Are you curious about the Indian marriage ceremony? Do you want to learn more about the various events that lead up to the Indian marriage ceremony? Read on for more information…
The Indian marriage ceremony is not only an opulent affair but it is also equally complex and usually lasts for at least 2 to 3 days. Depending on the state the couple comes from the marriage ceremony can be quite different. Such differences can include the dresses worn by the bride and the groom; the type of decoration, food served and even some ceremonies. However one thing that stays constant in all Hindu marriages are the 7 rounds taken around the holy fire by the couple. These signify seven vows and the seven births for which the couple promise to stay together.
The ceremony starts with the mehendi and sangeet. In some families these are two separate events; it all depends on how much the parents want to spend on the wedding. The mehendi ceremony is where the bride’s hands and feet are decorated with mehendi or heena; the color and the plant are considered very auspicious. It is akin to a faux tattoo but the designs used are very intricate and delicate. This ceremony usually takes place a day or two before the wedding ceremony. The sangeet on the other hand is like a bridal shower but with a lot of dancing and music.
A day before the wedding the haldi ceremony takes place. This is where an anointment made of turmeric, sandalwood paste and aromatic oils is sent from the groom’s house to the brides. The paste is applied on the groom’s and the bride’s bodies by their respective families. According to ayurveda the paste helps to soften the skin and make the couple look radiant. But philosophically the ceremony signifies the bride acknowledging towards her future groom that I am all yours and I accept all things that are intimate to you; we are bathed in the same color.
While these ceremonies are taking place the wedding canopy or mandap is set up depending on the venue. Indian marriages are not held at home, people usually prefer to book wedding halls or hotels for the occasion. On the morning of the ceremony the bride and groom are bathed in the midst of vedic chanting. The friends then take over helping them to get ready for the wedding, both the bride and groom are helped to dress in their wedding fineries by their friends and then they are escorted to the venue.
A Hindu clergyman or pandit chants the holy mantras and various ceremonies take place. After this the bride’s father does the kanya daan or hands over his daughter’s hand to his future son-in-law with the holy fire as his witness. The couple takes the seven rounds around the holy fire. The groom will tie a mangalsutra around the brides neck, which is a necklace made of black beads and gold. It holds the same significance as a wedding ring but it’s only worn by the bride. After seeking the blessing of their elders the newly wedded couple meets the guests and this may be followed by a lot of dancing and partying.