Indian weddings are epic affairs that require much preparation. For more facts & information on planning and preparing for an Indian wedding read on…
In India, preparations for weddings begin long before the ceremony and involve a number of rituals. Many Indian marriages are still arranged by parents and represent not only the joining of the couple, but the joining of the two families. It is customary for the families to host a large engagement party to announce the agreement of the families to the marriage of their children.
Indian brides, like brides in most cultures, can spend hours trying on various bridal outfits before selecting the costume for their wedding. They may choose from many different colors and while most brides opt for the traditional sari, some choose a salwar kameez or lehenga. The salwar kameez is a dress with a knee length hem that is worn over slim fitting trousers. The lehenga is a jacket worn over a long skirt.
Colorful Indian Wedding Dresses
Some Indian brides, especially those living outside India, opt for more Western style wedding gowns and Western designers are making at least some of their dresses available in colors like red for these Asian brides. Indian brides never wear white since it is the color of mourning in their culture. Most Indian bridal outfits feature over the top embellishments and are heavily beaded and embroidered with gold or silver thread.
Indian Bridal Jewelry
After the bridal ensemble is chosen, the bride must choose jewelry to match the dress. Indian bridal jewelry usually consists of the hair braid, earrings, nose rings, bangle bracelets, necklaces and anklets. Brides may wear multiple rings to adorn their fingers. The bridal jewelry once represented the wealth the bride brought to the marriage, but today’s brides may rent bridal jewelry or buy inexpensive pieces to save money.
Indian Bridal Rituals
Indian bridal preparations usually begin several days to one week prior to the wedding and include the application of bridal henna to the hands and feet of the bride. Hindu brides customarily prepare for their wedding with the solah Shringar, a 16 step process that includes hair styling, cosmetics, jewelry and bridal dress intended to enhance the young woman’s beauty.
Most Indian brides opt for simple hairstyles like top knots or chignons since they wear elaborate jewelry in their hair. Facial cosmetics can be quite elaborate and include outlining the eyes in black and placing dots on the forehead above the eyebrows. Indian bridal preparations vary slightly by region and religious practice, but for most young women the wedding day is the most important day of their entire lives.