Feb 28, 2010

Indian Ring Ceremony

The rings. The ritual. Two people desperately in love. The Indian Ring Ceremony or Sagai is a romantic pre-wedding event. A cherished Indian wedding custom. The bride meets the groom's family and the groom is introduced to the bride's. The eager couple exchange rings made of platinum or 18K gold. (In fact, a typical Indian bride is showered with expensive gold gifts from the beginning to the end of the wedding ceremony, starting on Thursday and ending late Saturday night.) After exchanging engagement rings, the young couple receives the blessing of the elders before everyone moves on to the lamb kabobs and coconut ladoo (fudge candy).

A traditional Indian wedding means much more than just sugary sweets, saris and beautiful henna tattoos. The marriage unifies two families and two souls - forever. The exchanging of the rings, and the promise of a shared future - is one of the most important celebrations in modern Indian life.

Feb 23, 2010

Outdoor Garden Wedding Tips

Indoors with genuine Swarovski crystal chandeliers or outdoors under twinkling lights that sparkle like shining stars on a cloud-free night? In a fancy ballroom if you're not a bride on a budget. Out in the garden if you want to display your favorite wedding favors on a weathered wine barrel, English oak sideboard or Victorian settee. Outdoors if you would rather put $25,000 down on your first four bedroom ranch than on a big sit down buffet with roasted pork loin and pesto-marinated boneless leg of lamb. An unforgettable garden wedding with family and well-loved friends in the late afternoon or under a starry sky? Let these easy to follow outdoor wedding tips be your guide.

Wedding weather. What can you expect on the day of your wedding.  Sunny, humid and hot?  Guests will be grateful to ushers who usher in ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated.

What about rain?  The ideal outdoor wedding venue has an indoor or covered location waiting just in case.  If the ceremony has to go inside, the tables can be scooted to the back or side of the room.

Nature is nice.  Here in Virginia it's all about the dogwoods.  Beautiful white dogwood blooms color our commonwealth from late March to the middle of May.

Let's make a toast. Since alcohol is dehydrating, consider serving a variety of lemonade and fruit flavored iced teas. Be sure to have plenty of ice and water around as well. For a fancy cocktail, why not serve a classic mint julep or a mojito?

Bugs beware. Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so that your guests can relax and enjoy.

Here comes the sun.  Sunset is sweet - especially if you grew up on the West Coast like I did.  A beautiful blaze of fiery oranges, yellows and reds.  You need to see it to believe it.  Make sure you set up the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests' backs rather than in their eyes.

Follow the rules. Don't forget to contact your city parks department or other local government to get a permit for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photography.

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