If you're invited to an India wedding, your first step is bedazzlement. I went with a forehead to navel rhinestone look with earrings that entrapped my ears, (which are taller, but with smaller holes than Indian earrings prefer).
Whatever you wear, the bride will be much more adorned, so no worries.
For the wedding itself, we were provided with a helpful guide to figure it all out.
At first, Sam the groom gets adorned with an umbrella and fan. Sunita's family convinces him not to follow the ascetic life. Not following Asceticism myself, I googled, and it means that Sam's natural inclination was to "abstain from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals". Luckily, after years of this already, Sam was convinced to abstain from abstaining.
In the next step, the bride and groom are brought skyward for flower garland lassoing. Once ensnared, they cannot escape. Strong relatives are required.
To the ceremony, we women wore more bedazzle, and fretted slightly about sari wardrobe malfunctions. Barry was responsible for leading the call to male toplessness. We learnt that wearing no shirt halves the time men take to get ready, from 4 to 2 minutes! Despite Barry's newfound liberation, he still made me adjust the picture.
Then, other customs ensued, involving the following props: a swing, feet, milk, rice, rice globules, sacred grass, reed-grass, string, turmeric, grains, drums, and, of course, a grindstone. Below, it appears the bride is flame-throwing, but that is not explained in the guide.
After bowing to and walking around the fire, Sunita and Sam are married! Thereupon, songs are sung to wish Sunita well in her mother-in-law's home, and to get her in the good books of her sisters-in-law. After leaving the venue, according to my handy guide, Sunita and Sam break papads over each other's heads and roll a coconut back and forth. Yup, that's how it's done.