Alright, today is the retelling of the day-long, big event. Anglo-Americans, forget everything you know about ritual; the Hindus have us beat HANDS-DOWN! Not only were the wedding festivities pretty much the entire day, The Bride and The Groom had many other rituals and ceremonies prior to The Big Day. By the cocktail hour at 6 PM, which was to kick off the reception, I was lamenting that I would be the WORST Indian woman. The stamina and style (not to mention the grace and kindness) that I observed were on a level unfamiliar to me.
Breakfast and The Groom’s Arrival
The best thing about the length of the festivities was that we were constantly being fed, something that hummingbird metabolism over here greatly appreciates. My boys and I ate at our hotel and then headed over to the wedding hotel at about 7:30 for more breakfast. Hubby snapped some photos of the set up: bangles, carved coconuts (!), and other lovely things. (Oh, and Monkey snapped the fire hydrant, since it looked like a little robot).
After partaking in the first of three delectable Indian meals of the day it was time to watch The Groom arrive…in a horse-drawn carriage! (And observe a few rituals that we didn’t really know what was going on…)
Alright, so this is the first of two apologies that I have to make for this day. The Bride told me earlier in the week that after The Groom’s arrival there would be a lot if rituals that we were welcome to stay and watch, but that if we wanted to we could take a quick break, as long as we were back for 10:30 when the wedding began. ALSO, she had very kindly given me more traditional clothes to wear for the reception, but I needed to buy leggings as the pants didn’t fit. (Quick interjection: another thing that I didn’t know was that most everyone would be wearing two different outfits for the day, one for the morning and a fancier outfit for the evening.) And since Monkey is an extraordinarily picky eater, we thought it would be good to grab him some food, so across the street to the mall we went.
(Monkey as we left the hotel.)
Since Macy’s wasn’t open yet we started with getting Monkey some grilled cheese and a special almost-Easter milkshake that had a Peep on top. Unfortunately, I spent too much time at Macy’s and we made it back to the wedding after The Bride had already arrived and the ceremony was already underway. I’m fairly certain that this means I missed the coolest part: The Bride being carried in to the ceremony, and my opportunity to join her other friends and family in her procession. We were all given a very helpful booklet to understand the rituals (for those of us unfamiliar with what was going on) and a man basically narrated the ceremony too. In another nod to how much I enjoy the Indian folk feeding us, we were given mango smoothies during the ceremony! For some reason I didn’t feel like I should take pictures during the ceremony. I wasn’t that it was forbidden or anything, I just felt like the memories should remain in my head.
Now we are approaching apology number two. The ceremony itself was essentially from 10:30 to 1. At around 12:30 my smoothie had worn off and I was getting shaky. The wedding day “schedule” showed that lunch was from noon to two, and we witnessed people wandering in and out of the ceremony, so we hoped it wouldn’t be rude to do the same thing. So…we wandered over to the lunch buffet, thereby missing the beginning and end of the ceremony. Sorry, The Bride! (In my lame defense we were not the only ones at the buffet…)
After lunch we got to relax until the cocktail hour began at 6, the start of the reception, which was scheduled to last until 12:30. (I think the family and bride and groom did not get this break as pictures were taken and they had to get in their fancier outfits for the evening. Indian stamina is UNREAL.) (Monkey at the hotel wearing the bangles he picked out.)
We started out with getting cocktails (or soda and juice for me and Monkey) and enjoyed chatting with folks before it was time to go inside and witness the wonder…(Oh, serendipity side note: one of The Bride’s best college friend’s husband and I graduated from the same high school! And I actually graduated the same year as his younger sister. Small world, indeed!)
In another exercise of stamina (but while being amazingly entertained) dinner was served sometime after 10. Before then there were lovely speeches and a Bollywood dance troupe!
(I can’t use alcohol as an excuse for the closed eyes…oh well!)
After eating we all had an AMAZING time dancing. I noticed one other lady slip off her shoes, so I followed suit, and danced barefoot by myself, with Monkey, with Hubby, with any children who would dance with me, friends and family, and a really fun lady (who was actually the one who took off her shoes first) to 2Pac’s “California Love.” What a blast. Dancing is easily my favorite thing in the world to do. I was slightly surprised by Monkey’s stamina and excitement for dancing. (Though I suppose there is not a lot of photographic evidence of said dancing, because we were too busy dancing!) Initially Hubby and I had discussed that maybe we would last until about 10, but without having eaten yet, we realized we were in it to win it and actually made it until about 12:10!
Thank you so much, generous The Bride and The Groom and family. We had an incredible time celebrating with you!
Tomorrow’s Part Three will not be nearly as exciting, but our final day included one last beach and the beauty of Union Station’s Art Deco loveliness.