My wedding weekend kicked off on Thursday August 15th with a dinner with my parents, brother, and mother-in-law. Friday my parents had lunch with my father-in-law and my brother joined Brad’s 12 hour bachelor party (it started noon on Friday and went until a bit past midnight!) Meanwhile my parents and I went to pick up relatives at the airport and have dinner with them.
Back at my apartment, my cousin Emily, a talented makeup artist from Los Angeles (check out her page Emily Does Makeup), practiced my wedding look. I asked for super dramatic eyes and she delivered for me! What’s great about her is she knows how to listen to what the bride or client wants and give them that. Also she managed to get eyeliner onto my inner rims even though I have a really hard time letting anything get near my eyes! I think she has magic powers.
They say that Indian weddings take days, but it’s because there are so many different potential rituals and ceremonies. You don’t have to think of them all as the wedding. I’m glad that we did a bunch of them because it was awesome to get to spend maximum time with people that weekend. Most importantly, the mendhi.
Saturday morning we had a rehearsal/run through at Waverly Mansion (the historic home where the wedding took place). Then in the afternoon we invited everyone to our apartment for light snacks and conversation while my dear friend Garvi did henna on my hands and feet. My parents and some friends were also running around and doing last minute errands like getting me hair dye (Thanks, Fred!) and picking up my reception outfit.
I highly recommend an event like this. It gave us a chance to enjoy friends and family in a less time-crunched environment. After that we went to a rehearsal dinner hosted by my father-in-law.
Sunday August 18th I woke up early (though not as early as my cousin who was staying with me!) After some tea and granola bars Emily got to work on me and the bridesmaids.
Makeup always takes longer than expected, so we were running late. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding that ran on time! But one of the problems with a morning wedding is that there just isn’t enough time to do all the getting ready. Our ceremony was scheduled to start at 11:30, so even waking up super early didn’t give us quite enough time.
While I was doing my hair, I got a call from my dad saying that it had started to drizzle out and they were setting up indoors. A call had to be made right then as to whether the ceremony would be outdoors the way it was supposed to be. I said keep it outdoors and bless them, the Waverly staff moved it all back to outdoors where I wanted.
A groomsman loaded up his truck with all the things that needed to get set up on site. I had organized piles of things based on where they belonged, but had to let go of control at that point and trust that people would get things set up. They did and there were just minor mix ups such as the basket for the programs being used for cards instead. But the programs still got handed out.
Brad and I, along with Emily and her husband, Ryan, got going in my car with our wedding outfits crammed in the backseat with me and Emily. When we got to the venue, lots of guests were already there standing around in the parking lot, so I got to wave and walk past them all with my makeup and headdress all done, but in sweat pants and Brad’s zipper hoodie. I guess some would see that as less than ideal, but I thought it was fun and I enjoyed seeing some of my friends and family and how dressed up they were.
I quickly got into my lengha in one room while Brad changed in another. Emily did my mother’s makeup while bridesmaid Kate helped me into my outfit.
The rain was threatening even more now and we started to be rushed to get the ceremony going already. So we hustled outside and got ready to process. The bagpipe began and the music was so beautiful. I loved walking down the aisle to the bagpipe music.
Though there were a lot of umbrellas up, the rain eased off and it never started actually pouring, thank goodness!
I tried to really focus as the ceremony was happening, knowing that many people say that it all becomes a blur. I felt very present. I didn’t even have to try not to think about other things. It was easy to focus on Brad and our love. People seemed to be able to feel the love we have for each other radiating from us. Many commented on how calm we were.
There was a fire pit set up (we got it from Amazon) and it was so beautiful. (This tent we used as a mandap is from Home Depot!) We put the jai mala garlands around each other’s necks. My father did his reading.
We exchanged rings, said short vows we wrote ourselves, and walked around the fire. Brad put a mangala sutra around my neck and applied sindoor to my part.
We also had a hand fasting with a cord made for us by our officiant, Tricia, who is a good friend.
After being declared husband and wife, we stopped at our parents to seek their blessings.
And then we were pelted with rose petals as we walked out.
It all went so perfectly! Exactly as I wanted. Several people said they had not been able to imagine how we were going to combine Scot and Hindu traditions but that it came together seamlessly. I felt so too. I had a vision for how this would work and that vision was executed absolutely perfectly.
There was some fun next as Brad’s shoes were stolen, recovered, stolen again, and generally fought over. Everyone laughed and enjoyed the show as the wedding party chased each other around for the shoes.
Next we took some pictures while our guests had appetizers and lemonade. Then we prepared our entrance, announced by my Uncle Bob.
Because we only had the videographer for a short time, we went straight into toasts. After that people went through the buffet, where I used the buffet line like a receiving line and chatted with people as they waited. The staff at Waverly were great about making sure Brad and I could eat. They prepared plates for us at our sweetheart table. But I still didn’t eat much, since I wanted to spend time talking with people. (Also, the tent was gorgeous! It even had chandeliers).
The videographer very kindly stayed so he could capture the first dances. Brad and I danced to Annie’s Song by John Denver and then I danced with my father while Brad danced with his mother to There Are Places I Remember by the Beatles.
After that I got changed into a lighter outfit. I didn’t get to dance at all even though I created the playlist of music that I love to dance to! Still, I wanted to maximize the time I got to spend with my friends and family. Even so, there were friends who got short changed on attention. I wished I could have spent at least fifteen or twenty minutes with each and every person, really connecting with them. That didn’t happen, though I was able to share some wonderful moments with a few.
The memorial table was set up and I was glad it was there, though I don’t know how many stopped by to see it.
We cut our beautiful cake, which was made for us by Brad’s friend Kee of GotteGris Bakery. She’s going to be doing a bake sale to help her make it to college and I highly recommend her baking!
Isn’t it beautiful? I love the elephants! Kee also made a Lovecraft-themed groom’s cake for Brad as a surprise.
We gave out dice as favors and had a quilt guest book (fabric squares and fabric pens. I will now need to quilt the squares myself!) Having an all-in-one venue was AWESOME. I can’t recommend that highly enough. They took care of the tent, the chairs, the table cloths, the center pieces, not to mention all the food and drinks. People raved about the food and my dad said it far exceeded his expectations. Our day-of-coordinator made sure we always had anything we needed. I felt well cared for.
People started to drift out by around 3:00 and we were completely empty and packed up at 4:00. Waverly really knew how much time a wedding takes! But we invited people to come back to our apartment to continue hanging out. Only a few took us up on that!
We placed a large order of Indian food and chatted into the night with some friends.
The weekend was absolutely wonderful. It really struck me that all these people were here because I asked them to be. They came for us. Every where we looked, we saw the faces of people we loved. That is a unique and powerful experience. Having now been through it, I cannot imagine walking down the aisle towards anyone you are not 100% certain of in every way! I never had a moment of doubt or nervousness.
Photography: Shannon at http://sdb-photography.webnode.com/
Videography: Video Express (Absolutely wonderful to work with! I’m so glad I’ll have a video to watch to help me remember the day, since it really did fly by!)
Venue: Waverly Mansion (Made everything so smooth!)
Makeup: Emily Does Makeup
Mendhi: Garvi Sheth
Bagpiper: Bob Delp
Cake: Kee at GotteGris Bakery (Beautiful + people said it was the best red velvet they ever had!)