If you're planning an Indian wedding, you're probably already checking in with Shawna from Maharani Weddings several times a day; if you're not, head on over to her site for some serious eye candy - every wedding on her site is breath-taking and filled with details galore. We're absolutely thrilled she'll be guest blogging with us each month! (Be sure to keep reading after the photos - Shawna does a fantastic job of explaining all the different parts of a traditional Indian wedding!).

I am thrilled to be back on Delightfully Engaged, and I am elated to share today’s Fusion Indian wedding with all of you. The unconditional love of our Hindu/Punjabi bride and her Filipino/Catholic groom leaps off the screen. I absolutely love how they both embraced each other’s cultures and ceremonies.

Indian weddings are notoriously known for being days long, and people often wonder, “What the heck are you doing for a week anyhow?” Well, today I going to give you a taste of what we have cooking during the week. The first event is the Choora Ceremony and the second, the party that no Indian wedding is complete without, is The Sangeet.

At the Choora Ceremony, the bride’s maternal uncle and aunt give her 21 red and ivory colored bangles. Modern Indian brides wear more or less and in different colors, but the significance is still the same. In India, these delicate bangles remain on the bride’s wrists for at least 40 days up to 1 year. It is customary for new brides refrain from any heavy housework during this time in order to keep her dainty choora intact. It’s kind of a welcome holiday for the newbie. Once this honeymoon is over and the choora are removed by her husband, the new daughter in law takes over the lion’s share of the housework from her mother in law. It’s no surprise that many Indian brides keep their choora on for a full year, huh?!

Translated into modern/slang-ish English the term Sangeet means Dance Party. I mean, how awesome is that, right? Well, there are a few things that make this particular “dance party” traditional and pivotal to all Indian wedding extravaganzas. Historically, the Sangeet was called a Lady Sangeet and only ladies were present at the intimate affair. The Lady Sangeet took place in the bride’s home and the women of the family and extended family got together and sang wedding folk songs, and dance, dance, danced the night away. Modern Indian brides still have folk songs at their Sangeets, but now men are invited, and it is much more like a dinner and dance than an intimate affair. Dancing is essential to any Sangeet. Close friends and family members of the bride and groom will prepare dances to Bollywood songs, and will lovingly poke fun at the newlyweds to be. The most anticipated dance of the night is a dance by the bride and groom. It is their first *appearance* as a couple, and is something that Indian brides practice, stress, and prepare for months before their Sangeet. When an Indian bride says she has dance practice, she is probably speaking of her Sangeet!
Often it is the Sangeet, and not the big fat Indian wedding, that is the most fun part of an Indian wedding parade. With its carefree, lighthearted mood, it sets the stage for the wedding celebration. I mean, it’s a dance party after all!

Big thank you to Wedding Documentary Photography & Video for sharing this with us, and for more Indian inspiration, check out the rest of this Indian wedding on Maharani Weddings today.