Shaila and Jeremy at Lost Lake

Wedding Events

Mehndi Party

When: May 6th, 2022, 6pm - 10pm

Where: Little Goat Diner, 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Details: A Mehndi party is a pre-wedding event for the bride and their friends and family. It'll be a welcome party with food, drinks, and henna. Traditionally it's women (and sometimes children) that get mehndi done, and we'll have two artists, first come first serve, but everyone is welcome to attend the party!

Pre-Ceremony Events

When: May 7th, 2022, starting at 10am

Where: Artifact Events, 4325 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL

Details: The pre-ceremony events are more solitary events for the couple and their Immediate families. You don't have to worry about attending, but starting with the Vara Puja at 10am you're welcome to join us at the venue if you'd like!

  • Vara Agamanam - 9:45amWelcoming the Groom

    The bride's parents welcome the groom by washing his feet and putting a flower garland around his neck.

    They perform the mangala harati, where they wave a platter with a small flame around the groom's head and place a tilak (red mark) on his forehead to ward off the evil eye before escorting him to the mandap

  • Vara Puja - 10:00amHonoring the Couple

    The priest recites the lagna patrika (wedding invitation) in Telugu and the bride's parents give the couple gifts (usually clothes)

  • Ankurarpanam - 10:15amSowing the Seeds

    The bride's parents and the bride ask for blessings from their ancestors planting nine different grains in clay pots filled with soil to symbolize the continued growth and prosperity of the family

  • Gauri Puja - 10amBlessings for the Bride

    The bride seeks blessings for the wedding from Gauri, the goddess of protection and nurturing


When: May 7th, 2022, 11:45am - 3pm

Where: Artifact Events

Details: The Hindu ceremony will start at 11:45am and last until around 3pm. Lunch will be provided during the ceremony.

The Hindu ceremony will be primarily in Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language used for traditional rituals. Closer to the wedding we will have a more detailed play by play of the ceremony to help you follow along.

Guests aren't expected to sit quietly through the entire ceremony. Once we've passed the Sumuhurtham, the main wedding event after which the bride and groom are considered officially married, we'll serve lunch and you're welcome to move around and mingle.

  • Ganesh Puja - 11:45amThe First Prayer

    The groom sits on the mandap and invokes Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, in order to begin the wedding

  • Vadhuvu Agamanam - 12:45amBride Enters the Mandap

    The bride walks up to the mandap and sits down across from the groom. The couple are separated by a terasala (cloth curtain), as they're not supposed to see each other until after the Sumuhurtham

  • KanyadanamGiving Away the Bride

    The bride's parents put the bride's hands in the groom's hands (from under the curtain) and give away their daughter

  • Sumuhurtham - 12:48amThe Auspicious Time

    The bride and groom reach across the curtain with jeelakarra-bellam (a paste made with jaggery and cumin seeds) and place it on each other's heads, the paste symbolizing their unity through sweet and not-so-sweet times.

    At this point, they are considered officially married and the curtain is removed. The elders at the wedding offer their blessings by showering the newlyweds with akshintalu (rice grains covered in turmeric).

    The bride changes into Madhuparkam (an ivory sari with a colored border) for the rest of the ceremony.

  • Mangalya DharanamSymbol of Marriage

    The groom ties three knots of the mangala sutra (a sacred necklace with two gold discs) around the bride's neck, symbolizing the couple's love, commitment, and respect towards each other.

  • TalambraluHoly Rice

    The bride and groom shower each other with talambralu, (rice mixed with turmeric and flower petals) signifying happiness. After the first few handfuls, this becomes a competition between the bride and groom to see who can shower the other with more rice.

  • Mala Dharanam

    The bride and groom exchange flower garlands, accepting each other as partners for life

  • BrahmamudiTying the knot

    The priest ties the couple's garments together in a knot representing lifelong unity

  • Agni PratishthapanaFire Altar

    A small altar is set up with a sacred fire to invoke Agni, the god of fire, for the next three rituals. It's believed that fire acts as a purifier and also conveys all offerings to the deities

  • Pradhana HomamFire as Witness

    The bride and groom pay homage to Agni by pouring ghee and putting nine types of twigs into the fire, asking for his blessing. The god of fire is then considered a witness to the ceremony.

  • PanigrahanamA Promise

    The bride and groom hold hands and promise to stay together throughout their pursuit of duty, weath, desire, and spirituality.

  • Sapta PadiThe Seven Steps

    The bride and groom hold hands and take seven steps representing their journey together in life, and with each step they make a vow to each other.

  • Arundathi DarsanaStar Sighting

    The couple is led out of the mandap by the priest, who then points out Arundathi (Alcor in Ursa Major) in the sky, and Vasishtha (Mizar in Ursa Major). Named after an ancient sage and his wife, they form a double star, revolving around each other. The closeness of the stars is symbolic of a married couple.

  • StalipaakamToe Rings

    The bride places her feet on a stone and the groom adorns them with mettalu (silver toe rings), another symbol of marriage.

  • NagavalliPrayer for Children

    Nalla pusalu (black beads that have been blessed by the gods) are used to make a simple necklace for the bride (which is also called nallapusalu), intended to ward off the evil eye.

    A silk cradle is shaped out of cloth typically used for a sari blouse and placed on a dry twig. The couple then prays for healthy and happy children.

    The bride and groom also play Kamma Kadiyya, a game where they compete to be the first to pull a gold ring out of a narrow mouthed pot. The pot has both a gold and silver ring in it and it only counts if you pull out the gold one. The game has no religious significance and is more a fun way to say who has the upper hand in marriage.

  • Aseervadam & Mangala HaratiFinal Blessing

    The priest blesses the newlyweds with happiness and prosperity. He asks those assembled to join him in showering the couple with blessings.

  • AppagintaluThe Bride's Farewell

    The bride's family bids her farewell and gives their blessing for her to start a new life with the groom as a married woman.


When: May 7th, 2022, 6pm - 12am

Where: Artifact Events

Details: Dinner, drinks, and dancing.