I have always thought it was an honour to be invited to share in a friend’s wedding day – so being invited to an Indian wedding was something to look forward to, and a reason to buy a new ‘outfit’ (yes us girls can always use any excuse to go shopping).
Being a newbie to the Indian traditions, there are two celebrations to dress for, being the night before the wedding (Indian traditional costume required) and the actual wedding day (formal or traditional). Having worn a sari to the engagement party, my friend and I decided we wanted the ability to ‘dance freely’ the night before the wedding, so opted for the Salwar Kameez (long shirt or tunic with pajama-like pants underneath). This way we weren’t scared of our outfit unravelling and was an opportunity to experience another national costume. We needn’t have worried too much as the ‘dandiya’ (or stick dance) as I was calling it, required more movement by the sticks than us.
Roopdarshan in Mt Roskill is the answer to all your prayers when shopping Indian style. After trying on only 4 outfits, (all the same styles but different colours) I was sorted, so next on the list was to buy matching jewellery and accessories including bindi’s (being the forehead decorations). The copious amount of bracelets and jewellery that adorns any outfit takes considerable thought. We ended up fairly laden down but happy with the selection of very bright bangles, earrings and necklaces that contained possibly more bling that the Taj Mahal.
The following day dawned hot and sunny, with the wedding being held at St Michael’s Church in Remuera (a lovely old church dating back to 1933). As guests of the groom, we were required to meet down the road and escort the groom to the church entrance. To the beat of a drum, we made our way down the road dancing and singing, forming a circle around the groom once we got to the Church. Eventually we were ushered in, at which time the groom and his parents walked down the aisle of the church, followed by the wedding party and then the beautiful bride arrived, resplendent in a lovely white classic wedding dress and veil from Ballgowns & Beyond, with the lovely bridesmaids in knee-length cerise pink dresses. It was simple elegance at its best.
We danced Indian style (bridal wedding march) forming like a Congo line, being led by the bride and groom, and wormed our way around the tables to some great Indian music. Everyone was joining in – laughing and smiling. Eventually we staggered hot and sweaty back to our seats with the sweet aroma of Indian food wafting from behind closed doors. The speeches were heart-felt, the first dance romantic. The throwing of the bouquet was a nice touch (I so wanted to join in). It was a magical day in many ways and all the special nuances that made it uniquely Indian were a welcome change from the traditional wedding we are more used to.
Wishing Nevil & Preeti many years of love and happiness, and may all your dreams come true.