A South Indian wedding

Priyasheel Gounder and Vishaal Reddy in their traditional South Indian outfi ts during their wedding day outside the temple. Picture: SUPPLIED

Have you ever come across a couple that got married at 7am during sunrise in the most traditional South Indian way? In Fiji?

Both Priyasheel Goundar and Vishaal Reddy, who come from South Indian backgrounds, did just that.

They had a week-long fun-filled event comprised of pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding rituals.

The couple were keen to bring out the beauty of a South Indian wedding with decorations themed to suit the respective functions and all their outfits were sourced directly from designers in India.

Priyasheel explained that the pre-wedding ritual commenced with the ‘Paan ceremony’ where both sides of the family came together and exchanged gifts, good wishes and blessing for the new union.

“Paan known as betel leaves are extensively used during Hindu weddings and this ceremony signified the auspicious start to our wedding,” she said.

Next was the sangeet ceremony, where dances were performed by families and friends, a typical Bollywood type of movie scene.

“Afterwards, the next two days involved the haldi functions, more commonly known as telwaan and bhatwaan where a paste of oil, turmeric and sandalwood were applied to both the bride and groom.

“An interesting touch to my haldi function was the ‘mangala snaanam’ where I was showered with milk and flower petals in a liberating ritual, before getting ready to be a bride.”

Priyasheel shared that on the morning of the wedding, she was ready by 5am and guests had managed to reach the Sri Siva Subramaniyam Temple in Nadi quite early.

“Our traditional functions began at 7am just as the temple did its main opening prayer and by 9am our guests were already making their way to the Sarvaana Restaurant for a scrumptious South Indian breakfast which was served to them on banana leaves just as it is done in South India.

“Following the traditional wedding, we also hosted a reception later in the evening for our family and friends and our theme for the evening switched to a rustic look. Guests enjoyed dinner, entertainment and a good closure to a fun filled week.”

The couple met each at work and dated for four years before sealing the deal but would probably have gotten married earlier if it wasn’t for COVID-19. For Priyasheel she would always remember their first date which started with masala chai and a very long scenic drive.

“I don’t have one particular moment which made me realise that he was the one, rather I have a pocketful of small memories and moments which simply spelled out how much I meant to him.

“There have been so many experiences during these five years but a very memorable moment was during our trip to Taveuni when we gazed at the stars.

“For those who are not aware, the sky at night from Taveuni is a beauty, with thousands of clusters of the brightest stars in the world.

“That evening was and will always be close to my heart.”

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