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Here we are with Shivam, the groom, and his mini-me during a lull in the activities…just before the round of official photos on stage with every permutation of family/friend/guest in serious looking faces.

Earlier in the evening we spent some time at Shivam’s family home dancing and celebrating with numerous traditional activities before parading our way to the bride’s home where all the food, music, tents and elephants were waiting. Ok, ok, it was only 1 elephant, but it was a really BIG elephant, along with many horses and a few lit up carriages. More on that later…

As honored guests, Cheng and I were invited to ride in the groom’s marigold-covered car while everyone else followed in rented, white vehicles.

The bride, Monika, wanted me to be part of the receiving party, so I was dropped off at the bride’s house while Cheng continued on with our camera to join the groom’s parade. Looking back at all this extravaganza, I keep hearing that Aladdin song…”Hey you! Let us through…Make way!…Here he comes!…Ring bells!…Bang the drums!…”

Here are a few more pics taken during the various ceremonies. Cheng seemed to have a little more freedom to wander around. I’m not sure I “officially” needed an escort, but whenever I was alone, a family member seemed to materialize out of thin air to ask if they could get me anything. I definitely felt like a pampered guest!

During the looooong, official activities that took place indoor, Cheng and I snuck up to the rooftop to sleep for 6-7 hours. The pallu (or scarf) of my sari worked amazingly well as mosquito netting, so I had quite a pleasant sleep once I put in earplugs to drown out the blaring dance music.

Leading up to the all night festivities, we spent time at the bride’s family home. They welcomed us as part of the family and encouraged us to participate in multiple rituals preparing for the big night. During the dancing ceremony the night before, Cheng met his kindred dancing equal, someone who know all the words and all the moves to all the songs. I had two lovely ladies decorate my hands and forearms with intricate Mehndi designs. After that it was Cheng’s responsibility to feed and pamper me while it dried.

The day after the wedding ceremony, everyone just relaxed and napped and tried to stay cool during the hot afternoon. We also got to spend more time just chatting with our new friends.

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We said our goodbyes to Shivam’s wonderful family and thanked them for making us feel so welcome.IMG_3254

.   .   .

*To smile or not to smile? That’s the magic question that arose after reviewing many photos during this trip. There was a funny instance at the wedding when Cheng said “look serious,” but when I glanced over at him, he had this big cheesy smile on his face.

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One Comment

  1. Wow, what an amazing experience!


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