As the groom, Verun sat on the back of the white convertible, his family and friends danced to the lively music played through the speakers by his friends. Surrounded by those who love him, he was grinning from ear to ear and moving to the beat of the music. Colorful attire was worn especially by the families and the joy amongst those who partook in the procession was palpable. As the crowd drew nearer and nearer to the ceremony site, their excitement grew and even Verun and Lissette’s dog, Leo, joined in the dancing with his beloved human dad. The only thing more fascinating than this parade came shortly afterwards as the beautiful bride, dressed in red, walked toward her groom. She was STUNNING!
What an honor to be invited to capture this lovely Hindu wedding on Mission Bay at the Tower Beach Club! Zack and I have never been to an Indian wedding before and we were so thrilled to witness this beautiful ceremony and celebration. We met some truly wonderful people and we felt so welcomed and appreciated. Verun and Lissette are such friendly, fun people and their family and friends were just like them. This was day one of what I believe was a two day celebration, with their western wedding being the following day. If they had as much fun on day two as they had on day one, I am sure it was amazing as well! Congratulations Verun and Lissette!
Read the captions between the images below to follow along with the proceedings of this beautiful wedding ceremony.
Venue | The Tower Beach Club
Coordinator | Krista with Paper Jewel Events
Before the ceremony began, the officiant set up everything he would need. The floral garlands they would exchange were waiting for them on their chairs as well. A tarp was laid down and everyone took their shoes off before they entered this space.
Verun’s grandmother and his mother helped him get ready by placing a turban on his head and a sash over his shoulder.
The groom’s sisters both tied strings on the door of the car before he entered it and began his slow but exuberant journey to the ceremony site.
Often a groom will ride to the ceremony on an elephant or a white horse, but in modern fashion, Verun chose to travel in a white BMW! This parade is called a baraat and it is accompanied by music and dancing guests and family members.
In the Baraat, the groom is dressed in a long jacket called a Sherwani and fitted trousers called Churidars. He wears a Safa, a turban, on his head, with a big fancy brooch called Kalgi pinned onto it.
The bride’s family welcomed the groom’s family upon their arrival. During the swagatam the family members exchange garlands and the mother of the bride placed a red dot on the grooms forehead and flower petals on his head. Then they escorted the groom and his immediate family to their place of honor on the sacred space.
The parents and the bride and groomgroom remove their shoes and enter the sacred space where a fire (agni) is burning to symbolize the highest degree of a witness. The prayer to Ganesh asks for the Hindu deity to bestow good luck and remove obstacles for the couple and their families.
Lissette entered on her own and then joined her sisters to walk down the aisle in her grand reveal or kanya aagaman.
Upon arriving at the ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged garlands to signify their choice and commitment to one another.
Once she arrives at the altar, the bride and her groom are given rice to throw into Agni’s ceremonial fire.
Lissette’s family offered yogurt and honey to Verun signifying that she would change all sourness in his life into sweetness. Then they placed her right hand into Verun’s right hand. This signified their parental blessing for the marriage.
The groom gifted the bride a mangal sutra necklace, translated as “an auspicious thread.” This gift symbolized his love, commitment and respect.
Next, Verun applied a red powder to the center of Lissette’s forehead, symbolizing that she’s now a married woman.
For the hasta melap, a knot was tied between the Verun’s scarf and the Lissette’s sari by Verun’s two sisters. The couple joined hands, and that physical binding represented “a love that binds two souls for a lifetime.”
During the mangal phera, Verun & Lissette clasped hands again and walked around the fire four times, each round representing a stage of life: To pursue life’s religious and moral duty (dharma); to pursue prosperity (artha); to pursue earthly pleasures (kama); to pursue spiritual salvation (moksha).
At the beginning of the ceremony, a fire burns in a small dish. The fire represents Agni, who is the Hindu god of fire that gives life to the marriage. The fire is kept burning throughout the ceremony and serves as a witness to the exchanged vows between the bride and groom.
The bride and groom then took seven more steps for the saptapadi. These represented the first seven steps they take together as husband and wife. These seven steps roughly translate to: Together we will live with respect for one another. Together we will develop mental, physical, and spiritual balance. Together we will prosper, acquire wealth, and share our accomplishments. Together we will acquire happiness, harmony, and knowledge through mutual love. Together we will raise strong, virtuous children. Together we will be faithful to one another and exercise self-restraint and longevity. Together we will remain lifelong partners and achieve salvation.
Verun pointed out to Lissette the double stars, Arundhati and Vashista as an ideal couple, who symbolize marital fulfillment and loyalty.
After the priest declared Verun and Lissette as husband and wife and blessed the newlyweds with a happy and prosperous life together, thy sought the blessings from their family members.
The day would not have been the same without Verun and Lissette’s beloved fur baby Leo.
Jun 1, 2023