Bits and pieces from an Indian wedding. Day 1 included the mehendi ceremony. Here are more sketches from different events.
As you entered the wedding hall everyday there’s always a lineup of beautifully dressed women handing out strings of jasmine (and conveniently, bobby pins) to put in your hair. The woman who is second from the right holds an attar dispenser that she lightly sprays you with as you walk by. Hanging from the ceiling are lotus blooms and in the doorway is a banana tree: leaves, flower and fruit.
What I was struck by was how many priests there were at every ceremony. This little ensemble was perhaps a third of the priests who performed a ceremony: No bride and groom involved in this bit, it was the gods being married. The ceremonies involved a lot of chanting, ghee and flowers. The head priest (seated by the fire, facing front) was the only one in a colored veshti . The rest of the priests wore white silk veshtis. Everyone of them wore a sacred thread across their bare chests.
More priests from a different ceremony. Both the boys and the girls family had their own retinue of priests performing parallel (but slightly different) ceremonies. This is a part of the lineup I could see from where I stood during a long ceremony. The bright inverted paper cones contain offerings of sweets.
And this last sketch is actually after the wedding, but the only one in which I captured the bride and groom. This is a part of a smallish ceremony performed when the married couple first come home. After 4 days of non-stop ceremonies and literally thousands of people to meet and greet, I was amazed that the bride still smiled through it all.