Asian rituals in a different way for your fusion, multicultural wedding.
Your wedding ceremony is very important and is considered an extra special event. You will have other events to mark that you are getting married but your wedding ceremony is the one that will mark the joining of your hearts and your families.
If one of you is from an Asian background, then it can sometimes get a little complicated, especially if you are not religious. You may be feeling the pressure to try and keep your family happy as well as trying not to have a full-on religious ceremony. This pressure can cause anxiety and stress during a time when there should be smiles and happiness.
Priya and Ben - @alison_jenkins_photography
As an Asian Celebrant, I am often asked by couples to help them explain to their families how they as a couple can still have the ceremony they want whilst respecting their background and their roots. To be honest, it's not always easy as some parents or even extended family are not open to change, but when I can explain things to them in a way that they understand including speaking in Gujarati, it does help.
The one thing that you should always remember is that it is your wedding and what was considered right and was done back in the day, may not be right for you today. But, I suppose there is a question to ask; How can you still have what family is expecting but not in a religious way. In this blog post, I give you a few ideas on how you can still do the phera, but in a way that is not religious so that you can relate to it and make it more meaningful to you both.
Aarthi and Phil - @howphotography – Russell How
Here are some ideas for the Phera as part of your wedding ceremony
Below, you will find how both I and my couples have been thinking about ways to be more creative during their multicultural, fusion ceremonies, and here are some of the ideas for the Phera, also sometimes written as Mangal Fera or Agni Puja.
- The Phera - this is where the couple complete four circulations around the fire, for Dharma (duty), Artha (providing for the family), Karma (love) and Moksha (knowledge).
The Creative Side - instead of using the words written for each round, the couple write their own words which relate directly to their lives, so are personalised. These can also be used as their personal vows.
- The Phera - the couple would normally walk around the fire that is in the Havan Kund.
The Creative Side - the couple walk around a clear bowl filled with water, flowers and a little earth and then place a lit floating candle in the water. This signifies the five Bhutas - Earth, Water, Fire, Space and Air which is something that we can relate to.
- The Phera - the couple would normally call on their brothers or male cousins to join them and place the havan samagri,(rice and barley) in their hands to put into the fire.
The Creative Side - the couple still call their brothers and male cousins to join them but they place petals in their hands to put into the clear bowl with water.
I would love to hear if you have any other ideas that my couples can use.