Dhara is a vital member of the Artisans & Adventurers team. She works closely with our artisan in India who make our jewellery. She also got married to her wonderful husband, Jackson, recently! We chatted with her all about her big day and what it is like to get married in India...
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself & your husband?
I am Dhara Patel, I lived in Jaipur, the Pink City (before marriage). I work as a Head of sales department in a SEDEX certified silver jewellery manufacturing export company. My husband, Jackson Thakker, lives in Mumbai (city of dreams). He works as a Senior Consultant for Saga Cruise Line in the UK & he is a professional photographer.
How did you meet?
We met on April 2020 through a marriage bureau. Just after the lockdown. We actually met in person on 5th Feb 2021 when he flew from Mumbai to Jaipur to meet me. From April 2020 we started chatting over whatsapp & talking over phone but never saw each other till 5th Feb. For about a year we just chatted & talked. We even didn't do a video call but we did share our photos.
How did you find planning your wedding?
Firstly we were thinking to do simple court marriage & give a reception. But it was not possible as of certain rules for the court marriage, that one of us have to stay at the same place for a month from where we are applying to do the court marriage. My husband was on his job in the UK & i was in Jaipur so we dropped the idea & then we planned to do it the Traditional way.
Was there anything that was particularly important for you to have / do on your wedding day?
The groom has to put the Sindoor and tie the Mangalsutra. Sindoor is a traditional vermilion red or orange-red coloured cosmetic powder worn by married women along the part of their hairline. Mangalsutra in Sanskrit means the Holy thread. It is a necklace with black beads and gold beads strung from a black thread with a gold or diamond pendant in the center. The groom puts the sindoor on the Bride's hairline & then ties the Mangalsutra.
Are there any wedding traditions in India?
Our wedding is a bouquet of colourful traditions & customs. Following are the ceremonies which took place before and after marriage.
1. Chandlo Maatli- Means acceptance of the marriage.
2. Gol Dhana- Means Engagement.
3. Ganesh Maatli- Means Lord Ganesh worship & invites him & his whole family for wedding.
4. Mehendi Ceremony- Means putting Heena on Hands & legs.
5. Mandap Muhurat- Means doing worship of that place where marriage will be held.
6. Griha Shanti means worshiping all the planets & stars. This puja is basically to avoid any kind of astrological & planetary hurdles that might appear.
7. Pithi- Means paste of Turmeric, Sandalwood, Rosewater & Herbs is applied on the faces & palms of both bride & groom.
8. Sangeet Sandhya- This is one of the most fun filled ceremony. In this event all the family members & friends gather to perform the traditional garba dance & make merry singing the folk songs.
9. Mameru- In this ceremony the maternal uncle of the bride visits her & gives sweets & gifts like jewellery, sarees & other clothes.
10. Wedding Day- When we do some rituals & take seven rounds around the holy fire and the groom puts on sindoor & ties mangalsutra.
11. Vidaai- This ceremony sees the departure of the bride from her own home after the wedding is conducted. It is quite an emotional event where the bride & her family & friends get teary eyed.
12. Ghar ni Laxmi- The bride is welcomed into the groom's home as the Goddess Laxmi who shall bring good fortune in the house. The mother-in-law places a vessel filled with rice at the entrance & then the bride is asked to spill the vessel by touching it with her right foot. This ritual symbolizes wealth & the bride's acceptance of her responsibilities towards her new home.
What was your favourite part of the day?
My favourite part was my Entry and photo session with my husband.
What hopes do you have for your future?
We hope to be together in ups and down throughout our life with love, care & respect.
A huge congratulations to Dhara and Jackson! Thank you for sharing your big day with us & we wish you all the best for your future lives together. You can shop our Wedding Edit here.