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17 Thoughtful Kashmiri Wedding Traditions That Are Pure Love, Joyous & Completely One of a Kind

What makes a Kashmiri wedding unique? It's the equal doses of mad fun, family and time-honoured traditions that give Valley weddings their own identity. And these begin with a matchmaker, traditional outfits and 15 different ceremonies. Read on.

Shambhavi K Photography

Amidst nature’s splendour, a Kashmiri wedding is a real celebration of culture and traditions. From rituals to food to decor, here we take pride in traditions which can be labelled as unique and matchless. The elaborate list of festivities and time-honoured rituals observed before and after the big day makes a typical Kashmiri wedding a prolonged affair. Let’s take a detailed look at these customs and traditions.

Kashmiri Wedding Traditions - Ceremonies, Rituals and Outfits

1. It begins with a Manzimyor

The Wedding Conteurs

Traditionally, Kashmiri elders hire a Manzimyor, a professional matchmaker to help them find suitable matches for the prospective bride or the groom. The Manzimyor collects profiles and shares them with the family in a process called Parche Traavun. The families select a match, connect with each other and decide whether the two should be tied together. This marks the beginning of the grand Kashmiri wedding experience. We break these down in a list of pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding ceremonies.


The Wedding Conteurs

2. Nishayn

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After Thap Traavin, which is the official consent for marriage, there is a very lavish ceremony known as Nishayan or engagement. This formal ceremony is usually hosted by the bride’s family. Close family and friends are invited to a very lavish feast called the Wazwan. Gifts are exchanged and the couple receives a formal consent for their marriage.

3. Saatnaam

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After the formal engagement ceremony, there is a get together called the Saatnaam. It takes place at the respective houses of the bride and the groom. The get together is done to officially announce the wedding date to close relatives. It is well celebrated with traditional music and dance.

4. Maenziraat

The Wedding Conteurs

A pamper session indeed, the Maenziraat lays down the actual feel for a Kashmiri wedding. Amid cheerful family and friends, the bride receives all the traditional tender love and care for her big day. Her hands, arms and feet are adorned with henna (called Malmaenz). Her women elders massage oil into her hair, braiding it elaborately and wrapping it with colourful ribbons.


The Wedding Conteurs

5. Aab Shehrun

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On the day of the wedding, the Kashmiri bride takes a bath and wears a traditional dress known as the Pheran, which is usually hand-embroidered using silver or golden coloured thread. Nowadays, she dons it in a representative way - wearing the headgear over an elaborate bridal saree or bridal lehenga. She follows the bath with a prayer, reciting verses from the holy Quran.

6. Nikah Khwaani

The Wedding Salad

The Nikah for a Kashmiri wedding is actually very modest in nature. The priest recites verses from the Quran and prays that the couple enjoys a long, happy married life.

7. Yini Wol

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Following the Nikaah ceremony, the baraat including friends, family, relatives, neighbours, and more gather for lunch and bless the couple. The guests are served a traditional feast known as the Kashmiri Wazwan which consists of a variety of delicacies.

8. Mahraaz Saal

The Basil Kitchen

In the evening, the groom and the baraatis are given a royal treatment. They are served food in beautifully carved copper plates. The menu served is very elaborate and in a way, a superior version of the lunch served in the daytime. During this grand feast ceremony known as Mahraaz Saal, the groom is made to sit on a platform made of the finest silk carpets.

9. Ruksati

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After the dinner, the bride finally bids farewell to her family. Just like in any other culture, Ruksati is a very emotional moment for the bride and her family.

10. Kadal-e-taar

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This one is a very unique custom of a typical Kashmiri wedding. Friends of the groom stop his vehicle at a bridge crossing while going back home with the bride. They don’t let him cross the bridge until he pays them some money known as Kadal-e-taar.


11. Muhar Tullun

The Wedding Conteurs

The mother of the groom welcomes the bride to their home and lifts her veil so that her face can be seen by everyone. Women sing traditional Kashmiri songs and give her gifts. Sometimes a goat is also slaughtered in the honour of the bride.

12. Walima

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The next day, the family of the groom holds a feast known as Walima or a reception. Family, friends, and other people from the community are invited to bless the newlywed.

13. Khabri Gasun


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For a few days after the wedding, relatives of the bride except her parents, visit the groom’s house and give gifts to the couple, mostly in the form of cash.

14. Phiri Saal

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A few days later, the family of the bride invites the couple and the rest of the family members for a meal at their house. The invitation is known as Phiri Saal. Goes without saying that the guests are treated with the utmost respect and honour.

15. Satim Doh

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The immediate seven days after the Kashmiri wedding are also a time of celebration. During these seven days, the bride wears seven different colours and does not do any household chores. Following the seventh day, the family members of the bride are invited for a feast at the groom’s house. The day of the feast is known as Satim Doh. After this day the bride goes back to live with her parents for a few days.

16. Phirraa Khaber


After the bride returns back to her husband’s house, all the close relatives visit her just to make sure that she is doing well. This ritual is known as Phirraa Khaber.

17. What to Wear - Kashmiri Bridal and Groom Outfits

The Wedding Salad

The traditional Kashmiri bridal dress is known as a Pheran. A blend of Indian and Iranian sensibilities, the dress consists of a loose knee-length kameez beautifully embroidered over the edges and a close-fitting salwar. Nowadays, Kashmiri brides also choose to opt for a bridal saree or lehenga instead of the complete Pheran. 

Sona Sachdeva Photography

The bride also wears an elaborate headgear known as Kasaba. Heavy pins and trinkets are worn to hold the headgear in place. To complete the look an embroidered dupatta over the head is worn by the bride. A unique piece of jewellery known as Dejharoo adds to the overall bridal look. It is a pair of small gold pendants worn through the holes in the ear.

If they do opt for a lehenga, saree or a sharara, they choose to keep the Kasaba and dupatta, alongside their bridal jewellery to maintain the overall look.

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A Kashmiri groom, on the other hand, dons a Pehran. On his head, he dons a Gordastar, bearing a real peacock feather threaded in by a golden thread. The groom also wears a sword in his waistband.

This sums up the traditions and rituals seen during a generic Kashmiri wedding. In our next post, we will talk about the rituals of a Kashmiri Pandit wedding that are as beautiful as the valleys of the town. Stay tuned!

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