Weddings are fun! Especially Indian weddings, where the celebration starts weeks ahead of the actual wedding day. It is at these times where people break out in song and suddenly everyone sings and dances along in synchronisation. And here we thought Bollywood dance numbers were a lie… This wedding was one of the most fabulous and spectacular one amongst those I have attended. Bridesmaids dressed in gold, groomsmen dressed in teal with matching sunglasses; can it get any better? The bride was no other than one of my dearest cousins, and she looked absolutely stunning throughout the long weekend in California. I was lucky enough to be one of the bridesmaids, and it was a blast! There is always something that goes wrong at weddings, but these are the funny stories that are not meant to be published online.
I arrived in San Francisco on a Thursday, just in time for the evening where the bride along with her party got henna done on our hands. We celebrated the evening with pizza before diving into a weekend of an Indian-cuisine only policy. On Friday we spent most of the day steaming our outfits for the weekend before an evening of preparing the bride for the big day. Along with eating lots of food, the bride is covered in a mix of turmeric powder and mustard oil to make her look prettier. In our family, the sisters, mothers, grandmothers and aunts had their go at the bride before the men attacked her. The sight was not pretty, and neither was the smell. This ceremony is followed by the oldest maternal uncle and aunt put on the ceremonial bangles on the bride after cleansing them in milk and flower petals.
Saturday morning had an early start. Already at 4 AM the makeup artist arrived and did her magic on the gorgeous bride. The bridesmaids started arriving at the bridal suite at 6 AM. We all helped each other to get ready, and by 8 AM, we were supposed to have left for San Jose. The ceremony was a 45 minute drive away in the San Jose Gurdwara, located on a mountain with a view of the city. We spent what seemed like hours outside while waiting for the groom to arrive along with his family. When they finally did arrive, another ceremony took place, where the family members of both families officially meet. This was followed by a meal, where a few of the bridesmaids and I ran back and forth with food for the hidden bride. We all ended up hanging out in the Men’s Lounge and the smell was almost unbearable. As the families were done eating, it was finally time to get the couple married. We were only running about 3 hours behind schedule at this point.
Inside the Gurdwara, the bridesmaids sit behind the bride in order to help her get up and make her outfit look well for the various times the couple had to stand up or sit down. For some, the ceremony brings tears, whereas this particular couple were talking and laughing throughout the hour we spend in the temple. After the ceremony, we ate some more and said goodbye to the bride while she drove away with her new family. At that point we all had to rush back to the hotel and change before the reception.
The reception was held in Treasure Island. The venue was grandiose and spectacular. Already at the reception they were able to show a video of the various events that had happened throughout the past weeks. There were even clips from just a few hours ago in the Gurdwara. When the couple walked in, they were met with cheering and applause, while they looked absolutely stunning. The party went on until very late at night, and you could easily say that people were exhausted after a few busy, and long days.
On Sunday we went to Sacramento to the groom’s house in order to properly get to meet his side of the family. I met a lot of people, and they were all lovely and delightful. Dinner and drinks were served as well as attempts of throwing people in the pool. Isn’t that just what a family gathering should be like?