If there’s one thing that is for sure it’s that Malta is a country which is able to host weddings coming from different cultures and traditions, including the stunning Indian weddings.
Indian weddings tend to last for an average of three days. The first night would see the priest performing the ganesh pooja. The ceremony takes place at home where only the couple, the bridal party and also close relatives are allowed to attend. The second day is started off with the mehndi ceremony where the bride and her female friends, family members and esteemed guests will get their hands and feet covered in henna patterns. On the same evening the sangeet takes place where guests are invited to the wedding and get introduced to the couple’s families and enjoy some food as well as dance their nights away. The third and last day sees the main ceremony taking space including a cocktail hour and a reception.
If you’re not Indian or at least accustomed to the Indian culture and you are invited to such a wedding you will see a whole new way of celebrating this special day. You’ll get to experience the baraat or the grooms procession. Here the groom comes in on a decorated white horse and the guests circle him dancing to the beat of the dhal, an Indian drum. Following this the ritual continues with the greeting of the groom by the bride and her family and the exchanges of flower garlands as a symbol of each other’s acceptance.
When it comes to the wedding ceremony itself, you will get to see a whole other different approach where the priest, bride, groom, as well as their parents stay beneath the mandap, a construction similar to a canopy. The ceremony starts by the kanya daan act where the parents of the bride give her away and so the couple holds hands and goes around a small fires as part of the ritual - mangal phera. The couple will take the seven steps, similar to what we know as vows where they say how they will support each other and live a happy married life. Closing off the ceremony, the groom would apply a spot of red powder on the bride’s forehead and tie a black beaded necklace around her neck - the symbol of a married woman.
So if you have the pleasure of being invited to an Indian wedding be open to experience a whole new dimension to the start of a married life. Also wear a lot of bright and bold coloured clothing - you will most definitely fit right in!
It wouldn't be the first time a bride asks someone she trusts and loves to be her bridesmaid and something happens that causes the bride and her chosen bridesmaid to drift apart. This is why you need to make sure the people you're asking to be part of your bridal party are there to stay. But how could you know this for sure? What do you need to ask yourself?
First you need to make sure you know why you want these people in your bridal party. While some options are obvious, especially when involving your sister or sisters-in-law, others might seem forced. You might believe that because you've known someone for a long time, or because they chose you to be part of their bridal party, you owe it to them to include them in your own wedding preparations. At the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding day and so it is YOUR choice as to whom will get the chance to accompany you on your special day.
Moreover, when including your friends as part of the bridal party, you need to analyse their character and how able they are to handle stress and let go when an argument occurs. If you know someone is hot headed, has a tendency of bailing on you, or does not have the slightest of clues as to how to compromise, then you might want to opt out of choosing them to be part of your bridal party. On top of this, if you can tell someone won't be in your life for the long haul, then do you really want them to be in all the preparations, photos and videos of your special day? But then again, many times it is hard to predict the future.
Another thing you need to make sure of is this: do you think all the members of the bridal party can get along together? If you know two or more of the members don't agree on anything and just love to pick at each other, then it might be an option to opt out of having both of them in the group. Additionally, do take note on the groom's wishes and make sure the members of the bridal party get along with him well enough.
Finally, make sure that the people you choose will be willing to contribute to the planning and can help you out when you get stuck. If you know someone won't manage to be a helping hand, you might want to look elsewhere.
By Nicole Borg