We went to our first village wedding a week or so ago. Weddings here are a huge undertaking. Lots of money is spent on food, dowry, cloths, jewelry, ect. I decided instead of trying to write about it, I would post a photo blog. So here is the wedding day in pictures:
The girl in the corner is the bride. Mom got to ride to the village on the back of a motorcycle, while I walked. This was before I arrived. For most of the day, the bride sat in this corner as different women came in to see her. Half way through the day, she turned and faced the wall with her back to all the women. She told me she was very nervous about the day. Her eyes were constantly on the verge of tears.
Men cooking lots of tandoori roti(bread that is made in a clay pit type thing). Hundreds of guests came and ate for the wedding.
Eating buffalo, bread, and rice(so tasty!) My friends also made me wear this bring lipstick, apparently my make-up was lacking a bit.
The groom arriving on a horse. He is covered in flowers and surrounded by drums and his family, announcing his coming.
The man with the short beard is our neighbor who invited us to his distant relative's daughter's wedding.
The groom's family and guy friends are wearing the orange scarves. They meet the bride's family and place flowers around their necks.
Exchanging greetings and flowers.
The groom on his decorated horse.
Everyone eagerly watching the groom's arrival.
Mom and I were given flowers.
Our neighbor's son and his cousin.
Some dressed up cuties on the groom's side.
The groom surrounded by women in his family and gifts.
The Mullah(a muslim man educated in Islamic law and theology) performing the Nikah(the wedding ceremony) with the groom.
Mom and me :)
The Mullah performs the Nikah separately with the bride. She is behind the sheet.
Men in with the groom.
The Mullah recited the Quran in the groom's room.
Men listening to the Mullah reciting the Quran.
There is a huge break here (maybe 2 hours), in which we went to the Ganges river with the family who invited us. That is a blog post all on it's own. Ryan and I would both rate that experience as the most fun we have had with an Indian family here. Such a fun time. So after playing at the river for a while, we returned as the bride was getting ready to leave. I think the bride was getting ready during the time we were gone.
In Indian culture almost all weddings are arranged. This means that a girl is leaving her family to join a new family that she usually doesn't know. She has grown up surrounded by her family, many times sleeping in the same room with her sisters and so leaving is a very sad time for her. The bride here is sobbing as she says good-bye to her family members. It was so sad.
The groom is standing in the middle with the black outfit on. He waits as his new bride clings to her family.
After a while, the bride was sobbing so hard one of her relatives picked her up to take her and put her in the car.
The bride and groom are both in the car, but at this point have still not spoken or seen one another. They will return to the groom's parent's home, where they will meet for the first time as husband and wife.
The car is packed full of the groom's family.
There they go, my heart broke a little for this young bride and she left everything she has ever known. She will visit her family in a few days, but everything will change for her. She will now spend her days as a wife and most of her time with be spent with her new mother-in-law and sisters....
I pray God blesses their marriage and their family and makes them a blessing to those with whom they live.