BFIW Blogger Week: A Majestic Fusion Wedding
Who is Madh Mama?
1. If you could describe yourself in three words, then what would they be?
Passionate, unconventional, and fearless.
2. What was the inspiration for your blog?
Initially, I started my blog after becoming a mother for the first time. My daughter was a newborn then. So, it was really about documenting this major life change and putting into words all my multi-layered emotions about motherhood. As I kept writing, it unfolded to become more about our intercultural life - documenting how we blend both of our diverse cultures in little ways AND big ways. Raising our daughter between both of our cultures has taught us so many great life lessons. Having been in my relationship for nearly a decade, I talk on my blog about everything from marriage, to handling the Indian mother-in-law, to intercultural parenting, and even step by step Indian recipes that other Bahu's can use. Everything comes from personal experience - my own trials and errors.
Madhavan grew up as a Hindu (Tamil Iyengar) in Hyderabad, India, while Alexandra grew up as a non-practicing Catholic with Buddhist influences in Vancouver, Canada. Forget two states, these two were from two different continents! Alexandra and Madhavan wedding was a testament to their love, as it celebrated a fantastic blend of both cultures.
Franz Schubert once said, “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” We wish these two lovebirds nothing but the best. Now, without further ado, we’re going to let the bride Alexandra take the reins and describe the wedding in all its glory!
The style of our wedding was definitely Indian fusion - with an offbeat twist!
We chose to have the wedding in my childhood home, because that is where we felt most comfortable. And because it was our home - we could do the wedding completely our way and style. The coincidental thing was that at the childhood home - we already had a mandap structure in our garden - it was meant to be!
We were engaged for 5 years prior to marriage, so for us, the wedding was long overdue. We wanted to to be a happy, joyful affair - we used all the bright colors you could think of! We also wanted it to be about love - in all its glory. Because that's what an intercultural marriage is - it is about love - it transcends culture, religion, and customs.
In the beginning, it was merging all the cultural and religious aspects. We had already picked a date for the wedding, when our family astrologer had said the date and time was not auspicious. So we had to go to the Hindu temple a month prior to the wedding and get married as per Hindu tradition. We decided to keep this wedding plan because it celebrated our love story and the merging of our cultures.
In the end, I'm so happy we did it all. A month later, we also had a big wedding reception in Hyderabad for all the elders who could not fly to Canada. The more the merrier! We literally had a wedding celebration for 3 straight months. It was a very joyful Summer!
Another thing that was hard was managing all the DIY. We don't have a big family so we were lacking in manpower for the set-up. Luckily, many of our out-of-town guests chipped in and helped out in the days prior to the wedding. It was a family affair! Almost all of the decor was DIY - we work in the fashion industry, so it was really fun to incorporate that into our wedding. The groom, Madhavan, is a trained Graphic Designer so he designed the wedding invitations and all of the print labels. My mother bought saree fabric from an Indian fabric store and we sewed together the 6 yards of fabric to make a canopy-like tent over the front yard. We also hung fabric from the walls and the mandap was draped in pink silk.
We purchased our wedding outfits from Kalanikethan wedding mall in Hyderabad - for the whole set (2 outfit changes for both of us) head to toe - was under $1000 CAD! We chose to wear Indian attire, as per Indian custom, but we chose to wear white in Western tradition. However, it was a very bejeweled white! We were presented to the altar/mandap by both sets of parents - this was important to us because we wanted to honor both mother/father for raising us. As we emerged, "Teri Ore" song played. My godmother presented the rings to the Officiant, and she was asked to start a prayer to bless the rings and the marriage, and then the rings were passed around during the ceremony by each of the guests. The officiant spoke of our love story, our struggles, the merging of our cultures, and our hopes for the future.
The ceremony was my favorite part. Our wedding officiant, Michele Davidson, interviewed us several times over a period of 6 months prior to the wedding. She really tailored the ceremony to fit us as individuals. She spoke about our love story- past, present, and future- everyone was sobbing! The ceremony overflowed with romance, which made the wedding perfect.
In Western tradition, the ceremony was sealed with a kiss! Afterwards, the officiant took us to a quiet place in the house so that we could speak to each other privately for the first time as husband and wife. Afterwards, we greeted our guests and dined together - we served Indian, Thai, and West Coast cuisine. We did a traditional "bouquet-throwing", and cake cutting. Our first dance was to "Khuda Jaane", and the father/daughter dance was to "In My Life" by The Beatles. Everyone joined us after and danced until midnight.
I would advise future brides/grooms to remember what the marriage is about - LOVE. Do your wedding in a way that it celebrates your love, in all of its uniqueness. Don't be afraid to do things differently. There are no rules. Also, merge cultural traditions to your fancy.
It was one of the best days of my life. Our daughter was born 10 months later!
Keep up with Madh Mama on Social Media!
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlexandraMadhavan/posts
Catering: The Lazy Gourmet
Officiant: Modern Celebrant, Michele Davidson
Mehndi: 604 Mehndi by Farhath
Wedding Rings: GRT Jewelers, Hyderabad
Wedding Outfits: Kalaniketan Wedding Mall, Hyderabad
Photographers: Our friends and family :)
Party favors: Sandalwood fans from Beaucoup
DJ: Solomon Riby Williams
Stay tuned for one more blogger tomorrow to close out the Blogger Week Spectacular!