- posted by Jennifer
- Just before Thanksgiving, The Memory Journalists photographed Racheal and Rochan's wedding ceremonies and reception. Yep, you read that right...ceremonies. They had a traditional South Indian Tamil Hindu Wedding ceremony in the morning followed by a Fijian Indian Hindu Wedding ceremony in the evening here in Sacramento. The formal reception was held the following evening in San Francisco. Their wedding blog post will be broken up into 4 parts, as there are just too many photos for a single post. It was hard to just narrow it down to few hundred.
The team of vendors for the multi-day event was fabulous. The following is specific to the morning ceremony and I'll be sure to list each outstanding group of vendors in each post.
- Kelly, Teresa and I arrived at 7am and things were already in full swing. Shaadi by Shivam arrived the night before to start the setup of the Mandapam and the decor.
- Praveen was on hand to put the finishing touches on the decor.
- We found Racheal in her finishing stages of getting ready. Her gown was given to her by Rochan's mom, Priyamvada, and her jewelry was designed by Tanvy Exotics in Sacramento.
- Rukhsana is the most amazing makeup artist! Wait until you see how she changes Racheal's look throughout the weekend.
- Mendhi Henna Bridal Parties was responsible for the great artwork on Racheal's hands and feet. I didn't include any of the Henna party photos in this post since I had already revealed a sneak peak on Facebook.
- As guests arrived, they were treated to a full breakfast from Mylapore. The guests were again treated to lunch by Mylapore at the end of the ceremony.
- Rochan's family started to gather at the entrance of the ballroom. I'm going to do my best to use some of the traditional terms and describe the ceremony.
Maapillai Azhaippu: Racheal's family welcomed Rochan and performed Arati before entering the ballroom. Rochan then led the procession to the Mandapam.
- Invocation and Vradam: the Priest conducted several rituals with Rochan as he took his vows to enter married life.
- Soaked grains were distributed in mud pots starting with Rochan's Mom Priyamvada and Racheal's Mom Raj Kali, followed by many other family members.
- Kaasi Yaatrai: Rochan goes on a pilgramage with a walking stick, sandals, a book from Racheal's family, and an umbrella. As the tradition goes, Racheal's father requests Rochan to not go to Kaasi and offers his daughter's hand in marriage. I loved seeing that the book was Micheal Lewis's The Big Short - a very good book!
- Maalai Maathal: At this point, Racheal was brought forward where she had been waiting outside the ballroom.
- Both Racheal and Rochan were lifted by Uncles and Brothers and playfully tried to garland each other while the other is raised higher. Rochan gave Racheal the thumbs up that she was a success. They then made their way together towards the Oonjal (swing). All the family surrounded the bride and groom and thankfully Kelly is tall enough to capture a few of these photographs. Teresa and I were buried behind taller guests.
- Oonjal: Racheal and Rochan sit and swing which is symbolic of facing life together from now on. Priyamvada, Rochan's mom starts the tradition of wiping the couples feet with milk, sandalwood and kumkum. Racheal and Rochan are offered fruit and milk. This ritual is performed by many family members.
- Rice balls are then used to ward off evil from the couple. We made sure to dodge the rice balls as they were thrown in a variety of directions. Some of the married ladies, including both moms, circled the couple sitting in the swing with with a lamp, holy water, and grains and fruit.
- Maangalyadhaaranam: Racheal sits on her father's lap as Rochan places Mangal Sutra around Racheal's neck.
- Paanigrahanam: Taking's Racheal's hand, Rochan recites the sacred mantra indicating good fortune and their oneness.
- Saptapadi (Seven Steps) and Ammi Midithal (Stepping on the Stone): The Vows taken with Seven Steps around the Sacred Fire is symbolic of the joint journey of life, seeking the blessings of God to grant food, strength, dutiful life, happiness, wealth, favorable seasons and Vedic Dharma. At the end, Racheal steps on the stone to show her strength and firmness of her love and conviction.
- Laaja and Sesha Homan: Offerings of grains to the Sacred Fire symbolize prosperity and long life for Racheal and Rochan.
Maha Aasheervaadam: The couple is showered by rice and flowers from the elders as a blessing.
- Mangala Aarathi: Priyamvada and Raj Kali (both moms) offer blessings which conclude the Vedic part of the ceremony.
- Nalangu: Playful games (knowing Racheal and Rochan I should say playful competitions) end the ceremony. I won't say who I was rooting for!
- This is the final moment of the morning ceremony. Time to start prepping for the evening ceremony....and blog post #2 coming soon.