Weddings

(final version)

The Su'ndi wedding ceremony is performed with the maximum pomp and ceremony possible for the participating Houses. The ceremony is viewed as an excuse to display their wealth and power and many weddings are extremely lavish as a result. Weddings are open affairs to which everyone, stranger or friend, is invited.

The ceremony takes place on a traditional marriage carpet woven with signs of good luck, fertility and prosperity supplied by the House of the bride. These carpets are family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation. The grooms family provide a mirror, also a heirloom, and the sweets (such as honeyed nuts and sweet wine cake) for the ceremony. The guests, bride and groom, seek to wear the brightest and boldest outfits they have so that they might attract the favor of the Celestials to the couple.

During the ceremony the bride and groom are seated side by side on the marriage carpet looking into the ceremonial mirror. The Family Heads of both families sit behind them and the Priest is seated behind the mirror. The holy man ritually asks the family heads if there are any objections to the wedding and then offers both the bride and groom a few words of advice on the importance of the institution of marriage. The bride and groom are then offered a chance to offer their own words. Once the words have been spoken into the mirror the holy man will declare them husband and wife and the bride and groom will exchange gifts to represent their new union. These gifts vary greatly from couple to couple with the minimum gift demanded by tradition being a honey. This honey is presented by the holy man and the couple take it in turns to dip a finger into the honey and give it to their new spouse. The words "With this, I ask of the Celestials to bless us with a sweet marriage, purer still than this honey… taste it and know that our marriage will be tenfold in magnificence." are usually used at this point.

When the couple have finished presenting gifts to each other the family heads take their turn to formally exchange the brideprice. The bride and groom hand out sweets, and pastries from the cloth to the wedding guests and the wedding guests present gifts to the new couple. Items from the cloth are always thought to be blessed and bring good luck and great fortune. They couple also give each other sweets from the wedding cloth for the remainder of the ceremony. When all the guests have received a gift the wedding ceremony is considered complete. A party, similar to a reception, is celebrated right after the wedding ceremony or up to a year after it.