TGIF! Are you ready for the weekend? I have just the post ( two, actually) that will jumpstart the relaxation. So, in our May issue of the Once Upon A Tea Time magazine, we featured a wedding. I haven’t featured many weddings on OUATT and this one was extra special because the bridal couple and their families decided that they would put together a handcrafted occasion. I have shared a preview on the blog before but today I want to share with you part 1 of the story complete with pictures, and I am sure it will leave you misty-eyed. I will be back with Part 2 tomorrow. Enjoy!
Roopali Bahal moved to the United States from India four years ago, as a graduate student. She now works as a management consultant and lives in Southern California. In February of this year, Roopali married her longtime sweetheart in India’s capital city, New Delhi. Just like with every wedding, it was the culmination of months of planning. But in this instance, the efforts also involved coordination across continents and working with a diverse team of local artisans and designers. If you are familiar with India, you know that most of the country’s states differ in the language spoken and in the cultural traditions that they follow. What they all have in common is their love of weddings. Weddings in India take place over a period of 2-3 days, follow many ceremonial traditions and can range from simple elegance to lavish, over-the-top displays. For her wedding, Roopali, with the support of her fiancé and their families, set out to put together a memorable occasion that showcased her love of India’s myriad, artisanal arts and crafts. All of it tailored to fit the aesthetic of a modern couple. Isn’t it the epitome of luxury when so many parts of your wedding are handcrafted with so much love?
To design the wedding invitation, the couple reached out to the Happy Hands Foundation, a non-profit organization based in New Delhi. Happy Hands is dedicated to the revival of traditional arts and crafts and working towards the empowerment of artisans in rural communities. After exploring various art forms, they chose the art of Phad painting from Rajasthan. A 7th generation Phad artist created a 4 feet by 2 feet painting scroll. This was then digitized, and served as the inspiration for the wedding card. Visit Happy Hands here.
Roopali worked with designer Vaishali Shadangule to design a trousseau of 3 bridal garments. Rather than opt for wedding clothes that end up being used just once or twice, the duo chose lightweight cottons with modern silhouettes that Roopali could easily transition to other occasions later. “I have followed Vaishali’s work for some time now and I love her design aesthetic and the simplicity of her garments. I also love the fact that all her fabrics are hand- woven by artisans. She derives inspiration from various Indian art forms. When I saw her collection titled “Rabari”, I knew that was what I wanted to wear for my wedding. It took two very fun trips to Mumbai, where Vaishali is based, and lots of WhatsApp chatting to create my mini wedding collection of 3 garments. The small size of the wedding trousseau is considered very unusual for an Indian bride. My engagement dress was a very unconventional sari in the very conventional chanderi weaves from Madhya Pradesh, the Sangeet outfit, a beautiful, lightweight cotton dress and the wedding dress inspired by the Rabari tribe”, describes Roopali.