Roses are red but true love is green. While every culture has its own way of celebrating a wedding, these two earth lovers celebrated their union in an eco-friendly way.
Bride Sameera tells us about how it all began and how they managed to stay true to tradition but keep it environmentally sound as well.
How we met
“Neeraj and I met at a mutual friend’s party. We got talking and instantly connected over common interests. When Neeraj asked me out to dinner later, I played hard to get at first but he totally charmed me. We went out to our first dinner fate at Woodside Inn in South Mumbai. He had to leave for London on work soon after but we stayed in touch via Skype.”
“We were out to lunch at a resort in Lonavala and immediately after lunch he excused himself and went missing. Shortly after, I got a text from him saying there was a treasure hunt within the resort and a grand prize to be won. I was excited but didn’t have a clue what the prize was. I spent the next 2 hours solving clues that Neeraj had made in the context of the resort and our many dates earlier. The final clue led me back to a banquet hall decorated with rose petals and Neeraj went down on one knee and popped the question!”
“We created our very own website on a portal and we sent our guests details of the website through Whatsapp and email. You would be surprised at how quickly people responded to the wedding e-invite. The website was not only an eco-friendly way to invite our guests, it was also super convenient since they had it on their phones and there was a button which would redirect them to Google Maps. It made it easier for the guests to reach the location and so much paper and trees saved!”
“We wanted a wedding venue in Mumbai that would be large enough for a big guest list to not feel cramped and also the choice of our own catering service. Sumati Gurjar Bhavan fit the bill on both criteria.”
“Ours was a Tam Bram wedding with yummy dosas, filter coffee, women in Kanjeevaram sarees, men in silk Veshti’s (dhoti) and shirts. It was a traditional affair and we had beautiful orange and yellow marigolds for the entire decor from the gate to the stage.
A Tamil Brahmin wedding involves giving a ‘Thamboolam’ bag to all guests at the end of the ceremony as an expression of hospitality, of receiving and offering gifts. This bag typically contains a sweet, a savory item, a coconut and some betel leaves. Instead of the ‘Thamboolam’ bag, we decided to gift all our guests a NASA certified air-purifying indoor plant (Sansevieria Marginata) purchased from Root Bridges as a token of our love. The guests absolutely loved it.
We had some fun and interesting wedding rituals. The Kasi Yatra is one such tradition where the bride’s father had to convince the groom to marry his lovely daughter instead of leaving on a pilgrimage to Kasi and remain a Brahmacharya for life. It’s very fun because first, the groom dresses up in an ascetic’s attire and pretends to leave by walking out of the hall. Then, the bride’s father stops the groom and asks to marry his daughter.
The garland exchange also called as ‘Maalai Matra’ signifies that the bride is selecting the groom as the man she wants to marry. As a fun tradition, the couple’s uncles will lift them onto their shoulders and they will have to compete to garland each other.
For the Oonjal ritual, the bride and groom sit on a swing. Friends and relatives display their talent in classical music and feed the couple with milk and bananas. Also, women took an aarti and threw red and yellow rice balls to ward off the evil eye.”
“The reception was held in the evening after the traditional wedding ceremony in the morning. After the traditional attire of the morning, we wanted something western so I wore a golden gown and Neeraj wore a classic tuxedo.”
Advice for Couples
“For the bride, make sure your hair and makeup artist knows exactly what look you want. I searched for the looks I wanted on WeddingSutra and then showed those exact images to my hair and makeup artist.
Plan and think about the smallest details but keep calm in case things don’t go as per plans. Don’t get stressed about everything being perfect and enjoy your wedding.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Sumati Gurjar Bhavan, Mumbai
Photography: The Wedding Virtue (Pre-Wedding), Balaji Digital Vision (Wedding)