All of M's family and friends met inside the hotel, at the furthest point from the lobby at 1:45. We were gathered to make a processional over to greet S's family. We were supposed to meet outside, but Florida afternoon thunderstorms prevented that, but inside = AC so I was cool (literally) with being inside. M came down in this lovely get up. He looked great, although we couldn't get over these shoes! The material was like a raw silk and he said it was very comfortable.
We hung out and finally one of S's cousins came over and taught us how to "bongrah" so we could start the "bahrat" over to the bride's side. Basically the dance was lift your right hand an screw in a light bulb while bouncing a basketball with the left, now switch. While walking. It was really fun. We must have been a sight to see! There was loud, pounding Indian music playing and M was leading us doing his own dance (up and down and side to side with his arms open). We were all laughing and crying and it was a really joyous celebration.
From the back of the barhat, doing the bongrah!
Then we met up with S's parents, sister, a Hindu priest and all of S's family. There was this little step set up for M to get on.
From there it was very quiet while the priest offered prayers and S's mom waved incense around his head and then placed a red spice like substance on his forehead (a small dot) with some rice grains. M then had to crack the symbolic coconut (the little red thing, above picture)on the ground before we continued to the ballroom.
(S's mom in center with maroon sari and orange scarf. The priest is in Maroon, leaning over)
Next post: the ceremony itself.