We started on Tuesday with a dinner fir all the visitors from overseas. But things quickly got more elaborate & interesting. Lots of ceremonies, lots of fun, lots of food.....
Official Engagement (the 2 families actually sign a certificate in the temple). The bride was nervously watching....
then afterwards she was given many presents to welcome her to the family.
then the Chuni Ceremony, where the bride is given her official ceremonial sari. She will be expected to wear this whenever there are ceremonies in future.
The women of the grooms family come in singing carrying the sari on their shoulders
then they put it on the bride
then she got her bangles from her mother in law
After many blessings etc. finally the moment she had been waiting for: her groom walked in for the official engagement. He came in style bearing flowers and, yes he did! He went down on his knee before her.
Here the Hindu put on the wedding ring during this ceremony. This is actually the second engagement, since the first one is between the 2 families, not the bride & groom and happened a few months ago.
Now this is followed by more blessings:
then finally food, food & more food.
Here is my outfit of the day:
That evening we also did the Mendhi ceremony. Where the women decorate their hands with Henna. I forgot my camera that evening, but here is the result:
the henna is still on, but slowly crumbling off & I had applied some oil to make the color more intense.
Next day were more prayers & fire ceremonies
then the women danced again, bringing some holy water to bless the relationship
Then the big day came.
Sorry picture is a bit wobbly. But here I am ready to go
First I went to the African WEdding in a little Salvation Army Church outside Nairobi. I had not charged the phone, so no pictures inside. Bride & groom reached 2.5hours late, so I didn't stay until the end of the ceremony either. Just waited for the vows to be exchanged and dashed back to town.
To show you the difference:
Here are some of the bridesmaids of the African wedding
and then I went to the Hindu temple
Where the mother of the groom & her niece were happy to see us.
The ceremony was going on already
After lots of prayers, fire ceremonies, rice being thrown etc. finally the bride & groom walked the required times around the fire & were married
The presiding Brahmin had a great sense of humor and I wished he had talked in English throughout
Here is my good friend Geetha, who is the aunt of the groom and through whom we became so close to the family. Geetha is the one standing, the one in green / red is the mother of the groom & Geethas sister in law.
Even BF had dressed up for the occasion.
Now we remain with the reception tomorrow. In Indian weddings the reception is often the enxt day, since the ceremonies take so long.
So tomorrow evening we will have another fabulous party with colorful clothes and lots of fun