed to the hotel in which the wedding ceremony would be held. My in laws had booked  a couple of rooms for us because it would be most convenient to spend the night there. By the time I got into my pajamas, it was 1 am. I had about two hours to sleep. I think I had just fallen asleep when the alarm rang. It was time to wake up and take a shower. The beautician who was to get me ready would be there in some time. I remember groaning and asking my mom for the nth time, if I could get married in my pajamas?

The lady arrived as soon as I was out of my shower. This time, I decided to do the make up on my own. I didn’t want my face to have layers of gaudy colours. The sari was put on. And then came the dreadful part – my hair do. She first added the extension. A long braid. She then placed some circular, metallic object on my crown. Then came the thick and heavy string of flowers. By now my head felt so heavy, I didn’t think I’d be able to look up ever again. But we weren’t done. She went on to add more metallic decorations to each segment of the braid. I think my head in isolation must’ve weighed more than the rest of my body.

After I was ready, Mint stepped into the room wearing his veshti. This time it was my turn to look at him and laugh.

At around this point, I realised my mom was seriously ill. She was nauseous and weak, and couldn’t even stand. The ceremony was to start soon. Somebody rushed her to the hospital, so that she could get a shot that would mend her temporarily. I tried to keep calm and told myself she’d be okay.

The ceremony began at 7 am. We had the Nalangu first. Oh, what the Nalangu really is, what relevance it has to a wedding and what it symbolises, I still don’t know. I asked Mint, and he didn’t know either. I wish somebody had taken the time to explain all these rituals to me and my clueless family. All that happened at this time is that I got another shower. Of turmeric strained rice grains. People came upto us, and generously poured a handful of them grains on to us. I don’t know how the rice made its way to such confined places, but I had yellow stains all over my lingerie.

By the time the Nalangu was over, my mom was back from the hospital. She didn’t seem okay even now. But we didn’t have enough time to look into it. We had to move on as per the events, since we couldn’t afford to miss the scheduled auspicious time for the wedding. I had precisely five minutes to change into another sari, click a few pictures and get back to the mandap. So imagine the level of panic!

The wedding ceremony began. We were sweating it out in front of the fire. I was extremely uncomfortable through out. My hair, due to the metallic decorations on the braid was getting caught in the embroidery on my sari blouse which was full of intricate wires. As a result, I had to keep my head bent until someone untangled it for me. This happened every few minutes and I kept feeling that annoying pull.

Suddenly, the background music became dramatic, and I realised it was the thali wearing time. Even after that was over, the rituals seemed to continue. At one point, I asked Mint in whispers, ‘Are we married yet or not?’. He looked around, considered it for a moment and whispered back. ‘I think we’re married’.

The ceremony went on for some more time, covering all the elements that are quintessential to Hindu Indian weddings.

Finally, after what seemed like a tiring journey, we were declared married. Phew.

I like this dramatic way of putting sindhoor. Look at the way his hand comes around me.

I have no idea what he is doing touching my feet. I was about to put my hand on his head and bless him, but I stopped myself. Not too many people would have thought it is appropriate. Or funny.

Count the garlands. Don’t ask me how much I weighed.

The moment the we got done, Mint ran out and changed into his jeans. That gave me the bright idea and I asked if I could change into my jeans too. They said I couldn’t. I had to enter the in laws house in all my glory. I was pretty annoyed. Mint’s veshti was not half as uncomfortable as my sari, jewelery and troublesome hairdo. But well, what had to be done, had to be done. At least we were done with it all and could call ourselves married.

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52 Responses to “Wedding Mania – The marriage ceremony”

  1. Chatterbox said

    Absolutely gorgeous colors of the sarees 😛 😛
    Weddings can be pretty exhausting ceremonies,but the beautiful memories in the days to years to come definitely make it all worthwhile 😀 😀
    Loved your hair do in the first picture 😀

  2. Deboshree said

    Oh my that sounds like a tough deal. It’s much the same with marriages in our part of the society – the bride and the groom really sweat it out.
    Congrats on the marriage though. Like they say, nothing that matters is achieved without the effort. 😀

  3. Bikram said

    You keep saying Mints dress was not uncomfortable, well we have not heard his side of the story yet 🙂

    well Look at this Alls well that ends well, you get married once so might as well do everything what everyone wants , All are happy and ITs more fun when everyone is happy…

    I have never been to a Hindu wedding, when my friends got married we were drunk and asleep by the time the ceremonies started they are always very early mornings.. So reading and knowing what all goes through is wow..

    Excellent so you finally got married Now off to in-laws house .. I guess that will be in the next POST 🙂 he hehe he

    and the pictures do look all colourful and lovely …

    • Pepper said

      Arey.. why are you always siding Mint? 😛 His attire was clearly not as uncomfortable as mine. Look at my sari, jewelery and hair do! All he had was a veshti, that too with velcro!

      Nope, I am not going to continue this serious of wedding posts. I got bored and tired. This is it 😀

      • Bikram said

        I am not taking his side.. I am just saying we have not heard his side of story .. in my job i got to listen to both sides he he ehe 🙂

        and OH ho y not .. ab yeh to na insaafi hai you take us to the hall and wedding took place .. now you got to go to ur in laws house na .. yehi to tradition hai..
        sorry we cant ask you to keep staying here.. Now no chalo chalo Off to inlaws house 🙂 he he he he

        • Pepper said

          If you want to hear Mint’s side of the story you should ask him to get his own blog. This is my blog, so you’ll only hear my takes 😀

          Lol. If I go about writing the sequence every time and what happened at the In Laws house and after that, this series of posts will never end. Anyway, will try writing about that part someday 🙂

  4. R's Mom said

    That looks like a typical tambram custom..the way the sindoor is put (freaky!), the way Mint is holding your feet (once in a lifetime as per the elderly folks) and the way you have done your hair.or may be other south indian customs also have that…Gosh your mom was sick..poor thing ya it must have been so bugging..and yaa that head dress is the stupidest of all..I told my mom clearly just hang that false hair and some flowers..none of that metallic stuff and all!!! oh before I forget…I loved your sarees 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I guess these are elements that are a part of all South Indian weddings.. Not just Tambrams 🙂 You were sensible enough to tell your mom about the metallic decorations before hand. I didn’t even know what was coming my way until it happened.. Sigh
      Anyway thanks 🙂

  5. scorpria said

    ROFL!
    I think the best decision I made was to marry a christian — and get married in a gown! 😀 Not for me all the jewellery and all the flowers and a heavy silk sari 🙂 I was as free and comfy as abutterfly! 🙂 the reception, though, was a pain — with all the jewellery and the heavy silk sari. i threatened to kill the beautician if she even thought of putting flowers on me 😀 and after convincing her why i cant wear all those bangles and all those chains, in my hurry to get out of thr, i left all those gold there itself!thank god my friend was thr and remembered to take it all back to mom. i sure lost some brownie points with mom!! 😀

    • Pepper said

      Ohh.. You married a Christian? Wow! I always wanted to have the white wedding. In fact, we decided we will have it, after some years. Lol. I should write a post about that some day..

      Leaving all the gold bangles there sounds so like me! 😀

  6. So much like moi wedding – complete with heavy garlands, heavy head gear//except we had the oonjal (jhoola business) and i did listen to the priest who translated it:P. Trust me you would not have liked to understand the rituals…very “tilted” towards the male gender…hmmmph!

    For example The toe business is to ensure that the union is grounded and to ensure the women’s mind is firm and doesn’t wander around or something to that effect

  7. S said

    wow.. that braid looks beauuuutiful !!

    so much pain a wedding is no! 😐 we all shud just have aa court marriage n then a party 🙂 may be 😛

  8. Seena said

    oh yeah I can imagine how tough it is to stay in those heavy saris and head with all those stuff. It makes us really exhausted, we wait for the function to get over..never enjoy or appreciate those ceremonies. Nicely written..

  9. Tanishka said

    What all people need to go through to get married…. 😛
    LOL at blessing the pundit ji… I wish you had done it, his expressions would have been worth that chance 😀 😀

  10. You look sweet in the silk decor 🙂

    I totally empathize with the heaviness of hairdo and the garlands..had them too..gosh!

    Curious to know if they did not ask you to wear the traditional 9 yard ? I was made to and it’s NOT Comfortable 😦

    About the rituals – I took some time educating myself and reading up material on the internet much before the wedding..to avoid any shocking surprises 😉

    Nalangu, if I remember right, was traditionally done as a ‘ice breaker’ between the 2 families and also the shy (hehe) couple.

    • Pepper said

      Oh I don’t know what type of sari exactly that is :(..
      Ideally, I would have read about the rituals online too. But everything was so rushed in my case. I had no time before the wedding. If it all I got online, I’d check mail and sign out. We decided to get married 2.5 months before the date. Too much work!

      • smartassbride said

        I agree that the keeping the kumkum from around is cute!(vijesh’s theory is that they do it so that it can be photographed well:|)

        my in-laws wanted me to wear a bright, lemon yellow, cotton saree for the wedding. What made the deal worse was that Vijesh didn’t need to wear a yellow veshti! I refused. If I wanted to look like an omlette, I’d go to a fancy dress, say pretty rhymes and win prizes, I thought. (they are still mad i think :P)

        my dad hates priests, so he just used his cop-voice and told them there’s to be no sexist verses, no “giving the daughter” away, they were not to have an elaborate fire place(!?) and make everybody cough and on and on. So we had everything said in Tamil, done in the same sangam way I told you about once, and my parents and Vijesh’s parents just had to say, “We agree wholeheartedly for our children to get married to each other”(in a language everyone including majority of the guests could understand). I could fall in love with my dad all over again, just for this.(sorry abt. hogging space, pepper. your posts always make me reminisce)

        • Pepper said

          Wow! I am super impressed. Not only with your dad, for discarding all these sexist rituals, but also with your in laws, for going with what your dad said. My in laws are the kinds who would follow tradition blindly and not budge even if we spoke up. So Kudos to all of you!

          Lol. Looking like an omlette during your wedding sounds fun 😛

          • P said

            Wow Smartassbride! Your Dad rocks! My Dad might have tried something like that too but for the hordes of “traditional” relatives. Like you said Pepper, my in-laws too are blind tradition followers for the most part.

            I had the heavy braid too – my husband’s arm is behind my back in most photos holding it up so I didn’t have to carry all the weight!

  11. Comfy said

    Wedding gear is painful but all the metallic decoration seems like a sure shot way of giving the bride a headache.

    Hope your mother was feeling better soon after and got to take some rest.

    • Pepper said

      My mum was quite ill and almost passed out during the ceremony. There was chaos and I was in tears at the end of it. I just skipped those details cos even thinking of it made me feel tired again :(..
      But then, all is well that ends well..

  12. ajay said

    I’ve never attended a wedding so this series of posts has been informative. You should have blessed Mint when he touched your feet. That’d have been so much fun. 😀

    • Pepper said

      Never attended a wedding really?? I always go for the food!…I know.. I should have just gone ahead and blessed him. I can see how much he needs it now 😀

  13. mahes said

    LOL! I am smiling as I am reading your post. Phew! Glad it’s over huh? Hey not fair, Mint changed his attire so soon. I absolutely loved the blue saree.
    In Mine, they tied my left and his right hand together and we had to sit like that forever. Aiyoo!

    • Pepper said

      LOL. They give a new meaning to “‘Tied’ in holy matrimony”.
      Thanks! I love the blue sari too. We all totally dislike the green one worn for the Nalangu.

  14. VJ said

    Both saris are beautiful!!
    Love your hair do too…
    And enjoyed the wedding series !!
    Would love to see a proper pic instead of these morphed ones

  15. Informative Post pepper.

  16. Swaram said

    Sigh! Tell me abt all that weight we carry arnd on the day!
    But it’s def. nice to recollect them memories and read about them too 🙂 Nice post Pepper 🙂

  17. SH said

    Indian wedding are pretty elaborate..Its fun for everyone else but the bride and groom :)…But as someone here said it sure will be a truckload of happy memories when you look back on it!

    • Pepper said

      Exactly. It’s always fun for everyone else but the bride and groom 🙂 ..
      Actually, the memories of the actual events don’t necessarily make me happy. Just knowing the fact that it is over does 😀

  18. Ashwathy said

    Life is not fair to the women I say! Why did he get to change into jeans and not u! 😡 😛

    Your hairdo seriously looks heavy. But pretty 🙂 poor u, who had to bear all the weight and tangling with embroidery!

    ROFL @ the yellow stains on your lingerie! What were ppl aiming at while showering u with grains??? 😛 :mrgreen:

    LOL @ Are we married yet? What a confusion! 😀

    haha if u had blessed him while he touched ur foot…trust me I’m sure noone wud have recognized the humourous side of it 😛

    • Ashwathy said

      And wedding at the unearthly hour of 7 AM!!! 😯 I feel sleepy thinking abt it 😛

    • Pepper said

      Haha.. You’ve picked out all the funny moments 😀 Especially the rice grains.. I really wonder what people were aiming at 😛

      I know! 7 am makes me feel sleepy too. Had it not been for the heat and the discomfort, I’d have probably fallen asleep during the ceremony.

      • Ashwathy said

        I was just going through the entire set of posts of the wedding, this time trying to see it in light of the aftermath of the differences between the 2 families u revealed. Nope wudn’t have guessed unless u specifically mentioned it.

        My marriage is coming up now… muhurtham between 10.30 and 11am. Sigh 🙄

        • Pepper said

          Yes, the wedding events were quite smooth. Touchwood. Partly because my family agreed to completely follow their rituals for the main ceremony.

          Hey that is a very decent time. The early morning ones are a big pain.

  19. What?this is the last post of the series? The fun begins only now! Who will tell me all that?!

    Ps: I am sorry but my attention was held by your mum not feeling well. Even thinking about it is stressful. I can’t begin to think what your family must have gone through!

    • Pepper said

      The rest is left upto your imagination .. 😛

      I know. My mom being that sick during such a time was quite a dampener. Everybody was so stressed out. I was so relieved when she finally got okay. And I feel happy that despite her being sick, she was around through out the ceremony.

  20. Pixie said

    Loved the recollection! 🙂
    And the sarees are gorgeous!

    I still need to catch up on the other posts related to the wedding! Will do that now! 🙂

    And the weight – OMG! Tell me about it! It makes one uncomfortable, sweaty and irritated! That’s why we have a “glow” on our faces – its the sweat and not the “being bride” part!! :mrgreen:

  21. […] A flash back episode made me revisit the wedding madness. The cocktail party, the reception, the wedding ceremony, all brought back some fun […]

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