Sunday, October 02, 2011

A Month of Weddings

The last 3 out of 4 weekends I have been lucky enough to be invited to friends weddings. Each one had been very enjoyable and very different from the others.

The first wedding was here in Edmonton of my former co-worker, Greg and his lovely bride Crystal. Unfortunately, my camera didn't like the lighting at the ceremony or the supper/dance and I have mostly blurry photos. It really is unfortunate because the couple are exceedingly good looking. I actually think it may be best to completely wipe out humanity and just let them start over...

My next wedding was back in the old home-town of Humboldt SK for Curt and Shawna's big day. Curt was kind enough to include me in his wedding party so most of my pictures are not of the actual ceremony but the before and after during the wedding party pictures.

 The best man keeping the rings safe.

The final wedding was a set of complete firsts for me as I attended a Hindu/Ismali Islam wedding of Christina's old co-worker (kind of) and friend Samir (Sam) and Shayroz. The wedding, on a Saturday morning at 9am, was held at a hall in Edmonton that was done up spectacularly with red and gold linen. For the Hindu wedding the couple had their own entrances to a mandap (wedding canopy) that was set up with pillows and more linen dressings and looked really comfortable.

I won't pretend to even understand all of the ceremonies meanings and rituals but there were some that were really interesting. 
  •  At one point the couple had a varamala (rope) that was tied in a knot joining the two. 
  • A fire was set up in the mandap and the bride and groom placed rice into it. The burning rice smelled really good.
  • There were a set of stones around the fire that the bride and groom would stand on while the priest (?) gave a special blessing.
  • The bride led the husband around the fire by the varamala 3 times. It looked like he was being led on a leash.
  • They eventually went around the fire a total of 7 times.

After the Hindu wedding ceremony there was a brief break where coffee and really outstanding tea was served as they got ready for the Ismali ceremony.
My first impression of the wedding was that it was very formal as all participants sat around a table in the centre of the hall. They then explained to us that weddings in their culture are not seen as sacraments so there is less pomp and pageantry. 
There was a reading from the koran and then the actual ceremony which was very much a contract signing of expectations. The formalities started to slide away as the parents of both the bride and groom joined hands in a cross hatched square and spoke with the couple. We couldn't hear any of what was being shared but Shayroz giggling filled the room and was contagious. The whole ceremony lasted maybe 15 minutes.

Christina and I kind of felt like tourists during the day and were lucky to have Amanpreet and her sister as our guides describing the rituals and explaining what we were eating at meals (the food was fantastic). Both Amanpreet and her sister looked stunning and Christina and I both posed for pictures with them in each of their outfits for the day.

All the best to the lucky couples.

Bonus: Possberg chair-shot during Curt's wedding photos.

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