Pre-wedding rituals are a very important part of Indian weddings. They are considered to be auspicious and promising for the forthcoming wedding, creating excitement and cheer among relatives and close friends.
The haldi ceremony is an auspicious ritual performed by the family of the bride and the groom before the wedding day. Generally, the bride and groom have separate haldi ceremonies. Family members and of the bride and groom apply the haldi and milk paste on the bride/groom’s skin. This yellow paste is thought to brighten and even the skin tone and is applied on one of the days prior to the wedding ceremony.
The Mehendi event is a colorful celebration held the night before the wedding, which is traditionally celebrated by the women on the bride’s side of the family but nowadays people prefer doing mehendi ceremonies in banquets and gents are also invited. Guests create a festive atmosphere by dressing in bright colors, singing traditional wedding songs, and dancing to popular music.
A traditional wedding ceremony consists of a series of religious rituals that unite not only the bride and groom, but also their families. In the Indian culture, maintaining close ties with immediate and extended family is crucial. Indian weddings are not only a celebration of union of the bride and groom but also it is a crucial union of both the families, the bride’s and groom’s.
Accompanied by his family and friends in a festive procession known as the baraat, the groom arrives at the entrance of the wedding venue on a horse or a car or maybe a carriage it’s a fun and frolic affair where the family members and friends dance on the beats of the band. The bride’s family at the entrance to the wedding venue meets the baraat.
Milni (Meeting of the Families)
The bride’s family greets the groom’s family with a welcoming ritual. Relatives of the bride and groom embrace and greet each other with garlands.
Arrival of the Bride
The bride enters the hall and is escorted to the center stage where the throne for the bride and groom is placed by her brothers, sisters and friends under a sheet (chadaar)
Once the bride approaches the mandap, the bride and groom exchange floral garlands, signifying their acceptance of one another.
At this point, the bride’s father pours sacred water in his daughter’s hand and places her hand in the groom’s hand, officially giving away his most precious gift to the groom. The groom’s sister or cousin then ties the end of the groom’s scarf to the bride’s sari with betelnuts, coins and rice, symbolizing unity, prosperity and happiness.
Mangal Phere (Circling the Sacred Fire)
The bride and groom walk around the sacred fire seven times keeping in mind the four aspirations in life: Dharma,Artha), Karma and Moksha.The bride, representing divine energy, leads the groom in the first three rounds, while the groom leads in the last four rounds, signifying balance and completeness.
Aashirvaad (Blessings for the Married Couple)
Women from both families whisper blessings into the bride’s ear. The couple then bows down to the priest, their parents and elder relatives to receive their final blessings. The guests shower the newlywed couple with flowers and rice to wish them a long and happy marriage.