Wedding Daze, Pt. 1
Finally, the big day had come! I rolled out of bed on December 29, 2010 – the morning of my wedding – to get ready for the chuda ceremony, the ceremony in which a Hindu priest places the traditional red and ivory bangles on a bride.
The ceremony was conducted in the presence of my friends and family. The priest lit a sacrificial fire (a havan), which is traditional for most Hindu pujas, or prayer ceremonies. We gave offerings of sandalwood and ghee to the fire, and the male relatives of my family washed my hands in milk before sliding the chuda, which were also soaking in the milk, onto my wrists. It’s inauspicious for the bride to see the chuda before the wedding, so I had scarves tied around each of the chuda sets on my wrists to cover them. After that, my friends and family members came up one-by-one to tie kaliray, or blessings, to my wrists. It was really touching to be able to have that one-on-one experience with each person who had traveled so far to be there with me on my wedding.
After the chuda ceremony, the priest left for Amrit’s home where he would perform the sehra bandi, a similar ceremony for the groom in which his family members give him their blessings for the marriage, and his sisters tie a veil of flowers to his head. Meanwhile, I went off the to the beauty parlor for a three-hour session complete with hair, make-up, and proper draping of my lehenga and dupatta. The parlor did a great job and I left feeling like a proper maharani (an Indian queen).
With my mom, sister, and a close friend, I drove (getting many stares from passing drivers along the way) to the temple where the wedding ceremony would take place.
Continue reading: Wedding Daze, Pt. 2.