Tara Deshpande talks about her Jewish and Indian wedding in an exclusive interview with WeddingSutra.
About Dan and how they met
I met my husband through a common friend from Cathedral and John Connon School, where I studied. We met at a party in Mumbai in December 1999. My husband Daniel Tennebaum was in Mumbai on some business.
Dan's completing his MBA at the Harvard Business School. His father is a Neurologist and mother, a public policy analyst and consultant for the U.S government organisations. Dan's sister is a lawyer and his brother-in-law is a member of the U.S House of Representatives in Minneapolis.
The Jewish ceremony
The ceremony in the United States took place in April 2001 in Minneapolis Minnesota. It lasted four days. It started with the Sabbath dinner party after which we had a Prenuptial dinner party, the Wedding ceremony and Reception dinner and the Farewell Brunch on April 30. The Jewish wedding ceremony was performed by Rabbi Stacy Offner at Shir Tikva Synagogue. The marriage is solemnised under a Chuppah (a beautifully embroidered cloth held up like a canopy by four members of the family under which the couple stand); by the signing of the Ketubah (religious marriage contract) and the crushing of a glass to symbolise that relationships are delicate things that must be treated with love and respect.
The Indian ceremony
We went to the Napa and Sonoma wine country for our honeymoon. The Indian ceremony took place in Jan 2002 as this was the only time after the Jewish wedding that my husband had time off from the Harvard Business school.
In Mumbai our wedding parties and functions were spread over five days. The Sabbath dinner was held at our home in Marine Drive and the pre-nuptial dinner was at the China Garden restaurant. The Wedding ceremony and lunch was at the BCA Club in Marine Drive, the reception and dinner on January 7 at Dhanush in Navy Nagar and the post-reception party was at Thai Pavilion at The President Hotel.
What they wore
My wedding gown was a rose blush color one, embroidered with Swarovski crystals and sequins. I bought the skirt and veil material at Kaysons in Churchgate and our family tailor Dilip Parmar embroidered the same. The bustier was tailored in the US.
My husband and the rest of the grooms party wore tuxedos.
Among Maharashtrians, traditionally we do not apply Mehendi or do Sangeets. In our family the brides generally wear traditional saris in auspicious colors of orange and green. For the Indian wedding I wore a Banarasi sari in orange and gold that is about 125 years old. Like all Maharashtrian brides, I wore the nath, mangalsutra, bajoobandh, motimaal etc. My husband wore a dhoti, angavastram- again they have been in our family for over a century.
For the reception at Dhanush, I wore an emerald green sari with a zardozi gold border that has been in the family for over 150 years. Every time a bride gets married, the gold and stones on the border are polished and cleaned and put on a new sari. It gave me great pride to be able to wear these heirlooms that represented my forefathers.