No request is too big and no intricate detail is too small when it comes to the "Big Day." But why do we get married the way we do? World Wide Wed explores the customs and traditions that define weddings around the globe — and shows how today's multi-cultural couples are making their ceremonies uniquely their own.
In our first episode of World Wide Wed, we head to New Jersey to attend the wedding of best friends Sonya and Harsh. The bride and groom both come from Hindu families, but their families are from two different regions of India. So when it came to their wedding, they sought to combine the cultures of Harsh's southern region Andhra Pradesh and Sonya's northern Punjabi background.
"Culturally, [for] South Indians, the ceremony is the focus of the wedding," Harsh says. "The wedding being somewhat of a spiritual event. The surrounding events around it are quite minimal."
On the other hand, Sonya says, "In North India, it'll be like the marriage ceremony is off to the side. Everybody else is at the bar, eating at the buffet, and no one is actually watching the couple get married."
Watch the video above as the bride and groom do their best honor traditions from both sides of the family with some modern flair. The resulting 72-hour celebration is the stuff of dreams. First, there's the Sangeet, a festive banquet-turned-talent show with plenty of food, dancing, and music. Then, a family-centric turmeric ceremony, as well as a choora ceremony. The last hurrah: An intimate, ornate wedding, where the past and present meet to celebrate a bright future.