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Arun & Ruchika, Hindu Wedding Ceremony Celebrations, River Rock Casino Richmond by Elite Images
|Arun & Ruchika, Hindu Wedding Ceremony Celebrations, River Rock Casino Richmond by Elite Images
||Hindu Marriage Customs
Wedding Ceremony Location: Ram Krishna Mandir & Vedic Cultural Centre of BC in Richmond, BC
Reception Location: Royal King Palace Convention Centre in Surrey, BC
Photos: Elite Images by Aman Bal
Wedding Decor: Raymon's Decor Divine Stems - Gurinder Grewal
Cake: Frosted Affair Cake Creations - Katie and Charles Carr
Hair & Make up by: Beauty Call - Angela Hira-Dhesi
Who did your henna? Hasna's Mehndi Hasna (HasnasMehndi.com)
Horse: India Wedding Horse
Who was your photographer? Elite Images - Aman Bal and his team
Who was your videographer? EXL Films - Errol X. Lazare and his team
Ruchika and Arun’s special moments of unity began when Ruchika a physician, originally from Unionville, Ontario and Arun a lawyer and native of Vancouver, British Columbia were set up for a blind date by a classmate of Ruchika’s.
This first (blind date) occurred in April 2008, and despite Arun’s arriving a little late – he made up for that by the wonderful conversations they had during their coffee that actually lasted for three hours! Arun’s first impression of Ruchika was her distinguished look, as Arun stated, “I noticed her glasses, which made her look like a librarian. In fact; she told me later that she did work as a librarian during her university studies!” He also immediately picked up on one of Ruchika’s characteristics, as he further lamented, “she was eating a ‘healthy’ cookie sitting on a bench in front of a ‘Whole Foods’ store, and he decided then that she was a ‘health nut’.”
Ruchika, on the other hand, immediately noticed Arun’s attire. He was casually dressed, but his chosen outfit and colour scheme caught her attention. She wasn’t too pleased with his late arrival, but his wittiness, and the remarkable compatibility between them made up for that!
The couple knew they were meant to be, and Arun was busily searching high and low for the perfect engagement ring for Ruchika. In November 2009, Arun decided to make his wedding proposal a surprise, and knowing how much it meant to Ruchika to obtain a non-conflict diamond – a “blood diamond”; as she spent time in Rwanda doing volunteer work, and this grounded her determination all the more.
Arun tricked Ruchika into believing that the diamond ring they wanted was no longer available from Tacori. Arun then further elaborated on how they might even have to purchase this special ring across the border in the U.S.! Arun’s masterful apologies made this story even more believable!
On that special day of the proposal, they met up for lunch during Ruchika’s lunch break at a medical conference, and they began to walk together. Arun pulled out a box from his pocket which had the tag of another vendor, and not the one Ruchika was hoping for. He actually presented this to her as an “apology gift” for not finding her the perfect ring. Interestingly, as Ruchika opened the box there was a plastic flower with petals, and she was told she had to play that game of picking the petals off the flower; each one stating either ‘he loves me’ or ‘he loves me not’. As she plucked all of them off, the remaining petal stated ‘he loves me not’. Ruchika felt crushed. She thought that that was a breaking up gift from Arun. Arun...with another trick up his sleeve told Ruchika “it must have fallen off”. The two of them began their fervent search. Suddenly, Arun proclaimed, “I found the petal!” He took another box, the engagement ring box which had the missing petal on top of it that read ‘he loves me’. Arun bent down, and on one knee proposed to Ruchika, to which Ruchika (her eyes filled with tears of joy) replied “yes!” To make this moment even more memorable; a passing jogger nearby was asked to take a photograph of them, so they would always remember that extra special moment, and Arun’s masterful way of surprising Ruchika!
The couple decided not to have an extravagant engagement party, and instead had their immediate families attend an intimate engagement ceremony during the Christmas holidays of 2010.
After the official proposal they both decided on having a longer engagement due to their busy lives, and proper planning for that very special day. They needed to pick the perfect time and date so that all of their families from around the world would be able to attend. They initially wanted to wed in August, but the reception hall was booked. Thus, they chose the long Easter weekend; April 22 and 23. The ceremony was held on the first day, and reception on the next day. They also found this momentous, as they had met one another on April 20th, 2008.
The couple had incorporated many traditional and cultural events into, and prior to their wedding. They had various Hindu ceremonies which were celebrations of the joining of not only the couple, but the two families of the couple! These ceremonies were called: Roka ceremony, Havan and Jagran.
They had their wedding ceremony as per Hindu tradition at the Ram Krishna Mandir and Vedic Centre in Richmond where 400 guests attended, and their reception at The Royal King Palace and Convention Cetnre in Surrey which housed 900 guests.
The morning of the wedding day; Arun had an Surya Brass Band; an authentic Indian band playing music as his family and friends left the house together for the wedding.
A majestic appearance of Arun’s arrival upon Dusty - the indian wedding horse they had rented for this occasion made this a very memorable, and awe inspiring event. As Arun’s family arrived and danced to the celebratory music, Ruchika’s family adorned them with welcome garlands, as did Arun’s family adorn Ruchika’s family. This tradition is called: Milni.
Interestingly; the Milni tradition usually includes only the males in the family, but Ruchika and Arun decided to incorporate the females also marking that occasion even more special and joyous! Another important aspect was that Ruchika’s mother welcomed Arun into the family, and showered him with gifts.
Arun’s majestic attire included: a traditional cream and red bejewelled Achkan with matching shoes and a turban. He purchased these from Benzer in Mumbai, India.
The bride, Ruchika was beautifully adorned in a traditional maroon silk saree directly from India, and paired with stunning costume jewellery, also from Mumbai.
The wedding ceremony was according to Vedic traditions that embodied ideals of spiritual strength, moral and disciplined lifestyle, piety and selflessness and divinity of love.
The special uniting of the couple took place within an area surrounded by four pillars. These pillars represented the four goals in life: Dharma-righteous living, Artha-earning wealth responsibly, Kama-spending wealth responsibly and Moksha-liberation.
After the wedding ceremony, Ruchika was carried off on a Doli box, carried by her brother, and cousins down the street towards Arun’s house. Awaiting the arrival was a band that played traditional music on the dhols and bagpipes. All the neighbours couldn’t help but to come outside, and enjoy witnessing the festivities.
Amongst the many traditions and events that took place, included:
Vadha Aaghamamana and Jai Mala: The bride’s arrival, and exchanging of garlands. Ruchika was brought to the Mandap by her brothers, where Arun and Ruchika exchanged floral garlands signifying their honour and respect towards each other. The thread tying the flowers represented unity, and circular shape of the garland represented infinite love with no beginning or end.
The Ganapati Puja: The Panditji commenced after the marriage ceremony with an invocation to Lord Ganesh (remover of obstacles).
The Madhu Parka: The Sweet Offering. Ruchika offered a sweet drink called Madhu-Parka to Arun. This drink consisted of yogurt and honey; for health and happiness. In return, Arun would vow to conduct himself in life with the same sweetness of the drink.
The Pratigrahan: Wedding proposal. The Panditji acknowledges and seeks blessings from the ancestors from both families of the couple.
The Pratigya: The sacred vows – to have faith in the divine: To show love and compassion towards each other. Help each other perform good deeds. Strive to keep their minds pure and virtuous. Be strong and righteous. Show respect and affection towards their parents and families. Raise their children to be strong in mind and body. Welcome guests into their home as family.
And more of the traditional ceremonies included: The Havan Yajna – the lighting of the sacred fire. The Gath Bandhan – the tying of the sacred knot. The Laaja Homa – the prayer for shared prosperity. The Shilarohan Vidhi – the ascending of the rock (Ruchika places her foot on the rock and her brother and father recite a mantra in Sanskrit symbolically meaning; place your foot on this rock and be strong like it when faced with life’s difficult situations.
The Saptpadi – the seven steps. Ruchika and Arun had to take their first seven steps together, each step signifying certain important virtues, and meanings important in life as they head on their life journey together. The Mangal Sutra and Sindoor – symbolizing commitment. The Jalasinchana – the sprinkling of the Holy water. The Aashirvaad – the blessing of the newlyweds.
The couple chose the Royal King Palace and Convention Centre in order to accommodate their many guests, and had hired entertainment of Indian instrumentalists who played the sitar, tabla and flute as the guests arrived. They incorporated a photo booth and had ample food buffets and cocktail bars.
The overall theme of the wedding as the newlyweds described themselves was, “Diversity! They had family and friends flying in from all over the world which included: Jamaica, Kuwait, England, India, various parts of Canada and the U.S.”
They wanted their wedding to have a traditional colour scheme being red, and the lovely reception was in a colour palette of gold and eggplant purple which gave the ambiance a very majestic feel.
They did hire a decorator for their wedding, and florist, as well as a baker for their wedding cake. They also hired a photographer, and videographer to capture the amazing moments of that very special occasion. They both decided on renting a vintage 1930 Beauford convertible from A Stylish Arrival to compliment that day. They did hire entertainment for the occasion. An important aspect to this entire venture was the utilization of a wedding planner. They were extremely pleased with the work provided by – Harprit Patel from Always and Forever Weddings. She did an amazing job, and even though she might have encountered some slight difficulties, the couple were unawares, and she smoothly managed to pull the whole thing off. Arun’s parents also were very helpful, as they knew of many vendors whom would be of use for the couple, as they had been in the community for approximately 40 years.
One very interesting and notably unforgettable aspect to highlight their special day was the fireworks display by Celebration Fireworks and the glass sculptures.
Arun’s mother provided the wedding favors which she purchased in India. The favors consisted of jewellery boxes which were ornamented in glass decorations and of various beautiful colours – symbolizing India’s colourfulness, and contained four miniature chocolate Easter eggs, as they were having their wedding on the Easter weekend.
The couple’s immense consideration included providing a hotel accommodation at the River Rock Casino and Resort for all out of town guests, with hired bus services to take them to each of the ceremonies and events. This enabled everybody to enjoy, and experience the delights of the couple’s unity, as well as mingling amongst each other, as they didn’t have many opportunities to see each other often.
The couple had very many highlights of their wedding, and amongst these were when the families came together and met, and had a joyous time together. The very well conducted wedding ceremony that was completed within an hour. The array of delicious foods at all of the events was gladly appreciated.
What they still envision about their special day is when Ruchika was carried off in the Doli box, and seeing Arun whom was as handsome as ever. Ruchika’s father emotional state when he performed his duties on the mandap.
Arun and Ruchika strongly recommend hiring a wedding planner to deal with the many aspects of running things smoothly, particularly when there are many ceremonies and events to cover, and people to accommodate. They made good use of The Cultural Wedding Planner and the information regarding the ‘henna myths and tips’ very useful.
They were very happy with the outcome of their wedding, and found it unique, because many people whom attended didn’t experience a true ‘Hindu’ wedding, and also didn’t see a groom arriving on a horse to the temple either! It was a first for them, and very different, unique and impressive!
Arun and Ruchika decided to honeymoon Grande St. Lucian Sandals Resort.They spent their sun-filled honeymoon in St. Lucia for a wonderful 7 day duration.They do recommend this destination to other couples, as they were free to bathe in the sun, had excellent food, entertainment and many adventurous activities incorporated.
Their thoughts on a successful wedding: “No matter whether the couple is newly married or not, communication about any issue shouldn’t be bottled up. That would lead to frustration and anxiety. When there are important things to discuss, it’s best to discuss this in a neutral manner before they build up.”
Evidently; Arun and Ruchika, a wonderful couple, gives very important and wise advice to not only future brides and grooms, but to all people! It is no surprise these two match, and are destined in a loving unity for their journey through life.