Grand Victorian Convention Centre
The Grand Victorian Convention Centre hall takes you back to the Roman era with its grand pillars. The hall offers exceptional artwork and high ceilings. This venue is perfect for any large elegant South Asian Weddings. For my cousin Neha’s wedding, it was the Grand Victorian Convention Centre hosting her Hindu Wedding Ceremony.
Anokhi and Shanu’s June wedding at the Grand Victorian Convention Centre was filled with tears and laughter. However as it was happening, I was struggling through the heatwave. It was one of the hottest days of the year. And these two had full 3 hour Hindu ceremony on the Grand Victorian Convention Centre’s outdoor rooftop. How this couple survived, I have no idea. I know I was dying by the end of it. I also made a point of delivering water to the couple throughout the ceremony as they couldn’t move. And by the time our portrait session at Meadowvale Conservation Area finished, we were all ready for a nice recovery nap.
My coverage started with morning prep at the attached Radisson Plaza Hotel. It was just me for the day so I bounced between their two rooms as they got ready. Shanu had a bit of a head start as he needed to be ready almost an hour before the bride. The groom’s arrival, or baraat, kicked off this Hindu wedding ceremony outside the Grand Victorian Convention Centre. This involves a lot of dancing as the two families meet and officially greet each other. Father to father, mom to mom, sibling to sibling, and so on. The family had a small prayer for him before the bride arrived.
The venue’s rooftop houses a large iron dome structure that served as a beautifully decorated mandap. The wedding mandap acts as a wedding alter in Hindu marriage ceremonies. This particular Mandap was quite simple and draped with bride florals. The parents join the couple inside. The ceremony begins with lighting the fire. A Hindu marriage is a sacrament, not a contract. The bride and groom exchange floral garlands similar to how they exchange wedding rings. It expresses the desire of the couple to marry each other. The groom places a necklace of black and gold beads on the bride as a gift to her.
The saptapadi is an important ritual in North Indian Hindu weddings. During the saptapadi, the bride and groom have their garments tied together. While joined, the couple walks seven steps together to signify their friendship. This couple also made seven circles around a ceremonial fire, each round signifying a specific blessing they request of the gods. Finally, Sindoor, a red-orange powder, is applied to the parting of the bride’s hair. This symbolizes her new status as a married woman.