Good morning to all the crafty monkeys out there. I wanted to share an experience with you today rather than just a card. I was fortunate enough to be part of an Indian wedding in July, the Mum of the Bride and good friend of mine Bindi asked me to help with decorating the temple and other stuff. A huge affair doesn't really describe it, it was like being at a Bollywood Wedding, oh my it was amazing and the bride and groom were stunning to say the least. I made all the fresh flower displays for the temple, never having done floristry I was a little shocked to be asked to do it and the week before the wedding I was like a headless chicken trying to work out what I would do! So on the Wednesday I sat and watched a few You Tube videos on creating tied bouquets and felt a little calmer - how hard could this be?? Picked my flowers up from the wholesalers in Enfield and then spent the next two days panicking because we were experiencing the hottest summer in years and I didn't have a florists fridge to put all the expensive flowers in! Argh! So my living room became the florists room, hubby wasn't allowed to turn the telly on, open the doors, put the lights on nothing! Kept really cool in there and the flowers were still looking pretty when I started tying them all together on the friday morning. For the Bride everything had to be tones of Red and Gold, she had asked for this long red plant to be in the centre called Tropical Ginger,
I used Red Carnations and Gebra's to make the spray and fill it out with Gypsophilia. The Grooms colours were Purple, Silver & White so I used Agapanthas, Lizianthus and sprayed Spider Chrysanths Silver addiding Gypsophilia and Sea Lavender to fill it out - incidently the Sea Lavender had the most atrocious smell! I thought a cat hat visited my flowers! lol!
These are only a few of the bouquets I made, for a complete novice I think I did okay and they were over the moon with them. I can't get this picture to turn the right way around either!
On the Friday night I was invited to attend the Sangeet, which was held at a huge restaurant in Gants Hill, Ilford. This was the most amazing experience and one I will not forget in a hurry! The place was filled with at least 200 ladies of all ages, traditional singing, traditional music and the most spectacular dancing from the ladies. The dance floor was full all night other than when we were eating the lush food presented to us! This is me with my friend Bindi, this photo doesn't do her Sahri justice, it twinkled constantly and she looked stunning.
On the day of the wedding I was up at the crack of dawn, I had so much to do before the wedding started at 8am in the morning. So at 5am I was up showered, hair blow dried and by 6.30am I made my way to the Temple in East London some 50 minutes drive from my home. I had to meet a lady at the Temple so that she could make sure that I did not break any of the religious protocol, I was a good girl! The temple was beautiful, covered in Marble and I cannot even begin to tell you how kind the people are, everything they do is for the well being of the community, Caring, kindness, sharing, feeding anyone who needs it, supporting the elderly, any culture is welcomed with open arms.
After fighting with tractors I finally arrived at the temple and I was all prepared with my head scarf already draped around my head and shoulders, I removed my shoes and washed my hands as is required, having placed my flowers in a line along a wall out of the way, an elder then approached me and asked me to pick them up 'such beauty should not be spoilt by being on the floor!' 1st mistake! I then had to transport all of the bouquets - of which there were heaps! up to the alter and placed the flowers as I had been asked by the Bindi (Brides Mum). I dashed off to the Brides home for the Milne (Mill Knee) which started at 8am and was at least 20 minutes drive from the Temple. I arrived just in time to see the Groom coming charging down the street on a huge White Horse covered in Jewels and wielding a jewelled sword!
He was shouting and singing with his family outside the brides house, which attracts the family from the house and the Brides father invites him into the house to collect his wife to be.
The beaded veil is traditional in cases of arranged marriages, but this bride and groom fell in love in the good old fashioned way, but they both wanted to stick to their cultural traditions too and keep their cultural beliefs alive by doing everything as it would be if they were brought together in arrangement. When the groom is invited into the home of the bride, the veils are lifted and tied to the top of the turban which traditionally would be the first time the bride and groom see each other. The bride had a very handsome husband to be under there! During the next hour, the two families exchanged prayers and gifts outside the home and guests at the wedding and all the neighbours in the street came out to watch, it was like being at a Carnival the street was heaving with people from all walks of life! In this picture the two mums are exchanging gifts.
When the ceremony at the house was coming to an end, a stream of Red London open top buses arrived to transport the guests to the wedding breakfast, we had to arrive before the wedding party, eat a breakfast and then enter the temple to greet the Bride & Groom. The food was amazing and the flower posies I had made for the breakfast were pounced on by the food company, they approached me and asked me for my business card lol! Err I don't do flowers for a living 'Well you should be!' the guy told me, 'we do these weddings every weekend 4 weddings at a time and we could use your skills!' The Service in the temple was beautiful, the bride was placed in the care of her new husband and left with the biggest smile on her face! This picture is two spliced together, but they were standing on either side of the same wall having pictures taken.
The Wedding Reception was held in the Natural History Museum and after it closes to the public at 5.50pm, it takes the staff just 1 hour to completely transform the main hall into a wedding reception venue! Here is a video you can watch that shows you just how they do it! I can only show you before and after shots.....
45 minutes before it closed
The 1st Bus arriving at the reception
Guests are greeted and attend a Champagne Reception
Then at 7pm on the dot the sparkly curtains are lifted and then the rings of Jurrasic Park start playing as all of the guests walked into the main hall of the reception. 1500 guests took their seats which took the best part of an hour! We ate our 1st course and then the grand entrance of the Bride and Groom took place. The groom had removed his beard and the bride had changed her head veil to one given as a gift by her new parents in law. The video cuts out before I got a good shot of them at the top of the stairs - boooo! So here's a photo of them as they walked down from Darwins statue to cut their wedding cake which was at the bottom of the stairs.
Then the evening really got under way and we were treated to some fantastic entertainment, a troupe of dancers entertained us for around 45 minutes and the Brides uncle sang with them at one point and the Groom decided to join in! Unfortunately my videos are always a little short, but I needed to keep my phone alive so that my son could tell me when he had arrived outside on the no stop zones and didn't want to keep him waiting when it was time to go home.
When I finally left the Natural History Museum at 12pm they had only just started their main course! There was so much going on it was unbelievable, but I had the most amazing time and it's something I can tell my grandchildren about when I'm really old!
My final pictures are of my beautiful friend Bindi and her daughter the Bride and the card I made for the Bride and Groom. Thank you Bindi for an amazing experience!