from Februaray 2006 I wish I could have been there too!!

First, I've copied the wedding pictures from Meghan and Deval's collection that go with the Vedic Wedding Ceremony write-up that Meghan sent.

Following the ceremony are pictuers from the pre-wedding festivities, some additional pictures and text from Rupa and Anil and then the Bride and Groom at their reception. Mazel Tov!
The Vedic Wedding Ceremony

Swagat (Welcome)
Welcome and greetings are extended to the bridegroom, family and friends, by the bride’s family.
Kanya Agaman (Arrival of the Bride)
The bridesmaids and the father (or uncle in Gujarati’s) escort the bride to the Mandap (nuptial canopy).
Jai Mala (Exchange of Garlands)
The priest guides the couple to the Mandap (nuptial canopy). Bride welcomes Groom with a floral garland and Groom garlands Bride. This exchange symbolizes formal acceptance and respect.
Madhupak (Offerings)
Bride offers the mixture of honey and yogurt to the groom. Honey symbolizes the sweetness of eternal love and yogurt for the sake of his eternal good health and nutrition.

Aachman (Purification)
Sipping the water three times for the purification of the heart and body.
Agni Pradipan
Kindling of sacred fire. The wedding is made solemn before Agni (fire), the symbol of knowledge, power, and purity, as a principle witnesses to the ceremony.

Jaya Home (Offerings)
Offerings in to sacred fire emphasize the couples’ joint responsibility in maintaining the love and dignity of their union.
Kanya Daan (Giving hand of bride)
The prime wealth of a Hindu household is the daughter (Kanya), who symbolizes the Hindu Goddess of Wealth (Lakshmi). Bride’s parents will place her hands into Groom’s and pour holy water over them to finalize the gesture of gift giving (transfer of wealth). Bride’s father requests Groom to accept his daughter as an equal partner in all walks of life. It is noted in Vedic scriptures that there is no "Daana" (gift) greater than Kanya Daan (giving a daughters hand in marriage). Groom promises to accept Bride as his equal life partner.
Mangal Phera
Bride’s brother puts rice in the hands of Bride & Groom to offer to Agni (the Lord of Fire) who dispels darkness and ignorance while leading into light and knowledge. The couple then walks around the sacred fire. Each round represents the four basic goals of human life:
Dharma: Moral sense to lead a good life
Artha: Financial prosperity
Kama: Blessing for strong, virtuous children and to share the responsibilities of home
Moksha : Self restraint and eternal physical, mental and spiritual strength Together the four goals symbolize the couple's commitment to each other, the community and the cosmos. During the first three rounds Bride leads Groom and during the last round Groom leads.
Pledges (Exchange of vows)
The priest reads the solemn union declaration. The bride and bridegroom exchange the holy marriage vows.

Groom: I take your hand in mine, for the attainment of prosperity and offspring. May you enjoy long life and happiness with me. By the grace of God and blessings o fall assembled, you have become my life partner and wife. You are my lawful wife and I am your lawful husband.

Bride: I take your hand in mine in pursuit of righteousness for the benefit of both our families. I will stand by you. May we be provided with prosperity and offspring and may I keep you splendidly radiant as the rays of the sun.
Sindhoor Daan
The bridegroom puts Sindhoor (Red Powder) in the parting of the bride's hair and welcomes her into his life as his eternal partner. The newly wedded couple touches the feet and takes blessings from the parents of both families.
Saptapadi (Seven steps)
The bride and groom take seven steps forward together, symbolizing the beginning of their journey through life. These steps signify the guiding principles of life.

Each of these steps represents the vows made by the couple:
1. Together we will love, cherish and respect one another from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health ... forever.

2. Together we will create a home full of joy and laughter, where we find serenity and strength.

3. Together we will share a steadily deepening love, which grows in understanding and unselfishness.

4. Together we will embrace each other's family as well as our own yet to come.

5. Let us have a measure of patience and forgive with grace.

6. Together we will develop a sense of value that we may care for people more than possessions, for honor more than honors, and for the dimensions of a home more than the details of a house.

7. Let us forever be best friends and partners, share each other's ideas and ideals. The couple is now united and will pray for the blessings from God. The father-in-law offers the bride a sacred necklace.
Blessings from the family.
The text that follows is from Rupa and Anil:

We had a small function on the 6th. in the afternoon. This is called a " mendhi", the bride and all the girls have "henna" put on their hands and arms.
(Details from Meghan's arms and feet.)
(I don't know about this event.)
(Meghan's family)
Meghan is giving, what is called 'Panchaamrut', in Deval's palm : Panch means 5 and Amrut means nectar. This is a mixture of milk, curd, sugar, water and honey. These things are considered to be good for health and happiness, Meghan says, I will see to it that you never have scarsity of these. On all auspicious occassions as well as in all the temples, everyone is given a spoonful of this.
This is where M and D are standing, facing each-other, having M's palm in D's palm. This is called 'Paani-grahan'. Paani means Hand ( also means water ), and Grahan means Acceptance. D is accepting M's hand in marriage. Prior to this : Anil and I hold M's hand and put it on D's hand : giving M's responsibility to D.
At one point, M puts garland in D's neck and then D puts one in M's neck. Then these garlands remain in their necks till the end of the ceremony.
D is applying Red dry powder called 'Sindoor' in M's hair-parting. This is supposed to be THE symbol of a married woman. At the time of wedding, husband puts it, then you have to put it yourself. Many women put it all the time, we don't. It is a must ceremony, though, and everyone loves it !
Aeirial view of the marriage ground. It is a bit dark.

Meghan designed the wedding decorations at the club. It was kept simple, but it turned out so beautiful that everyone was ga ga over the lighting and decor.
(The Bride and Groom at their reception.)
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