For day two of Tina and Chris’ destination wedding in Italy, the couple and families celebrated with a Shaadi, or Indian wedding. It was important that the newlyweds incorporate both of their heritages into the weekend and wedding. Tina explains: “We wanted the weekend to include Italian, Indian and English touches so we had our work cut out for us.”
“The next day was the Shaadi, or the Indian wedding. After breakfast, we held a mehndi and mimosas party for the ladies. We had two professional henna artists come to apply the mehndi and also brought mimosas, Indian snacks, bangles and bindhis for the girls.”
“In the evening around 5pm was when the baraat started. A dhol player led Chris and all of the men from the top of the hill down to the castle gardens, where my family and friends were waiting. My mother performed a traditional “aarti” or prayer and then they were led to the castle garden and into the mandap. After several rituals including a “milni” where family members from the two sides are introduced to each other by the placing of garlands, the castle doors opened and I stepped out, along with my brother, 2 male cousins, and my uncle.”
“I heard gasps all around me when everyone saw me. I hardly recognized myself! I was wearing a very heavy traditional burgundy and cream Indian bridal lengha and jewelry purchased from Delhi.”
“After the Indian ceremony officiated by the Hindu Priest, we were led to the herb garden for cocktail hour and an Indian buffet dinner. I wanted the Indian day to be full of bright colors as Indian culture is colorful and loud by nature. I was sincerely touched by how much effort all of the guests made to buy and wear Indian outfits for the event. They bought, rented and borrowed to embrace the Indian wedding.”
“On the dinner table, we had green table clothes and peach and fuschia napkins along with giant gold lanterns and fuschia and peach rose petals as well as typical Indian jeweled boxes as wedding favours that my aunts brought from Delhi.”
“After the dinner, the dhol player led everyone to the Stable for the Indian reception. The normally rustic stable was now covered with colorful drapes and silk flowers and bathed in fuschia and purple light. My mother and aunts had spent all morning decorating the stable in true “desi” style. A series of choreographed dances are usually involved in Indian receptions, and we had a surprise in store for everyone. Back in London, we had organized Bollywood dance lessons for our bridal party by a professional choreographer. The 8 of us had actually practiced relentlessly in parks and studios around London to perfect a 6 minute medley of popular Bollywood hits. We had practiced so much, and we were so excited to perform it although I admit it was not as easy in my heavy bridal lengha!”
“After our dance, my brother and friend also performed a surprise dance for me and ended up bringing Chris on stage to perform with them! He had learned the sequence that afternoon and I have to say I was really impressed. My aunt and uncle also performed a dance along with my bridesmaid from New York. It was so much fun – I’m not sure if I ever laughed or cheered so much in my life. After the dances by our family and friends, we had professional Bollywood dancers perform. We danced the night away for a second time, this time Bollywood style!”
And last but not least, tomorrow we celebrate with Chris and Tina during their English wedding. Stay tuned for more from this amazing Italian destination I do!
Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Destination Wedding Photographer: David Bastianoni
Wedding Vendors: Videographer: Screenshot Productions, Stationery: Nooney Art, Wedding Coordinator: Katia Mastrandrea, Lighting: Marco from Audio Visual, Location: Castello di Meleto, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, Indian Entertainment: Apsara Bollywood, Indian Dinner: Lodovichi Catering, Floral Design: Il Bouquet, DJ: DJ Fabio Dex