Anytime I book a Hindu wedding, I know I’m in for an unforgettable experience, and Sajal & Shash’s wedding was no exception. I joined the festivities on Friday at their party at the Knights of Columbus, where Sajal showed off the most intricate henna tattoos on her hands and feet that I’d ever seen. Once Shash arrived, the drumming and dancing started and rarely let up for the rest of the evening. I’ve never really liked Indian food, but the food that I sampled there was quite good and sold me on trying more in the future. My favorite part of the night was a traditional dance that involved two revolving lines of people hitting each other’s “sticks.” (I’m not going to pretend to remember any of the formal names for these events.)
Then on Saturday morning, Shash (on a horse) and company lined up at the east end of the Oak Hill Mansion’s parking lot and slowly danced and paraded towards the front door, where Shash was greeted by Sajal’s parents. Then the 300-plus guests worked their way into the ballroom for a casually paced ceremony during which many beautiful traditions were observed, the guests freely mingled, and no one seemed to mind me and photographer K.C. Ferrill hanging around in front of the stage to capture the formalities. The room was fabulously decorated by Sonali Patel of Dulhani (her first job, amazingly!) with floral help from Julie Acheson of Royal Creations. Laurie videotaped the reception festivities there that evening, which included some funny speeches, plenty of surprises, and a LOT of colorful and spirited dancing.