day by day india: wedding reception

The taxi enters the fairground where the wedding is being celebrated. A billboard announces that we have arrived at the right reception "Divyanka weds George" written in gold on cream colored fabric.  The pathway leads to a series of outdoor patios decorated with tables and chairs wrapped in white cloth with ribbon and sashes for the guests and a dais of gold and red cushioned chairs for the couple.  A garden of eden with lights of blue and green trim the trees, flowers and bushes. In the far left hand corner a DJ booth is set up with a dance floor.  To the right of that is a buffet of snacks and appetizers.  Behind that the happy corner where a wet bar is available for guests (a rarity for Hindu weddings). Next to that lies diverging passageways, where one leads to the WC, the other winds down a dazzling lit path to a hidden dining area.

Although the entryway is wide enough for an elephant to cross, there won't be any sort of grand entrance on any animals as this is a Northern tradition reserved for families from Delhi, Bombay and Mumbai. It's a picture perfect evening with a clear sky and light breeze, you almost can't tell if you're outside.

The emcee introduces the bride and groom (and their paparazzi) as they enter the event space followed by the wedding party. There are photos taken on the dais, and the evening commences with a spray of confetti, a series of toasts from the best man, maid of honor and sister of the bride, and then the groom followed by the cutting of the cake. All of which is broadcast on a movie screen to the left of the food stations, so anyone seated anywhere within the grounds can see what's going on. Next is the wedding march through the tunnel of love which ends with the bride and groom on the dance floor where they share their first kiss as husband and wife, and first dance to Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately."

The music set spans across the decades from the 60s 70s 80s 90s and today, there is a conga line and international favorites like the Macarena, the hokey pokey and the chicken dance mixed in with slow dancing and freestyle selections. I am out on the floor slightly reserved compared to other social events this year and enjoy the observation privileges of being here. In the midst of all the celebration dinner is served, cocktails and wine consumed, a meet greet and photo session is had at the dais with the bride and groom and the dancing continues well past midnight. "This is Bangalore, show me love," cries the emcee as he wrangles and cajoles folks to the dance floor.

The evening winds down, and the last remaining guests are invited to a moonlight supper with the bride and groom in the main dining area. Ramani will not take no for an answer and so with Suphil, one of the Addu's family friends we join the last meal of the evening/first meal of the day with Dinky and George.

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