party is held the night before the wedding. Traditionally, it is held in the
home of the bride and only includes women from the bride's side. It is a fun and
relaxing evening for the bride to spend with her closest friends and relatives.
The evening is spent applying mehndi (henna) designs to the bride's hands, feet
and anywhere else! Friends and family may also have some mehndi. While
applications are being done their may be music, dance and other entertainment
for the guests.
The Bride's family usually hosts and
pays for this event. They may wish to hire a professional to apply the Mehndi.
If there are a large number of guests, it is a good idea to have more than one
person applying the mehndi. As well, the bride's family may wish to prepare or
cater a few dishes or snacks for the guests, to choose some music or
entertainment and to have ready gifts or trinkets to hand out at the end of the
The Mehndi should be a relaxing evening. Here's how to keep
Try to have all the
wedding preparations complete for the next day. That way, everyone will be able
to focus on each other and enjoy the festivities.
Those who are
getting mehndi (especially the bride) might wear clothing that is easy to remove
without ruining the designs.
Choose some designs
ahead of time and show them to the person who is applying your mehndi. Select a
design that suits your taste! Make it as simple or heavy as you desire and match
it to the cut of your outfits. For example, if your blouse has a deep back,
apply a motif on your upper back.
In addition to your
hands and feet, mehndi may be applied on your arms, back or wrists. Be
What it is
Traditionally, the bridal
shower is a small party for the bride given by her close female friends and
relatives. It is intended to help the bride prepare for married life by
providing her with her advice, recipes and gifts for her new home. However, some
couples and families may choose to have a joint shower with both male and female
friends and relatives. As well, groups of friends or relatives may choose to
host separate showers for the bride depending on how they know the bride, the
number of guests and where they are located.
friend or relative (bridesmaid or sister) usually offers to host the shower. She
may have it in someone's house, a restaurant, or even a hall depending on the
size. The host should make a list of guests and ensure that she has not missed
anyone important. It is best to go over the guest list with the bride, her
family and/or friends and only invite those women who are invited to the
wedding. Invitations should be sent 4-6 weeks prior to the event. The invites
should include the name of the host and his or her phone number, the theme, the
address and map as well as where the bride is registered. The host should also
plan and select the menu, the decorations, and the theme, games and prizes.
Possible themes for the
Book a few hours at a ceramic shop/class. The bride may
select a colour scheme and the guests all create and paint ceramic dishware
according to these colours. Usually, the shop will also serve refreshments,
provide lessons and allow you to play music or games. By the end of the shower,
the bride ends up with a complete set of casual dinner plates, personalized by
her best friends!
Choose a nearby
park or big backyard and have a barbecue or afternoon tea. (Have a back up in
case of rain!)
Ask each guest to
prepare a simple dish and bring the recipe. Recipe cards may be propped beside
each dish, or collected and presented to the bride in the form of a scrapbook or
set of index cards. Have each guest write a personal note with the recipe.
Guests are given
one letter of the Bride's name and asked to bring a gift that starts with that
letter. … Each guest is given a certain time of the day or evening and asked to
bring a gift that is suitable for that time. Have guests present the gifts in
chronological order. The nighttime gifts can be fun!
Bingo shower: Each
guest receives a bingo card on which are written different categories of gifts.
Alternatively, the card may be blank and guests fill the squares themselves.
Then, as the bride opens her gifts, guests cross off the names of respective
gifts on their cards. The first one to cross off all the squares wins a prize.
This is a good game for larger showers and prevents the guests from getting too
restless while the bride opens her gifts.
shower: Each guest brings a gift representative of a specific holiday.
usually incorporate icebreakers & games to help your guests get to know each
other and add some fun to the day. Be sure to prepare some prizes for the
winners. You may be surprised at how competitive your friends can be!
This game can be carried through the entire shower and is a great way to
"melt the ice". Make a list of wedding related words, such as honeymoon, lehnga,
mehndi, program, etc. Think of those words that your guests just can't help
talking about during a bridal shower! Write each word on a nametag or sticker
and have enough for each of your guests. Give each guest a nametag to wear as
they arrive. The guest is not allowed to say the word on their nametag. If
someone hears her say the word, that person takes the sticker. At the end of the
shower, the person with the most stickers wins a prize.
game should also be played at the beginning of the shower and is great for
getting to know the "Aunties" in your group. Pass out a spool of thread and tell
each guest to break off as much thread as they think they will need. Do not tell
the guests what the thread is forÖ. Only, that they shouldn't take too much or
too little. Once each guest has their thread, ask them to gather together. Ask
each person to introduce himself or herself and talk about their wedding day,
wrapping the string around their finger as they speak. They cannot stop talking
until they have reached the end of their thread. Some interesting facts are
revealed as the women become desperate for things to say!
This activity is most
appropriate for a small, close group of (mostly female) friends and relatives.
All the guests have to sit around in a circle and starting from the person to
the left of the bride everyone states what they most fondly remember about the
first time they met the bride or they're most cherished memory about friendship
or the happiest memory.
Insights from your Purse
This shower game is a lot of fun and easy to do. Make a list of both typical
and unusual items to carry in your purse. Have your guests take out their
purses. Give them the name of an item they may have in their purse and give a
prize to the first person to pull the item out of their purse. Start with more
common items (such as lipstick, quarters or bills) and then start asking for
more unusual or humourous items such as bobby pins, baby photos, feminine
products or candy. Watching your guests gleefully reveal embarrassing or unusual
items from their purse can be very amusing!
large sheet of paper on the floor. As each guest arrives, ask them to reach down
without bending their legs, and trace their hand on the paper. Have someone
recording what each guest says while attempting to do this. Some of the best
comments may be uttered in another language, so get a multilingual scribe. Later
on announce: "This is what "bride's name" is going to say on her wedding night!"
And read the comments from the list. Or, better yet, have the Bride read it
herself. Some common responses:
Are you crazy!?
There's no way I
can do that!
OW! That hurts!
Am I doing this right?
I can't reach
This game is sure
to bring back memories while also embarrassing the bride!
This is a
less exciting game, but can be a great help to the bride. Have a bowl, a stack
of nice envelopes and a good pen sitting at a table. Ask each guest to self
address the envelope and place it in the bowl. To encourage everyone to
participate, let your guests know that at the end of the party an envelope will
be drawn and the winner will receive a prize. The bride can later use these
self-addressed envelopes to do her thank-you cards!
Pack your Suitcase
Play this game to get people moving and their creative juices
flowing. Announce that it is time to help the bride select some outfits for the
honeymoon. Ask your guests to move into groups of 3-5 people. Give each group
one roll of toilet paper. One group member should be a model while the others
use the paper to design an outfit. Set a time limit. When time is up, have a
fashion show and ask the bride to be the judge. Have prizes for the funniest,
most stylish, and most risquÈ outfits.
In the Gujrati tradition,
your wedding festivities may incorporate a Garba. The Garba may be performed at
the Sangeet, Reception or any other wedding night. In fact, you may choose to
have your own Garba party. Traditionally, the Garba is a religious dance in
honour of Mother Earth. It is also fun and interactive. The Garba is performed
by a group of women who dance in a circular pattern and clap their hands.
Either the bride or
groom's families may host the Garba party. The Bride's closest friends and
sisters should prepare the first dance. After this, the remaining guests are
invited to join in. The Garba party requires lots of space for dancing and
watching the performers. Choose a hall or a venue that has room for a large
dance floor. Prepare the appropriate music and props to make the Garba complete.
1. Ask the performers to wear traditional Gujrati
outfits such as brightly coloured ghagras and silver jewelry, anklets and tikas.
Men may also wear traditional clothing, including turbans and vests.
Have a side activity or quieter area for those who need to get away from the
3. Hire a musician or DJ and ensure he or she is well versed
in Garba music and traditions.
4. To create the atmosphere, serve
Gujrati-style dishes, decorate using Bandani patterns and mirror-worked fabrics
and light plenty of diyas and candles.
with Aarti to evoke the Gods and offer your prayers. At a Garba Party, the aarti
may include dancing with diyas in hand.
2. Include a Duha, or fast-paced
song that involves the men.
3. Prepare a Dandiya Raas.... Pair up women
and men and provide them with bamboo sticks to perform. You may start with a
professional number, but then include your guests for fun!
4. End with a
Jaag, a slower-paced dance in which women carry or hold lamps on their heads.
Several women should begin and the rest of the guests may join in.
Sangeet is a colourful evening of music, dance and celebration. It is usually
held within a week or two of the wedding. The families may choose to have two
separate events or hold one large party together. The evening usually consists
of music, song, dancing, and other forms of entertainment. It may he held at the
Bride or Groom's home or in a Hall. A more elaborate Sangeet may include catered
food, hired entertainment and DJ's.
You may or
may not include an invitation to the Sangeet with the wedding card. In any case,
the Sangeet should be planned well in advance, particularly if you have to book
a venue and/or catering. Also consider what you need in terms of party rentals,
decorations and equipment. Most importantly, how will you entertain your guests?
Approach your most creative family members and friends to organize dances, songs
or skits. Also prepare some music to be played throughout the evening.
Ideas & Tips
If you have a more
formal program, choose an MC to announce and organize the evening's
entertainment. Its best if the MC is familiar with your family and friends.
Designate a large
and open area of the house or hall to conduct the entertainment. Allow a lot of
space for people to gather and enjoy the festivities.
You may select a
variety of South Asian music to please many tastes. Begin with a bhajan
(religious devotional song) and then move on to classical music, folk music,
wedding songs, and/or film songs. Bhangra is a good choice to get the crowd