*Fair warning: I wrote a lot in this post!*
After the amazing day before, I figured I'd need an extra dose of caffeine to keep up with all the excitement at the wedding (turns out I didn't really; I was just so happy to be there that I had an adrenaline rush that lasted almost the whole day)! For as beautiful and colourful and elaborate as the wedding was, the moment that really stuck out to me was during the ceremony, when Ruchi and Dave read their vows to each other, all the stresses of the day seemed to just melt away, leaving them to just be two grinning, giddy kids madly in love with each other!
There were so many amazing elements of the day (coordinated amazingly by my lovely fried, Elizabeth, of Lowe House Creative!), but the three I want to point out are the Baraat/Welcome Ceremony, the wedding ceremony itself, and the Hora to end all Horas!
The Baraat is the procession of the groom and his family and friends to the wedding. Traditionally, the groom rides a decorated horse (or elephant! or bicycle! or helicopter!) while his friends and family dance around him. Since it would have been a bit difficult to ride and dance through the streets of San Francisco, instead they did a big loop in front of the Galleria. Some of the men from Ruchi's side taught the men from Dave's family some dance moves, and the whole thing was amazing and so much fun to watch!
Once the procession "arrived" at the Galleria, Dave and his family entered to be welcomed by Ruchi's family. Her mother fed each of them and showered them with rice and flower petals and officially welcomed each of them to her family while her other family members exchanged floral garlands with Dave's family members. The ceremony itself was fairly simple, but so powerful! A lot of us cried while watching, and I still tear up thinking about it.
The Wedding Ceremony:
During their engagement, they worked thoroughly with their rabbi (who had already performed Dave's siblings' weddings as well as all of their B'nai Mitzvah) to create a ceremony (which they lovingly dubbed their "HinJew" wedding) that combined and honoured their cultures' traditions (Hindu and Jewish) and reflected them as a modern couple. And they pulled it off beautifully (or reals, Kristen has shot a ton of weddings with me, and this was the first one she cried at)!
I was amazed at how similar some of the traditions seemed to be and how much overlap their was. Both traditions had the couple marry under a canopy (Hindu: Mandap; Jewish: Chuppah), and the number 7 was significant in both (Hindu: Saptapadi- seven steps around the holy fire; Jewish: Sheva B'rachot- seven blessings). Everyone else got into the spirit of the combining cultures, too, which I thought was most evident in their attire, with Ruchi's uncles wearing yarmulkes and Dave's family wearing saris and kurtas.
Ok, anyone who's been reading my blog for a while probably knows I love me a good Hora! What made this one especially amazing was that
A) there were probably around 200 people in this one (at least!),
B) this time the parents of the couple were also hoisted up on chairs, and
C) Ruchi's mum was hilarious when she was hoisted up, and her smile conveyed pure joy (and maybe a little terror)!
Ok, I could go on and on about this wedding, but I'm going to let my photos do the rest of the talking!
To Ruchi and Dave: Just, wow. What an incredible story, and I'm so honoured to have been a part of it. Wishing you two a life this amazing (ok, punctuated with a few quiet moments here and there)!
Check out their engagement photos here.
Check out their Mehndi photos here.
Check out their Sangeet photos here.