We’re Having a Wedding!

So yeah, Valentine’s Day in the west is not all about rape and semi-nude dancing as some seem to believe. For me it has always been about committed partners acknowledging the love they have for one another. That aesthetic was perfectly matched last night when my boyfriend proposed over dinner.

I knew it was going to happen because we went together to pick out the ring a couple of weeks earlier. I’m so touched that he still wanted to do a public proposal and the waiter who was taking this picture did not see it coming! He was quite startled. I got to have applause from the people around and the manager sent over some drinks (she managed to bring me a virgin drink that I actually didn’t hate, when usually all I can drink is water).

We threw caution to the wind that night and ate completely off diet! This is the same restaurant that we went to for Valentine’s day last year and they have the most amazing poutine. Weight watchers points through the roof, but so, so yummy. (Knowing this was coming, and wanting to look good for the pictures, I’ve been working crazy hard on losing weight. I’ve been at the gym just about every day for the last two weeks, been doing an exercise DVD every other day, and going to my weight watchers meetings. It made no difference. I’m just as heavy today as I was three weeks ago. Sigh. I need it to start working soon so I can order my wedding dress).

There were two adorable little kids at the table next to ours and they were so excited. One of them was not even a year old and he really enjoyed clapping with everyone. Every time I laughed he turned around and looked at me with his huge, beautiful baby eyes. The three year old waved hello and came over to ask us questions and to tell us about the cake that he had just eaten. The parents were a little embarrassed, but we thought it was great.

I was pretty exhausted from all the emotions of the day, so we packed up and went home and updated Facebook. We spent the next few hours enjoying all the excitement the news generated there!

My life has become better and better with every passing day and month. It’s amazing how the insecurities and worries of my twenties melted away and I emerged as a confident, content, and deeply happy person as I entered my thirties. Lately my happiness has exploded into joy bigger than anything I have ever known. Thanks to my dear friend, Jeramy (also my ex, the man I was dating when I first started blogging), I met my soul mate.

I have no doubt that the man who asked for my hand in marriage is the man that I was meant to be with. It took me a while to be ready for this wonderful relationship. I had a lot of learning and growing to do. But once I met Brad, it didn’t take long to realize that we were perfect for each other.

I know some people are surprised (and maybe even disappointed) that I am not marrying an Indian man and I’m not even marrying a Hindu man!

The fact is, life and the universe have a way of surprising you. I could not have anticipated that the right man for me would not practice the same religion. Despite what a central place my spirituality has in my life, I still am absolutely certain that this is the man for me. I feel that the Gods have brought us together for a purpose and that we have spent previous lives together and will spend many more together. (I am so certain of this that I am already sure that I don’t want any vows saying anything like “Until death do us part”).

He is a practicing Buddhist and has studied Eastern religion extensively. He definitely understands my religion and what it means to me.  He also understands all of my other sides, of which there are many!

Like plenty of other women, I’ve been thinking about my wedding for many years. I’ve had some ideas of what I wanted to do to have a Hindu wedding that is still a western event.

Brad, as it turns out, comes with a few ideas of his own!

We are both half Scottish and so we have been discussing how to bring together Indian and Scottish elements to create a multicultural wedding. I think my family might be surprised by the Indian elements, but I am a Hindu and I want a Hindu-based wedding!

Here’s what I know for sure: I’ll be wearing a red lengha and he’ll be wearing a kilt! We’ll have bagpipe music for the ceremony and a mandap decorated in marigolds.

Because I’m a huge fan of wedding TV shows, I thought I’d document the progress of planning with little videos for fun.

Now, a Hindu wedding is usually a very grand event. It tends to be much bigger than western weddings with 300-500 guests not being unusual. They can last three to seven days with many different events and outfits. But since I am forging my own path in religion and in life, I want the wedding to be more like Brad and I are: down to earth, laid back, and geeky.

So I’ll be posting videos but don’t be expecting anything hugely lavish! I think it will be very interesting to see how a white Hindu wedding will look. Though I know it happens, I have yet to see a Hindu wedding where neither bride nor groom is ethnically South East Asian!

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • http://amarchotoprithibi.blogspot.com Andrea

    You’re not the first non-South Asian couple to have a Hindu wedding I’m sure! The ISKCON people do it all the time… and then of course there is this amazing, adorable couple: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150539628117149.376493.633132148&type=3&l=70b02e191f

    Congratulations and I know you will love planning the wedding! Is it too early to ask if you’ve set a date?

    • Ambaa

      August 18th. I’m not wasting any time getting started!

  • http://www.nature.com Agnikan

    A Hindu, non-Indian-couple wedding took place at Śrī Śomeśvara Temple in North Carolina, 2011. Pictures:

    http://srisomesvara.smugmug.com/Ceremonies/2011-Ceremonies/Vedic-Wedding/18076566_qV9df8#!i=1386478132&k=hzfPS9m

    • http://amarchotoprithibi.blogspot.com Andrea

      Oh my gosh how beautiful … I’m sure that Ambaa will be a beautiful sari-clad bride!!!

    • Ambaa

      Thanks for the inspiration! :D

  • Sandeep

    Bhaut- Bhaut Bhadai Amba….

    Best Wishes for your future….. .Pics are so good…You will look beautiful in Red Lehnga…

    • Ambaa

      Thank you!

  • Ray Kaye

    May I offer my warmest congratulations to you and Brad! May you both enjoy sharing each other’s lives together in this incarnation!

    It sounds like you too have things in common understanding, well worth it’s weight in gold.
    Have fun at your wedding and I look forward to the photos!

  • ela singh

    Amba Congratulations yaar.

    • Ambaa

      Hey, sweetie! Thank you! :)

  • N. B.

    Big Big BIg weddings are the best . That was the first miracle Jesus do . At Mormon wedding he have to turn water into grape juice. But good singing and good dancing can make up for lack of holy wine I believe

  • sanhita

    Great news Amba.
    Congrats.

  • Pratheesh

    “The fact is, life and the universe have a way of surprising you. I could not have anticipated that the right man for me would not practice the same religion.”
    It is very much true as it is same in my case also.My fiance is a practicing catholic.i was thinking of marrying a Hindu girl but she came to my life and now we are planning to get married next year.

    • Ambaa

      Exactly! I’m glad I’m not the only one in this situation :)

  • Pratheesh

    Dear sister,
    Congratulations and wish you a great and joyful future.

    • Ambaa

      Thank you so much!

  • Rose

    Please reconsider dieting. Truly, it only makes you gain more in the long run. I’ve dieted my way up from a perfect size 145 in high school to a whopping 251 today. There is N0 scientific evidence that diets do anything more than help people gain weight. https://sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=34&articleID=120 http://www.lindabacon.org/pdf/Excerpt_MaintainedWeightLoss.pdf http://healthateverysizeblog.org/2011/08/19/the-haes-files-fat-stigma-not-fat-%E2%80%93-is-the-real-enemy/ Check out the facts at HAES.org & danceswithfat.com. And some research indicates that our attitudes about food themselves influences how our body reacts to food. http://psychologyofeating.com/mind-over-food/

    And on a religious & cultural tac it appears that in Hindu culture a woman’s weight has not been an issue traditionally http://www.beautyandtheeast.tv/index.php/380/ & goddesses were described as more full figured http://www.ourkarnataka.com/Articles/starofmysore/potbelly.htm

    I hope you will reconsider dieting. If not, so be it. I will not judge you. As Ragen says “you are the boss of your own underpants”

    Have a joyful wedding & a wonderful marriage. And I look toward to more posts here.

    • Ambaa

      Your comment got lost in spam for a bit! Sorry about that.

      I do appreciate the concern and getting to a healthy place with my body is a big struggle. I’m trying to rework how I see beauty because I am very curvy and I idolize women who are super skinny. Living in Southern California did not help with that!

      I am trying to focus more on being healthy and not looking and feeling puffy more than being a particular size.

      As with everything else, it’s a journey and I haven’t found the perfect relationship to my body yet. I do like weight watchers, though. It’s the least “diety” of any diet program. It’s just teaching me to have more reasonable portions and make healthier food choices.

  • Ryan

    Congratulations! Married life with the right person is a wonderful thing!

    • Ambaa

      I am so looking forward to proving that statement correct!

  • http://www.shalusharma.com/ Shalu Sharma

    I love Indian weddings. Wish you all the best.

  • Avi

    Congrats, Ambaa!! May God bless you two!

  • HARRY

    @ Ambaa

    So, you are made in to a honest woman after all. It came around the corner faster then I thought in the end. I’m happy for you. I hope that you and your partner have happy life together like my wife and I have. Congrats. :)

    HARRY

    • Ambaa

      Thank you :) I knew it was coming soon. We really are perfect for each other!

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