Wedding Coordinating for an Indian Wedding in Brookings, SD

May 31, 2014 was a first for me. I did a lot of research beforehand, but seeing everything in person was incredible. I had the absolute honor of coordinating and styling a wedding for a wonderful couple; the bride’s family was from India and the groom’s was American. Combining two cultures for an event like a wedding is a mashing of some beautiful rituals.

Indian weddings not only unite the bride and groom, but also their families (which was evident through all the family events and the love that poured from that room– from the dancing and henna on Friday to the speeches on Saturday — love, love and more love). It was fascinating to see two families come together for this very special day.

Lovely parts of the ceremony included:

  •  Jai Mala (Exchange of Garlands): The bride and groom exchange floral garlands, signifying their acceptance of one another. The knot in their garments represents the eternal bond of marriage.
  • Vivah Havan (Lighting of the Sacred Fire): The priest lights the sacred fire, which symbolizes the divine presence as a witness of the ceremony. 
  • Mangal Phere (Circling the Sacred Fire): The bride and groom walk around the sacred fire seven times keeping in mind the four aspirations in life: Dharma (duty to each other, family and God), Artha (prosperity), Karma (energy and passion) and Moksha (salvation).
  • Saptapadi (The Seven Sacred Steps): This is the most beautiful part of an Indian wedding. It has so much depth, purpose and meaning. The couple takes seven steps together, taking a sacred vow with each step:
    1. Together we will live with respect for one another.
    2. Together we will develop mental, physical and spiritual balance.
    3. Together we will prosper, acquire wealth and share our accomplishments.
    4. Together we will acquire happiness, harmony and knowledge through mutual love.
    5. Together we will raise strong, virtuous children.
    6. Together we will be faithful to one another and exercise self-restraint and longevity.
    7. Together we will remain lifelong partners and achieve salvation.
  • Next, the bride and groom exchange rings.
  • Aashirvaad (Blessings for the Married Couple):  The family and wedding party shower the newlywed couple with flowers and rice to wish them a long and happy marriage.
  • This couple also read vows they had written themselves. (I would have cried reading my own, but they both held it together for a beautiful reading of their vows!) Well, who am I kidding. I teared up.

I mentioned that Saturday, May 31st was a first for me….and it was unique in more ways than one! It rained so hard that their outdoor wedding was moved indoors to the Old Sanctuary in Brookings, SD. If you read the parts of an Indian wedding from above, you’ll note that their fire pit was burning indoors for 35 minutes! Between the rain, the fire, a twisted ankle, an incredible team folding napkins and setting place settings, tying chair sashes and coordinating four caterers, my job description grew, including: medic, emcee, waitress, florist, slideshow tech and catering assistant by the end of the night. Whew. I loved it! As always, Hitch also picked up, set up, took down and returned all the rentals for the family. (Which has a story of its own because both the reception venue and the rental store flooded the next day because of all the rain! We’re talking the worst downpour Brookings has seen in years.)

Her colors were so bright and she was one of the most organized brides I’ve ever worked with. (She provided diagrams of what each table should look like when set. Can we say amazing?) Please enjoy the details of this wedding as much as I did:

And I cannot end this blog post without thanking the incredible staff that helped me coordinate this one-of-a-kind wedding. They selflessly gave their entire Saturday to help. It brought tears to my eyes on Sunday when it was all over because 1.) I’m a sensitive soul anyway and 2.) it meant so much to Carrie and I that as we start this Hitch business…we can’t exactly afford to pay the BEST (1-hour massages and manicures for everyone!), but they all helped for long hours anyway. I think we made about 89 trips up and down those stairs…each. Now I can add exercise coach to my job description.  🙂  It meant the world to us. Check out the Facebook album with a closer look at the pictures of the beautiful wedding!

Best wishes and THANK YOU for the pleasure of styling your wedding, A&D.  xoxo

By: Renee Halgerson, Owner/Designer, Hitch Design Studio

1 thought on “Wedding Coordinating for an Indian Wedding in Brookings, SD”

  1. What a gorgeous event! I was so excited to see and hear how it all came together and as usual you pulled it off flawlessly despite major weather events-kudos to you and your team!

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