We got introduced to Rathika + Prem through our good friend Anna of Anna Mae Lam Photography. Rathika + Prem have been inseparable ever since they first met in medical school where she was a first year student while he was in his third year. The only thing that really kept them apart was for a time when they had a long distance relationship with Prem on the East Coast and Rathika on West. Prem actually used it to his advantage when deciding to propose. He told Rathika that there was retreat in San Francisco that they had to go to, but they were staying in Lake Tahoe. When they got there it was actually both sides of the family gathered to witness the big proposal!
Family and friends gathered at Prem’s parents’ residence for Rathika + Prem’s pre Indian wedding rituals in Whittier. The day started with Prem and his parents paying respect to Lord Ganesh during the Ganesha Puja. Lord Ganesh is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, which is why he is always honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies.
The Haldi Ceremony was conducted shortly afterwards. In this ceremony, a yellowish paste (haldi) which is made up of sandalwood powder and milk, was applied to Prem’s face, neck, hands, arms, and feet by people in attendance. This is said to purify the body and keep evil spirits away. It also has properties of leaving the skin fair and glowing. Prem found some time to joke with Rathika that he was now the Beauty and she was the Beast while he was covered in the yellow substance.
Later in the evening, the pre Indian wedding rituals in Whittier continued with the Mendhi Ceremony. Rathika was already out in Huntington Beach receiving her family at the actual wedding venue. This left the women at Prem’s parents’ residence to get some henna applied to their hands. Prem opted for something truly unique and had his background in mind when he asked for some henna of the bone structure on his foot.
The evening concluded with Prem’s sister, her husband, and their daughter performing a sweet little dance performance to get the festivities for the weekend started.
Thank you Rathika + Prem in allowing us to witness your pre Indian wedding rituals in your parents’ beautiful residence in Whittier overlooking everything. We are sure that all of the other wedding festivities were as fun as these were. We hope you two are enjoying yourselves on your honeymoon out there in New Zealand!