– Omni Championsgate Muslim Wedding Photos First Day: Dirty Pithy/Egging ceremony

I had a the honor to photograph a beautiful  Muslim Wedding at the Omni Championsgate in Orlando. The traditional Muslim wedding consists of separate ceremonies or events. The first one is usually the Mehndi ceremony. The Pithi ceremony is almost always the second one. During Pithi, family members and friends give blessings to the couple and apply the traditional yellow paste on the bride and groom. The purpose of this is to clean or purify the bride and groom before the wedding.

The Pithi paste is a thick, yellow paste traditionally made from chickpea flour, turmeric, rose water, sandalwood powder, herbs, aromatic oils, and other ingredients. This paste is believed to be an exceptional cleaning agent for providing skin glow, soft skin. Practical advice, you have to be very careful with it because it can stain your cloth and it is almost impossible to remove from your shirt.

The Pithy ceremony itself starts with women of both families begin by setting up the rice on the floor in a religious pattern. Next step is the pura or puro ceremony. Younger cousins of the bride carry traditional decorated religious items on their head. The girls then receive a gift in exchange for the tray. Depending on the region of the families, the groom’s family may bring gifts for the bride to welcome her to the groom’s family. Next the bride side enters with her male family members carrying her in a palki or doli or holding a decorated structure above her head. Komal decided to enter the ceremony under the decorated structure held by her dad, brother and other male relatives.

The bride’s entrance is followed by the groom’s entrance. The groom comes in with his groomsmen to an upbeat energetic Bollywood music or rides a horse or a car. Runail decided to walk in with his family making as much noise as possible.

Komal and Runail decided to do a joint Pithi ceremony as part of their Muslim wedding at Omni Championsgate in Orlando. In a joint Pithi ceremony, the couple sit next to each other and their family applies the Pithi paste on both of them at the same time. I see this more often nowadays. It is easier to organize and more practical. You need only one venue and one decoration. Keep this in mind when you are planning your Muslim destination wedding in Florida. Other families decide to do it separately.

During the Pithi, family members give blessings to either the bride to be or to the groom. First, they take the turmeric paste and rub it on bride or groom’s arms, legs, and face. There is a traditional order which body part you start first. The next step is to take a handful of rice and shower it upon their heads. This is a form of a blessing, as well. The third step is to feed them a small chocolate or candy to sweeten the marriage. At the end a verbal blessing is given.

At the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom stand up they need to step on a small clay pot called Sapatia. Breaking the Sapatia symbolizes to ward off evil spirits.

Next one is the “trushing” or egging ceremony.  This ceremony begins with his bride cracking an egg on her groom’s head followed by his groomsmen, friends, and family trashing him with mustard, ketchup and all sorts of household cooking ingredients. You may want to do this ceremony outside where is it easy to clean up all the cracked eggs, flower, mustard from the floor. The Omni Championsgate Hotel was a great location because it has plenty of ourside areas for this purpose.