On the 26th of March 2016 (Yes – I know two weeks after the proposal of my dreams!), we held a traditional engagement in my house. We had hosted his extended family and our guests. Initially, we were not firmly set on holding an engagement a mere four months from the big day, but as I am the only daughter in my house it was appreciated as the I would not be leaving my own house after the wedding. This had given my parents the opportunity to hold one last function for me from our home.
Let me start off by saying, there must have been at least 120 people at our home on the 26th of March. He joked about whether it was a surprise wedding, but my parents had really gone out of their way to host an impeccable event. So I had understood why they had invited so many people to celebrate our engagement with us.
I adore old school Hindu Tamil ceremonies. There is a certain magic in that you won’t find in modern or fusion functions these days. I had decided I wanted royal regal peacock colours – blues, purples and greens. We had acquired all the crockery, tables, chairs and decor from a short little Indian man who has been our service provider for a few functions. You need to prioritise what is important to you and I had chosen food, photography and happy guests as mine. Although the decor was stunning, it truly wasn’t as important to me as much as good food was.
The actual ritual part of the engagement is hilarious. The priest didn’t pitch up! He had overbooked functions and we only found out ten minutes before we needed to start the formalities. Luckily my grandmother knew what needed to be done and we went on. Prevashan and his parents had presented me with a saree and I left the stage. If I accepted Prevashan and his proposal, I would need to come back wearing the saree. We then perform deeparathanay (turning of burning camphor over the pillaiyar which is a Ganesha and lamp).
We then got to take a seat on stage and let our fathers accept the marriage and us both into each family. This was signified with deeparathanay again, blessing with various powders and flowers. The western custom ring has become part of the engagement rituals now. Prevashan had put on my engagement ring again and I pinned a corsage to his suit jacket. You could tell I have never been engaged before because the buttonhole kept falling down. Classic Revi situation.
Once we had done that, we exchanged trays between our families. I’m not a fan of trays that contain jewellery or other such gifts. Give me one with burfee and no one gets hurt. There were a few impromptu speeches in between the formalities and some tears. Once we had whizzed through that, we were blessed with showerings of flowers over us by our guests. That had concluded the function.
I had a vision of what I wanted the day to look like. Instead of hiring or buying fussy centrepieces that had no purpose, I decided to give Sheena’s Gold plants. So these served as my centrepieces and each family got to take one home. Not only was it an eco-friendly idea, it was symbolic of our love growing and a memorable favor. I had printed out cute cards and stuck these on coffee sticks which placed in each pot. I had also decided to find a template online are use my growing graphic designer skills to jazz up the invitations. We had our own photo booth station set up (which we didn’t really get to use) just with some polystyrene cut outs and coffee sticks. The few personal touches really added to the overall vision.