Friday, May 20, 2011

Vinita & Muqit - Wedding of the Century - Indo-Italian Venetian Bash

Vinita & Muqit get Married
(Venice, Italy) Vinita Agarwal, daughter of billionaire Pramod Agarwal, married Muqit Teja on the island of San Clemente on Saturday night, May 14, 2011 in what one man called, "The Wedding of the Century."

Shakira (from Faded Youth blog)
The century is still young, so time will tell, but the Wedding of Vinita and Muqit will certainly rank up there at the top. It was a spectacular evening, blending Indian and Venetian cultures into something vibrant, colorful and unique. Ancient tradition and contemporary pizzazz created an exotic bridge from the past to the future, the East to the West, with dignity, glamour and joy. It was a great honor to attend such a singular event, which was the culmination of a three-day extravaganza -- it had also featured performances by Shakira herself and the Gotan Project. 

Cat Bauer on boat
San Clemente Palace, the majestic hotel and luxury resort where the wedding was held, is on its own private island in the Venetian lagoon. I remember the setting from years ago when the hotel first opened, but I hadn't been there for a long time. It had utterly transformed. It was wonderful to see it again on such a glorious occasion -- perhaps it will become renown as the Wonderful Wedding Island:). Torches lit the long red carpet walkway from the boat dock to the entrance of the garden, which was now a whimsical wonderland with golden elephants, peacocks and lions, flaming torches, and flowers, flowers, flowers, orchids and roses tumbling everywhere. An enormous cascade of yellow orchids formed a blessed chandelier over the heads of the wedding party, as you can see in the top photo. 

The ceremony was a long celebration of life, filled with symbolism and rituals; a sacred fire burned in the center of the temple, specially created for the occasion with candles, pillows, flowers, and fabrics. When Vinita and Muqit looked at each other there was genuine love in their eyes, always with a dash of humor. Guests dressed in silk turbans and saris sat on elegant cushions, surrounding the family with love and support. The ceremony was Hindu with, I was told, a touch of the Koran; I don't know enough about either religion to understand the significance, but my feeling as an observer was that two people were taking sacred vows based on genuine love and mutual respect, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

During the ceremony, people came and went in a casual, respectful fashion, sitting on cushions to observe the vows, or wandering into the garden to sip wine and snack on appetizers -- both Italian and Indian delights, as an orchestra performed on the outdoor stage. I love, love, love Indian food and can never get enough of it, so it was an exceptional treat to be able to indulge to my heart's content. Also, there was an unending supply of one of my favorite wines on earth -- Amarone from the Veneto! Five different kinds! It was sheer bliss, and, in my opinion, complemented the spicy Indian food perfectly. For those who preferred Italian food, the renown Paduan restaurant Le Calandre, winner of three Michelin stars, had their own luscious spread. That is my idea of paradise -- to enjoy excellent Italian and India food, washed down by vintage Amarone, all in the same space and time.

 
After the ceremony, everyone tossed baskets of rose petals on the newlyweds, then wandered into an enormous space decorated with Murano glass chandeliers, overhead baskets tumbling with orchids and roses, faux art, sofas, chairs, and bars brimming with wine and cocktails.

Well-wishers offered congratulations to Vinita and Muqit who were seated up on the stage. Next, there was an other-worldly Venetian performance with dancers, fire, fountains and enormous feathery figures that slinked through the night. It was a smooth segue from the Indian ceremony to the Venetian performance, crossing from one dimension into another, like Alice melting through the mirror into a Looking-Glass world filled with enchanted Venetian characters who have lived there for centuries.

Then, another segue, this time outside into the garden where the sky exploded with fireworks! With music! Classical to pop to and back again, Pavarotti thundering, "Vincerò!" and Katy Perry belting out, "Baby You're a Firework!" punctuated by booms and dazzling bolts of lightning. It was so uplifting and emotional that I had tears streaming down my cheeks; it felt like we were on an island of enlightened beings celebrating the arrival of a vibrant future filled with hope, beauty, color and light. Patricia Carrizo took all the photos you see here (except for Shakira), and if you click over to her BLOGVENECIA, which is in Spanish, you will find some excellent photos of the show. 


Next, the cake! The foundation was a replica of the Rialto Bridge that supported tiers of twenty-four circular cakes. When I saw it, it made me laugh so hard, considering all the battles that have been staged over at the real Rialto Bridge where I have lived on the Grand Canal since 1999. Since that is my "territory," I can assure you that the locals in that zone would much prefer this type of bright, positive, creative energy than the suffocating force we have been subjected to for far too long. 


Friends and family members took the stage and spoke about Vinita and Muqit with humor and warmth; a photo album was projected up on the screen. Finally, the wedding party had a chance to eat their dinner, while the rest of the guests boogied on the dance floor to Bollywood tunes. The women were dancing in an elegant, sensual, sophisticated way, with one hand raised in the air, moving like Angels from the East, as if they were on a cloud. They brought me into their circle and showed me a few moves. Later on in the evening, I had the great honor of dancing with the mother of the bride herself (the gremlins seemed to have snatched that photo:).


When I left the wedding around two or three in the morning, everything was still going strong, a crowd out on the dance floor, and people scattered on the sofas and chairs. I took a red rose and a pink rose and a handful of petals, just like Zuzu's, to remember where I had been, went to the boat stop, got in the taxi, and zoomed across the lagoon, back to my reality... which is Venice. 


Ciao from Venice,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog







Vinita and Muqit wrote a letter of thanks that was published in the local paper, Il Gazzettino, which I will share with you here:


"We want to take this opportunity to express our joy. We are excited about this past week in Venice and are deeply touched by the interest shown by the city for our marriage. After visiting a number of occasions in recent years, to marry in Venice has always been our dream, and it was during a trip to the Biennale last year that we visited some of the spaces then chosen for our wedding, including the School Grande della Misericordia, Tese Arsenale and San Clemente Palace. It was a real honor to be able to use these buildings that are so majestic and historically important. The whole city, in all its aspects, has been a great source of inspiration, and it was great fun to bring you here a bit of our India, creating a unique blend of Indo-Italian elements. " 

"We will hold forever in our heart the memories of the days that the special magic and beauty of Venice made even more memorable. We thank the city and all those who contributed to this important moment of our lives with their support and their warm hospitality." 


"In particular, we want to thank the people who made this marriage possible:  Riccardo Lanza and Lanza & Baucina for the organization; the designers Matteo Corvino of the Misericordia e l’Arsenale and Sumant Jayakrishnan of the San Clemente Palace; Seventy EMG; Franco Dragone Entertainment; Guido Cerasuolo and Mestiere Cinema; Le Calandre, Federico Salza, Marut Sikka and Ritu Dalmia for the catering, Eric Chauvin and Munaretto for the flowers; Emanuela Semiani; Antonia Sautter for the costumes and finally Mircosanti and Blue Moon Travels for the critical support."

4 comments:

  1. Vinita Agarwal, daughter of billionaire Pramod Agarwal, married Muqit Teja on the island of San Clemente on Saturday night, May 14, 2011 in what one man called, "The Wedding of the Century." The century is still young, so time will tell, but the Wedding of Vinita and Muqit will certainly rank up there at the top. It was a spectacular evening, blending Indian and Venetian cultures into something vibrant, colorful and unique. Ancient tradition and contemporary pazzazz created an exotic bridge from the past to the future, the East to the West, with dignity, glamour and joy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an amazing opportunity you had to attend this unique wedding celebration. The whole event looked amazing. Venice and India seem like a natural paring to me considering a lot of the architecture from Venice was influenced by that part of the world.
    That cake! My god I hope it tasted as good as it looked.

    The Wanderfull Traveler

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was a great honor, Murissa, to attend such a joyous event. The wedding cake was divine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is basically a celebration of love and partnership, a wedding also have legal or religious significance.
    The wedding of Vinita and Muqit represent the traditional wedding.
    wedding saver

    ReplyDelete