Indian Weddings wear the tag of being ‘big’ and ‘fat’ because of the extravagant and pompous celebration that is usually associated with them.
Be it Bollywood or other media, the portrayal of colourful celebrations of Indian weddings makes questions pop up inside one’s mind about how these weddings are actually carried out.
Actually, there are several things to know about an Indian wedding. The customs, rituals, and traditions followed in the marriage makes them a long-drawn and detailed process. Nonetheless, these have their share of heartwarming feelings and traditional legacy.
Also, in most cases, the Indians know how to party hard and make most out of the weddings! Let’s take a look into some of the common queries one might have about an Indian wedding:
An Indian Wedding is at least a 2-3 days affair, if not a week. This would include the pre and post wedding rituals and celebrations. The pre-wedding involves Mehendi and Sangeet, the ring exchange ceremony and a party. The wedding day is also loaded with a series of numerous rituals that need to be followed. Often the timing of the main wedding ritual is held at late into the night or early mornings. It is not unusual to find the marriage taking place at 3 A.M. or 4 A.M. This is because the wedding timing is decided by an auspicious timing of the day or a ‘Muhrat’. The post marriage celebrations continue depending on traditional rituals to be performed or a party arranged by the married couple.
No, you don't necessarily have to wear traditional Indian clothes to a wedding as there is no strict dress code for an Indian wedding. However, most people choose to dress in traditional Indian attire because they look so gorgeous. Also, it allows one to dress stylishly and modestly at the same time because one would rarely find someone attending an Indian wedding with a dress length that ceases above the knees. Indian weddings are traditional, in the sense that women and men don’t dress in casual wears or anything that is too much body revealing.
Try on a saree, salwar kameez, Anarkali gowns, lehenga or ghagra or anything that is traditional and looks beautiful. Men could try a nice sherwani, kurta pajamas or even dhotis. In case you want to wear a western wear, there is no bar to it. You could try accessorizing it with some blingy Indian jewellery to create a fusion style. Men could try the quintessential suit and trousers.
The Hindu Wedding Ceremony is carried out according to traditional wedding rituals. Vedic chants sanctify the marriage while elaborate rituals are carried out. There are some variations in how these are carried out, but a bunch of them are common across Hindu marriages of all regions. There is an engagement ceremony consisting of the Tilak and Sagai. It’s carried out after the ring exchange between the couple. The Tilak or a smear is applied on the groom by one of the elders of the bride’s family and blessed by the same. Sagai involves the exchange of gifts and blessings to the couple to be.
The next highlights are the Sangeet and the Mehendi ceremony. The Sangeet is a kind of bachelorette party where the bride, her friends, and female members enjoy a musical evening. The last, most important thing to be carried out prior to the wedding is the Mehendi ceremony. The bride’s hands and feet are dyed with henna into beautiful designs and patterns. It is believed the bride’s dark mehendi would bring good fortune. Some places also conduct Haldi ceremony in place of Mehendi. The skin of the bride and also the bridegroom is smeared with turmeric paste. It is not only considered lucky but also makes the skin beautiful.
The groom and his family arrive at the wedding venue where the bride awaits to get married. The procession is named ‘Barat’. The groom may ride a horse or be carried separately in a car. The marriage rituals include Vedic chants to promote well-being and harmony. Often the deities and gods are invoked at the beginning to get rid of obstacles. The highlights of the wedding involve the Jaimala, Kanyadaan, Saptapadi and Sindoor Daan. Jaimala involves exchanging of garlands between the couple. Kanyadaan refers to the bride’s father or some elderly male from the paternal side officially giving away her hand to the groom so that she can get married. The Saptapadi is the sacred most of the rituals where the couple takes vows in Sanskrit and ‘seven steps’ around the sacred fire. This is followed by the Sindoor Daan where the groom smears vermillion on the bride’s forehead.
Of course, there are additional or different rituals in the Hindu marriages depending upon the region or cultural community. They are all very interesting to observe and know. Even more curious about the rituals and events at a wedding? check out the details on our Indian wedding outfit generator
But sometimes couples don’t like the paraphernalia of wedding gifts and would prefer money instead so that they could use it according to their choice. Money is given in envelopes in notes or cheque/gift cards and there is an interesting norm in giving it. The amount should not end in zero but in one, like 1001, 2001… and so on. This is considered to be auspicious. Jewellery, especially gold jewellery is an expensive gift option and is gifted by close friends or family members.
Gifting household items is common because the newly married couple would begin living together. You can choose between the two broad categories of Indian wedding gifts that are prevalent—household items or monetary; with the latter gaining more popularity and is an easier bet! So, things like cutlery, bed linen, electronics, kitchen utilities, etc are common gifts. Some items that are definitely not popular or rather prohibited as wedding gifts are liquor, lingerie and anything that could be inauspicious like leather items or black clothing.
Indian weddings are exciting, fun and very interesting to get involved. Some of the customs give ample scope to get involved for anybody to enjoy. Don’t miss a chance of attending an Indian wedding!
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