In case you missed Day 1 of this Epic Indian Wedding, check out our post here! We continued the fun on the next day in a different location. Our Day 2 of Mallika and Josh’s summer wedding was more of the traditional, colorful Indian wedding that we’re used to seeing. It was a huge learning opportunity for us, and made us wonder why more weddings don’t have guests dancing as a performance for the bride and groom!
Indian wedding days start earrrrrly. I’m pretty sure Mallika was still in bed when Megan Oliveri knocked on her door at 6am and rightfully so after the party the night before! The getting ready portion of this morning was probably the most stressful part of the whole wedding weekend due to some missing jewelry.
Indian brides are generally decked out from head to toe in layers and layers of gold jewelry. Unfortunately, due to the chaos of moving from one venue to the next the night before, Mallika was missing her whole box of bridal jewelry. When she and her mom had felt they looked everywhere, they settled for borrowing some jewelry from another family member. It was a stressor and a bummer for sure, but Mallika still was a gorgeous bride decked out in red and gold.
Funnily enough, we found the jewelry late the next day, as they were checking out of the hotel. Guess where it was? Underneath her traditional white wedding gown that she wore for the very first ceremony. Go figure.
Even with an Indian wedding, you can still have first looks! We really wanted to keep them cool because it was in the Charlotte summer heat, but we found a beautiful quiet (and symmetric!) spot outdoors in the shade!
The Baraat marks the beginning of the wedding ceremony and is full of music and dancing to indicate a
celebration is about to begin! 🎉🎉🎉
Traditionally, the groom will ride in on a white horse, but modern weddings often substitute fancy cars or, in this case, a white Harley! Sometimes there will even be elephants! (PS, hire us if you get an elephant)
Family and friends lead the way to the wedding all while dancing and cheering. A DJ and/or Dhol (drum) players bring lots of energy and sometimes this procession can go on for hours depending on the enthusiasm of the crowd. One of the Dhol players was actually one of Mallika’s past students!
When the group reaches the venue, the bride’s family will meet the groom and his family by lighting an arthi (lamp) and applying a tikka to the groom’s forehead before escorting him to the mandap (altar).
I think the Baraat was easily our favorite part of Mallika and Josh’s wedding day(s), because when else do you get to party down the street with a Tesla blaring Indian music out of it’s trunk? For us, it isn’t that often 😜This was SUCH an energetic way to start the day, and even in the summer, it was still our favorite part of this colorful Indian wedding.
The traditional wedding ceremony (one of many events) takes place under a canopy known as a Mandap with intricate pillars ornately decorated with fabrics and florals. Indian weddings may be long (2+ hours), but they are steeped with tradition and meaning.
In the middle of the Mandap is the sacred fire so that the priest and couple can provide religious offerings to the flames throughout the ceremony.
The most significant part of the wedding ceremony according to Mallika is the Saptapdi (Seven Steps). Josh and Mallika take seven steps (or laps around the fire) to signify the start of their new life together. Each step represents a vow to each other.
At the end of the ceremony, the priest, parents, elders, and all other guests present shower Josh and Mallika with rice to wish them good fortune in their new life together.
After the ceremony, everyone takes a break for a few hours (what!?) before returning to party at the reception. Everyone gets a chance to rest and redone-up for the next big celebration! Again, the reception is full of performances by family and friends as well as lots of dancing. For this portion of the night, Mallika donned this gorgeous navy, disco ball dress and Josh was looking very James Bond in his tux.
Indian Weddings often have friends and family performing traditional and fun dances for the bride and groom to show their love! Mallika and Josh’s bridesmaids and groomsmen practiced for months before the summer wedding came so they could pull off this colorful dance to traditional Indian music.
Vendor Team for Day 2:
Venue: Canopy by Hilton South Park | Catering: 9 Spices and Blue Taj | Cake: Lula’s Bakery | DJ: Carolina Elite | Hair and Makeup: Megan Oliveri Artistry | Henna: Mehndi By Nadia | Videography: William Avery Photography | Décor: SS Event Services & Party Rentals
Party of Two Photography
Charlotte, North Carolina