Wedding Weekend Part One – The Traditional Indian Celebrations

Good afternoon, friends!  I have been away from the blogging world for a few days living it up in Chicago.  We got back yesterday afternoon and had a wonderful time at our friends’ wedding.  I can’t wait to show you the pictures of their beautiful day!

Friday night we took the train into the city, quickly got ready in our hotel room, and took a cab over to the J. W. Marriott for the Friday night festivities.  The groom is Indian, and their tradition is to have a big party Friday night with all guests invited.  There is lots of food, drinking, and TONS of dancing.  In this case, there was lots of circle dancing.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that some of the dances kept doing the same “move” going around a circle for almost forty-five minutes.  Talk about stamina!

Saturday morning was the Hindu ceremony.  Traditionally the groom rides a white elephant to his bride to begin the ceremony.  Renting a white elephant is not the easiest or cheapest thing in Chicago (I want to say it was $40,000) so many men choose alternatives, like driving a white Mustang or riding a white horse.  Nilay, the groom, chose the latter; although his uncle did say he could purchase an elephant in India for only $30,000.  Can you imagine what the shipping costs would be?!?!  A block of La Salle right next to the J. W. Marriott was closed down so that Nilay could ride his horse and all of his family and friends could dance alongside of him.  We caused quite the scene and had many random tourists standing around watching the wedding guests dance to the live music.

Aren’t all of the colors so vibrant and beautiful?  (Please be prepared for overuse of the word beautiful in this post).  The primary colors of the wedding were hot pink, silver, and black, so the men were all given pink scarves to wear, the groomsmen wore hot pink knock-off Ray Bans, and as you’ll see tomorrow, there are lots of pink accents in the Christian ceremony and reception.

Don’t the boys look great in pink?

After dancing our way down La Salle, the guests and wedding party headed inside the hotel to a ballroom for the traditional Indian ceremony.  All of the parts of the ceremony are very symbolic, and the wedding program explained the significance of each.

Following the ceremony, guests were led to another ballroom for lunch.  Multiple buffets were set up with Indian food; I tried a little of almost everything the first time through and went back for more naan and lamb.

With that amazing picture of delciousness, I will end Part One of this wedding recap.  I’ll finish the wedding (with more BEAUTIFUL pictures to come) tomorrow.

Also, on a side note, I dropped the wordpress from my URL – yeah!!!!  Now you can access my blog as just http://pintofgoals.com.   Look for more fun changes in the next couple months (being on summer break = more time for blog improvements).

Have a great Monday night!

Questions:
Have you been to a non-Christian wedding?
What did you do this weekend?
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