The number of events and rituals leading up to Indian weddings are so many that it is quite possible that you must be flummoxed as to what to leave out and what to cover.
In this post, we tell you about the Indian wedding traditions and events that are integral to a wedding so that you have a fair idea about how to throw an authentic Indian wedding.
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The haldi ceremony is held at the respective homes of the bride and the groom a day or two prior to the wedding. As a part of the rituals, family members smear haldi or turmeric paste on the face, hands and the legs of the bride and the groom-to-be. As per Indian wedding traditions, this ritual is said to not just bring a glow on their skin, but also meant to ward off any evil.
An important part of the Indian wedding ceremonies these days is the mehendi and the sangeet ceremony. As the name suggests, it is the event where the bride’s mehendi application takes place accompanied by sangeet or music on the side. It is mostly a ‘ladies only’ affair. Ladies congregate and make merry with lots of music and dance while professional mehendi artists apply mehendi on their hands.
The baraat marks the beginning of the Indian wedding when groom and his family arrive at the wedding venue with lots of pomp and show. As per Indian wedding traditions, the groom’s family is welcomed by the bride’s family at the entrance. Typically, the mother-in-law applies tika on the groom’s forehead and sprinkles rose water and flowers on him to welcome the groom to the venue. Once the two families greet each other, they gather inside the venue and the proceedings begin.
Soon as the groom arrives and the auspicious times begins, the bride is escorted to the venue by her family. As per Indian wedding traditions, the couple exchanges the ‘Jai Mala’ or the garland as soon as the bride comes face to face with the groom.
After the Jai Mala, the wedding proceedings begin. Amidst chants of mantras that the couple recite, the two families prepare for the most important part of the wedding ceremony - the ‘Kanyadaan’ or the giving away of the bride. When the ‘muhurat’ or the auspicious time ascertained for the wedding arrives, the father of the bride places her hand in the grooms, pours holy water over it and gives her away to the groom. This is followed by the tying of the mangalsutra after which the girl is said to be married to the groom. If you are looking to throw an authentic wedding as per Indian wedding traditions, this is the ceremony is of significant importance.
Once the Kanyadaan is done, the bride and the groom are made to circumambulate around the fire. This aspect of the Indian wedding traditions is called the Saat Phere or the Seven Rounds. The couple then walks seven steps or the ‘Saptapadi’ upon the instructions of the priest. The couple makes holy vows to each other as a part of these rituals and the end of these mark the culmination of the wedding ceremony.
Once the rituals are done, it is time for the elders to shower their blessings or Aashirwad on the couple. In an authentic Indian wedding ceremony, the elders approach the couple one by one, hand over a gift to them and bless them good health and happiness. Soon after this, the guests proceed for lunch and are handed over wedding favours at the end of it.
If you give a thought to the diversity in Indian wedding traditions, you would realise that we have only skimmed the surface here when it comes to rituals. However, if an authentic Indian wedding is what you are looking to throw, then these rituals make up bare minimum requirements for any wedding to qualify as an authentic Indian wedding.
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