Sunday, November 18, 2012

East Meets West - A Wedding Ceremony of Two Cultures/Two Faiths

Two cultures.  Two religions.  Two hearts. 

Arun and Megan meet in 2008, had their first date at Herkimer's during that huge snowstorm, fell in love and became engaged in 2010 in the Methow Valley.  (Isn't that a great spot for a proposal!)

heir wedding took place at the Seattle Design Center:  a modern look with a spacious feel and lots of natural light.

Arun and Megan planned a ceremony that reflected both of their cultures.  A dais or "Mandap" was constructed for the Hindu portion of the celebration.  You see here the chairs upon which the couple sat and the altar that was beautifully created.

Their parents would sit on sides.  Megans' parents near her and Arun's parents near him.

It was very special that Arun's father, Prabhakar, conducted the Hindu ceremony.  And, I was fortunate enough to perform the Christian portion of the celebration.

During the ceremony, Megan wore a tradition Western wedding dress.  She looked radiant as she walked in on the arm of her father, Bob.  As I welcomed the guests and explained about what was to happen, the bride and groom, along with their parents, entered the Mandap.  It was colorfully decorated and a delight to look at.

Jyoti, Arun's mother, placed a veil on Megan's head.  Then, the couple exchanged garlands.

The two certainly are in love and have eyes only for each other!

Yes, it is a real fire.  It represents the "fire god" - the god of love.  Megan and Arun are spooning oil on it as part of the ceremony.

Here Arun is annointing his bride with oil.

Next, their clothing was tied together and the two walked about the altar several times.  It is the beginning of their walk through life together.

The wedding party and I took our seats and enjoyed the Hindu part of the ceremony.  When complete, the parents took their seats and we continued with the Western/Christian part of the wedding. It seamlessly flowed from one portion to the next.

The vows touched everyone's heart strings:
"I choose you
  as my life-long best friend and spouse.
I promise you all my love, trust, 
  honesty and devotion,
  through the pressures of the present
  and the uncertainties of the future.

I will always stand by your side
  and be supportive of all your dreams and ambitions.
I promise to take care of you and to take care of myself
  so we can keep on laughing together and loving each other 
  for as long as we both shall live."

After the ring exchange, Prabhakar rejoined us for the blessing and pronunciation.

You're looking at a very happy couple!!

The newlyweds signed their marriage documents and changed clothing while the guests enjoyed the cocktail hour.

Arun and Megan liked their ceremony and I loved working with them.  It was a beautiful merging of customs and cultures united by their love.

Thank you again for everything, Pat!  
We loved the ceremony and got so many compliments.
We even made several people cry!
~Megan & Arun

It was a wonderful day.  Everyone was so happy for the bride and groom.

Wishing Arun and Megan all the happiness in the world!

Hats off to all those who helped make the day run smoothly. 
Blue Ribbon Cooking School offered all-inclusive services, from the design, planning, bartending and catering.
Luna Bella for the DJ services, photography and videography (the photos with the watermarks are theirs, the others I enjoyed taking).
And, of course, Prabhakar Sharma.

If you are planning a ceremony that honors the merging of two cultures/two faiths, give us a call at 206.789.9788 or contact us through our website:

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