Wedding Crashers

I count myself among the people who groan at the thought of having to attend a wedding--my own included. I mean, really, how many times must someone be subjected to a dewy-eyed couple dancing to Nat and Natalie King Cole's "Unforgettable?" Just like Heinz ketchup ruined the commercial viability of Carle Simon's "Anticipation," first dances have tarnished an otherwise perfectly fine romantic ballad.

Mind you, it's not the marriage part of the wedding that bugs me. Actually, I believe every young couple is entitled to at least one, big church wedding with all the fixings. But despite the fact that friends and loved ones are happy for a couple on their special day, it doesn't necessarily mean that guests will enjoy the event itself.

So, it was with a bit of a wince that I accepted an invitation to my friend Chet's wedding--although I take full credit for the 30-year old groom even having a wedding.

Chet and his bride, Anna, prove the five-degrees-of-separation theory of relationships. (Get a pen and paper out. Prepare to flowchart these connections for your greater understanding.) I met Chet through Tonya, my old roommate, and invited him to a dinner party at our place. I also invited Stephanie, who I met through Carlos, to the same event. There at my dinner party, Chet met Stephanie, who instantly thought of Anna, her close friend. After the dinner party, Stephanie arranged a meeting of Chet and Anna

...and rest is history.

A year and a half later, all parties gathered at the local Marriot hotel to witness the nuptials of our friends.

What I didn't completely understand, was that this was not going to be like any wedding I'd attended before. It was a Hindu wedding--a most fascinating ceremony and totally unlike the traditional Christian wedding. After attending this wedding event, I am convinced that I could be Hindu. These people know how to have a great time!

Like a comet with a glistening tail, the groom arrived by a white stretch limo with a group people trailing behind him, playing drums, singing songs, and literally dancing in the streets. Local city police, in fact, closed the block surrounding the Marriot to make way for the passage.

The bride family waited for the groom at the entrance of the wedding hall. They greeted him placing oil on him and throwing flowers. All guests and the entire entourage entered the wedding chamber with the groom as he awaited the bride. And in this ceremony, the groom was the one wearing veil--a hat with decorative cords hiding his face. On the other hand, when the bride made her way through the hall, she kept a single leaf in front of her face, only dropping it when she faced the groom for the first time.

There were a couple other things I liked about the Hindu ceremony. The bride had to accept the groom before the ceremony proceeded. And, after offering rice grains to the goddess of fire, the bride led her groom around the fire for the first of the seven rounds. As this portion of the ceremony went on, I worried whether the hotel smoke alarm would go off. Thankfully it didn't.

Hindu wedding ceremonies earn bonus points for other reasons. Food was offered to guest on three occasions: prior to the grooms arrival, during a cocktail reception, and then at dinner. Most guests wore brightly colored saris (for women) and dhoti (for men) including the bridesmaids and groomsmen, most of whom were American.

I can tell you with all certainty that none of these would wind up on Uglydress.com. And, if you've never witnessed Indian music and dancing, make your way to a Indian wedding. The music and dance, alone, were worth the price of admission.

I, wedding cynic and critic, walked away with only the happiest thoughts and fondest of memories at Chet and Anna's wedding And should I ever walk down the isle again, I might have to choose Calcutta or Varanasi over Las Vegas.

But, only if I snagged a flying Elvis impersonator for the ride over.

1 comment:

Cheetarah1980 said...

this post reminds me of the wedding in the movie Bend It Like Beckham! It sounds like a bunch of fun. Glad you enjoyed it.