The groom, Tanuj. (01/19/07)
The wedding schedule did pose some logistic challenges, the first being the time of day. It was scheduled for a Friday evening at 4:30 p.m. That alone wasn't too bad, were it not for the fact that the wedding was in Mission Hills, nearly 70 miles away from where I work in Irvine.
Anyone who knows Southern California traffic can attest that a trip from Irvine to Mission Hills on a Friday evening will easily take two hours. And it did, too! Fortunately I was carpooling with two other co-workers, so at least we entertained ourselves by talking the whole way up.
The bride, Shilpa. (01/19/07)
I'm really glad I made the effort to go, however. The ceremony was so beautiful and colorful. I learned so much. The wedding itself was held completely in Sanskrit, although they did hand out a program in English that explained every ritual, like when the mother of the bride presents gifts to the groom, the exchanging of garlands between the bride and groom, and walking around a small fire pit several times, some with the groom leading, and others with the bride leading. Very interesting.
The newlyweds. (01/19/07)
The actual ceremony was much longer than typical American weddings. It lasted two full hours by the time everything began. Afterward there was a cocktail hour where they served snacks and had an open bar. It was during this period that the bulk of the people started showing up. While there were no more than 50 people at the wedding itself, there were easily 200 at the reception!
About to cut the cake. (01/19/07)
The actual reception started a little later than planned. Once inside, the family members were introduced, many of which offered toasts. Afterward there was an Indian dancer who came out. By the time I realized they were serving food, there was a line that spanned the entire room! By the time I served my plate, it was practically 11:00 pm!
They had a ton of great Indian food. (01/19/07)
It was a long night to be sure, but it was also fascinating! I loved it and would go again in a heartbeat. Congratulations Tanuj and Shilpa!