What comes to your mind when you think of Parsi weddings?
Elegant women dressed in beautiful Garas, Patra ni Machchi and Lagan nu Custard? Bhavna Kohli tells us more, with inputs from Delhi’s ace Wedding Planner Meher Sarid.
Most Parsi weddings in Mumbai are conducted in the Baugs followed by a reception at the same venue. The weddings in other states takes place at the Parsi Agyari (Fire temple) compound, where there are dharamshalas attached with boarding and lodging facilities.In Mumbai, the two most popular baugs are the Seth Jeejeebhoy Dadabhoy Baug (commonly known as the Colaba Agiary), Malcom Baug in Jogeshwari and the Allbless Baug at Charni Road.
Generally Parsi weddings are white weddings, with touches of pale tones of baby pink, pale yellow, pistacchio green etc. The entrance to the venues always has a Toran and Chalk.
The bride enters the wedding space accompanied by the ladies in her family, carrying the Sagaan Ses, the Wedding Ses and the mawa macchi (sweet in the shape of a Fish). The Ses is a huge silver platter, with silver elements which include sprinklers, a cone, a silver paan patta, a silver supari and silver nariyal.
There is hardly a woman who doesn’t want to own a beautiful Gara and one gets to see the best Garas at Parsi weddings. Unknown to most non-Parsis the bride does not wear a Gara, it is typically the family members and guests who wear Garas! Most brides wear white (as it stands for purity) in French Chantilly lace, with delicate pink sequence work on it. The lady best known for resurrecting garas in Mumbai is Naju Davar and now the business is run by her daughter Farzeen Daver. Ahmedabad’s Dhun Chinoy is also working hard to revive the dying art of hand embroidered Garas. For those seeking more affordable Garas there are stores like Pushpam at Charni Road and Mahavir at Matunga. The Parsi men & the Groom wear the traditional White Dagli with the black topi.
Photograph Courtesy: Khurshed Poonawalla
How can an article on Parsi weddings be complete without a mention of the delectable meals. While vegetarian food is also served the meal also known as Laganu Bhonu is largely a non-vegetarian affair. The food is served on banana leaves and some of the typical dishes in the meal are Laganu achar (a sweet carrot pickle), saarya/saali wafers, Chicken pulao with masala dal, Patra ni Machchi or saas ni machchi, Sali Boti and Laganu Custard. The popular caterers in the community are Tanaz Godiwalla who is based in Mazagaon, Catering & Allied (Joss) by Farrokh Khambatta, Jimmy Caterers and Bomi Patel. In Delhi, Dhun Bagli is most sought-after for her delectable food, which is home cooked for the largest gatherings. In recent times, there has been a slight departure at select weddings, where even Italian or Thai is served.