South Asian Weddings

Mehndi and help with other Indian culture

My fiance is American born and most of his family still lives in Bengal. he doesn't practice any religion but I know that if I brought in elements of his culture that he would love it. Only thing is that I really don't know much of it other than the stereotypical things. I rather like the idea of doing a Mehndi ceremony but none of the wedding party besides him share the culture in any way. I don't know if the paterns have a special meaning and if there are things I should or should not do when looking into doing it.

Also I really want to do something in the cermony and/or in the reception but again we really don't know much  and since my fiance is American born and raised he never really retained much of his Indian culture. Whenever I do ask him questions I usually get a vague answer with a "maybe" since hs' not sure of it himself.

Please I appreciate any help/advice/ideas you can give about this.

Re: Mehndi and help with other Indian culture

  • edited December 2011
    Are you and I ever in the same boat. When I asked FI (who is also American-born and calls himself "an American of Indian descent") about ANYthing Indian-wedding-related, he'd say, "I dunno. I never paid attention. I was just there for the parties."

    We decided, in the interest of blending the cutures, to include a few Indian things and a few American things into the handfasting ceremony we're doing. I've gotten a lot of help with resources here and various other sites specific to Indian weddings (www.indianweddingsite.com is my favorite - very helpful for ideas and resources and has a vendor search). I can't really ask my FILs because they don't like me (I'm too white, in their opinion, and they won't talk about the wedding uness it'so tell us not to have it) so I've had to get all my info online. But if you're on good terms with your FILs, by all means, use that resource! They'll have more insight into specific cultural traditions that you can incorporate.

    Here's what we're including from each side.

    American:
    Smallish guest list (as in, 85 people instead of 805)
    Bridal party
    Ring exchange
    I'm choosing my own dress and he doesn't get to see it till the day of (in Indian culture, so I've been told, the groom buys the bride's sari and sends it to her house the day before the wedding)

    Indian:
    We're both wearing traditional Indian clothes (including all the jewelry for me)
    Gazebo to fill in for a mandap
    Sacred fire
    Saptapadi
    Mehndi party before the wedding

    So far as the mehndi goes - certain designs mean different things according to which area they're seen in. And some don't have any specific meaning at all. Google images of bridal mehndi and you'll see so many different elements. There are popular motifs that appear everywhere - flowers, Ganesha, checkerboards, paisleys, etc. Most artists will bring design books or photos of past work with some elements that you can choose from. www.thehennapage.com is a goodresource for all things henna-related.
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  • latika83latika83
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    are you doing a bengali hindu ceremony or an american ceremony?

    if you are doing an american ceremony, you can add a few hindu elements, maybe evn something simple like exchanging flower garlands.
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