Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: Mehendi Party

Thursday night, our aunts hosted a mehendi party, where our friends and family were able to get small mehendi motifs.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: The Final Countdown

Four days before the wedding, we headed down to Jay's parent's house in Germantown MD.

We got up early the next morning to get our marriage license,

...and get pedicures with my mom, her best friend, and my mother and sister in-laws (I'm so sad I can't find the photo with us all together!):

While we were at the nail salon, I also took the opportunity to get my arms waxed for my bridal mehendi. I've never had my arms waxed before, and it was surprisingly not painful, though I felt weirdly naked afterward.

Later in the day, my mehendi artist came over to do my bridal mehendi, as well as some mehendi for my mother and sister-in-law. 

Since applying the bridal mehendi is actually a traditional ceremony preceding the wedding, I had to wear a head covering for the first portion of the application:
We started the process with my feet:
...And then moved to one arm...

In between appendages, was a few breaks, a lot of drying time, and mehendi for my mother and sister in law. My mother in law's hands:
Toward the end of the application, some of my family visiting from out of town showed up, and then shortly after, my bridesmaid Amy arrived after driving ten hours (!!!!) from Nashville. (From left to right: my mom, my mehendi artist, me, my sister-in-law, my mom's cousin, and my mom's best friend)

Overall, the entire application took about three hours (not including breaks) -- it turned out incredible, and was well worth it though! That night, I fell asleep with the drying mehendi which mostly stayed in tact overnight, minus a few flakes. In the morning, I sat on the front steps of my in-law's house and used a butterknife to literally scrape the remnants off. It was a wonderful, peaceful, solitary moment, early in the morning, with only the chirping birds for company. It was nice to have some alone time, for just a few minutes, and soak up the feelings leading up to our marriage.

After scraping off all the chunks of henna and showering off the remnants, we headed down to Virginia for a final meeting with our venue coordinator (or as I like to refer to her, our "badass wedding ninja savior angel.")

Afterward, Jenn arrived from NY and my mom and mom-in-law helped me work on some finishing touches for one of my dresses (aka major alterations aka panic-inducing sewing crunch-time.) We got most of it done, and then we all spent the remainder of the afternoon getting ready for our mehendi party.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: The Planning Process and Bachelorette Party

In between the Chunni ceremony in October and the wedding week in May, was a lot of planning. Fortunately, I LOVE planning.

There were invitations to collaborate on:

...and address:

Dresses to design:
Decorations and menus to pick out for THREE different parties, and important decisions to make such as: Which linens should we use? Do we want gold chargers? Or silver? Which cover should go over the palki?
And amid all the chaos, I started a new job based out of Times Square and we moved from Bed Stuy to Williamsburg. We were (are) so lucky to have wonderfully loving friends and family who helped us out along the way. We definitely couldn't have done it all without them.
In April, despite my protests, Jenn threw me an amazing surprise bachelorette party with an overnight stay at the cutest hotel in the Rockaways; Playland Motel. It was perfectly low-key with some of my favorite ladies.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: Engagement and Chunni Ceremony

Jay proposed to me in June of 2014 by recreating our first date; we had drinks at Elsa in the E.Village, followed by Banh Mi sandwiches from Vicky's eaten in the pedestrian median on Houston and Ave B.

This is a google street view of the spot where he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

(Facing east)
(Facing west)
Jay planned out every detail, from having a car pick me up from our apartment in Brooklyn to drive me to the date, to reserving the exact table where we sat on our first date, and researching the Vietnamese restaurant to make sure it was still open. As I hugged him after saying "yes", cars drove by and honked, and someone even yelled "congratulations!" from their car window. Afterward, we walked back to Elsa for another round of drinks and lots of calls to our family and friends to share the news. Then we headed back to brooklyn to celebrate with my best friend Jenn, who would later be one of my bridesmaids.

(We just got engaged! But first, let me take a selfie.)

After the engagement, Jay surprised me (and She-Ra) yet again with a weekend at a beautiful dog-friendly B&B upstate to celebrate some more.

A few months later, we had our chunni ceremony, which is a Sikh ceremony that symbolizes our official engagement. "Chunni" is the head covering worn by Indian women, and the ceremony involves Jay's family giving me one along with a matching outfit, matching makeup, bindhis, bangles, and basically the whole nine yards. There are also some symbolic rituals like being fed dried fruit, nuts with a silver foil, and other Indian sweets.

My Mom and Jay prepping flowers:

Decorating for the ceremony:

The religious portion of the ceremony:
My dad feeding Jay almonds:Jay's mom putting the chunni on me:Engaged! v2.0


And photos with the future in-laws: