It had to happen, I just can’t believe it took me so long.
Before you get too excited, no I didn’t get married. This is so much better!
I dressed up in sarees, wore plenty of bling and partied away without the inevitable stress that comes with being a member of the wedding party. I had the pleasure of attending a massive, decadent and vibrant Indian Wedding. But this wasn’t just any shaadi, this was a destination wedding in one of my favourite beachside South Indian towns, Mamallapuram.
First for introductions, the beautiful bride is Uma. She is a family friend, who like me, is Indian but raised in Australia. Carl is the dashing groom. He’s an Englishman who now calls Australia home. The couple have kindly allowed me to write about their wedding and share some photos. The happy couple met in a Sydney cafe about four years ago and have been inseparable ever since. There’s always plenty of infectious laughter from Uma and joking from Carl, and just general good times when they’re around, so I knew this was going to be a fun wedding.
The wedding itself was a week long international affair. Many visitors flew in from Australia, UK and Asia. As someone who travelled from within India to attend I was in the minority. Overall there were about 70 international guests, with numbers swelling to 220 people from extended family and friends for the actual wedding ceremony. Of course by Indian standards this was a small wedding. According to venue staff, the wedding they hosted the week before had over 1,000 guests!
In accordance with the bride’s background, the wedding followed Tamil Brahmin (or let’s just call them TamBrahm) rituals. That means that she belongs to the Brahmin caste (which is the highest one) and is of Tamil origin. There was also a blend of some more western traditions as part of the festivities and a little bit of Bollywood thrown in for good measure as well.
Like all Indian weddings there were several ceremonies and events as part of the wedding but for ease of reading (ok and writing) I’ve split the wedding into three separate posts:
- Pre-Wedding which includes the Mehendi ceremony
- The Engagement which includes Vratham, Nishayadartham and the Sangeet
- The Wedding (or Shaadi) which includes Muhurtham and the Reception
Over the next few posts I will do my best to explain them, please feel free to correct me if I slip on any of the explanations or add in any interesting anecdotes or things I may have missed .