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      Indian Wedding

      Indian Wedding

      Indian Wedding Traditions

      Indian Wedding Traditions

      India’s extravagant, vibrant and zestful weddings are an intrinsic aspect of its rich culture. The so-called Big Fat Indian weddings have captivated the world, which could be attributed to India’s visible diaspora. Indian families across the world still follow the great age-old Indian wedding customs.

      However, the religious, traditional, regional and cultural diversity calls in for a variety of traditions being followed in Indian weddings spanning across its states. Although the fervour and emotions behind all Indian weddings are the same, you can spot out differences in the traditions in different regions across India.

      What Happens at an Indian Wedding

      What Happens at an Indian Wedding

      Prior to a couple of days before the wedding, the first pre-wedding ceremony called Sangeet is held where both the families meet informally at the bride’s residence, where they sing and dance to celebrate the impending union. Then comes Haldi Ceremony, the fun part of pre-wedding ceremonies, where Haldi or turmeric paste is smeared all over the bride, as well as the groom, regarded as a beautification ritual. The Haldi ceremony is normally conducted separately in the homes of the bride and the groom. A paste made of turmeric, chickpea flour and rose water not just brightens the bride’s skin tone, but also ward off evil. The colour yellow is associated with beauty, purity and fertility.

      Haldi gives way to the Mehendi Night, where the bride’s hands are adorned with intricate henna designs, where all her female relatives partake in the ceremony. This ceremony is known as Madarengee in a South Indian wedding. All these ceremonies are much lively and zestful with music, dance and a great deal of merriment.

      The ceremony that leads to the wedding ceremony is a celebration in itself and has got a name- Baraat. All the guests from the bride’s side can directly move to the venue, but the groom’s guests should accompany the baraat procession, instead of moving straight to the venue. The groom arrives mounted on a decorated white horse in procession while the groom’s friends and family will be dancing in a large circle.

      The groom’s family will have a great time, where they arrive in a ceremonial procession amidst music and dance, often with a band in attendance. Upon reaching the venue entrance, the groom and his family will be happily welcomed by the bride’s family, by tossing rice upon them. The groom is presented with a plate containing a lamp and garland, by the relatives of the bride. At times, a tilak or dot is applied on the groom’s forehead. Then the groom will be led to the mandap to await his bride.

      Wedding Ceremony

      Wedding Ceremony

      The traditionally worn attire colours are red and pink. Indian brides traditionally wear a red sari or an Indian wedding lehenga, with an embellished headpiece to match. Indian grooms wear a Kafni, paired with a pair of pyjama leggings. To complete the Indian wedding outfit, often grooms wear an elaborate turban over their head.

      A wedding ceremony is imbued with deep meaning, whereby the couple realises the sanctity and social significance of their union. In a Kanyadaan ceremony, the bride is given away to the groom, by her father. The Kanyadan ritual marks the official approval of the bride’s father to give away his daughter, to the groom.

      It’s a tradition followed by Indian families where it is said that the Bride’s father should give away his most prized possession to the groom so that she receives good fortune and great prosperity in days to come. As a gesture of giving the bride away, the bride’s father places his daughter’s right hand on the right hand of the groom. The bride’s mother then pours water on the bride’s father’s hands, which eventually falls on the hands of the bride and groom. As a gesture of purifying the couples for their new life together, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the couples using milk and water.

      The priest preceding the wedding invokes the blessings of Lord Ganesha while chanting the Sanskrit mantras. The groom ties a necklace called mangal sutra around the bride’s neck, embellished with black and gold beads.

      Then comes Saptapadi, where both the bride and groom moves around the ceremonial fire for seven times which signifies their commitment to each other.

      In Sanskrit, Saptapadi means seven steps, and the couple take seven steps while chanting the Hindu pledge of marriage:

      First step: We will support and provide for each other.

      Second step: We will develop spiritual, mental and physical strength

      Third step: We both will share worldly possessions by righteous and proper means

      Fourth step: We will acquire peace, happiness and knowledge by mutual love, trust and respect

      Fifth step: We will raise virtuous, heroic and strong children together

      Sixth step: We will together enjoy the fruits of every season

      Seventh step: We will forever cherish each other and remain as friends

      When the much-awaited wedding ceremony comes to an end, then comes the most emotional and heart-rending part of the entire Indian wedding rituals- The vidaai, a post-wedding ceremony where the bride and groom depart to the groom’s home.

      When the joy and merriment of the wedding come to an end, the post-wedding ceremony called reception takes place which will be hosted by the groom’s family as a response to the wedding ceremony hosted by the bride’s family. The newly-weds will look their best in reception attire, and receive all the guests. During the ceremony, the bride will be introduced to the groom’s family and friends. This marks the end of all wedding ceremonies.

      How Long Does an Indian Wedding Last

      How Long Does an Indian Wedding Last

      The events of an Indian wedding lasts for up to 3 days, and sometimes, can last up to 5 days. On the first day, normally Ganesh puja takes place, which is attended only by close relatives. On the second day, Mehendi and Sangeet ceremony commences, following Ganesh puja. The Mehendi and sangeet celebration gives way to the wedding ceremony and reception on the third or final day. All these events are based on auspicious times pre-decided by the priest.

      How Much Does an Indian Wedding Cost in India

      How Much Does an Indian Wedding Cost in India

      Average Indian wedding cost in India ranges from 20 lakhs to 5 crores. From event planners to caterers and everything in between, you need to make sure that you hire an adept team to make your d-day truly incredible.

      It will cost you about 1 lakh, for actualising your wedding in an average hotel ballroom, whereas special destinations and resorts will cost you several lakhs of rupees. You need to spend around Rs 30,000 to 2 lakhs for venue decoration. If you’re hiring a reputed caterer for an assortment of cuisines, it will cost you between Rs 1500 to 2500 per plate, and sometimes even more. When it comes to attire, Indian wedding dresses for men such as suits or sherwani may cost up to Rs 30,000 whereas bridalwear such as saree or lehenga can be picked at around Rs 50,000.

      Being a three-day-long affair, each ceremony requires its own outfits, materials and settings. The average cost of a single ceremony is between 6 to 10 lakhs. On top of all these, there are extra expenses that may add up, such as photography, videography, band, presents, wedding card costs.

      Who Pays for What in an Indian Wedding

      Who Pays for What in an Indian Wedding

      Traditionally, it’s the bride’s family who bears the wedding expenditure, whereas the tikka ceremony and reception expenditure are borne by the groom’s family. Certain Indian families may choose to avoid reception altogether and merge tikka ceremony with that of wedding engagement, in order to cut down expenses.

      Some families may choose to share the expenditure, but mostly the wedding expenditure is taken care of by the Bride’s family. But sometimes these costs are adjusted if one family is insisting on extra fanfare or additional guests. For instance, the baraat expenses or bride’s lehenga expenses will be borne by themselves.

      When is Indian Wedding Season

      When is Indian Wedding Season

      The wedding season starts off in the month with more auspicious dates suitable for the wedding. The most auspicious wedding date will be declared by the priest. The wedding season begins in September and lasts until February in North India. In metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, etc. October, November, February and March are the seasons that are most favoured.

      But in the South, there is no such thing as a wedding season- it happens all around the year. Also, the climatic conditions also have a major role to play in Indian wedding season- weddings are normally not arranged during the rainy season, and the wedding season starts off in the month of Kartik.

      How to Plan an Indian Wedding on a Small Budget

      How to Plan an Indian Wedding on a Small Budget

      To all the exhilarated brides and grooms who are somewhat close to getting spliced wondering how to plan your wedding on a small budget, this step-by-step guide will definitely help you out.

      Deciding Venue – It’s wise to pick a wedding venue in advance, since the banquet hall, resorts, or vendors may charge you more in the course of peak wedding season. Just steer clear of a destination wedding, if you’re in the lookout for a budget-friendly venue.

      Cut down on decor– This is something that takes a heavy toll from your budget. If the venue of your choice is either a hotel or banquet hall, you can cut cost on wedding decoration, since these venues may already have an alluring wedding backdrop. There are details that can make a big difference to your budget, such as wedding table centrepieces, entree decoration, table arrangements, mandap decoration.

      Shrink your guest list – When you’re focused on a small budget, trimming your guest list is a wise move. Try to shrink your guest list to those whom you really like to attend the wedding, which should include your close cousins, relatives and close friends.

      Curate a wise wedding catering list- You need to make sure that the caterer comes up with a plethora of food recommendations so you can rest assured of the taste of the food. Discuss with the catering or banquet hall manager and list out the dishes that you can’t avoid.

      Off-season purchase- It’s wiser to buy your wedding outfits during the off-season since items in demand will cost you more during a popular season. And on top of that, sometimes you may get a discount, with which you can get hold of outfits from your favourite brands, that may otherwise cost you more.

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