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"The duties of the bridesmaids are to escort the bride out to the ceremony as she walks, to dance on her sangeet function [the celebration that takes place a couple of days before the wedding], etc."


"The close family and guests who want to all wear henna," Shahani said. "There is a special function called mehendi where the bride gets her henna put [on] and the guests get it too."


"The difference is, the bridal henna is very elaborate and very detailed while the others have simpler designs."


"There are different versions floating around about the significance of henna. Some say because henna is cooling, it was used to alleviate stress in a bride."

"An old wives' tale is that the deeper the henna, the deeper the love between the bride and groom — or the bride and the groom's mother."


On the day of the wedding, Shahani said, "the groom comes on a horse with his family who dance through the streets."


"Once the groom is on the stage, the bride enters and they exchange floral garlands called jaimalas."


"They then meet and greet guests before heading towards the alter at a pre-decided auspicious time. The actual ritual is about an hour and a half long and involves taking seven rounds of the fire with your husband with seven vows."

The saat fere, or saptapadi, is when the bride and groom walk seven times around a fire; this represents the legal part of the traditional Vedic Hindu wedding.


At the reception there is a cake, said Shahani, but "that too is a pretty new concept. However, the importance given to the cake is really nothing compared to how cakes are in the West. It's an optional detail."


Shahani had three events as a part of her wedding. The first was the mehendi, where her henna was applied.


The second event was the sangeet function "where all my friends and family put up performances to Bollywood numbers that they have been practicing."


The third event, of course, is the wedding.


"The sangeet is the most fun and there is almost always a dance-off between the boy's and girl's sides."


"It is also where you exchange rings with the boy sometimes."


"We kept whistles on each table so the crowd could cheer us on!"

Sounds like a blast, if you ask me!


Find more of Shahani's work online:

Her beauty tips are at Peaches and Blush.

Her wedding site is at Wed Me Good.

Catch both P&B and WMG on Facebook as well!