Monday, July 12, 2010

A dreamy wedding....

....is probably an expression that all girls use fairly often. I attended one such wedding on Saturday and I have to say I still have a hangover (a romantic one, not alchoholic). While I love (and had) a typical 3 day tambram wedding with unjal, nalangu, singing and all the rest of it, there is something incredibly appealing about the long white dress with a long white veil. I have only seen such weddings in movies and ever since I came to Europe I have wanted to see and be a part of the live version. For some reason, all my friends here either were not interested in getting married or chose the city hall to say “I do” but all that changed few weeks ago when I got invited to Kitzbühel Sonnbergstub for a wedding.

KitzbuehelI have been in Kitzbühel before and even as I saw the invitation I could imagine the bride walking down the aisle with some gorgeous landscape as the backdrop on a glorious sunny day (yeah, yeah, its true, no one really cares about the groom. Like Seinfeld says, its just one of the men in the black tux!). So we left on a Saturday morning; me bubbling with enthu and Ashok amused at my excitement (somehow men never get it!). My heart jumped when I got there…it was just as I had imagined – flowers and ribbons everywhere, an arch for the ceremony facing the beautiful mountains and a band in the traditional Lederhosen.

weddingThe ceremony began, the bride walked down the aisle in her beautiful white flowing gown (with Ashok muttering – white dress poi ipdi tharaila peratrale....), the relatives of the bride and groom read some excerpts about love from the Bible and Quran respectively (the groom was a muslim, the bride a catholic), then there was a song praising the Lord following which the priest spoke a few words about the couple and they finally said ‘I do’ before kissing. What surprised me was what the priest said afterwards “You are all here today, thank you for taking the responsibility to help the newly wed adhere to the vows they have taken today”….and I was thinking “ahaaa…idhu enna pudhu kadaya irukku”….! At the end of the ceremony, the bride and the groom let a couple of doves fly and then they opened a whole box full of doves, it’s a pity that they were reluctant to get out and fly and did so slowly, otherwise it would have been a very movie-like moment with doves flying away into a glorious sunset ! Then the guests were asked to let balloons fly away; each balloon was tied to a greeting announcing the wedding with a request from the newly weds that anyone who finds it send it back to them with a good wish. Some of the balloons were caught in the trees but am sure a few will find their way to people who will indeed send them back.

heart of fireThen came the champagne and the strawberries, followed by the appetizers and they kept on coming until the dinner buffet was ready. Needless to say, it – a salad buffet, a grill buffet and a main course buffet - was sumptuous with enough delicacies even for a vegetarian like me. Dinner was followed by a fire show. Even though the tricks like ‘swallowing fire’ was something I was familiar with, the part I loved was when the bride and groom were asked to set fire to a huge heart that was constructed on the fire show area. The ‘heart on fire’ burned for a long while, the sun had set, a light breeze was blowing from the mountains and there was soft music playing, the groom asked the bride to dance and dance they did….it was so dreamy and romantic (times when I realize that I can be really girly too!) that other couples joined the dance and out of the blue, Ashok asked me to dance too and dance we did....

wedding cakeThen came the dessert buffet and by then we had moved into the party hall. As we were enjoying the pastries, the chef brought in the wedding cake. A DJ took over the party hall after the cake was cut and gave us another surprise – 2 pairs of professional dancers who set the mood by dancing to different numbers. While one pair swung to Walz and tango, the other twisted and turned to chachacha, salsa and finally they all ‘rock’ed and ‘roll’ed and opened the dance floor to everyone. They have my heartfelt thanks because they made Ashok dance with me for 2 numbers! Too bad I was in a sari** since it wasn’t the ideal costume to rock n roll...but the slow numbers worked wonderfully!

I have no idea when the last person went to bed but I was beat when I hit mine at 2 am and could hardly open my eyes on time in the morning to get ready for the brunch at noon with the wedding party (they put us all in hotel rooms and yeah, it was an expensive wedding!). We ate again, took some time to go around Kitzbühel and came back to Munich after a truly great (or should I say romantic…stupid grin….) weekend.

**I was in a blue silk sari and every girl at the wedding (I am not exaggerating) told me both the sari and I looked gorgeous. Ashok was wearing a kurta and got similar compliments. I never understand why desis attend weddings in Europe in ill-fitting (since many do not have a figure that go with such dresses) and extremely expensive ball gowns of the same sober colors (black, grey, brown) when they can be the centre of attraction by wearing one of the numerous traditional costumes they have lying in their suitcase !
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