Ambaa & Brad's Epic Hindu Scottish Wedding {Maryland}

2014 May 5 - by Preeti
I am always excited when I receive a wedding in my inbox. Although this time, I didn't receive the wedding in inbox but rather from a fabulous bride, Ambaa, who commented on our earlier Hindu Scottish wedding in Scotland.

She too was having a Hindu-Scottish wedding. And well, we just can't say no to gorgeous interfaith weddings!

Ambaa and Brad had their wedding at the Waverly Mansion in Maryland, complete with a delicious red velvet cake, a stunning red lengha, and a handfasting ceremony.

And, Ambaa is a famous blogger and writer! She currently runs the blog, The White Hindu, as a person of non-Indian origin who is Hindu. Personally, I have learned so much more about my own religion through her, than anywhere else (except perhaps, my parents). She just published an e-book available on Kindle or Etsy on being Hindu called The New Hindu Toolboox. This is a fantastic read for those of you wanting to know more about your religion or if you are marrying a Hindu. It's fun, easy, and absolutely not-preachy.

But I digress, back to the wedding. Ambaa has lots to share with us!

Tell us about the wedding planning!

So I had this vision for my wedding, which like many brides, makes sense to the bride, but isn't always understood by those around you. Once I discussed it more with my family, and honed in, I knew I wanted to express my Hindu beliefs through the wedding, but I wanted to honor my husband’s strong ties to his Scottish heritage. We would accomplish through a single ceremony in true fusion style.

My family and friends were excited to attend our wedding because it would be truly different from anything they had seen before. There were some who were skeptical about it, but they got over the fence quickly. And truly, the most important were the guests who made our day very special.

To plan the wedding ceremony, we first had to think about all the elements. To me, wedding ceremonies are a list of different traditions, one after another. Each is like a separate building block. The exchange of rings is one block, applying sindoor is another block, walking the seven steps is another block, etc etc. By doing this, we could figure which 'blocks' were important to us, and which we could skip.

What was the wedding day like?

We had all the favorite parts of a Hindu and Celtic wedding! We exchanged vows and rings and flower garlands, the jai malas. My husband, Brad, tied a managlasutra around my neck and put sindoor in my parting (it really makes you feel womanly). We also walked seven times around the fire. Then we had our hands tied in the Celtic handfasting tradition.

With regards to the fire. To make it easier, we bought a fire pit to serve as agnidev. And to help our guests out, the officient read about each step as we were walking around it.

Our reception was a mix of Indian and Western music. Yay to Bollywood and Carly Rae Jepsen! Since nearly all our guests were used to western weddings, this was a Hindu-lite part, that they could still completely follow and understand.

What about your amazing lengha?!

I wore a red lengha and my husband wore a full Scottish kilt from his mother’s clan. The story of the lengha is that I knew I wanted something red and something really sparkly. I hunted through websites and nothing was quite matching up with what I envisioned. Finally I found it at Cbazaar.

They had just what I wanted and they made a sample garment for me to try on and make sure it fit before they made the real thing. It was entirely smooth. They did call me to confirm my measurements, skeptical that they could possibly be correct! What can I say, I have a strangely shaped body. lol. I bought the jewelry separately mostly through ebay!

Advice for brides to be?

On the day of there are going to be so many people who need your attention, asking you questions, shuffling you around. You'll be busy greeting relatives you haven't seen in ages and feeling bad that your friends who don't know that many people are getting ignored.

I think the best thing we did was have a co-ed Sangeet the day before, allowing us to spend time with lots of our guests before the pressure of the reception itself. In fact, we had people come back to our apartment after the wedding too, trying to get as much time with our friends and family as we possibly could and that's one of our favorite things about our wedding weekend.

My heart feels all happy and melty. This was one amazing wedding and we wish you both lots of love and happiness in life!

{Wedding Suppliers}

Photography: Shannon

Videography: Video Express (Absolutely wonderful to work with! I’m so glad I’ll have a video to watch to help me remember the day, since it really did fly by!)

Venue: Waverly Mansion (Made everything so smooth!)

Makeup: Emily Does Makeup

Mendhi: Garvi Sheth

Bagpiper: Bob Delp

Cake: Kee at GotteGris Bakery (Beautiful + people said it was the best red velvet they ever had!)

Dress: Cbazaar