There’s always a whirlwind of events happening, and before I knew it, six years had slipped by since my unforgettable trip to India. Interestingly, while writing about the Highlander wedding in Zakopane, Poland, I realized I had never shared the tale of my remarkable Indian wedding adventure!
An invitation to a wedding ceremony in India from one of my closest friends was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. Thus, accompanied by another dear friend and his girlfriend, we embarked on a thrilling three-week journey through India.
Our adventure began by exploring the famous Golden Triangle route for two weeks. The journey took us through Rajasthan’s well-known cities, including Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Jaipur. Of course, we also made sure to visit the essential stops of New Delhi and Agra.
Following this, we flew south to Erode, the location of the wedding. After celebrating with the happy couple, we, along with the newlyweds and their Danish guests, retreated to the serene Coonoor for a peaceful getaway.
Kicking off the wedding day, it wasn’t just the bride and groom in prep mode – my two friends and I were right in the thick of it! The bride’s family was busy dolling her up, and she looked stunning in her white and gold saree. The groom, not to be outdone, was dashing in his sherwani.
As for us? We decided to embrace the local fashion – sarees for the ladies and a kurta for my guy friend. Before flying to India, our Indian friend had us pick out saree patterns and colors online and sent over our measurements for the blouses. So, when we landed at the hotel, we were greeted by a whopping 5 meters of fabric each, just waiting to be draped. And thank heavens for our friend’s friend’s mom who came to our rescue – without her, we might have ended up looking like wrapped-up mummies! We rounded off our looks with earrings and shoes bought in India. The Kurta was a local find too. The saree’s price was around $28, so when we found that out, our jaws almost dropped.
To add the finishing touches to our outfits, we had a local henna artist work their magic on our hands and feet. Now, you might think those intricate patterns would take ages to apply, but you’d be amazed – the artist whipped up those detailed designs in under 15 minutes!
All ready and dressed up, we were all ready for the next part of the wedding – a procession to the venue. On our way to Erode for a wedding, we passed through Northern India, where grooms were having their own blockbuster entrances – atop horses amidst a fanfare of lights, music, and a jolly crowd. We half-expected the same Bollywood movie-like scene down South. But surprise, surprise! Turns out, we were heading to a Christian wedding, not a Hindu one. So, no majestic horse or elephant for the groom’s grand entry. A tad disappointing for us, but I suspect our Danish groom breathed a sigh of relief.
The bridal procession made its way to the stage set up in the church’s backyard. The bride, looking radiant, was escorted arm-in-arm by her father, accompanied by music and a stream of guests. Here’s a twist – the bride’s dad is a pastor, so naturally, the ceremony unfolded at their church. But why outside, you ask? Well, firstly, the weather was a toasty 35°C, and secondly, the guest list was no joke – a whopping 1500 people! And here’s the kicker: we were told this was ‘small’ by local standards, with some weddings ballooning up to 5000 guests and spanning over several days! From our perspective, this was anything but small. 🙂
The ceremony itself was a two-hour affair, with the bride and groom seated royally on a bench in the center of the stage. They participated in the mass and listened to speeches. Talk about VIP treatment – they had the cool luxury of air conditioning, a welcome respite in the heat. The rest of us? We resorted to the good old-fashioned hand-fanning technique to beat the warmth. 😅
Large screens were strategically placed around to ensure everyone could witness the ceremony. This way, those in the back could still get a front-row experience of the happenings on the central stage. It was a clever plan to ensure everyone witnessed the happy moments at the heart of the celebration.
Post-ceremony, the spotlight was on the newlyweds as they cut the cake on stage. The bride then slipped away to switch her saree – a quick costume change for the next act of the celebration.
Meanwhile, the guests branched into two groups. The family members, as well as the inner circle, were escorted into the church for an official dinner. The rest of the guests were treated to a buffet set up outside.
But here’s the surprising twist: the bride and groom didn’t join any of us for dinner! Instead, they turned the stage into a meet-and-greet arena, welcoming each guest for a photo op. The smiles and flashes kept going for a good 4-5 hours straight. Talk about some serious dedication!
After everyone had their photos taken, we slowly wrapped up the party and went back to the hotel. What really surprised me was that there wasn’t actually a party – with dancing or drinking as what I was used to. Though it was different, it was an interesting and fun experience 🙂 And I love my saree – it took half of my luggage space, but really glad I got one 🙂
I just have to give a huge shoutout to my amazing friend! She seriously made my trip sooo incredibly special by taking care of everything from getting me a beautiful dress to the most amazing henna tattoos. Even though it was her special moment, she still made sure to take some time out to make it special for us too! I just can’t thank her enough for all the love and kindness she has shown me. And, of course, thank you for letting me share all the pictures ❤️