Real Weddings: A Traditional Wedding at Home

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Serena and Ashish chose a bold color scheme and a home setting for their one-of-a-kind event.

A Traditional Wedding

About the Couple: Most Indian weddings are very large affairs; however Serena and Ashish wanted to keep theirs intimate, with 80 of their closest friends and family. Check out this beautiful, traditional Hindu wedding held at Serena's parents' home in Philadelphia.

Jewelry plays a key role in Hindu weddings. Serena chose to wear beautiful bangles that would match the colors in her dress. She wore a stacked set like this one on both wrists.

Beautiful Bride

Serena wore a traditional lehnga that her parents bought in India. Customarily bride's lehngas consist of more red and pink tones but Serena liked having the touch of teal in her wedding attire.

A Bold Color Scheme

Serena transformed her parents' patio into the perfect ceremony location by incorporating this rich color scheme. They used large rust-colored drapes to add drama.

Lavish Chair Decor

Their florist adorned the chairs lining the aisle with this arrangement of white roses, 'Stargazer' lilies, and red ranunculus.

A Home-Style Aisle

Serena walked down the stairs on the back of the house to meet Ashish. They used the same rust fabric and large flower arrangements to highlight the pretty aisle.

Groom's Wear

Ashish wore a traditional three-piece suit called a sherwani. He chose this one because the detailing matched Serena's lehnga. He topped off his look with the customary headpiece.

The Start of the Ceremony

To begin their ceremony, Ashish and Serena worshiped Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles and provider of wisdom. Ganesh is one of the best-known and most worshiped deities in Hinduism.

The Giving of the Bride

The giving away of the bride is known as kanyadanam. Serena's mother pours out a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the bridegroom. Her parents' hands are under hers and the water drips into Ashish's.

The Gift

Ashish gives Serena the mangalsutra, which is the wedding necklace symbolizing marriage, love, integrity, and good luck.

The Exchanging of Rings

Serena and Ashish also exchanged rings during their ceremony. They had their oldest cousins marry them and their brothers served as the witnesses.

Prayers to God Agni

Serena and Ashish offer prayers to God Agni represented by the fire. Prayers are offered by placing ghee, rice, and flowers in the flame. The couple then walked around the flame four times while holding hands, which symbolizes devotion to Truth and a proper way of living; financial prosperity; fulfillment of desires and love; and the detachment from the physical world and material things.

A Family Ceremony

Serena and Ashish's parents were very involved in the entire ceremony and were seated at the front with them.

The Reception

After the ceremony was over their guests moved into the house for dinner and dancing. Their guests enjoyed a mix of Indian and American music.

Vendor Guide

Florist: Shoba Rao at Elegant Affairs; www.elegant-affairs.com

Photography: Amanda Hein Photography; www.amandahein.com

DJ: DJ Ladla and Kris Graham; www.djladla.com

Dress: Ritu Kumar; www.ritukumar.com

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