Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: Sangeet

Typically, the Sangeet is held a week before the ceremony, but since we had so many guests coming from out of town, out of state, and even out of the country, we decided to hold ours the night before the wedding.

Hosted by my sister in law and her family, the Sangeet is an event that includes playing the dholki (a type of drum) and singing songs that poke fun at the in-laws and my husband-to-be, as well as more serious songs about how to have a successful marriage.

We also had our Jaago during the Sangeet. Jaago literally means “wake-up.” Centuries ago, invitations were not sent to invite people to weddings. Relatives of the bride or groom would go around the village on the night before the wedding day with pots on their head that were decorated with oil candles, singing and dancing as an open invitation to attend the wedding. The candles were used for light, since this was before electricity was established. The traditional folk song sung was called “jaago”, so they would encourage people to wake-up and join in the festivities. Today, for our modern ceremony, the Jaago was brought inside and lit with battery operated candles.

These photos are from our amazing photographers, Justin and Lexi of C+I Studios (http://www.c-iphotographers.com/)

Cocktails and appetizers before the start of the Sangeet:

Decorations inside the Sangeet hall:

My father in law with one of his grand-nieces:

Near tears seeing Jay for the first time that night:

 Jay's relatives singing songs for us:

My family singing two songs written by my grandfather and great-aunt:
(there's a video of it here.)

My aunt and uncle:

Sister in law:

Cousin and uncle in-laws:



With my sister:

The image I have of my dad's smile while dancing with the Jaago will forever be one of my favorite memories.

Our Big Fat Indian Wedding: Vatna and Choora

Since I keep falling further and further behind, I'm going to limit my explanations of these events to say; the Vatna is a ceremony where family and close friends put turmeric and yogurt paste on the bride and groom, and the Choora is a ceremony where my mother-in-law and sister-in-law place my wedding bangles on me. These wedding bangles, by tradition, are supposed to be worn for 40 days - during which time the bride is not allowed to do any house work. Not a bad tradition!!