Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wedding Part 2 - The Reception

In case you missed it or came from an outside link, read about part 1 of my wedding here.

I'm very thankful that there was a week long break between my wedding festivities and the reception. FIL thought it was a good idea because I had only just arrived and it had been a whirlwind already. I have to laugh a little at some things though because the customs were put in place, though it was a little late to really represent them the way they should have been represented.

For example, in the morning I went to a hotel. This was because the bride and groom aren't supposed to already be married and living together before the events even though I'd already been married over a week. It was nice though because all the family (including people I didn't know) were in the house and this way I could get dressed and ready in peace. This was to be a much bigger event than the wedding itself.

Caterers, alcohol, invitations and dry fruits (aka raisins and almonds in my specific circumstances) had been scheduled and sent out. Everyone was in their best outfits and I was enjoying a relaxing day at the hotel. Hubby, poor thing, had to run back and forth between the two to keep up with everything.

Later in the afternoon two girls were sent to my hotel room, the same two who did my wedding mehendi, to help me get dressed. I must admit that before they came I didn't see the purpose in having help. I've always been a do-it-yourself type and I could have managed my own makeup and I *think* I could have gotten dressed on my own lol. Hubby was worried the girls were going to do my makeup too dark and he wanted a more natural look. I highly recommend to anyone getting married in an Indian wedding they just don't bother questioning and accept the help.

The girls came to the hotel room while hubby was out and I went and received them and led them to my room. I got partially dressed, meaning I put on the outfit I was wearing but didn't complete all the draping. Then the girls started on my hair first. After that they did my nails and make up. Hubby came back about half way through the make up and he was not happy. He thought they were doing it too dark and he started complaining and the girls said something to him and he just grumbled. I didn't know what they were doing and I just left it alone. When they got done the tables turned and I wasn't happy with the colors and hubby loved them.

Once they were done with the make up then they had me stand up and they draped the outfit and made it presentable. The used quite a few safety pins to hold everything in place. I have to admit that before this I didn't see the purpose in wearing a drape in this style but after seeing it on me I felt like it was okay. I say "drape" because I don't know what else to call it or the proper name for this outfit lol. It's called a "lehanga cum sari" here in Punjab. The way they drape it shows off all the sparkles better and it makes an overall better display of the garment. Here's the finished look.

gori saree Punjab wedding marriage relationship
Try not to get distracted by the fact the top doesn't fit right. That's the hazards of hiring an unkown tailor around here.

After all that dressing business hubby ordered some food. Lol, way to ruin your make up right? I was careful though and fixed my lipstick back and so it was back in place before time to go. Now the fun part. The time printed on the reception cards came and went I was still on US time so I inquired why we hadn't gone there yet and now we were late to our own reception. The taxi driver came to get us about an hour or so after the time on the invitation cards.

India wedding hall gori Punjab Amritsar

It took a long time to drive to the reception hall and then I was rushed into a room towards the back.  The stares I got just in that short run were a little scary. Hubby noticed that people we didn't even know were there and the neighbors we invited had brought neighbors of theirs and so on and so forth. This is apparently common here for people to go to random weddings just for the alcohol and I'm sure a few were there just because some Punjabi guy was marrying a westerner. Some of the people we didn't know that came have since come to us and indicated they were at our wedding as if we've known them forever lol.

In the back room the photographer was set up to take our pictures. I was joined there by hubby's female cousin who took on the role of my "maid of honor" as it would be known in an American wedding and several aunts. Everyone was making a fuss over me as is usually the case with any bride. Hubby was in and out of the room as it seems the duties of an Indian son are never done, nor does he ever get much of a break. His male cousin assumed the role of what would be known as a best man in an American wedding and helped make sure everything was going smoothly.

While hubby was in the room the photographer took about 100 pictures and drove us crazy. He had some really silly ideas (IMO) for photos but I went along with it just in case I was wrong and now looking back I think the way he kept having me hold my head just added to the already swollen look I was sporting from the sickness. Yep, I was sick that day as well and though you can't tell by the photos I was actually quite pale compared to my normal just pale color.

bhangra dancers Punjab India wedding

Finally about 2 1/2 hours after the reception start time printed on the invites hubby and I were paraded in, family along side us from the back of the reception hall towards the front where there was a decorated stage and chairs for us to sit in. There were professional bhangra dancers on the stage performing and the music was really loud. I couldn't see the crowd because the videographer had such a bright light on our faces recording our walk in. That was probably a good thing and I just kept smiling until I got on the stage and sat down.

gori punjabi wedding intercultural marriage

Once seated on the stage guest began coming onto the stage and giving gifts and showering us with money. The money "showered" on us was for the children, the maid and such and I was told this is a tradition to share our blessing with their families. The money gifts (paisa varne) is considered a blessing for our future and the money was first circled around our heads before placing it into our hands. This went on for a long time because we had over 300 guests.

Towards the end the guests were served ice cream as they had already eaten from the buffet type set up provided by the caterers. Then our meal was served. The family eats a different meal than the guests and a special table is set up for the family to eat together. There is competition among the servers to vie for the bride and groom to take food from their plate. I don't understand it but hubby said there was some kind of tradition about it. So I tried to be nice and take something from almost every server. That's exhausting lol. I could barely eat though because I was so sick that day.

The reception ended around midnight or a little after and we took a taxi home. We had guests piled into every corner of our house and beds scattered everywhere for them. There were even more guests spread out at several of our neighbors houses (which is a fairly common occurrence here). Hubby's cousin/best man and three younger girl cousins slept in our room that night with us. It was quite a tiring event and I went to bed crying partially because I was so tired but mostly because all I wanted was to curl up for the night with my husband and instead he was on the floor with someone else.....I was emotional to say the least.


  1. Looking quite glamourous in that sari, Kristy!
    Now there's the $100 question, where to find a really good ladies' tailor.

  2. Thank you! And if I ever find the answer to that question I will be sure to blog about it and sing praises to whoever the tailor may be.

  3. I had a really good tailor in Bangalore, so yeah they exist, but they aren't the norm :)

  4. Beautiful end result!

  5. Cyn, if you want an awesome tailor in Powai, just let me know. I have one!! His shop is just up from Hiranandani Hospital. I love him. Top quality work, fixed price, and he's a nice guy too.

  6. Oh that's good to know! I have some dress material around I need to get stiched one day or another, right now my logic is to wait and get back into shape before I have anything custom made though, I'll be sure to ask you the address when I'm ready and fit :)

  7. You are looking beautiful in that lehenga cum saree outfit.... 

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.