I'm not familiar with Indian wedding traditions at all, and his standard answer to any question I have is, "I dunno. I never paid attention at the family weddings; I was just there for the parties." His mother is currently refusing to acknowledge our engagement (racism abounds and nobody's happy he picked a white girl), so she won't discuss wedding stuff with me. She'll talk out anything else, but clams up the minute you utter the word "wedding."
So I'm here, hoping that at least some of my questions will get answers. Thanks in advance, ladies!
~Is the actual structure/shape of the havan kund significant? Can we use a regular brazier?
~Who starts the fire and what is used to start it (charcoal, wood, etc)? Who puts it out at the end of the ceremony? We're getting married by a notary - will this duty fall to him?
~FI hates my hair covered. Is a dupatta a requirement or can I get away with not wearing one? If it's imperative, does it have to match the sari? I haven't narrowed down my final sari choice, but none of the ones in my price range come with a matching dupatta.
~Regarding the processionals - I've watched a few videos of Indian weddings and it seems that there is a huge processional for the groom, after which the bride's family always greets the groom's family at the entrance. Then there is an equally huge processional for the bride. Who is in the bride's processional if her family is greeting his family? And how do we make such things work when we have a 70-person guest list, my white family won't know what to do, and the dressing rooms are connected to the garden area where our wedding will take place?
~About invitations - we're planning on having all the wedding celebrations over a weekend - starting on Friday evening with the henna party/sangeet, figuring out something for Saturday (no clue what yet), and ending on Sunday evening with the wedding. Can we put all of the invitations for these events with the wedding invitation, or should we send separate invites for each event?
~About the henna party - is the bride supposed to host that? What do we need for such a party, beyond food and a henna artist? Should I maybe try to rent out one of the local Indian restaurants for the evening or can it be held at someone's home?
I think that covers everything so far. Thanks again for any input you can offer.