Indian weddings are a gala event of multiple ceremonies and events that happen on different days. It can often leave people unfamiliar with Indian weddings confused about what actually goes down on the wedding day. Since once you’re done with all the pre-wedding ceremonies, it’s time for your wedding day customs. If you’re going to have a proper Hindu wedding, you need to go over and complete every custom mentioned below. So here is a breakdown of all that takes place on the wedding day of an Indian wedding.
This ritual is celebrated by both, the bride and the groom just before getting married. In the bride’s case, only her female friends and relatives are invited to the ceremony. A paste made out of turmeric, milk and, in some cases, rose water is applied on the bride and the groom’s face, feet, neck and hands. It is meant to be auspicious, to keep away from the evil eye and it also ensures the couple glowing on their big day. This ceremony takes place on the morning of the wedding and turns into a festive party nowadays.
It usually proceeds from the groom’s place to the wedding venue. Traditionally, he is seated on a horse or an elephant, but nowadays the grooms enter the venue in luxurious cars adorned with flowers. All the groom’s friends and relatives accompany him by dancing around him all the way from his house to the wedding location.
When the groom arrives to the wedding venue along with the entire baarat, it is time for the Varmala ceremony. The mother of the bride welcomes him at the doorstep with a tilak and performs a short prayer in order to keep him away from the evil eye. After the groom walks in to the centre of the stage, it’s the time for the bride’s entrance. The couple is given garlands which they have to put around the other’s neck and that’s when this fun-filled ceremony is completed.
It’s performed by the bride’s father where he places her right hand into the groom’s and it’s considered to be the biggest offering any father can ever make to the God. It literally means giving away the most precious and valuable present, their daughter, to the groom and his family. It is believed that this ritual purifies all the sins of the bride’s parents.
5. Saat Phere
It’s also called ‘Saptapadi’ and is performed by the couple holding hands or tying a knot and walking around the sacred fire seven times while the pandit recites aloud different religious mantras. It’s the most important part of the Hindu wedding ceremony as it is believed that the holy fire represents the divine presence of the God of fire who’ll be the true witness of the nuptial. After the seven steps, the groom ties the mangalsutra around his wife’s neck and applies sindoor in the beginning of her parting line; and with this, the couple is officially married.
With this ritual, the marriage can be considered as concluded. During this ceremony, the bride is accompanied by her parents and close friends and family outside the venue and before crossing the doorstep, she throws back three handfuls of rice and coins over her head. It’s a way of expressing gratitude towards her parents and repaying them for everything they’ve given her till date.
Even though we say the wedding day, all these events usually last up until the next morning. While Haldi ceremony begins around 9-10 AM on the wedding day, Bidaai usually takes place at 3-4 AM of the next in most cases. So keep a change of clothes handy if you want to last the whole affair of a Hindu wedding.
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