It has been nearly a month since I’ve posted here. And it’s not for lack of content. Rather, so much has happened since the last time I posted…
Since I last posted…
Kobe Bryant discovered my blog, read the post about him, and thought I was just so cool that he had his people call my people and we threw a big party to celebrate our new friendship.
I GOT MARRIED.
The engagement party that happened on May 7, 2016 turned into a wedding. SURPRISE.
On Friday at midnight, both sets of families sat down at the dining table and deliberated about what to do. Keep the engagement party as scheduled. OR, with most of our family present, the priest being available on that night, the backyard decorated so beautifully, and no other opportune time to have the wedding (considering Ankur is starting school in July), just throw in a mandap and fire and go ahead and get married.
Since neither of us are very interested in DIY wedding crafts or color schemes or wedding logistics, we decided to take the plunge and make it official.
Everything moved so quickly once that initial decision was made. It’s been over three weeks and I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around how everything came to fruition.
Indian weddings can be quite lengthy affairs. Long, elaborate, detailed.
All things that require a lot of patience and creativity. Two things I don’t have a lot of when it comes to anything non-teaching related.
Lucky for me, I’ve got a pretty fantastic clan of people that worked tirelessly to make this happen for us.
Thanking each individual person for their contribution and their time and energy would require pages and pages of typing. And a box of tissues. So I will leave that for another time.
I’ll just say that the collective team effort that went into this event reminded me just how lucky I am to have the family that I do. The family that knows me. The family that has inherited me. The families that have fused to become one.
The Budhraja household completely transformed for this special occasion. The couches and living room furniture were moved into the garage to make space for the “Haldi Ceremony.” (The space also operated as the dance floor. Obviously.)
The “haldi ceremony” is when members of the family line up to “give their blessings” in the form of haldi (turmeric + oil + water). They rub the mixture all over the bride’s skin and clothes. It’s supposed to serve as both a blessing and a moisturizer.
(Let me just clarify that this is NOT comparable to a fancy spa experience. Haldi is smelly and it made my skin tingle and burn. But I just sat there, smiling, as all the cousins got their revenge on me. Vedant, Hema, and Sister – I’m looking at you three specifically).
But the physical layout was not the only thing that was changed overnight. In 24 hours, our home became a shaadi ka ghar (a wedding home). Everything about our home felt so festive and lively. Music playing. Dance parties breaking out all over the place.
There was just so much energy leading up to the actual event and it’s because of these incredible people I get to call my own.
After the haldi ceremony, everyone went to Renu Aunty and Naresh Uncle’s house for lunch. But I was forced to stay in hiding until the ceremony.
It’s really hard for me to not be invited to socialize. Major FOMO. So I fell asleep for two hours and got some much needed rest before it was time to get ready.
(Also, the fact that I got to take a nap on my wedding day makes this my all-time favorite wedding).
Soon enough, everyone was dolled up and getting their pictures taken.
My Seth Family:
My Bajaj/Khurana Family:
My Budhraja Family:
After a few pictures, everyone eagerly waited for the arrival of the groom’s side, the baraat.
The “baraat” is when the groom’s family members and friends show up to the wedding venue. Loud music. A lot of dancing that begins down the street and at the entrance of the home. This is the big sha-bang that starts off the wedding ceremony.
I wasn’t allowed to be a part of it since I was upstairs in hiding. But, lucky for me, I was able to watch from the window in my parent’s bathroom.
I watched as my family greeted the Mathur family.
I watched our Nanis embrace each other for the first time.
I sneakily watched Ankur walk through the gates. And, in that moment, I felt all the emotions.
I feel like I’m generally an indecisive person in life. I have a hard time making very simple decisions. Like what I want to eat for breakfast. Or what I want to wear to work. Decisions are hard for me.
But I have never felt more confident when we made the decision to get married. And, sitting up there, watching our two families mingle and connect with one another, I knew – with complete confidence – that this was the best (and easiest) decision I have ever made in my life.
Finally, after what seemed like hours of dancing, the guests settled down in the backyard with some drinks and appetizers while I got to sneak downstairs and next door for some pictures before the ceremony.
Shortly after the sun went down, I snuck back upstairs and waited until the brothers and sisters came up to walk me to the mandap.
Everything felt so surreal. Throughout the actual ceremony, I kept looking out and seeing all the faces of our family and friends there. Despite the fact that we were so spontaneous, people managed to show up – from near and far. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
After the hour-long ceremony, I was officially pronounced a wife. And had a permanent smile plastered to my face for the rest of the night.
Which came in handy because, apparently when you get married, everyone wants to take pictures with you.
It was the best moment of my life.
Getting to marry the man I love more than anything.
And getting to do it with my favorite people by my side. Every step of the way.
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start this next chapter of my life.
Thank you, family and friends, for making this such an unforgettable weekend.