Wedding season is well underway and we couldn’t be more happy to have Sabeer Rehsia and Ashley Bhullar’s wedding be our first of the season. The two tied the knot during a traditional Indian ceremony that was absolutely stunning.
The RBC Convention Centre was transformed into a romantic garden-inspired theme with blush and gold tones. Exquisite floral arrangements filled the room to create an indoor garden and 75-feet of garlands of greens were draped from the ceiling to make it truly breathtaking.
Events by Emma specializes in ethnic weddings (and Emma has produced over 300 weddings over her career) but as one of the newest interns, Sabeer and Ashley’s wedding was the first Indian wedding I’ve attended. If you are unfamiliar with Indian weddings or may be attending one soon, this post is a way to learn about what you may encounter during the wedding.
An Indian wedding isn’t short by any means. The guest list tends to be large and the entire day is extravagant. Before the wedding even begins, several events take place like a Mehndi, which is a pre-wedding ceremony where henna is applied for the bride, her family and friends. There is also a Sangeet, which is a big party the night before the wedding. The day of the ceremony and reception is filled with traditional Indian customs all of which I learnt as the day went on.
The day started with a procession of the Barat. Sabeer was brought to the front of the RBC Convention Centre on a red and gold decorated white horse. While on his way to the front, his family danced around him to the beat of a dhol (Indian drum). It is such a beautiful custom that had many pedestrians stopping to take a look. After a ton of dancing, the family reached the front doors of the RBC Convention Centre and both families exchanged flower garlands to symbolize their acceptance. This is a ceremony called Milni.
The procession was followed by a breakfast for guests to attend prior to entering the Gurudwara (a Sikh place of worship) for the ceremony.
The breakfast tables were lined with burgundy tablecloths with a simple floral arrangement on some and candles on the other. A guestbook table was set up with pictures of both the couple and their family and displayed in antique gold frames. It was a great way to share some of their best memories with guests.
After breakfast, it was time for guests to enter the Gurudwara. Females entered on the left and males on the right of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scripture). Shoes were removed, heads were covered with a scarf or bandana, and guests sat on the floor.
On each side of the isle there were large floral arrangements filled with peonies and roses and floating candles in a vase. The same green garlands from the ceiling were also draped alongside the isle. A mandap (covered structure with pillars) was built out of wood, with white fabric lining the top. Green garland wrapped around each post and the same arrangement of flowers filled the corners. It was the perfect way to tie in the romantic garden theme for Sabeer and Ashley.
Following the ceremony, a lunch was served and it was a time for the newly married couple to meet with family and friends. The lunch décor was similar to the breakfast, to keep things simple and leave the extravagance for the reception.
The lunch ended with a traditional shoe steal. The Reshia and Bhullar family gathered around the couple and Ashley’s family steals Sabeer’s shoes while his family protects him. This is a fun way for both families to interact and it was fun to watch. Lots of laughing and bartering occurred but in the end, the Reshia family presented an offer the Bhullar family couldn’t refuse.
Once Ashley was carried out of the room on a DHOLI chair, it was time to set up for the reception. The EBE team worked hard to transform the room into a bar, dining room, and dance room.
Guests arrived and could indulge in some appetizers and a glass of champagne. The bar was decorated with sequined cocktail tables and small floral centrepieces. The dining room was revealed when it was time for guest to be seated for the grand entrance of the newlyweds and their families. Prior to dinner, toast and speeches were given and followed by the cutting of the cake.
Dinner was absolutely delicious. Of course, a traditional Indian meal was served in a buffet style. Signature dishes including basmati rice, tandoori, butter chicken, and channa masala were served.
When the meal was done, guests were ready to dance. Surrounding the dance floor were couches and tables in an all-white colour scheme with gold and pink pillows for accents. The room truly looked like a nightclub. But, before the dancing began, guests experienced a special performance by Maples Bhangra Group. The dancing was phenomenal and upbeat. They had guests clapping and smiling the entire time.
The night was magical and the transformation of the RBC Convention Centre into a garden inspired theme was incredible. The details throughout the day were beautiful including the stunning sari’s women wear to the intricate sehra the groom wears during the procession of the Barat.
After attending my first ever Indian wedding, I was blown away by the amount of events throughout the day. There was never a moment when you weren’t celebrating and on such an important day, it is nice to see.
Congratulation Sabeer and Ashley!
Photo Credit: Banga Studios + D. Singh Photography
Thank you to all of our wonderful vendors!
Post Written by: Katherine Hardy, EBE INTERN