Colorful Haldi Wedding Ceremony Full of Love and Tradition in Chapel Hill, NC
Preet and Mike met during orientation week for medical school at UNC in 2010. After months of secret language learning with family, Mike proposed to Preet in Punjabi, her native language. Like language, colorful symbols and traditional rituals play an important role in South Asian weddings. Preet and Mike performed the ‘Haldi’ ceremony, a pre-wedding ritual held the day before the wedding where a turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom, at their respective homes. The Haldi ceremony is an intimate affair celebrated during the day, with close family members and friends. The main color for the ceremony was yellow and the bride’s family incorporated delicate ‘phulkari’ embroidery into the decor and bridal outfit. Phulkari is a traditional embroidery technique from the Punjab region, in both Pakistan and India, and has been passed down for generations. The photos for this beautiful family tradition were captured by Java Rose Photography. Bride Preet loved working with Java Rose to capture her special day,
“Apsari was absolutely wonderful to work with. She is so patient, kind, and encouraging. She did an amazing job and I highly recommend her!”
First Step of Performing Haldi Wedding Ceremony, Painting the Rangoli
The first ritual of Haldi involves family members making a ‘rangoli’ design at the wedding home. This elegant design incorporates rangoli (colored powder), flour and rice. One of Preet’s best friends and bridesmaid, Lisa, along with her mom, sister, and cousin worked on the rangoli design together.
Once this was done, Preet was brought out to where the rangoli design had been made and sat down on a red wooden plank with embroidery called a ‘patri’. A ‘dupatta’, scarf, is held above the bride’s head by four family members.
Second Step of Performing the Haldi Wedding Ceremony, Vatna Facial for the Bride
Family and friends then start rubbing the ‘vatna’ (consists of turmeric, rosewater, mustard oil, and flour) on the bride’s exposed skin. The turmeric paste ensures that the bride has radiant and glowing skin for the wedding day! The color yellow is considered auspicious in Indian culture, ushering in prosperity and happiness for the soon-to-be married couple.
Ladies traditionally sing cheerful songs to add to the joyful atmosphere. All of the guests present are given a ‘gaana’ (lucky red thread), which they tie around their wrist, in exchange for their well wishes.
Today you can find Mike and Preet living happily in Chapel Hill. Mike is a Cardiology fellow at UNC and Preet is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellow at Duke. Preet has some amazing wedding advice to share with brides and grooms,
“Enjoy every moment of it and surround yourself with positive people!”
Mike and Preet said ‘I do’ at the lovely Carolina Inn wedding venue in Chapel Hill, NC. Many Southern Bride and Groom vendors were involved in there special day and are mentioned below!
Looking for more Indian wedding inspo? Check out this gorgeous real wedding at the Washington Duke Inn.