Day 1- Prayer:
So as you know- all Indian weddings are celebrated over a few days, so this story starts on Thursday the 27/11/2014 with an evening of prayer and mendhi... After the prayer, I sat watching the mendhi artist skillfully draw the intricate pattern. A few hours later and after contorting my hands in different positions, I was done. It was time for bed.
I slept fitfully that night with hands covered in gloves and feet covered in cling wrap, tossing and turning, curious as to what the next day would bring.
Day 2 - Mendhi Night:
On Friday morning it dawned on me that tonight would be my Mendhi night! When I finally managed to make my way to the bathroom, I washed of the mendhi and was in awe of the dark brownish red art on my hands.
The dark hue of the mendhi indicated that husband loved me a lot (or as the superstition went).
The Mendhi Night- A night before the wedding celebration were the groom and brides family visited each other to exchange "trays" or gifts and to apply hardee (turmeric) and other 'pastes', to the bride and grooms faces. This was to ensure that we 'glowed' on the wedding day and to build the excitement for the wedding.
I arrived at the hall, decked up in my finest, inspired by Jodha of the Zee Tv Serial Jodha Akbar. The grooms side then arrived and my sister in laws walked me down the 'aisle' to my seat at the front of the hall.
Music was played while each 'aunty' came up and applied hardee to my face and fed me copious amounts of burfee. Each person came up and introduced themselves and wished me well for the future. My mother in law, sister in laws and some other woman sang 'folk' songs in the background, whilst everyone clapped.
100 pieces of burfee later the grooms side, sat down to a the spit braai that was prepared for supper followed by tea and cake. Once the grooms family had left, my family got ready to go over to the grooms 'Mendhi'.
I spent the rest of that night catching up with my friends and who had stayed back to keep me company.
Day 3 - Wedding Day:
I woke up that morning feeling odd. A good sort of odd.
It was my wedding day.
I would be leaving all that was familiar to me and would be entering a new life. One with my husband and my in laws (Indian people know that you marry the groom and his family)
It was a challenge I was ready for, I would miss my parents, but they would always be a part of my life, a part of my being.
At 2pm the make up artist arrived. Whilst she applied make up to face, I watched my self transform from the 24 year old young lady that I was to a 24 year old woman that would be a wife, a daughter in law and someday, a mother.
I won't lie, after that everything happened so fast.
Before I knew it I was in my dress, in the car and walking down the aisle at my father's side.
I sat up on stage feeling like a princess looking down at all my friends and family. Then my sister in laws came up on stage and placed a red scarf on my head signifying that the 'nikah' or actual marriage was about to begin. My husband and all other men where upstairs in the 'Jamat Khana' or prayer room at the 'Nikah'.
On the speaker I could hear my husband uttering the words (intention or dua said at a nikah) that would link us for eternity.
I was a married woman.
The nikah ended and my husband walked down with his 10+ groomsmen ( yes I kid you not), came up on stage looked at me and smiled. We then 'fist bumped' and suddenly there was an 'aaaawww' from the crowd down below.
The rest went by so fast, rings and kisses were exchanged. We were eating, speeches were given, photos where taken, wishes and thanks were exchanged and then we were leaving on our honeymoon!
All in all my wedding was a fairytale.
The funny part is people kept asking me throughout the wedding period ; 'Aren't you nervous?'
No. I was not.
I was marrying my college sweetheart and best friend in the presence of all those that were dear to me...how could I be.