Falling in love, one outfit at a time

Sonal Patel, 29, of North Carolina is getting married and has fallen deeply in love — with India. That's Fabric where she went to shop for clothes, jewelry and other items for her upcoming wedding to Nirav Thakker. But enough about him.

"It's every Indian girl's dream to go to India for their wedding shopping," Patel says. [Link]

Indeed. And it's a good thing most Indian girls are already in India. They don't have far to go.

Patel, her sister and their mother, Kala, went to Ahmedabad in the Gujarat state of India last fall with two months to execute their shopping mission.

They needed to buy 60 outfits; the five for Sonal and five each for her sister, Shefali Parmar; Shefali's daughter Kajal; and their mother to wear during the three-day wedding blowout.

They also needed traditional outfits for nine bridesmaids and nine groomsmen; Patel's father, Ramesh; her brother, Shaunak; Shefali's husband, Vaibhav Parmar; and her father's six brothers and their wives. [Link]

If this were a movie, it would be called "60 Outfits in 60 Days." Other possibilities:

"Seven Brothers and Seven Wives"

"My Big Fat Hindu Wedding"

"How I Spent my Father's Retirement Money"

Patel says she could have found her wedding attire in New Jersey, New York or Canada. She could have taken a quick hop to London. All of those places have big Indian communities.

But then she'd have missed being mesmerized by the choices of fabric, colors, accessories, shoes and jewelry while trolling boutiques and conferring with tailors and jewelers in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. [Link]

That's the difference between men and women. Men don't get mesmerized by "choices of fabric, colors, accessories, shoes and jewelry," unless Halle Berry is pulling them out of her shirt. And even then, we'd be bored after a couple of hours.

When the family returned to North Carolina, they'd filled up 10 suitcases and six boxes of wedding finery, jewelry, gifts and accoutrement.

And the trip did something more. Patel says she'd had a love-hate relationship with India. After the trip she came home with a deep love for her parents' homeland. [Link]

But after seeing the credit card bill, her father has a deep hatred for his homeland.

Photo by Katkreig

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. LOL- this is SOOO true!!! Have u seen the horridly overblown weddings they show on the WE channel (Women’s Entertainmen)? A LOT of these weddings are desi! As a Bangladeshi American, I’m a BIT ashamed.

  2. Ashamed about what? Big weddings are a tradition and a custom for those of us who respect our culture. Additionally, I bet her father was more than happy to share his wealth and happiness with ALL of his friends and family. Secondly, you might not even know this but many of her items were made by local artisans and charitable organizations. So, there, happy wedding to you! Emabrace your culture – don’t be ashamed.

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