me Life and Times of the Fireflies: May 2015

Monday, 25 May 2015

Behind the Scenes of an Indian Wedding - The Wedding Day

Planning a wedding isn't easy. Planning a wedding in a short space of time...even more stressful! Planning an Indian wedding in a short space of time...and you're bound to end up with a few extra grey hairs!! Through the past two months of feverish planning and organising, it crossed my mind that surviving a marriage is a lot like planning a wedding. In the midst of all the chaos, the countless things that didn't quite go our way, the stressful moments...the thing that gets us through, is staying focused on the goal!
Being immersed in a predominantly westernised culture, the way we celebrate weddings has become a fusion of the various elements we are exposed to, while still maintaining all religious protocol and also including the many aspects of our Indian heritage. The exchanging of rings and white wedding, along with various other elements has been incorporated into our celebrations over time, some even choosing to forego some of the traditional elements as well.

The Nikah is the actual wedding ceremony and is performed in line with our Islamic faith. It is conducted by an Imaam and takes place between the Father of the bride and the Groom. While it is not obligatory for the Bride to be present, her consent is required. With my sister's nikah taking place in the morning, it required an early start for all of us in order to get the all important hair and makeup done on time ;-)

The nikah is usually followed by a reception, in this case, a lavish lunch served at one of my favourite venues; Tuscany Gardens. The reception essentially brings both families together to celebrate the occasion of the marriage. With both the my sister and the groom having a large extended family, they decided to allow all the nieces and nephews to partake in the entrance  into the venue. The formal function saw the groom's brother as the Master of Ceremonies  and included a (very emotional) speech from me as well as a more light hearted speech by my daughter.

After a brief rendezvous around Cape Town for photographs of the couple, it was off to mom's house for dinner followed by the bride's farewell. This is emotional moment marks the bride's departure from her parents' home, where family and friends gather to bid goodbye to the bride  and wish her well for the next phase of her life...

While the couple head off on honeymoon, it's back to reality for the rest of us! After a day of glitz and glamour, we all don our aprons and slippers, and help with operation clean up! Here are a few behind the scenes images, once again captured by various family member on their cameras and phones. I'll be sure to share the professional photographs once we get our hands on them, too :-)

Bride & Groom after the Nikah

Pinning the buttonholes

A touching moment between my mom and dad


Brothers :-)

Oldest Sister
Little Zee


Selfie with the bride
The reception venue






Always one person missing!



Stealing the bride and grooms props!



Thanks for Reading!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Behind the Scenes of an Indian Wedding - The Bari


Growing up in South Africa means I am part of a community rich in various cultures and traditions, but I guess nothing beats the feeling of being immersed in one's own heritage. Weddings, for me, are a great reminder of my own roots. The vibrant and colourful traditions aimed at bringing family together, uniting us in celebration, has been passed on through the generations!
Weddings are not only a one day affair, but rather spans a whole week in the form of various traditions and festivities. The Bari is an evening aimed at beautifying and adorning the bride (kind of like an indian spa day) and preparing her for her groom. Henna patterns and Chiksa & haldi  are applied as it is believed to soften and brighten the brides skin (ie. olden version of a facial and body scrub! haha).
The grooms family bring along wedding gifts for the bride and obviously a lot of fun and laughter ensues (and some tears at the thought of the eventual departure of the bride) as the brides family do their best to entertain and impress their guests ;-). The all important latcha (a special black beaded necklace) gets given to the bride and signifies that she is a married woman!
For my sister, we hosted a small, intimate, ladies only function for close friends and family. Moon entertained us with  very emotional and touching vocals, while the young girls of the family showcased some vibrant Bollywood style dances! All in all it was a fun evening!

Here's some behind the scenes footage, a collection of photo's taken by various family members on their cameras and cell phones. (No...the wedding wasn't unplugged ;-) )

The Bride

Posing with the bride





Welcoming the guests

Capturing some extra memories with sisters, kids and family



Thanks for reading!
  Keep a look out for a 'behind the scenes' of the wedding day :-)