Hello Brides and Besties,
I’ve been thinking about the way we enter depending on our culture and of the specific event we’re having.
At this point I’ve come in on a rustic wooden wagon covered in flowers, a palanquin carried by other important men in my life, escorted by my parents, to the sound of my brother singing Moon River, to the sound of a Dhol and my husband’s family dancing in the streets, and following a troop of Bhangra Dancers.
My exits however– have been less than thrilling. For my family bringing attention to the fact that I was leaving was way too emotional and so we have preferred a “silent slink out”. The one time that we planned to leave, my husband decorated his beloved Civic SI with 6 dozen beautiful red Samourai Roses all over the car.
I’ve had an:
Engagement Party, a bridal shower, a work bridal shower, a bachelorette, a Gaye Holud, a Mendhi, a Wedding Ceremony, 2 Sunday after-the-party brunches, a Rukhsati, and a Walima. Not necessarily in that order. We’ve had lots of opportunities to come in and go out in style.
The question is: What feeling/atmosphere do you want to convey?
The Party Entrance/Exit:
During my Mendhi (for my Pakistani side of the wedding) I was brought in on a Palki or Palanquin, and during my Gaye Holud (for my Bengali side of the wedding) I was brought in on a Wagon because there weren’t enough people to bring me in. During both of these instances I picked songs that were really upbeat that got the party started for all my guests. The same thing was true for when I walked back in after my husband and I finally became my HUSBAND and me. Music sets the mood for the guests, and if you’re making an entrance, that is the single most important feature.
If you’re going to make a party exit, make sure to leave while the party is still bumping. Pre-arrange grabbing the gift box and head to your room or your wherever you and hubby are planning your adventure.
The Romance Entrance/Exit:
Neither the Hubby or I wanted to spend too much time being romantic in public. So the elements that made our entrance romantic were the decisions I made in ensuring that it felt romantic to everyone else. The grandeur of having a well-defined aisle and my brother singing the most romantic song (I thought) as I walked down the aisle was so much more special than using that song for a first dance. The one thing I would’ve done differently is had all of my bridal party and maybe some guest do the flower petal or sparkler thing as we left the ceremony.
For some reason in my mind (and in the minds of those offering their advice) a grand exit had to be at the end of the night. Um, that’s such a weird rule. Create a romantic effect by allowed people to shower the very special moment of throwing gorgeous and fragrant petals all over you after it’s finally socially acceptable to hold your sweetheart’s hand! (All my Desi Muslimah girls know what I’m talking about). If you want sparklers, have sparklers out after the ceremony instead of at the end of the night! They’re more enjoyable as the sun is setting than the pitch darkness for photographers any way!
The Emotional Entrance/Exit:
I had an entire event that was building up to this idea of being “given away”. In the Desi culture, there is so much more than an officiant asking, “Who gives this bride…?” because we have a whole event known as the Rukhsati. Different regions call it different things but essentially it’s the idea that the girl is no longer a part of her family, and is a part of the groom’s family. It didn’t exactly help that the decor I chose was very heaven-esque. My mom basically lost it. As my husband held my one hand and I hugged every person in my family with my bouquet clutched in the other, it was by far the most emotional moment of the my entire experience.
There are traditions such as holding a holy book over the bride’s head, such as the father holding the bride’s hand, such as the bride throwing rice behind herself to “owe nothing” as she walks away. Ultimately it is this: I was once a little girl and trusted my family to be the source of my support, and now I am to trust someone of my choosing to be support– will he be enough? Unlike proper western people, we let go of all inhibitions during the rukhsati– at least my family did.
The Sensational Entrance or Exit:
Lately, there has been a trend sweeping the wedding circuit. That is the sensational entrance. Brides and Grooms sit together and ponder, just how far, how high, and how unique they can make their entrance. I know a couple who came in on, what I can only describe as, a window washer lift (tastefully adorned by champagne satin and white roses, of course). There are couples who are doing far more and nothing short of air dropping in. I went for a more traditional route of coming into our first dance and then being “surprised” by a cannon of flutter-fetti. For the entrance of my Rukhsati, my husband’s side came in parading with a someone playing the Dhol, but my side of the family help up a ribbon and didn’t let them in unless they paid a “toll” that later developed into so many elaborate pranks by the groomsmen before they were allowed to come in.
The truth is, I have no advice on this matter. If you can do it in your dress and still look fabulous– the sky is the limit!
The moral: It’s necessary to have well-planned entrances and exits. A wedding can be so long without specific social cues to help segment the evening(s) into special moments. Having a seasoned DJ can certainly help with that. Think about how you want to enter and exit and then plan for what you bridal party and DJ should do 5 minutes before, and 5 minutes after to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Happy planning to your happily, forever, after!