Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memoriam

It's with heavy hearts today that we say goodbye to Jen's beloved grandmother, Dee Butler. Words cannot convey how much she was loved she was by her husband, children, grandchildren, and friends. It would take hours to just give you a glimpse of her full and meaningful life. But to start, her favorite flower was violet and her favorite colors were peach and sea foam. She loved the beach, sea shells, the New York Giants, cats, soap operas, Josh Groban, and anything sweet. But above all this, she loved her family and friends. She will be terribly missed by all those who had the pleasure to know her. So on this Memorial Day, let's think back with fondness on our beloved Grandma Dee.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Indian Wedding: The Shaadi

Hi Dolls!  Sorry for the delay, as we meant to post this last Friday! Continuing on with a post from Tina Duggal, here's everything you need to know about the actual Indian wedding ceremony and reception!

The shaadi (wedding) day is the main ceremony.  The Hindu ceremony can last anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours, depending on the region in India the families are from, and even what caste they are.  There can be one singular priest or a priest from both the bride and groom's side who conduct the ceremony.  There is a fire in the middle of the 'mandap' (the area where the marriage ritual is performed) which symbolizes the presence of Agni Devta (the Lord of Fire). The priest(s) chant Vedic verses in Sanskrit, and the bride and groom (who are either sitting side-by-side or directly across from each other) perform several rituals, including pouring rice into the fire and tying sacred threads around each other.  The final ritual of the ceremony is called the Mangal Pheras, the steps around the holy fire.  The bride's father ties a pink piece of cloth to the bride and groom's clothing, binding them together.  The first four pheras are led by the groom, and each circle around the fire has its own significance.  The last three pheras are led by the bride.  Once completed, the groom ties the mangal sutra (the wedding necklace) around the bride's neck.  This is similar to a wedding band, and it is believed to protect the lives and union of the bride and groom.  The groom also places sindoor (red powder) into the hair part of the bride, symbolizing her status as a married woman.  Then the bride and groom seek blessings from the gods, from their parents, and from the priest. 

After the ceremony is the reception! Indian wedding receptions tend to be more modern and reflect western weddings. Many couples opt to make a grand entrance, have a bridal party, dance to their wedding song, cut the wedding cake, and partake in other western wedding traditions. The difference is the decor, the food, the music and some of the traditions. The bride and groom tend to sit on a stage so that all the guests can see them and take photographs with them. The food is almost always done buffet style. One tradition unique to Indian weddings is the have the "Joota Chupai" (which literally means "Hide the Shoes"), where the brides' side will try to steal the groom's shoes in exchange for money.

1. Indian Wedding Site   | 2.  Examiner | 3. Wedding Paper Divas | 3. Textile Guides | 4. Dil Shil | 5.


Jen, Tina, & Saira

Friday, May 11, 2012

Indian Wedding: The Sangeet

Ok dolls, we've got just a few weeks to go before the wedding of our friends Janine and Vikrum.  We were wondering about wedding traditions and figured who better to tell us about an Indian Wedding than someone who's been to many is now planning one herself.  Here's a post from our good friend, Tina Duggal, who was kind enough to give us the 411 on Indian weddings. As Tina is getting married this summer, she is definitely an expert on wedding planning. We hope to share images from her big day, but for now read on for Indian Wedding 101.

An Indian wedding can be (and usually is) a lavish, multi-day affair.  From the bright colors, to the singing and dancing, to the beautiful traditional outfits, it's definitely a must-attend for anyone who is obsessed with weddings. Hindu wedding traditions can span up to nine days, so each culture and even each family can modify it to suit their needs.  However, the main ceremonies include the sangeet, the shaadi, and the reception.  For the days prior to the first event (the sangeet), many smaller events occur in both the bride's and groom's homes, respectively.  There are various poojas that need to be done in order to provide the most auspicious environment for the family and the home.  The homes are adorned with lights and decorations (almost like Christmas has come early!), and there is usually lots of singing and dancing as well.  The wedding is an extremely joyous time, not only for the bride and groom involved, but for their respective families.  In Indian culture, it is said that you are marrying into your partner's family, and so the families meeting, getting along, and enjoying each other's company is very important.

The sangeet day is a formal event of singing and dancing.  Some people host this event within their homes, while others can rent out a banquet facility or the like.  Traditionally, this was one of the 'separate events' that occurred in both the bride's and groom's homes, but nowadays, it is a joint event hosted by both families.  It is basically a pre-wedding celebration where everyone gets together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the brides and groom.  It also used to be the day that the bride had henna (or 'mehndi' in Hindi) applied to her hands and feet.  The bridal henna is very intricate and beautiful, and can take 3-4 hours total to apply!  It has no religious significance, as it is also applied to brides in Pakistan and Afghanistan (where Islam is the predominant faith), but is a way to decorate and adorn the bride for her wedding day.

Check back next week for our continuation and more on Indian Weddings!

Tina, Jen, & Saira

Monday, May 7, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Lazy Daisy

Though it seems to be the opposite here in New Jersey, there's no doubt the Spring is in full swing.  The Cherry Blossoms have bloomed, we've broken out the sandals on occasion, and we've even fired up the grill once or twice.  The warmer weather has brought out all sorts of bees and with the bees come the beautiful flowers.  Here's a look at some of the gorgeous spring bouquets out there that feature small daisies. Daisies are youthful and innocent and bring about memories of afternoons of picnics and making crowns of flowers for playing princess.  These sweet flowers are perfect for your wedding or just for brightening up your home.

Springtime Daisy Bouquets

1. Brianne Bryant via Pinterest | 2. Wedding Chicks | 3. Ashleigh Flynn | 4. Sparkle and Hay via Pinterest |
5. Bouquet Wedding Flower | 6. Chantel W via Pinterest | 7. MyWedding | 8. Wedding Chicks

Jen & Saira

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mamma Mia

Mother's Day is fast approaching!  Do you have your gift yet?  If not, here are some ideas mom will be sure to appreciate.  Some ideas include taking mom on a wine tasting adventure to local vineyards, getting her a nice cross-body bag for when she needs to be hands free and on the go (which is pretty much always), providing her with a gift certificate to indulge in the spa, grabbing her a copy of the latest hit book, etc. Make your mom feel special; she deserves it!

Mother Day Gift Ideas 2012

Jen & Saira

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

She Said "Yes!"

 We can hardly contain our excitement but can finally say that it's official: 

Saira is ENGAGED!  

Saira's now fiance, Henry, popped the question while the two of them were enjoying a romantic picnic lunch after a long hike in Cold Springs this weekend.  She, of course, said, "Yes!".

There's much to do, but we plan to keep you all in the loop with this process what with visiting venues, trying on dresses, sampling food, sampling more food..etc.  We hope our readers will be as excited about this as we are and we're looking forward to your feedback.

Check out the pic above for a peak at her gorgeous Princess Cut Canary Diamond ring. Simply stunning!

Jen & Saira

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Sorry we've been MIA lately! Between work, planning vacations, juggling classes, and enjoying our personal lives, we're having a hard time staying on track with our Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Never fear though, we'll have a fresh new post for you tomorrow and many more to come. Stay tuned for some insight into Indian weddings, every day fashion tips, featured real weddings, and some very exciting news from PDR. Happy Tuesday!


Jen & Saira