Wondering what a traditional Indian wedding is like? This blog post tells the story of when my friends and I unexpectedly crashed a traditional Indian wedding in Delhi!
One night in Delhi we heard some music outside while we were finishing dinner and decided to investigate. One side of the street was full of men playing instruments and holding huge lamps that looked like jellyfish.
At first we just took pictures from the other side of the road, but the guests invited us into the procession almost immediately (being foreign and thus apparently a novelty.) There were several carriages covered in flowers and pulled by beautiful white horses, and there was a tent that was open at one side and filled with tables to eat at.
Next a car pulled up, and inside was the groom. We had crashed a traditional Indian wedding!!! He rolled down his window and shook our hands, saying that we were welcome to join the festivities. Then two elephants joined the procession, with their faces painted in beautiful colors. We were all so excited to see elephants for the first time! Little did we know how much time we’d be spending with these amazing creatures… (After all, the village I would teach at wasn’t called the Elephant Village for nothing!)
Then some men came with huge, curved horns and blew them at everyone who walked by. It was quite comical, and we all good a got laugh out of it!
There were two women in matching gold dresses that were very extravagant, so I think that they were the groom’s sisters. One of them grabbed me and asked to take a photo with me and the rest of the group (again, thanks to our status as white tourists).
A man brought a turban for Sam to wear, and with it, Sam looked like he belonged at the party. Between his turban and his tailor-made shirt and pants (that he’d bought earlier that day), he looked like Indian royalty. We would periodically lose sight of him, and then later find him dancing, surrounded by spectators.
Then a man grabbed Caroline and sat her on top of his drum. After the initial shock, she had a great time dancing and clapping while on the drum. Then Kelly, Jana and I also got to take turns sitting on the drums and dancing.
Then someone got a trumpet for Kelly to play, because she can play just about any brass instrument. Not only was she very good, but she could play along with the other musicians!
We wanted to stay long enough to see the actual ceremony, but our friend Surendra said that they would be in the street for two more hours before they even met up with the bride and her family. Did I mention that all this was JUST for the groom?! Surendra said that he had to be quite rich, probably some very successful businessman. Thus, we left around midnight – despite the protests of the other guests – to catch up on sleep and get over our jetlag. Still, crashing a traditional Indian wedding is one travel experience that I will never forget!
Want to know more about my travels in India? Click here to read about my previous excursion or here for the following excursion. Or, you can click here to read about all of my travel trips and adventures in Asia!
Happy Travels! XOXO Ann