Big difference compared to the Netherlands is that it is much more a bond between two families. Result is most of the time a ceremony and celebration that is much larger than I was used to. Until now I have only experienced Hindu marriages so it is difficult to say if the Muslim or Christian weddings would give the same feeling.
First wedding was Surjith & Abinaya in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
This was second wedding I experienced to be done in one day, starting early morning till end of the afternoon. This also didn't have a real reception but still enough opportunity to wish the couple the best.
Still the evening was a lot of new parts, like the way the couple was coming together. Venkat had to cut the ribbon before he could enter the hall to find his future wife hidden under one of the 5 or 6 baskets.
He found her so the evening could continue.
Starting with washing your leave with water, to clean the latest dust but also to activate the leave I was told. Somehow it adds to the food which makes it more healthy.
On this you well get a lot of different items with sweets, rice roti, dosa etc. and exact content depends on time of the day and the region. Also order like starting with sweets or ending is region specific.
In the south I believe curd rice is a typical part, but if you don't like it then keep your hand flat above the leave and it will pass you I know by experience.
The preparation of the food starts early and is an important part of the work I always find it nice to see this and noticed that the cooks always are very happy to show what the prepare and how it is done. And as many weddings have hundreds of guests this is always done in large kettles and quantities.
The reception if done first is in principal a straight start. No special things before that but this might also depend on the region and the family habits I expect. The reception is the moment where all friends, colleagues and family of not only the couple but also the rest of the family will come by and will wish the couple the best for the future. So when ever in India don't be surprised if you get an invitation from a colleague to attend a wedding of a brother, sister, son or daughter.
The reception part dress is mainly a suit for the groom and a beautiful dress for the bride.
1. May this couple be blessed with an abundance of resources and comforts, and be helpful to one another in all ways.
2. May this couple be strong and complement one another.
3. May this couple be blessed with prosperity and riches on all levels.
4. May this couple be eternally happy.
5. May this couple be blessed with a happy family life.
6. May this couple live in perfect harmonyŠ true to their personal values and their joint promises.
7. May this couple always be the best of lifelong friends.
For Venkat this was symbolised by taking the foot and put it on different spots on rice, I have also seen seven piles of rice used and other ways.
Tying the knot is always nice to see as most of the groomed struggle with this. Which is no surprise as it is done from the front in the neck. A long pony-tail is the first obstruction (which is heavy by the way) then off course you can't see hat you are doing. In most of the cases the ladies of the family jump in and help to get it done correctly. As Photographer this makes it difficult to get the act captured as many hands are busy and you have to look for the best place to capture it.