Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Attending a Gujerati wedding reception *updated

I have never attended a Gujerati wedding before, so when I was invited to one, I got all excited and looked forward to it. For the benefit of those in the dark, Gujerati are natives from Gujarat, which is a state in the western part of India. For as long as I can remember, the Gujerati people are mostly well-educated, speak good English, relatively fair-skinned, good-looking and vegetarian. There, about summing it all what I know about the Gujeratis. :) Anyway, my good friend and colleague Jason had his wedding reception at a nice hotel at the corner of Batu Feringghi Penang, which is the Bayview Beach Resort. Since I don't get to go to Gujerati weddings that often (they are quite a small community in Malaysia), I wanted to take the opportunity to document whatever I have experienced on that night.

This was the decoration that we saw right at the entrance to the cocktail area. Just outside the ballroom, there were waiters carrying trays of cold drinks around for the guests to drink while waiting for the ballroom to be ready.

Wedding reception entrance

Of course, an Indian wedding wouldn't be complete without the traditional floor decoration. I am always amazed by the amount of effort used to put out something as pretty as this... knowing that it would very well be easily destroyed by a gush of wind! I know I wouldn't be patient enough to do this. :)

Pretty floor decorations

We were there 15 minutes late but thankfully the dinner was not even close to starting yet. Guests were still mingling outside at the cocktail area. I saw some peanuts and crackers served in the cocktail area but I didn't dare to eat because they appeared to have been touched by many different hands. But I was hungry! :(

People outside ballroom

So I tried to distract myself by taking a walk around the hotel area. Well, and I did some camwhoring. :P This was what I wore on that night, a short and simple little black dress. What was I thinking taking a picture next to a coconut tree? No, I wasn't trying to brag that I was almost as tall as the tree. Never.

Camwhoring outside the hotel

Gorgeous pool at the hotel. If only I were in my swimming suit...

Nice pool by the hotel

Oh I definitely want to show you my hair! (Detour from the wedding a bit) What do you think? I did it in just 5 minutes ok! Well, maybe it looked a bit messy, but it definitely was strong enough to hold up for the whole night! And what a smart trick I discovered, to put a scrunchy around the bun to cover the mess and to hold the bun stronger. Killing 2 birds with a stone. How smart! *wink*

My hair

We were in the ballroom earlier and we managed to pick one of the nicest tables! We were just next to the bride and groom's table and just right in front of the stage. How cool is that!

My table :)

Lots of effort have been put into the details of the decoration of the ballroom and the tables and chairs. Look at this pretty napkin, even the napkin itself had details on it. And everything was in matching colours! Well done to the decor team, I'd say.

Pretty table napkin

The theme was obviously red and white in colour. I loved that each chair was carefully covered with pretty cloth and decorated with red ribbon at the back. It made the whole dinner area all the more elegant.

Dinner ballroom

This was the bride and groom's table, seated on a plateau directly facing the stage.

Bride and groom's table on a plateau

Did I mention that I chose the best table? :P Not only was it facing the stage and near the bride and groom, it was also near to the desserts! Ok, I'm trying very hard not to sound like a glutton now. I'm not, really. I just love desserts. Who doesn't? :)

Dessert spread

Soon after everyone was seated, the emcee was announcing the arrival of the bride and groom. I didn't manage to take a good picture of them walking in on the red carpet because it was all dark and my camera couldn't get a good shot. :( Well, this was taken way before they entered.

The red carpet

After the bride and groom were seated, we were promptly served with an appetizer dish. This came as a surprise to me though, because the dinner was actually buffet style. Then it occurred to me that this appetizer probably served as a light snack for those who're hungry (*note=ME) while we waited for the emcee to give the opening speeches.


After the appetizer, came the big dig into the buffet spread! Since the Gujeratis are vegetarian, the buffet spread was also vegetarian. I was rather impressed by the different types of dishes they could come up with, vegetarian-style. There was even vegetarian satay! Food for the dinner was just ok. I suppose it is a norm that wedding dinners never have food to shout about. Don't you agree? Same goes with Chinese weddings, in my humble opinion.

Food from buffet spread

The dessert that I picked! I think I picked more fruits than dessert, and thankfully so. Because the dessert was REALLY not that great. Chocolate cake was all crumbly, meaning that it wasn't fresh, and the puddings were too soft and bland. Oopss, I hope the bride and groom never get to read my blog post. -.-"

Dessert from buffet spread

At the end of the dinner, each of us was given a cute little box with some cakes and a lovely message inside, courtesy of the groom's family.

A pretty box to take home

Throughout the whole wedding dinner, there were many different performances by the bride and groom's family and friends. It was really enlightening to know that these people were so closely bonded and so very sporting! There was even an event where more than 10 married couples went on the stage and did a sketch, complete with dance moves! It's too bad my camera didn't manage to capture the shots nicely though. (Time to shop for new camera :P )

*Updated: Pics from the cameraman himself!
Married couples doing sketch

Couples singing

And dancing!

So sweet... :)

And there were a few good speakers who gave very entertaining speeches on marriage itself. I personally enjoyed the part where there were cousins doing a dance and a sketch. Well, what is an Indian wedding without dancing eh? :) Aptly, the dinner also ended with a dance, and it was a dance that was led by the bride and groom. :) I took a snapshot of them before saying goodbye and left.

The bride and groom - match made in heaven :)

It was indeed, a truly refreshing experience, to attend a Gujerati's wedding.


soo sean said...

By reading your blog only, Gujerati's wedding seems not much different of other weddings la. Maybe I need to be there to see it myself?

Bamboo said...

Personally, the appetizer looks more appetizing than the food from buffet :P... apart from the buffet style, pretty much the normal wedding dinner loh... really want to go to a wedding dinner with fine dining :P

chiaoju said...

U look great in that little black dress. I always think that a little black dress is like a must in a gal's wardrobe. I think it does wonders. ;) hehe...

cc said...

That is so interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)
You look wonderful in that black dress!:D

iamthewitch said...

soo sean: Hmm Yea, I guess you need to go and experience for yourself. For one, the dishes are all vegetarian! Haha.. and most of the attendees were Indians, and the performances were all very entertaining. I don't know about you, but I seldom see chinese weddings with dance or sketch performances. I guess the Gujeratis are much more sporting in this sense. :)

bamboo: Well, food wise it's not much difference compared to other weddings la.. except that it's vegetarian. I guess the more significant difference is in terms of the culture and the entertainment. :)

chiaoju: Oh yea! LBD is definitely a must for every girl! :)

cc: You're welcome! And thank you so much. :)