When I receive email submissions, it’s always a joy and the reasons to why photographers, videographers and couples provide warm my heart. Elizabeth submitted her Gujarati engagement ceremony to Secret Wedding Blog as the blog delivers a very profound message that she resonates with. I mean how can that not make you smile?
My marriage will be a fusion of two different backgrounds coming together. I am so happy I found your website to showcase this!
Falgun is from Mumbai, India and Elizabeth is from Michigan, USA – they met via an app. Falgun had a status about having extra tickets to a A. R Rahman concert that Elizabeth already had tickets for. That’s when she sent him a message letting him know that she was going to the same concert. They ended up going to the same concert together and their fairy tale started from there! He then proposed to Elizabeth in October 2015, the day of their garba event. Originated in Gujarat, India, the Garba is a a form of dance which is traditionally performed around a clay lantern with a light inside. This lantern is called Garbha Deep which represents life, specifically the foetus in the womb.*
Gujarati Engagement Ceremony (Chanlo Matli)
To start the engagement off, Elizabeth and Falgun’s families exchanged coconuts followed by their parents singing a prayer. The chanlo (applying the vermilion mark on the forehead) announces the acceptance of the alliance between the two families. The bride’s father and usually four other male members from her family visit the groom carrying auspicious items and the bride’s father applies the chandlo on the groom’s forehead and gives him a shagun (a blessing symbolised by a token sum of money). The engagement ceremony ended by having their family feed them sweets and accepting gifts from their future in laws. Elizabeth wore an indian lengha from her own company Gujarati Dresses.
Wedding Planning Details
Elizabeth and Fulgun have set a wedding date for August this year (2016). There is a tonne of planning to do to prepare for a wedding. The toughest obstacle is getting the bridal party together as most of the bridesmaids are out of state as their main task is to get the centrepieces ready.
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couples are from different faiths/culture etc?
“Yes, it is harder to plan a wedding when two cultures are coming together. One side of the family wants the bride to wear an Indian dress while the other side of the family wants the bride to wear an American bridal dress. At the end of the day, I got to choose which dress I wanted. Other than that, I haven’t had many issues. I would have to say I’m lucky so far.”
Advice to give to other multicultural couples:
“My advice to give to other multicultural couples is to decide on the wedding arrangements yourself. Don’t let other family members pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do. It’s your wedding and you should enjoy it the way you want to.”