Not everyone gets to travel to India and attend one of the most beautiful and lavish weddings of a lifetime. But, lucky for us, Phil and I got to do just that. My friend, Meg, married her best friend in a 4-day wedding extravaganza in tropical Southern India filled with nonstop eating, dancing and so much love. Meg has been one of my closest friends since middle school. We go way back and have surprisingly managed to stay close despite living in different states and then on different continents. I was so excited to be a part of her special day and celebrate her marriage!
Day 1: Village Blessing and Lunch Reception
Upon arriving to our destination after a 24 hour journey, the early arrivals hopped in a van and were shuttled to a village about an hour outside of the city where Meg’s dad spent his childhood. There was a mini wedding celebration there with close relatives and villagers. It was our first glimpse into what the next few days would look like!
Day 2: Mehendi and River Cruise
The Mehendi is a pre-wedding tradition where henna is applied to the bride. It started in the afternoon, followed by a river cruise with a lot of dancing and then dinner. The venue was a gorgeous home decorated in shades of red and pink right along the river. We ended the night with a late dinner and sparklers and fireworks. Pretty amazing official start to the wedding festivities!
Day 3: Morning Haldi Ceremony & Pre-Wedding Reception
The next morning was another gorgeous Haldi ceremony. Blessings began with turmeric paste on the face and body and rice sprinkled on top of the bride’s head. Then guests took turns pouring water on top of the bride. The morning blessings were followed by a full night of dancing at the evening reception.
Day 4: Vijayawada Tour & Evening Wedding Ceremony
We had a little bit of down time during the day, so we all went on a tour of the Vijaywada Undavalli Caves and a local temple. The final event was the actual wedding ceremony, which was a public event. They anticipated thousands of guests and there were billboards along the way to the venue inviting the city to join in the celebration.
The ceremony hall and stage was decorated in fresh flowers and there were literally rooms and rooms of food. The wedding ceremony, itself, was about 3 hours and because the bride and groom’s auspicious wedding time was 11:32 p.m., the ceremony went into the wee hours of the morning.
Congratulations, Meg and Marcel and thank you for such an amazing experience!