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An Indian Christian Wedding - the Best of Two Worlds!

Want to find out about Indian Christian weddings? Read on for some interesting facts about different customs and traditions about Christian weddings across the country.

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If you always thought Indian Christian weddings were just like the ones you see in the west, where the bride would always be in a gorgeous princess-like white gown, then you’re totally wrong! Indian Christian weddings are a fascinating blend of Indian and western customs that are totally different from what’s portrayed in Bollywood movies! Here’s a walkthrough of what to expect in case you’re attending an Indian Christian wedding in Goa, Mangalore and Kerala. Read on!

Goan and Mangalorean Indian Christian Weddings

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Goan and Mangalorean Christians have many traditions and customs when it comes to their weddings. Today, Goan and Mangalorean weddings are more influenced by Western customs with the bridal entourage, music, dancing and a whole lot of other good stuff.

1. Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

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Today, in an Indian Christian wedding this has become very popular. The sisters and friends of the to-be-bride would arrange the bachelorette party. This would include a lot of wedding gifts or trousseau, food, wedding cake and games.

It’s an all-girls party, where the ladies would have a whole lot of fun like singing, dancing and making sure that the bride just enjoys herself. Something similar is also organised for the groom-to-be by his friends.

This is supposed to be his last day to enjoy bachelorhood and so the guys may go out to enjoy or probably have a party with endless booze! This is originally more of a western culture that has smoothly made its way into Indian Christian weddings. Today, this has spread rapidly into other parts of the country too with most couples making it a part of their pre-wedding celebrations.

2. Roce Ceremony

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If you’re attending a Goan or Mangalorean wedding then this would be one of their pre-wedding functions that are definitely great fun to attend. A Roce ceremony is where the parents, friends and relatives gather to bless the couple.

This ceremony would be conducted separately for each side, where relatives of the other side would be invited as well. However, except for the family members and relatives, the groom and bride wouldn’t be allowed to attend each other’s ceremony. During the Roce ceremony, coconut oil and coconut juice would be applied to the groom or bride.

Today, the Roce ceremony has become more of a fun-filled celebration where youngsters resort to all sorts of different things to make the ceremony more enjoyable – these include egg breaking on the bride or groom, including the bridal squad as well. After all of this, there will be a lot of singing, dancing, drinks and good food.

3. The Wedding Day

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Traditionally, on the morning of the big day, the groom’s side would visit the bride’s home with the wedding dress, gifts, sweets etcetera. The groom would be waiting for his bride at the church along with his family and relatives. The bride would then be escorted to the altar by her father. While they walk in, the choir would sing hymns.

The wedding mass would soon begin with a reading of the Gospel and the priest giving a sermon. Then the exchange of rings and wedding vows would take place, the couple would read from pre-written vows that are given by the church. After this, the priest would bless the couple. During the exchanging of rings and vows, there would be witnesses from each standing by. The bride and groom would now be declared married. After the church ceremony, a huge reception is held.

The couple would make a grand entry with their bridal entourage. Throwing of confetti is a way of welcoming the couple, this is followed with the cutting of the cake, opening a champagne bottle and raising the toast.

Soon after is traditional dances like the wedding march and the romantic slow dance by the couple. The song for the couple’s first dance would be decided well in advance by the couple themselves. The band or DJ would then play some latest numbers where the whole crowd joins in to dance and have some fun. Drinking and buffet dinner is something to expect from Goan and Mangalorean Indian Christian weddings.

4. Post-Wedding Functions    

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The next day would be a dinner that’s organised by the girl’s family and relatives. This would again be a celebration with food and drinks. It’s a celebration that the couple is now married and the girl would be leaving her home. For this day, the bride chooses to go with a red saree, while the groom would opt for a simple pant and shirt or traditional wear like a kurta-pyjama or sherwani.

5. Wedding Attire

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Goan brides wear a white gown and veil with a bouquet in hand. Along with this, the bride would go in for gold jewellery and makeup. However, today, most brides opt for other types of artificial jewellery to go with the wedding gown. Tiara’s are also worn by most Goan and Mangalorean brides. Grooms usually go for dark formal suits or a tuxedo with a boutonniere.

Each side would have different colour boutonnieres made for the men in the family and they would have to wear them as well. Indian Christian weddings have a bridal entourage that consists of groom’s men, bridesmaid, flower girls and pageboys. There would be a colour theme decided where the décor including the bridal entourage will be dressed according to the theme.

Kerala Indian Christian Weddings

A Kerala Indian Christian wedding would unfold in the following way:-

1. Aacharakalyanam

This is the very first ceremony of a Kerala Indian Christian wedding that would begin the wedding preparations. This is a ceremony where both families meet and decide on the wedding date. During this ceremony, sweets are exchanged and it’s a day of celebration.

2. Manasamatham

Next is the Manasamatham ceremony, where both families meet at the church and the priest would confirm with two witnesses that both the families accept this wedding.

3. Guru Dakshana and Stuthi Cholluka

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These two ceremonies happen on the big day. Stuthi Cholluka is a traditional ceremony where a series of different prayers are said. The Guru Dakshana is a tradition where the couple would take blessings from their elders. These ceremonies are conducted at the groom’s and bride’s homes.

4. Wedding Ceremony  

Since it’s a Christian wedding, the wedding would take place in a church. The couple would walk down the aisle to the altar. The first thing the couple does is to light a lamp. This is then followed by reading the Bible and saying some prayers and exchanging of rings. Soon after this, the Minnukettu ceremony takes place where the groom would tie the Minnu.

The Minnu is a set of seven strings that are made from a Manthrakodi, a red saree around the neck of the bride. The priest would then give the Mathrakodi to the groom and he would put it on the bride’s head as a blessing. This simple chain made of strings is supposed to be worn by the bride for three days after which she can replace it with a permanent chain in a Kerala wedding.

5. Kerala Wedding Attire

A Kerala Indian Christian bride would wear one of the most unique attires ever – a saree and a veil! The colour of the saree would be white, cream or off-white with a lovely gold border. The preferred fabric of the saree would be silk. As for accessories, the bride goes with bangles, necklace and earrings to match her saree. Some Kerala brides also wear a tiara, and a net veil to complete the look. She would also hold a bouquet in hand and walk down the aisle in style.

A Kerala Indian Christian groom usually wears a suit or a tuxedo. The popular colours are navy blue and black. However, today, men are exploring new options and going in for colours like brown, beige and even electric blue too. Bow-ties and ties are worn to complete the suit look. This was everything you needed to know about Indian Christian weddings across different parts of the country. Today, people are coming up with a whole lot of new ideas and ways to make their wedding day perfect.

When it comes to Indian Christian weddings it’s a total blend of different cultures and traditions that go into planning the wedding. If you’re looking for some help in planning your Indian Christian wedding, get in touch with our vendors today!