Mrs. D’Silva’s big Bahraini wedding

Lots of little girls dream to have a perfect wedding when they grow up, and FACS teacher Ms. O’Connor, now Mrs. D’Silva, lived that dream over winter break at her Christmas wedding in Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf. 


Mrs. D’Silva’s dream was always to have a wedding around Christmas time with beautiful, traditional Christmas decorations. Since Aaron, Mrs. D’Silva’s husband, is Indian but from Bahrain, it was important to intertwine Indian cultural customs with his home country.  Aaron felt strongly about being married near his family, so they created the perfect combination — a Christmastime wedding in Bahrain! 


Aaron moved to Minnesota and attended Minnesota State University – Mankato where they met in 2015 and started dating in 2016. After getting engaged, the two of them decided to merge their dream. “Our whole life was here in the US and in Minnesota, so why not have one really special thing in our life over there,” Mrs. D’Silva said. 


The couple initially traveled to Bahrain on the 16th of December. It took a full day to get there. They landed in Bahrain on December 17th, then had a week to be in Bahrain before the three days of wedding festivities started on the 20th. They were in Bahrain till the 27th. After that they went to Dubai and then back to Bahrain, being gone for a total of 3 weeks. 


“The best part of the wedding was meeting most of Aaron’s family face to face for the first time, instead of over the phone,” Mrs. D’Silva said. 


There are many different traditions in Bahrain than in the USA. For example, the Roce ceremony is special to Indian culture and is the biggest traditional difference. This ceremony is a tradition for Indian Catholics and involves light-hearted fun and “lots of dancing and laughing,” according to Mrs. D’Silva. Held at a different venue decorated with beautiful flowers two days before the actual wedding, it celebrates and blesses the couple prior to their wedding. Dressed in traditional Indian outfits, the ceremony starts with blessings but turns into silliness. Guests smash the wedding party with eggs and douse them with fresh coconut milk to signify love, prosperity, health, and happiness. “Everyone was laughing and having fun with it.” Of the 150 in attendance, 30 were from the U.S. and experienced their first Roce.


Mrs. D’Silva also talked about how she and Aaron made a tunnel with their hands and all the guests ran under it. After everyone had gone through the tunnel, she and Aaron ran through all their guests. “That was cool, I’ve never done that at a wedding reception before,” smiled D’Silva. 


They also had a regular ceremony on the 22nd in a big cathedral which was the first one built in the Middle East just last year. The priest that performed the ceremony was a family friend, Father Jim. They had traditionally what you would see people wear at a wedding in the US. The dress Mrs. D’Silva wore at the ceremony was designed by 2021 grad Bri Noble, one of her former students.


After the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. D’Silva went and changed halfway through the reception. Aaron’s family helped Mrs. D’Silva get ready and put her in a red Indian bridal gown that Aaron’s mom picked out for her to wear. Red is normally the color brides wear when getting married in India. There was a blessing and a special song sung by one of the elders, and then Aaron put a special necklace on Mrs. D’Silva.


They then went to Dubai for a week and a half with their family and friends including PLHS Math teacher Mrs. Maxwell. “We did a lot of sightseeing there,” said Mrs. D’Silva. “It was so fun and cool.”


Looking back on her incredible experience, Mrs. D’Silva says she wouldn’t change a single thing about her fairytale wedding because “it was the most spectacular experience,” she said, “with so much excitement and thrill.”


Congratulations to the happy couple on their special day! We all wish you happiness for years to come.