A Cast of Thousands: Day One

Preparing the dais for the wedding ceremony. The canopy is made from thousands of fresh flowers

I’m in serious escapist mode, and in today’s post I want to take us as far away as I can.

This weekend we’re meeting up with friends, a married couple with a little girl. They will be the first friends we’ve actually seen in person in over two months. I’ll finally climb out of the pair of tights I’ve been wearing since March except for when I go outdoors (and then the go-to fashion item is my surgical mask).

Our friends are from India, and that reminds me of the last really BIG social event I attended: a wedding in Mumbai back in January. I took my sister Pam to visit the bride’s mother’s uncle and his wife, and our visit coincided with the two-day celebration.

In secret I’d always wanted to be invited to an Indian wedding! The spectacle, the days of celebrating! A cast of thousands! I packed a couple dresses and a pair of heels. As you can see from the photographs, the clothes were beyond beautiful. Out of respect for privacy I’m not using any photographs that might identify people’s faces. But really these pictures are about the clothes, the venue, the amazing food, and the generosity of the hosts.

Women in saris with matching hair accessories

The bride is Farsi, the groom Hindu. The first day was the wedding ceremony. It was a small affair for immediate family and friends. All 250 of us….

The outdoor patio where the lunch buffet was served. Curtains of flowers hang over the entryway

Here are my impressions, recorded in my journal: “250 people came and went, waiters circulated with appetizers and drinks (vegetarian and non-alcoholic as it was a religious ceremony). A huge vegetarian lunch buffet was set up outside.

The chairs were all covered in white with purple and saffron yellow sashes tied on the backs. These matched the flower canopy over the dais. The canopy had been made of elaborate long drapes of thousands of fresh flowers.

The Hindu men’s turbans matched the bows on the chairs. Really a wild parade of colors. Gorgeous!

The wedding party sat on a dais and the rituals went on for two hours. Sadly, the professional photographers blocked the view most of that time. What I could glimpse was chanting, reading of sacred texts, the tossing of rice and flower petals, a fire lit towards the end of the religious ceremony. A yellow sash was tied to bind the bride and groom to one another. They then walked (circling) numerous times around the fire. Both sets of parents were seated on either side, the sisters too. All took part in the rituals.”

My next post will describe the second day and the evening portion of the wonderful wedding celebration.

NOTES: The clothes were incredible. Pam and I were seriously underdressed, luckily not shamefully underdressed. Everyone made us feel welcomed! Text © Jadi Campbell 2020. Photos © Jadi Campbell and Pamela Campbell.

To see Uwe’s pics from our trips go to viewpics.de.

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7 thoughts on “A Cast of Thousands: Day One”

  1. Jadi, what a fabulous event. Talk about a wedding to remember! I’ve only attended one Indian wedding, many years ago, and I was struck not just by its opulence, but also by its intimacy. And you’re right – the gowns were gorgeous and I definitely felt underdressed. 🙂 All the best, Terri

      1. We were living in London at the time, and one of my coworkers invited me to her wedding. It was a joy to see her in that context because I only knew her as a buttoned-up business woman. It was an amazing experience. ~Terri

  2. This sounds like an amazing experience. I love India for the exuberance and the colours! We (kind of) went to an Indian wedding – they were parading the groom along the street dancing and singing and we were invited to join in and attend. So exciting.
    Alison

    1. Everyone was so nice to us – I still can’t believe I actually got to attend such a beautiful wedding. I don’t know of many places (any?) that match India as you say for the exuberance and the colors.

  3. this is stunning, what an amazing amount of beauty. i would so love to be invited to an indian wedding and can’t wait to see more through your eyes.

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