As a child, I was always fascinated by the grand and lavish wedding scenes in Bollywood movies. With the vibrant music, the friends and relatives of the two families dancing gracefully in their colorful outfits, I had always dreamed of witnessing a beautiful wedding like that in India.

My dream came true unexpectedly during my first trip to India when I was invited to an unforgettable wedding by a friend who was the bride’s best friend.

Shobhit Chandok & Deepshikha Sharma are both young and successful individuals living and working in New Delhi. They had been in love for many years before getting married. Although they have different religions, both families are open-minded and accepting of each other’s differences, so even though it was a wedding between two families, I felt like they were all close-knit siblings.

Deepshikha Sharma :33 Religion: Pujabi

Shobhit Chandok     :31 Religion: Hinduism 

State: HaryanaCity: Gurgaon

Even though I tried my best to choose the most “decent” outfit from my one-month backpacking trip luggage, I still felt out of place compared to the other ladies attending the party. All the women were wearing gorgeous saris embroidered with gold thread and adorned with sequins and beads. They had elaborate eye makeup, and wore jewelry on their foreheads, necks, arms, ears, and noses… anywhere they could put jewelry, it would be sparkling. Meanwhile, the men were wearing kurtas or suits. Everyone was dressed formally and respectfully to attend the wedding ceremony.

Following traditional customs, the groom would arrive on a horse with a band, but in this modern setting, the groom arrived in a jeep with his groomsmen, the young men dancing enthusiastically on the vehicle, making the driver look very nervous, and I was worried that they might flip the car. The guests followed the car, dancing and celebrating.

After the whirlwind appearance, the groom got out of the car and proceeded to the gift exchange ceremony. The two families stood on opposite sides, with representatives of similar age and status exchanging blankets, followed by warm hugs and kisses on both cheeks. The gift could be something else, but perhaps the meaning of giving a blanket is to wish the young couple a warm and sweet life, even though the wedding took place in the winter.

Only then did the groom enter the banquet hall with his large entourage of relatives and friends dancing beside him until he was seated on the stage for the ceremony.

Then came the bride, covered in flowers and accompanied by her close friends. They were gentle and feminine, in contrast to the energetic dancing of the groom’s family, so it took quite a while for the bride to reach the groom. If the groom’s appearance was grand and powerful like a night storm, the bride’s appearance was like a warm sunrise.

The wedding day is the most splendid day in an Indian girl’s life. The preparation time probably takes two days, with Mehendi meticulously drawing each strand of ink on her hands, and the deepest and most delicate eye makeup to make her eyes captivating. Then there is the countless jewelry on her body, weighing about 2kg, not to mention the sari and headscarf embroidered with gold thread and countless beads and stones. Anyone who is a fan of the TV series “Bride of the 8th Age” will understand!

The couple’s wedding party lasted all night with various ceremonies, one after another, in a very natural way without much arrangement. After each ceremony, they would eat and dance. The saris with shimmering beads swayed with the girls’ dancing, the vibrant Bollywood music played… I tried to dance along but my dancing skills were far inferior to those of the Indians. It seems that dancing is in their blood. Just like that, the wedding lasted all night and everyone still had the energy to dance.

Thank you to the chance encounter with my friends and the bride for allowing me to attend a wedding with unforgettable memories of love, brotherhood, family warmth, and friendship in India. I wish my two friends a hundred years of happiness!