Hindu Wedding

Traditional Hindu Weddings are not just the union of only two selves but also mark the everlasting bonding between two families. The ambience made by the Sanskrit hymns and the divine aroma floating in the air complement the belief that Hindu weddings happen in heaven. By vow that the couple makes during the Hindu wedding rituals, they promise to be together in the forthcoming seven lives. Marriage maks the beginning of one of the most critical phases of an individual’s life – the ‘Garhasthyaashram.’

 

Traditional Hindu weddings are rich with customs and ceremonies that start a few days before the wedding day and end with the big day’s celebrations. The spiritual meaning behind the Hindu wedding rituals and Hindu Wedding Ceremony has deep psychological meaning and remains relevant even during this 21st century. Let us discuss in detail about various elements involved in a Hindu wedding ceremony.

Pre-wedding Hindu Wedding Rituals

After the engagement, the most important is to set the date of the wedding. For most of the traditional Hindu weddings, the dates for the auspicious occasions are determined using astrology. The pre-wedding rituals include functions like Sangeet, Mehandi and Haldi; all these functions prepare the bride and groom for their big day.

 

Sangeet Night, primarily a north Indian celebration, involves dancing to the rhythm of Bollywood, by the ladies of the family. The family of the bride hosts the function, and the women from the groom also take part in it. Haldi Ceremony takes place just a day or two before the wedding day. More than the beauty benefits of Haldi, the auspicious yellow colour is believed to bring prosperity to the new lives of the couple. 

Mehandi is a late addition to the pre-wedding ceremony substituting the use of Alta; the red paint applied on the hand and feet of the bride. The Mehendi designs on the bride’s hand hide the first letter of the name of the groom. Also, Mehandi patterns symbolize good health and joy to the new beginning.

 

Tilak ceremony marks the beginning of the relationship between the families. The ceremony takes place in the groom’s residence. A male member from the bride’s side visited the groom and put a tilak with kumkum on the forehead of the groom. The rite is followed by dance and other celebrations in many parts of the country.

Hindu Wedding Invitations

There is no wonder that the Hindu wedding invitations also stand unique with the traditional followers and beliefs they showcase. The first print of the Hindu wedding cards is offered to Almighty; the first one to be invited is the God followed by the dear and near of the couple.

 

The Hindu wedding cards usually depict the image of Lord Ganesha; it is believed that all hurdles are cleared through his blessings. Lord Krishna stands as a symbol of true love and is the perfect depiction in the event of the conjoining of two souls in love. Om symbol is also widely seen in Hindu wedding cards. The powerful mantra signifies the unity of divine energies of Lord Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.

 

The couples’ grandparents or parents usually address the host line. Verses or mantras are added to impart a divine look and feel to the print. The Hindu wedding invitations include date and venue information about the pre-wedding events, associated with the wedding. Digitising the wedding cards have given new attire to the process, but the emotional factor behind it remains untouched.

Hindu Wedding Dress

Indian weddings are famous for their vibrant colour choices. Red coloured lehengas and sarees hit the priority list when it comes to the traditional Hindu wedding dress. The colour symbolizes love, prosperity, passion and fertility. The auspicious colour surely adds to the stunning and gorgeous look of the bride. Shimmers and glitters add to the beauty of the red coloured Hindu wedding dress. The brides often cover their face using a veil; the veil is usually made of net material and gives a sneak peek of the bride’s face.

 

Traditional gold ornaments and red bangles complement the luxury look of the overall attire of the bride. Hair is decorated with red coloured flowers, mainly red roses. Many layers of traditional necklaces and large jumkas are an all-time favourite of the brides. Diamond and other precious stones jewellery also match well with the bright shades of red. Mathapattis and Maangtikkas is an unavoidable and trending element in a brides jewellery kit.

Grooms choose a Hindu wedding dress that integrates with the red saree or lehenga of the bride. Cream coloured Sherwani with a red shawl is a favourite choice of many grooms. It never fails to impart the majestic royal look to the groom. Designer sherwanis, customized turbans, stylish neckpiece, makes the groom equally attractive as the bride. Minor detailings, including the brooch, can add to the luxurious look of the attire.

Groom's Arrival or The Baarat

The arrival of the groom to the wedding venue itself is a minor version of the big day’s celebration. He is welcomed with drums, fireworks, flower garlands and music. The procession is so colourful that it alone makes an impressive feast to the eye of the guests. The guests from the groom’s side follow him in this procession, and they are directed towards the main venue where the ceremony takes place. Upon reaching the venue entrance, the groom welcomed inside by performing aarti and present the garland and apply tilak.

Traditional Ceremony In The Mandap

Once the groom is brought to the Mandap, the bride arrives at this temporary structure with her father and uncles. Along with the officiant and the couple, both sets of parents and siblings will be present in the Mandap. The couple and officiant perform the ceremonies sitting around the sacred fire burning in a pit at the centre of the Mandap. The Hindu wedding ritual kicks off with Kanya Dhan. Wherein, the bride’s father, takes her right hand and places it in the groom’s right hand in the middle of Sanskrit enchantments.

 

Following this, the bride and groom hold their hands and walk around the fire. This Hindu wedding ritual is called Mangalphera, which means purity and dreams. The couple takes four rounds around the fire, highlighting four primary life goals – purity, prosperity, personal satisfaction and spirituality.

 

Havan is a similar kind of fire ceremony where flowers and herbs are offered to the fire by the couple. During this Hindu Wedding Ceremony, the scarves of the couple are tied together.

Saptapadi is another important rite in Hindu weddings where the couple takes seven steps together promising to support and take care of each other. The last and vital step is tying the knot. Mangalsutra made of gold, and black beads or diamond is gifted to the bride by the groom. Now the bride and the groom exchange the flower garlands. Ring exchange is a new introduction to the ceremonies held in the Mandap. Application of sindoor on the forehead of the bride by the groom symbolizes that she is a married woman. Flowers are thrown on the couple by the family and the guest, wishing them all prosperity and joy in their new life.

The Wedding Feast

 

Hindu weddings are famous for their lip-smacking foods. The food is often served in buffet style. The menu includes a wide variety of welcome drinks, appetizers, main courses, salads, sweets. Different from the foreign wedding follows, around 500 to 600 guests, including the relatives and the society are invited for the wedding function. The couple will be seated in a raised platform decorated with beautiful backdrops, flowers and lights. The guests can click photos with the newly wedded couple and can even arrange live copies of these photos.

Vidaai Hindu Wedding Ceremony

 

Vidaai is the most emotional ceremony in the traditional Hindu wedding. The Vidaai moments witness a mixed feeling in the air. The bride’s family bid her adieu as she steps on to a new life with her husband. The tearful eyes of the bride and her parents reflect happiness, hope, the sorrow of separation all at once. The ritual of throwing five handfuls of grain from the main door of her house reflects prosperity in the new life. This rite also signifies that the bride has given back all that her parents have done for her all these years.

 

Once the bride enters the car with her husband, her brothers push the car symbolizing their help to start the new beginning. Also, money is thrown on the road when the vehicle is left to get freed of the evil spirits.

Reception Party

 

The reception is arranged in the groom’s house to introduce the bride to their society. The Wedding Reception is more informal and funfilled than at the wedding ceremony. During the reception party, when the couple dances together at some point in time, there is a practice of throwing money on them by the relatives to wish them prosperity.

Aashirvaad Ceremony

 

During the blessing ceremony elders in the family including uncles, aunties, grandparents, parents, and other well-wishers from both sides bless the couple. Both the families exchange gifts during this ceremony. In some regions of the country, the blessing ceremony is held two to three days before the wedding. The groom’s family visit the bride’s house with gifts, including gold and diamonds. The main entrance of the bride’s home is decorated with mango leaves which remain so for next year.

Pag Phera

 

During Pag Phera, the bride visits her home and stays there for three days and return on the third day to her husband’s house with him. The couple is presented with gifts by the bride’s parents during this ceremony. Daughters visiting their parents home is considered to bring prosperity to the family.

 

Hindu wedding traditions and ceremonies vary significantly in various parts of the country. However, we have detailed the general rituals and elements that are common to different cultures of the country. The Hindu wedding ceremonies have witnessed many additions and deletions of rituals in the process of evolution. Still, the hardcore beliefs and follows remains untouched, making the Hindu weddings an exciting event and a new experience for many.

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