Wedding: Blending Ceremony Elements

On a lot of the wedding sites I like to read I hear complaints that it’s hard to find examples of blended Hindu ceremonies or really any interfaith ceremonies. It can be hard to get inspiration and figure out how to integrate your wedding into a cohesive whole when you are planning an interfaith or intercultural ceremony.

For me personally, I always saw a wedding ceremony as the blank canvas, or maybe a new iPhone. You just add in your widgets or apps where ever you want. Each element of a ceremony is a widget. You put in as many as you want in whatever order makes sense to you.

Wedding Diary: Blending Ceremony Elements

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Here are the Hindu ceremony elements that we are going to include:

  • Greeting each other with garlands
  • Walking seven times around the fire
  • Tying of the mangalasutra
  • Placement of Sindoor

Also, we will have a mandap and lots of marigold blossoms.

For the western parts we will have:

  • Walking down an aisle
  • Having a wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen)
  • Exchange of vows
  • Exchange of rings
  • Hand fasting

The ceremony is being officiated by a friend who knows how to do the hand binding ceremony. When I first started thinking about doing an interfaith wedding, I kind of knew right away that I wasn’t going to bring in a Hindu priest. I was a little bit sad about that, but I felt that it would be a more accessible ceremony for most of our friends and family if we leaned more heavily on the western structure and added Hindu elements to that.

However, I didn’t have to be disappointed for long. When I told one of my cousins (who was married in a full Hindu ceremony in India twelve years ago), she had a great suggestion. She told me that she knew the priests at the local temple in my hometown and that she could help arrange a simple Vedic ceremony for us if we’d like. We were thrilled at that idea. My mother wanted to have us come up for a weekend and have a little reception/party to celebrate our marriage with friends and family who wouldn’t travel to us, so we realized that was the perfect chance to have a real Hindu ceremony. We haven’t picked the weekend yet, but we plan to have an official ceremony with a very small group, just us and my immediate family. Then we’ll have a party at my parents’ house later. I’m really happy that we’re going to get to do both!

Bridal Bootcamp

I’m struggling a lot with the getting in shape.

I feel exhausted from keeping track of everything I eat and making the best food choices over and over and over. I try really hard, give it as much will power as I’ve got, and I feel like just one slip up destroys my progress. Every other week I lose a little, then gain a little, then lose a little, then gain a little. After a couple of years on weight watchers, I’m still exactly the same weight I was when I joined!

It’s making me feel really overwhelmed and hopeless. I don’t want to accept my current weight as my new normal.

However, I need a break from the tracking. I decided to quit weight watchers because I don’t want to keep paying for it when it’s not working for me. I know it does work and I’m not sure why I’m having so much trouble with it. I may check in with a doctor and see if there’s something else going on with my body. But for now I’m just going to take a break for a couple of weeks and enjoy eating again.

Too often now I feel guilty and upset every time I put anything in my mouth. I’m getting no enjoyment from my food. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I’m going to try to eat reasonably, enjoy my food, and be more careful not to eat out of habit. That’s where I’m going to focus my will power because I do notice that I sometimes eat ice cream even when I don’t actually want it just because I am a person who likes ice cream. I need to break that habit.

After a few weeks to de-stress I will go to calorie counting since there are free apps to do that.

I’m going to keep going to the gym because the working out is making me feel really good and keeping my spirits high too.

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.

  • Seeker

    Hi Ambaa–

    It sounds like you’re putting yourself under an awful amount of stress at a time you have other things going on. When I looked at the full-body picture you posted a while back, it didn’t seem to me that you had anything to lose–you looked great just as you are. Maybe if you absolutely feel you need to lose some, it would be better to do it after the wedding when things will be more normal.

    • http://amarchotoprithibi.blogspot.com Andrea

      I agree with Seeker here. You look fantastic. Please do not sacrifice your joy and happiness for the sake of some random marketing-imposed standard of beauty. You are going to wear a lehenga choli; those are stitched to fit YOU; you do not have to alter your proportions to squeeze into IT. Eat healthy, sleep well, drink plenty of water, exercise to stay strong and healthy, and keep up a good skin care regime and that is all you really need! Do not be a slave to your scale. It is just one more attachment.

      • Ambaa

        Thank you, guys!

        You’re right, I’m letting myself get way too carried away with something that really is vanity. I know that I’m at a healthy weight, after all.

        There’s so much going on in my life and it’s a worry that I need to just let go of!


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