The ability to successfully combine modern elements with age-old customs is a key part of what makes Indian weddings so famous. Many Hindu wedding traditions are changing, dying out, or finding new life as the world enters the digital age and culture and weddings continue to modernise. So that you know what to expect and can fully appreciate the experience you are about to embark upon, We will describe the most prevalent customs practised in major Indian cities in the United States and Canada.
What are the most common Indian wedding traditions and customs these days?
The average length of an Indian wedding is three days due to the many different festivities that take place over that time. The Misri ceremony is the first of these rituals, and it occurs several days before the wedding itself. During this service, the newlyweds will exchange prayers, flower garlands, and gold rings. The bride is traditionally given a basket of gifts and misri (rock sugar), a symbol of future sweetness, by the groom's parents at the wedding. Looking for the ultimate Wedding Reception Venue in Melbourne? Look no further, Vogue Ballroom is here.
A day or so before the wedding, the couple and their families and close friends gather for a prayer. The purpose is to pray for a happy wedding and marriage. Pictures of deceased relatives, grandparents, religious leaders worshipped by the family, etc., are commonplace decorations.
The Mehendi ritual is performed the day before the wedding. Mehendi is used to create beautiful designs on the hands and feet of the invited women (also known as henna). The designs represent the strong love shared by the couple. Sagri, in which the bride receives gifts and flowers from the women in the groom's family, is sometimes held in conjunction with the Mehendi ceremony.
The Mehendi ceremony is the most well-known custom associated with Indian weddings, and it is intended solely by the ladies of the families involved. During this ceremony, the bride's hands and feet are decorated with elaborate henna designs to symbolise the love and commitment she will share with her future spouse. When the parents of the bride give her away during the ceremony, the bride and her attendants traditionally fast until the wedding.
The girls gather here to paint each other's hands with henna and sing songs about how excited they are for the bride-to- be's life. Mehendi parties have gone from being little gatherings at someone's home with just the gals chatting in the living room to being huge poolside brunches with drink, food, and henna art.
The Mehendi ceremony and the Sangeet celebration are two options. Members of the bride and groom's families (or just the women) gather for a night of dancing, drinking, and feasting.
This celebration may occur before, during, or after the Mehendi ritual. There will be singing and dancing at the Sangeet, a celebration attended by both sets of parents. This might be reserved for the ladies only or made available to everyone.
Literally, it means "dancing." This is a huge celebration. Some of the guests at the wedding even take the time to design dances for the happy couple as a token of their appreciation. After the speeches, the bride and groom dance in front of their guests. There's yelling and cheering, wonderful food and drink, and lots of other fun stuff, too!
The Sangeet is a tradition that has grown to become almost as important as the wedding reception itself, so DO NOT MISS IT. Vogue Ballroom is your perfect wedding venue in Melbourne delivering fairytale weddings for the bride and groom.
In addition to the elaborate decor and professionally done hair, makeup, and clothing, it is customary for the bride and groom to sneak away for about 20 minutes to have professional portraits taken. If you have a chance to be at an Indian wedding and witness this for the first time, try not to interrupt so that they can get back to the party.
The Haldi ceremony takes place early on the day of the wedding. The bride and groom's families from both sides apply a mixture of oil, water, and turmeric over their bodies and garments as part of this ritual. The combination is applied to the bride and groom's skin in the days leading up to the wedding in the hopes that it will bring them good luck and help soothe their nerves.
The modern baraat is a huge extravaganza where the groom's entire guest list meets him in a hotel lobby, parking lot, or other gathering space and then dances for an hour at the altar. A boat, conveniently also on the driver's property, was utilised to cross a river and reach the second location of the wedding. Traditionally, baraats are still a part of every major Indian wedding, especially those in the North.
The final part of the baraat takes place when the bridegroom is welcomed by his future mother-in-law near the altar. This is the time when "the two families meet and welcome each other," and it typically involves a short exchange of some token presents. It's a formal ceremony that lasts only ten minutes, but it's standard practice at Punjabi weddings and, increasingly, at all Indian weddings.
Offerings of rice and/or flowers to the central fire. This is still customary at many weddings, and your pandit will be able to advise you on the appropriate rituals. (not at any given time throughout the 75-minute event, but generally speaking).
The bride's brother pours rice into her hands during the ceremony; some of the rice falls into the groom's cupped hands below hers and ultimately into the sacred fire, called Agni, which is ignited during traditional rites.
Instead of exchanging wedding bands, Hindu brides and grooms have mangal sutras tied around their necks. The Mangalsutra is a double-pendant necklace of gold. The necklace is tied by the groom in three knots, representing a strong commitment that will last a century.
The groom tells his new bride, "Hey, honey, this is official" by putting a necklace around her neck. Grooms traditionally buy and present their brides with wedding jewellery, and he usually foots the bill. However, in modern times, it's more common to let the bride choose her own jewellery, lest he present her with something she doesn't like. Again, this is just something you'll be aware of as the priest chants during the wedding ceremony.
A Mandap, a four-pillared canopy, is used in traditional Indian wedding ceremonies. Decorating the Mandap with vibrant hues is common practice.
Mangal pheras is an enjoyable ritual. When the moment comes, the bride and groom race to their seats after circling the sacred fire four times to symbolise dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Whoever reaches their seat first will be the head of the family.
In an Indian wedding, the couple makes their promises in front of the Agni, a sacred fire. While walking seven times around the fire and repeating their sacred Hindu wedding vows, the bride and groom:
- It's the first step towards our shared commitment to caring for and sustaining one another.
- The second phase will help us grow in psychological, physiological, and spiritual fortitude.
- In the final phase, we'll divide up our material goods.
- Knowledge, joy, and tranquillity are all within our reach after completing Step Four.
- The fifth stage is the key to producing resilient and morally upright offspring.
- The sixth move will allow us to take advantage of seasonal bounty year-round.
- The seventh stage guarantees that we'll keep being great friends and appreciate one other forever.
All brides walk away from the altar beaming. In the Hindu wedding ceremony known as the Vidaai, the bride formally leaves her family and home to begin a new life with her spouse. After thanking and honouring her parents, she lifts handfuls of rice and throws it over her head.
Though she has just married her soul mate, the completion of the wedding ceremony is an emotional period for Indian brides because it marks the official parting of their family. This occurs during the Vidaai ceremony, during which the bride honours her parents by throwing handfuls of rice over her head.
This phase of the ritual involves the groom helping his wife touch seven betel nuts, which are regarded a holy plant in India, with her right toe while she makes seven vows to him. After this is done, the bride is carried by her brothers while seven married women from the bride's family come up to them and whisper blessings in the bride's right ear.
Hiding the Shoes
This Indian wedding gag could make your bridesmaids much wealthier than if you simply tossed your bouquet to a group of unattached women. The Indian wedding game Jutti Chupai entails the bridesmaids stealing and hiding the groom's shoes before the ceremony. Following the wedding, the saalis (or bridesmaids) watch as the groom searches in vain for his misplaced shoes. At some point, they demand twenty, fifty, or a hundred bucks from the groom in exchange for his sexual gratification.
The use of bright colours is an integral feature of traditional Indian wedding ceremonies. Colors like red, gold, orange, and burgundy are frequently used in the decor, as well as the clothing, flowers, and other accessories.
Indian brides typically don't wear white since it's considered unlucky, but instead opt for more brilliant colours like red, yellow, and orange. According to Hindu custom, the sari should be a bold hue and decorated with gold accents to represent a woman's dedication, faith, and procreation.
According to custom, an Indian bride will don a total of 16 items on her wedding day. The Mangtikka, a gem placed in the centre of the forehead, stands out as the most distinctive.
The bride's sari and the groom's suit are both heavily influenced by the bride's and groom's home regions. The groom wears a Sherwani and Mojari, two types of traditional footwear, and a hat decorated with flowers to fend off evil spirits.
Solah Shringar, a collection of sixteen items including clothing, jewellery, and cosmetics, is worn by the bride during traditional ceremonies. Each component works together to highlight the bride's individual charm. The Solah Shringar includes the Mangtikka, a massive jewel worn by the bride on her forehead and threaded through the part in her hair. The bride's dress will differ by culture and location. Even the jewellery itself can be different. The groom will dress more simply than at a conventional Hindu ceremony, donning a Sherwani and the Mojari, a form of shoe frequently shown in Mughal art. Most of the women in attendance will be dressed in a Sari or a Lengha. Weddings are a great opportunity for everyone involved, including the guests and the couple, to don bright, eye-catching hues. As a part of the traditional wedding costume, Bindis and Bangles will be worn by the majority of the guests. Even some females sport payals (anklets).
Starting A New Life
Before entering the house of her new spouse, the bride and groom are doused with saltwater to ward off evil. The bride then takes her first steps inside the house after dipping her feet into a mixture of milk and vermillion. In order to call upon Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of love, beauty, and prosperity, she paints her footprints red on the floor. Finally, the bride knocks over a bowl of rice with her right foot to demonstrate her readiness for her new role as wife and to bring good fortune.
Prior to entering the groom's home, the bride and groom are doused with salt water to ward off evil spirits. Later, the bride takes one more safety measure by walking through a red carpet made from milk and vermillion, which represents the arrival of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, beauty, and prosperity. A pot of rice is kicked by the bride as a symbol of fertility and procreation, marking the beginning of married life.
The nuptial rituals of each culture have their own distinctive features. It's a terrific opportunity to learn about other cultures and enrich your own understanding of your own traditions to study wedding rituals from around the world. If you're planning on attending an Indian wedding or hosting one yourself, familiarising yourself with the traditions involved is a must. When it comes to your special day, Vogue Ballroom has proven itself to be an iconic wedding reception venue and function centre in Melbourne.
A typical Indian wedding will last three days due to all of the many events that take place. The Misri ceremony comes first and is held several days before the actual wedding. The couple will exchange vows, floral garlands, and wedding bands during this ceremony. The bride and groom are bathed with a mixture of turmeric, oil, and water. Every significant wedding in India, and notably in the North, still include a baraat.
During the ceremony, the brother of the bride pours rice into her hands; some of the rice falls into the groom's cupped hands below hers and eventually into the fire, which is called Agni. The couple exchanges their vows in front of the Agni, a sacred fire, at an Indian wedding. Traditional Indian weddings are known for their use of vibrant colours. Before the wedding, the bridesmaids are also responsible for stealing and concealing the groom's shoes. An Indian bride will wear sixteen separate pieces of jewellery, clothing, and accessories on her wedding day.
The Mangtikka, a large forehead jewel, is part of the Solah Shringar. The Sherwani and Mojari are traditional garments and footwear worn by the groom. Each culture's wedding traditions are bound to be unique in their own ways. In Melbourne, the Vogue Ballroom is the go-to spot for wedding receptions and other special events. The Hindu goddess of wealth and love, Lakshmi, is invoked by dipping the bride's feet in a milk and vermillion concoction.
- One of the reasons Indian weddings are so well-known is their ability to skilfully blend contemporary touches with traditional rituals.
- As the globe enters the digital age and society and weddings continue to modernise, many Hindu wedding traditions are altering, dying out, or finding new life.
- We will outline the most widespread practises practised in major Indian cities in the United States and Canada so that you know what to anticipate and can fully enjoy the experience you are about to embark upon.
- There are two possible celebrations: the Mehendi and the Sangeet.
- All or some of the bride and groom's relatives get together for a night of revelry and celebration.
- This is a major party.
- The Haldi ceremony is held first thing on the morning of the wedding itself.
- At the end of the baraat, the bridegroom is greeted by his prospective mother-in-law at the altar.
- The central fire is being showered with rice and/or floral offerings.
- It's still common practise, and your pandit can guide you through the rites.
- The Mangalsutra is a gold necklace with two pendants.
- Traditionally, wedding jewellery is a gift from the groom to the bride, and he pays for it himself.
- Again, you won't need to worry about anything other than being aware of this when the priest chants during the ritual.
- The couple exchanges vows in front of the Agni, a holy fire, at an Indian wedding.
- As they walked seven times around the fire and said their sacred Hindu wedding vows, the bride and groom exchanged rings.
- This is the first step in fulfilling our mutual promise to support and care for one another.
- In the second stage, we'll be able to strengthen our minds, bodies, and spirits.
- In this final stage, we'll allocate our material possessions.
- After reaching this stage, we would have gained the ability to attain knowledge, happiness, and peace.
- The secret to raising strong, upright children lies in the fifth stage.
- In the Hindu ritual of Vidaai, the bride officially leaves her family and home to start a new life with her husband.
- The end of the wedding ceremony is a bittersweet time for Indian brides because it officially signifies the separation from their families.
- To play the Indian wedding game Jutti Chupai, the bridesmaids must take and conceal the groom's shoes before the ceremony.
- An Indian bride will wear sixteen separate pieces of jewellery, clothing, and accessories on her wedding day.
- The sari worn by the bride and the tuxedo worn by the groom both pay homage to the cultural traditions of their respective homelands.
- During traditional ceremonies, the bride dons Solah Shringar, a collection of sixteen items that includes dress, jewellery, and cosmetics.
- The bridal gown varies greatly across regions and cultures.
- Women wearing Saris and Lenghas will make up the majority of the crowd.
- Most of the guests will be dressed in traditional Indian wedding attire, complete with Bindis and Bangles.
- The bride and groom are sprinkled with salt water to ward off evil spirits before entering the residence of the groom.
- Every culture has its own set of customs when it comes to weddings.
- Studying wedding ceremonies from different cultures is a wonderful way to broaden one's perspective and gain a deeper appreciation for one's own heritage.
- The traditions of an Indian wedding are important to learn if you are going to be a guest at one or if you are intending to throw one yourself.
FAQs About Indian Weddings
The reception is where the couple's families will throw a lavish reception party to finally let loose. Part of the celebration includes speeches and loved ones singing, dancing and performing routines for the couple. Following this, a huge sit-down dinner and a dance party will take place.
If you are planning on having a Hindu wedding or part of the wedding party, you’ll need to know how much a long term commitment you’re getting into. A long term commitment shouldn’t seem so daunting if you’re the bride or groom given the context, but if you’re a close friend helping with planning, it may seem overwhelming.
Who pays for an Indian wedding? It's mostly split between the couple and their parents, 50/50. Sometimes, however, if one side is insisting on more guests or extra fanfare, then those costs are adjusted.
Wedding expenses are a sensitive issue, as they also get in outdated dowry and village customs when marriage was more transactional and financial. While we like to think, having grown up in America that everything is shared equally, this seldom is the case.
There is no denying, Indians love to eat and prepare some fancy and flavoursome dishes. Of course, the wedding time when the hosts prepare the best of the region along with the popular dishes in India to treat their guests with an unsurpassed gastronomic experience.
The plethora of rituals makes Indian weddings quite special. Right from applying turmeric on the faces of the bride and bridegroom to the hiding of shoes of the groom by the bride’s sister/s, there is an endless number of interesting and unique rituals and traditions in an Indian wedding that you are likely to enjoy wholeheartedly.
The Indian traditional wedding has three separate events. The Sangeet & Mehendi, the wedding ceremony and the reception are all important. Sangeet and Mehendi. (sun-geeth and men-dee) Sangeet is a ceremony where the relatives and friends of the couple get together to know each other.
Planning an Indian wedding is not for the faint heart, it takes a lot of work to plan one. It involves many traditional events leading up to the wedding. Over 40 different rituals take place within the wedding ceremony. If not well prepared, it can be quite overwhelming.