A big fat
Greek wedding has got nothing on Indian weddings. It is well-known all over the
world that Indian weddings are steeped in ritual and tradition, while also
frequently being extravagant (you could even say over the top) and festive.
weddings are especially unique, not only compared to other religious weddings
or civil ceremonies, but also compared to each other. No two weddings in India
are exactly alike. This is because different Indian families of different regions
and different ethnicities celebrate and honor the occasion, well, differently.
Whether your family is from Punjab, Rajasthan, North India, South India or
wherever else in the country, you likely have your own specific rituals and
your own interpretations of them, aside from the personal ways a bride and
groom would like to celebrate and make the day uniquely their own. Although
this is the case, there are still common elements that you’ll find in most, if
not all, Indian weddings.
weddings are grand affairs, which usually last three days long. However, before
one can even plan a wedding, first, the Pandit or Hindu priest must consult
astrological signs to determine the best or luckiest day for the wedding to
take place. If you thought choosing an available day for your church and
ceremony venues was difficult enough, add astrology to it and it makes it even
two days of wedding celebrations are marked by smaller and more intimate festivities.
Some of these festivities include a Mehendi party, a Sangeet celebration, as
well as Tilak and Pithi ceremonies. The third day is when the actual wedding
ceremony takes place.
over by the Pandit, a Hindu wedding ceremony is about an hour and a half to two
hours long. Indian weddings are notoriously large because the couple and their
families don’t only invite their friends and relatives. They often also invite
acquaintances whom they do not want to offend by excluding them from the guest list.
guests wear colorful garments, while avoiding donning anything in white and
black colors. While any bright color is acceptable, red is considered to be the
most auspicious color for the special day. Aside from paying particular
attention to the color one wears, following tradition, wedding guests of all
genders must also bring something to wear to cover their heads during the
comes to the bride, it should come as no surprise that her wedding attire is
extra special and extravagant. While most brides only have to choose one
wedding gown, and perhaps a change of dress for the reception, Indian brides
have a lot more to consider for the three-day wedding celebration. One could
actually compare Indian bridal fashion to an actual fashion show, with both the
bride and her bridesmaids changing from one outfit to the next for every wedding
event. The bride, as well as all the female members of the wedding party, don
their finest saris and accessorize with spectacular jewelry, especially
traditional temple jewelry. The groom, on the other hand, along with the male
guests, wear a traditional Sherwani that’s comprised of a long top and pants.
They also often wear traditional turbans.
many other customs and traditions that are observed, which vary throughout
India. However, there are a number of the common practices that everyone
follows. One of them is the Bharaat, which is the groom’s processional
entrance. The groom arrives to the wedding ceremony in a very fancy car, on a
horse, or even on an elephant. He then goes to the Mandap, to greet the
families present. The Kanya Aaagaman, on the other hand, is the bride’s grand
entrance, with her bridesmaids and flower girls.
ceremony itself varies per culture but the bride and groom often perform Jai
mala, where they exchange flower garlands. The groom also gifts his bride with
what is called the Mangal Sutra, which means auspicious thread. Before the
ceremony is concluded, the Saptapadi is performed, where the bride and groom
take their first seven steps as husband and wife.
that is different in Indian weddings is the couple’s kiss at the end. Unlike
most western weddings, “you may kiss the bride” is not a part of the ceremony.
However, like most weddings all over the world, a grand reception is definitely
part of the Indian wedding schedule. Everyone who was invited to the Unity
ceremony is also invited to the reception. During the hours-long reception,
guests enjoy a delicious, extravagant feast, as well as a lot of dancing and
different Indian couples may observe wedding traditions differently, they are
all deeply meaningful and mark a beautiful beginning to their lives together.
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