I am SO excited to write this blog post (and the subsequent one) as I get to re-live last week which saw one of my best friends in the world walk down the aisle and become a Mrs! This wedding has been over a year in the making after Jorin proposed to Ritu in Washington D.C, so fancy. Of course I was over the moon when Ritu asked me to be one of her bridesmaids 🙂 Ritu and I have known each other since year 6 in middle school. Erm… that’s twenty three years ago.
♥ Congratulations Ritu & Jorin ♥
The celebrations began on Saturday 23rd when we met for Afternoon Tea at The Vintage Powder Room (read my post about this wonderful place here) and didn’t stop until Sunday 31st August!
I thought it was best to split the blog into two, pre-wedding and then the wedding day – seemed logical at the time… let’s see shall we!
The below pic was taken exactly a week before Ritu said “I do” – a picture of calm, right?
Ritu has to be the most focused and freakishly organised bride ever – seriously, she didn’t stop for a second. The first time I saw her sitting down was when she was getting her bridal mehndi (henna) done on Wednesday night. She had no choice but to sit still and be waited on by her sisters and cousins until the henna was fully dry.
The henna artist was the very talented Akshee Shah who is based in London. You’ll see in the photos below just how intricate her work is, the design centres around the bride and groom (who also feature on Ritu and Jorin’s wedding invitations – everything is connected, you’ll see what I mean in the next blog post!).
It’s traditional for indian brides to get their hands/arms and feet painted with henna ahead of the wedding whilst the women of the family dance and sing traditional wedding songs, it’s a fun event. The bride-to-be usually leaves the henna on for about 6 hours to darken before scraping it off with a butter knife. I left mine on overnight, some may say that’s excessive… they’d be right. A mixture of sugar and fresh lemon juice is dabbed onto the drying henna.. the lemon juice helps to further activate the paste to help achieve a darker stain. The sugar helps the lemon juice to stick to the henna 🙂
Time for a few photos!
The day after the Mehndi was the Lady Sangeet which is a big pre-wedding party hosted by the brides family (the groom and family are also invited to join in the fun). Ritu had family fly in from India and Canada whilst Jorin’s were here from New Zealand! The evening was filled with delicious food, traditional wedding songs and lots of dancing! Ritu & Jorin’s Sangeet was held at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, music by the wonderful Sandeep and Gaurav at Devastasian (Devastasian also did my wedding!). As if this wasn’t fun enough, we were treated to entertainment from ‘Vakhri Punjabans Giddha Dancers’ with ‘Waris Punjab de’ on boliyan (singing). Giddha is a traditional Punjabi folk dance, I loved it & wish I’d taken a short video so you could see!
The day after the Sangeet was BUSY, we had a run-through of what the bridesmaids and groomsmen needed to do on the wedding day and then some little bits and bobs had to be completed. Everyone mucked in and things got done, all left to do was to iron my outfits and get an early night as I needed to be at Ritu’s with the other bridesmaids at 8am, ready and raring to go! 🙂
One thing I did miss on the Friday evening was the Choora ceremony – this is where the maternal uncles of the bride put bangles onto the brides wrists after they’ve been dipped in milk and water mixture. The bangles are red and ivory coloured and can be worn by the bride from anything from a week up to a year – they’re a symbol of her being newly married. I loved mine so much that I wore them for a year. Ritu’s were beautiful and simple. I can’t believe I don’t have a photo to share with you.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this – there’s going to be another blog post documenting the big day coming soon!