Date: Friday 7th September 2007
Planning for a wedding is a meticulous affair that requires an eye for detail and perfection. And if that’s not enough to handle, adhering to rituals and procedures while combining and blending my husband’s Chettiar and my Sri Lankan Tamil heritage into the equation for a traditional Indian wedding can be so pain stakingly annoying that you ask yourself, is this all really necessary? But through out the process you find yourself saying yes because this is your roots, what you’re really made of and represent a huge part of you and you wouldn’t want it any other way. And thank God for parents who did everything for us
A week before the wedding, we had a Sri Lankan Tamil cleansing event at my parent’s place where I got cleansed with milk and then received gifts from relatives
1 day before the BIG day, we decided to have a small do at my parent’s place and invited all of our close and hubby’s relatives who were down from India for dinner.
Then it was finally The Day. I had to wake up at 5 a.m to get my hair and makeup done just to be in time for an early morning wedding!
I didn’t like the hair and makeup coz I wanted a nice sexy smokey eye look to go with long flowly curly hair but no, everyone including my MUA (although I was the one paying her!) insisted for a more traditional look so what I got was a big bun for a hair, boring natural makeup and yes the chance to look much older than I really am
So what’s a bride to be do – well suck it in I suppose. *pouts*
We are the first ones to arrive at the temple. Here I’m wearing my bright yellow (and heavy!) engagement saree as I wait patiently at the changing room for the groom to come. Meanwhile my parents welcome the guest downstairs.
Once he and his entourage arrive, they perform some ceremony outside the temple compound. His best man is my cousin Roshan, while my bride’s maid is his cousin Chitra from India (need to pick from opposite sides and they must be single folks). Most people mistook my cousin for his brother since they look quite similiar!
Then he proceeds to the wedding alter where the ceremony lasts for 20 minutes – I have no idea what’s going because I’m waiting at the changing room, anxiously for my turn. A glass of whiskey to calm the nerves down at this point would have been of great help!
But all I had was tea. *sniffs*
I do my entrance with my entourage; walking nervously because all eyes are on me (and at the same time I’m thinking who the F are all these people), sit myself down carefully for the priest to bless me and my wedding saree/thali and everything else. I then leave to the changing room again with these trays in hand. Without seeing the groom at all.
Round 2- the groom comes in again, sitting in front of the priest while he does his usual chants while I’m changing into my red heavy wedding saree quickly, wearing all the jewerly and getting my makeup re-touched.
I walk downstairs to wait for my cue. Even with the bridesmaid and everyone else around, I am nervous and my mind starts wandering – is this really it for me, how would I cope with married life, with his family members, At 25 I’m too young for this, is he really the one, so many questions, so many damn questions that won’t leave me alone. Bastards!
At this point really – the damn whiskey would have helped sail me through! And at this point too, I knew I wasn’t like the other brides who all smile away happily. My dad even had to remind me to smile from time to time.
Looking at the big gate at the temple, there was a slight temptation to run away, lol. Even the night before I started getting what they call wedding jitters. My friend Mena knows this drama
As I was just about to run away, ok I’m kidding. Then it was the bride’s cue to walk to the alter. My parents and close relatives walk ahead of me, with some flower girls, my sister, my childhood friend Elaine, the whole jing-bang, and finally there’s me – looking pale but anxious, lol. My heart is beating fast but I soon realize that it is capable of beating even faster!
I sit down next to the groom, who looks so dashing, albeit a bit pale himself. Note to self – must do his makeup for our reception. I think I told him he could still run if I wanted to, and I guess this was the respond
Run Forrest Run!
I’m guessing that’s a no? :))
The priest goes on with the ceremony, occasionally irritated by us (or me) coz I don’t fluently understand Tamil so I was a bit blur when he wanted me to do certain things. My dad on my right reminds me to smile so I fake it
It was then time, time for the groom to tie the thali on the bride’s neck – a sign that we’re officially married – in the eyes of God. The minute before this event – my heart beats so loudly and fast, because I knew the moment the thali is tied, I would be a married woman, someone’s wife. I almost feel like I was going to pass out, my heart was in my mouth and within seconds, the yellow thali is on my neck.
Everyone throws saffron rice at it as a sign of blessings and I see the look on my parents face – the big smile, the laughter, the happiness that after months of planning – this has finally been the fruit of it all. All that planning and money spent – just for this moment – I could tell they were enjoying it, immensely.
My heart still beats fast.
We get the blessings from our parents, falling at their feet.
Then it was registration time. At this point my heart rate went back to being normal incase you’re wondering. And the smiles were not fake anymore : )
The entire guests then personally came up one by one to congratulate and gift us.