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Our first indian wedding

When you think of Indian weddings, pictures of colourful decorations, beautiful wedding Sarees and a mass of people come to your head. Out of the narratives of other people, I also heard of tons of food and jolly dancing but also of arranged marriages, superficial relationships and bridal couples that take pictures in separate rooms. Because our volunteer service is slowly coming to an end, we have already pushed aside the idea of participating in an Indian wedding. But we were wrong with that. On the 19th of January, we were lucky enough to put our Sarees on one more time and could attend a Christian Indian wedding. 

First we went to church where everyone could find a seat and was waiting for the bride to arrive. In front of the church there were some musicians that played some typical Tamil instruments which made it look or should I say sound very traditional. As the bride walked down the aisle accompanied by her family, close friends, flower girls and the pastors, we were able to look at her beautiful wedding Saree with the long drag behind her. Unfortunately, there was not the known “first look”, because the groom sat with his back to her. Magdalena and I could not understand everything about the service and the wedding ceremony, as it all took place in Tamil. There were numerous priests and church boards there, which I am not used to from Germany. But still it was not that different from a wedding in Germany. The vows were taken, we sang some songs and the bride could give the ring to her groom. Interestingly, the groom has put on a chain for his bride instead of a ring. He has to knot the leather strap three times, and the closure of the chain can then be replaced with a gold chain after three days. Also, the Registration took place during the wedding ceremony, which I never heard of before. 

After the act in the church, everyone could drink juice and eat snacks while gathering in the reception hall. During this time, the bride changed into another wedding outfit and then came to the hall to take pictures with every guest. And I can tell this queue was long. The stage was decorated with flowers, cheesy decorations and many lights. Despite the sofa, the bridal couple had to stand for hours and smile at the camera until all the guests were there, congratulated, took photos and handed over the gifts. While they had to “suffer” all the guests could go eat. To my surprise, I was told that not only invited wedding guests eat there, but also other people that just sneaked in. And if you're wondering, the bridal couple isn't famous, but it's normal in India for distant relatives and friends to come to the wedding. In contrast to Germany, where usually only the most intimate guests come, it is a completely different concept. In addition, we were told that what was given by whom is partly written down so that you can give a gift with the same value at the opposite wedding invitation. The eating area was divided into vegetarian meals and nonvegetarian meals. Even though Magdalena and I couldn't eat together with the other chicken biriyani in the big room, we had lots of different dishes to choose from in the outside veg-area. 

The advantage of such big weddings is that no one realizes when the guests leave ;). While the bridal couple was still tied to the stage to take photos, we went and were grateful for many new impressions. Magdalena and I were able to check off another thing from our bucket list what we wanted to experience in India.

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