Next today we have a catch up with Pria and her Sikh wedding to Mandip!
Busy, Busy, Busy!
I love, love, love planning our wedding and I also love to talk about it, which I know bores some people to tears but this is my only chance of getting stupidly excited over things I usually wouldn’t care about, like heart shaped sparklers and personalised cocktail napkins! So being given the chance to blog on RMW lets me explode with all my wedding jargon! I have been booking mad lately, after months of research I’m fed up with all these mundane jobs to be done, so feel happy to sign away my life to any contract thrust under my nose and handing our hard earned cash over to various vendors – after a while, what will be will be, so lets just bloody book it! To date we have booked the temple, evening venue, caterer, photographer, reception string quartet, DJ, impulse buys on auction websites, managed to bribe my cousins friend to be my on the day co-ordinator and very importantly…
Being a summer bride if you are looking for a far-flung honeymoon destination it is actually quite difficult. It’s the rainy season in the Maldives where I originally had my heart set and most of the Caribbean is also experiencing monsoon at this time of year. So after hours of searching and meeting with various travel agents we found what we wanted….
Starting with 2 nights in Singapore we wanted to be in a city for a bit. Time to have fun, shop and start relaxing after the wedding whirl. Also by stopping off it breaks up the 16 hour flight!
*Image courtesy of Workandliveabroad.com
We then move onto Lombok, Indonesia. We wanted to go to a place not totally over run with tourists and we aren’t really an all-inclusive type couple, so we spend 3 nights in the Quinci Villas to really start the beach bum honeymooning.
*Image courtesy of Quinci Villas
Then it’s a short speed boat ride to Gili Trawanga for 3 nights – An island that has no motorised vehicles and is known for its beaches and relaxed party atmosphere. Then finally, back to Lombok for 5 nights of pure indulgence at The Oberoi…
*Image courtesy of The Oberoi Lombok
We are so ridiculously excited about going! We booked everything through Trailfinders who were really informative and went out of their way to find the accommodation I requested. The most important thing when booking through a travel agent is to be armed with the knowledge of what do you as a couple want. Our priorities were to have private villa accommodation, where we could have dinner at the hotels restaurants, locally or even indulge in a private dinner at our own villa; for there to be no breakfast cut-off at 9am (we are on our honeymoon – I want to eat and drink when I fancy it and not be herded into a room bleary eyed and eating because I paid for it!) It had be hot so we can sunbathe and laze all day and finally no strict dress codes at any of the resorts! Believe me I nearly faltered as the brochures and pretty pictures really do play tricks with the mind but my saviour is Trip Advisor. It puts my mind at rest for all our choices and also makes you look past the glossy pages of the travel brochures and see what the place is really like. However, before we can go on our amazing honeymoon (Mandip is banned from calling it a holiday!) there is the small matter of actually getting married and all the fuss to get through in the land of reality.
Sunday August 15th 2010
This was the date of our ‘official’ engagements, held at a local Gurdwara in Birmingham. We had our Kurmai and Chunni ceremony take place, this is basically the time where Mandip and I’s family come together and make it official that we will get married. There are lots of rituals of giving to one anothers families and it would really take hours to explain the significance of each part, so the pictures say it best. In a Sikh temple you have your head covered at all times, so please (unlike my dear friend Ria!) don’t think Mandip has a head injury, it’s just what we do! (Also please note although I am Sikh I am by no means an expert so if anyone reading this knows different please accept my advance apologies)
By having the engagement it is about the meeting of two families, this is my family entering the Langar hall, where they all greet each other. The younger males in my family bring in gifts for Mandips family, fresh fruit and Indian sweets. Once in the prayer hall, the Priest (guy in the forefront) says prayers for our families and impending marriage. (Mandip with the red scarf around him.)
The older Males on my Dads side give him a Kara (gold bangle, a religious symbol) and my dad puts 7 handfuls of dried fruit into the red scarf on Mandip’s lap. Then my dad gives him a dried date for him to eat, which is Mandip accepting the marriage. Then the males on my mums side give him a gift (in this case a watch.) It’s all part of Mandip accepting these gifts and also agreeing to accept me as his future wife.
After this is done they all have lunch in the Langar hall which is provided by Mandips family, then I arrive (wearing an outfit Mandips family have brought.) Traditionally I am meant to arrive in old clothes and get changed into the outfit to show the transformation from a single woman, to a wife-to-be! Mandip puts sindoor (red powder) where my hair parts, as traditionally (before engagement rings) this is an outward sign that I am a taken woman.
Then Mandip’s mum puts a little henna on me and also puts 7 handfuls of dried fruit in my pink scarf and I have to eat a dried date. I am also given a Kara. Everyone who has attended gives us money as their way of blessing us. We were sat here for a good hour while everyone comes over and this is just my immediate family! To our religious ceremony we have 300 guests on our wedding day and this will happen again while in the prayer hall!
If you have ever attended a Sikh celebration of any sorts, the cake is cut, then every family member comes up to feed the celebrant a bit of cake. (This is my Mum and Dad) Once all the formal parts had taken place we made a quick outfit change and went to a local pub to sit on the roof terrace and drink, chat and get all excited for the wedding. It was such a classy affair! We ended up ordering fish and chips to the pub!
So what’s next… The impending trip to India! Me, mum, 3 aunties, my little brother and my cousin (the only girl who will keep me sane,) are all descending on Delhi on April 9th, for a mammoth shopping trip! Although I have panic attacks thinking all that has to be done in our 2 weeks out there, I know it really will be a once in a lifetime trip with my wonderful mum and family. I am extremely lucky as I get two wedding day outfits, one is for the morning ceremony which traditionally is red and bought by my family and for the evening reception I wear an outfit from Mandip’s side, to signify that I am now married and their new daughter. Here are some beauties I have been eyeing up…
My Morning ceremony ideas, they all just seem so majestic. I think I want red with emerald green.
*Image Credit here
And the jewellery is blinging beautiful…
*All images courtesy of Asiana TV
I do think the slim girls with their tanned and toned torsos do make the outfits more alluring, but with some *ahem* slight adjustments I could rock them! I get all panicky wondering if I will ever find anything as beautiful as these, but I breathe and know it will all be fine. I have to remind myself I am not the first bride and by no means the last bride, to go through all this. Regardless of the horror stories (friend of a friend chose her outfit and had it shipped back to England…. when it arrived it was nothing like the one she had ordered and looked like Santa on crack when she tried it on. Basically, a big red suit with dangly gold bits everywhere!)
If I am lucky enough to blog again, I will do a whole trip report on the experience and there is also my hen weekend in Marbella, which courtesy of the Wills and Kate nuptials is now a 4 day trip, instead of the original 3! Mandip’s cake dilemmas continue; He was adamant on a chocolate cake, so he is now responsible for all cake related matters. My trillion pre-wedding rituals and the big one: moving in with the in-laws, (it’s pretty much a cultural thing,) that all my female cousins have endured, so now it’s my turn. Oh the excitement! I know that there will be low days, where I will act about as maturely as my 7 year old brother, but at the moment, my wedding cloud is floating high.
Also for all you winter wonderland brides, I kinda wish I had the guts to brave the cold and have a frost filled day… because it is so beautiful out there.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all RMW readers. 2011 sure is going to be an exciting year!
x x x