Let me start this post by saying I am going to be posting a lot of photos, and not only because this wedding was a 3 day affair, or because we love the brightness and colorfulness of Indian weddings but also because the couple is absolutely gorgeous!! They look like they walked straight of a set of a Hollywood movie, with Deelan being tall and handsome and Rashmika petite and beautiful!
Rashmika and Deelan’s wedding started on a Friday with a cleansing ceremony at Rashmika’s parents home. For our non-hindu couples I am going to be posting a short description of each ceremony as found on the Indian brides website (www.indianbrides.co.za) because Hindu wedding ceremonies is so beautiful and rich with symbolism and culture.
This is a cleansing/purification ritual that is celebrated a day before the wedding day. A haldi (turmeric) paste is applied on the brides skin by female friends and relatives. Traditionally, a Hindi bride has to wear yellow colored clothes (Sari) for the haldi ceremony. Haldi (turmeric) has healing properties as well as it nourishes the skin and leaves the bride radiant on her wedding day.
The ceremony commences with a series of rituals which is performed by the bride and her parents and close relatives.
The following items are used when performing the rituals: Fresh flowers signifies beauty; Coconut signifies fertility; Rice, jaggery and other grains signifies the food necessary for sustenance of human life; Ghee (purified butter) to feed the sacred fire; Sindhoor (vermilion) red powder used for marking the forehead of the bride to signify marriage (suhaagin).
Agni Puja (evocation of the holy fire): The priest sets up a small fire in a hawan kund (cooper bowl). Agni (fire) symbolises the illumination of mind, knowledge and happiness. The rest of the ceremony is conducted around the fire.
Shilarohana (stepping on the stone): The bride places her right foot on a grindstone symbolizing that she will be a strong support system for her husband when faced with adversities. She will stand by his side in difficulty.
Laja homa (putting parched rice into the sacred fire): Three offerings of parched rice is made to the sacred fire. The brother of the bride fills the bride’s hands with the rice, half of which slips into the bridegroom’s hand. While sacred mantras are chanted the bride prays to Yama, the God of Death, that he grant long life, health, happiness and prosperity to the bridegroom.
Mangalfera (walking around the fire): The couple walk around the sacred fire four times.
Each time they stop to touch with their toe a stone in their path. This symbolises obstacles in life that they will overcome together. The priest calls the immediate family of the bride and groom to the mandap to blesses the bride and groom by showering them with flower petals and rice. Thereafter the wedding guests give their individuals blessings to the bride and groom and once completed, the marriage ceremony ends. Guests then share a meal with the newlyweds.
I wish I could post more photos, but then this post will become just too long. It truly was a blessing being a small part of the beautiful wedding ceremony and witnessing the love and commitment within this close-knit community. We wish Rashmika and Deelan all the best for the future, we know you will be blessed.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Kathleen for second shooting with us on the day of the wedding ceremony as Marius was doing their wedding video. For your second wedding you did extremely well!