Thursday, June 21, 2012
I shared photos of Central Park and the High Line, but the real reason I was in New York this spring was for a wedding.
The wedding was for Shagun and Gaurav - the bride being a friend of my friend Matt who took me as his plus one. Shagun and Gaurav live in NYC, but are both originally from India and chose to have a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. I was treated to a whole weekend full of celebrating like I had never experienced before.
Indian weddings are truly spectacular - the celebratory atmosphere, the colorful garments and elaborate jewelry, the delicious food, the music - all of it fabulous. The schedule included three full days of ceremonies and celebrating. Due to our travel arrangements, Matt and I missed a few of the events (I was disappointed that I didn't get to have my hands tattooed with henna during the Mehndi). We did get to attend the end of the Sangeet the day before the wedding which included lots of dancing and music and delicious food and cocktails at the Eventi Hotel.
The day of the wedding began with a Chura ceremony in the morning (which Matt and I accidently slept through due to a late night of drinking the evening before!). The wedding itself started with the Baraat - the procession of the groom to the wedding ceremony on horseback. The wedding was held at the Grand Hyatt New York - sandwiched between the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal right smack in the heart of Midtown. Needless to say, witnessing an Indian groom riding a horse down East 42nd Street in Manhattan was quite a site to see!
All the wedding guests (and plenty of tourists) gathered outside to watch the procession:
The groom was hoisted onto the horse:
The groom's adorable nephew was hoisted up, too:
There was much celebrating in the streets, and lots of curious onlookers...
...as the groom proceeded down 42nd street on horseback:
My favorite part was the dhol drummer:
You couldn't help but dance to the beat:
Everyone was celebrating:
Except for the horse, who was a bit stubborn:
The wedding procession then moved into the lobby of the hotel (minus the horse), up the escalators, and into the reception space with everyone dancing to the beat of the drum along the way.
Stay tuned to see the bride and photos from the wedding ceremony...