Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christian/Hindu Interfaith Ceremony for Lori and Bijal at Highgrove!

The rain forced my 3:00 wedding indoors but Lori held out for an outside wedding at 5:30 on October 24, 2009. When Marty and I arrived, Joe Bunn, their DJ, was setting up outside so he could provide sound for me and the readers. It was a last minute decision of the bride and we stuck to it. The guests arrived and were seated after being given a beautiful wedding program Lori and Bijal created. The couple also had a basket of rolled up soft pink pashminas for the women to take as a wrap if needed to snuggle up in. How thoughtful! The pink matched the latte bridesmaids dresses accented with the soft pink of the flowers they carried.

When it was time to begin, Roxana, our director with Highgrove Estate, cued the musicians and the parents were seated. Then Bijal and I processed in together followed by the best man, Chris.

The bridesmaids and groomsmen entered as couples--all 8 of them! It was a large wedding party. Then the 3 ring bearers--Noah, Adam and Milan--entered.

Then our sweet little flower girls-- Bella and Layne--came down the steps and the aisle with flower wands with bells on them. They were supposed to ring them as they came in but they forgot.

Then Roxana rang a large bell 5 times to announce the entrance of the bride. I had everyone stand.

This is the overall scene with our photographer, Bianca, and her husband and videographer, Sean, getting all the action.

Lori was a beautiful bride. I saw Bijal's eyes tear up just a bit when she came down the aisle.

In the beginning of the ceremony just when the bride came in, it started to sprinkle and the pages of my book started to get wet. See the umbrellas. Then it stopped for the rest of the ceremony.
In this misty shot, I am addressing the couple's parents and paying tribute to them. We also remembered the couple's grandparents. Bijal's grandmother had made a special candle for the occasion which they brought with them and we lit it along with the other candles lit in their memory. It was very special. Then we had two readers. Janyl, one of the Matrons of Honor, read a passage from the Christian Bible. Namita, Bijal's cousin, read a passage from the BhagavadGita.

Bijal and Lori worked very carefully to combine both the Hindu customs and the traditional American/Christian customs in their ceremony. I had previously done several interfaith ceremonies of Hindu/Christian couples but they were separate ceremonies and never integrated together like this one. It was fabulous! Here they light the Unity Candle--a Christian tradition.

Then they used the Unity Candle as the Sacred Fire in the Hindu tradition of Phere and performed Mangal Fara which is 4 rounds around the fire. The groom led the bride in the first three rounds then the bride led the groom in the last round you see here. Each round had a specific significance and represented aspects of marriage.

They then celebrated Saptapati by taking 7 steps around the fire saying in unison a vow for each step. They got tickled about half way through and I had to repeat the vow for them! Following the vows they exchanged rings and I pronounced them husband and wife and they kissed. Applause, applause. I introduced them to their guests and out they went, married at last.

They head for the house for photographs followed by the big reception in the big tent. The rain was still holding off.

They posed with me for the customary photo with the officiant. They were so pleased with how the ceremony went. Even Bijal's parents complimented me on how I handled the ceremony. I think they must have had some doubts at the rehearsal but it all turned out fabulously! Thank you, Lori and Bijal, for this wonderful experience. I am honored to have been your officiant and I know you two will be so happy and have a wonderful marriage!

Highgrove Estate is a fantastic place for a wedding. I love doing weddings here. They provide the couple with their own coordinator to help them make all their plans, conduct the rehearsal and direct the wedding. Roxana Costivc was our capable coordinator. Thanks, Roxana, it was a pleasure working with you!

Here are some photos of the reception area. It was so elegant.

Our musicians provided heavenly music. Unfortunately because of the potential for rain, they had to be under cover so they were stuck back in the tent on the patio at the far end so they could see the ceremony for cues. Evelyn Snyder, the violinist on the right, plays many weddings I officiate. It is always good to see her and I know I can count on great music. With her is cellist Shana Tucker Williams and violinist Elle Bentler, a friend of the bride. I think Elle knew Evelyn and Evelyn knew Shana. The three of them together were great. Thanks, gals!

Joe Bunn--I always look forward to doing weddings with Joe. He is an excellent DJ and probably the most well-known in these parts and for good reason. Joe, the sound was perfect and I appreciate your help at every wedding we do together! I know the reception must have been a blast. I see that you already have this wedding on your are speedy!

Cinda's Creative Cakes made this 6 tier coconut wedding cake. Isn't it incredible?

Our photographer and videographer were Bianca and Seth of A Moment Like This. They were delightful to work with as usual. They capture everything and don't miss a moment.

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