There is a ritual taking place in the opening of a forest. Colourful fabric is being twisted and knotted on the mens’ heads in turban style. The perfect pleats, folds and symmetry seems to elevate it to an art. The older gentleman with the long beard seems to be the guru on the precise method. We watch in fascination…
Later on, I ask the groom, Vivek, about this ritual and he tells me about India and Sikhism. I tell him that I would love to visit the country someday and he tells me that India is a magical place…”You will come back humbled…” he adds.
The mandap is set up under a canopy of wattles at Ground. Another beautiful forest. Seems to be a recurring theme for Benita and Vivek’s wedding. Trees. Tranquility. Introspection.
The bride enters and as she walks past, the guests are dazzled by the exquisite embroidery on her dress…the sparkling thread in forms of tiny elephants, birds and pastel-coloured patterns. The groom’s view is shielded by a cloth but when it is dropped, it is as if he sees Benita again for the first time. We relish in these kinds of emotions and only hope that our cameras can capture the sparkle and buzz.
The coordinators, Nicci and Preeshani, glide around guests, waiters, flowers and food, adjusting vases and perfecting every detail. They are always smiling, always poised. Making it seem like their work is simply a breeze. The wedding planner often sets the mood for an entire function - it can be chaotic or calm. The planner is in control of the atmosphere. And these two ladies just made it all flow beautifully.
And then there is Ground. As the quote reads on the website: “call it fate. call it fortune. We call it Ground…” It truly is a rare find. A breath of fresh air and piece of heaven for the weary Joburg soul. We love wandering around in your vineyards and staring at the blue hills of The Cradle in the distance. Hope to be back again soon in your welcoming presence, beautiful Ground.
The next day is the traditional Sikh ceremony at the temple in Sandton. We are again surprised at how a beautiful place such as this could easily be passed by without knowing the beauty at it’s heart. Inside the ornate gates and marble exterior walls is the temple and it’s kitchen, where everyone eats together on Saturdays and Sundays. Anyone is welcome.
We cover our heads and remove our shoes upon entering. Everyone is equal here. The cool marble is replaced by the soft carpet with lotus motifs under our feet. The kirtan begins and the sound of the chanting together with the tablas and harmonium is soothing. Almost hypnotising. The wedding - Anand Karaj - is also called the Blissful Ceremony.
After the ceremony we are invited to eat with the gurus and guests. The smells coming from the kitchen are divine…a holy kitchen and blessed food, no other explanation. We decide that we will have to return here with our families so they could witness it for themselves. What a beautiful feast of colour, flavour and culture we were so honoured to experience.
Thank you Benita and Vivek. It this is only the beginning, the next chapters in your book will be rich with love, miracles and blessings.
The Supplier Team for B & V's Weddings:
Wedding Venue: Ground
Wedding planner / co ordination: Nicci Campbell Experiences
On-the-day coordination: Paheli Weddings (Preeshani)
Decor: JC Decor
Garlands: Bloomology Khelan Dhaya
MUA: Beauty by Benazir
Sound & Lighting: KPM Events
Stationery: Ishk Design & Print
Bride jewellery: Preeti Mohan
Bride outfit: Shaveta & Anuj
Grooms clothing: Custom
Venue: Gurudwara Sahib
Event stationery: Ishk design & Print
Brides Outfit: Shringar
Brides Jewellery: Damak
Hair: Fatima Ally of Urban chic
Makeup: Beauty by Benazir
Grooms clothing: Custom