Marrying someone is one of the biggest life decisions you will make. The thought of sharing your life with another person fills you with joy and excitement. But, that doesn’t mean getting married should be taken lightly either. Deep in your soul, you know this is it; the moment when you commit to love again and build a home with your new spouse.
If there’s anything Indian weddings are good at, it’s adding emotional layers to the proceedings through tradition, culture, and religion. There are as many wedding rituals in India as couples are looking for ways to make their union an occasion worthy of remembering for life long.
Before we delve into all things wedding rites and rituals, let’s first explore what an Indian wedding entails. An Indian wedding generally involves five ceremonies or rituals:
- Madhyanam Chaitra Panchami — the engagement ceremony;
- Samprotyaanam — marriage ceremony;
- Navratri – the nine nights of honeymoon;
- Vastuharana — sacred thread ceremony; and (v) Dasvandhan — exchanging garlands or holy vows.
What is an Indian wedding ceremony?
A wedding ceremony is the first step in a lifetime commitment. At its core, it is a solemnized exchange of vows between two individuals. The ceremony is held at a temple or in a church. The groom and the bride will exchange their vows before the priest and their family. After the ceremony, the couple will exchange garlands, ring a bell, or make a toast.
While the vows themselves can vary in meaning depending on the couple, they usually include promises to honour and respect one another, care for each other and the children they may have together, and stay together as long as they both desire.
The engagement ceremony
The engagement or shaadi ceremony is a celebration of the couple’s love and their intent to commit to each other for their whole lives. The engagement ceremony is a holiday in itself and is usually held two weeks before the wedding. Guests are encouraged to celebrate the union of the couple with food, dancing, music and lots of love.
Engagements are different for all cultures, but many common threads can be found. If you are getting engaged, you are expressing your desire to spend the rest of your life with this person! This is a very special and important decision.
Whether you have been dating for a few weeks or a few months, it’s important to have a celebration where all your loved ones come together to celebrate your engagement! There are many different ways to celebrate your engagement. You can celebrate with a big party, with your friends, and/or with family. You can also quietly celebrate your engagement with just the two of you.
Some ways you can celebrate your engagement are by getting engaged with a special engagement ring, celebrating your engagement with a special meal, and/or celebrating your engagement with a trip to a special place.
The wedding day
The wedding day is a celebration of the union between two individuals. The wedding day generally starts early in the morning with the bride entering the wedding venue. This is usually accompanied by a procession where the bride is escorted by the groom’s family members. The groom is escorted by members of his family. At some point in the day, the couple will exchange vows and garlands. Another part of the day involves the bride and groom lighting candles and placing them at the altar.
After the wedding, the newlyweds will have a party with their closest friends and family members. Some families choose to have multiple ceremonies as part of their wedding day celebrations. For example, some couples choose to have a religious ceremony to begin the day followed by a traditional wedding ceremony.
The marriage talaash (dance)
The marriage talaash is one of the most important parts of the wedding. It is a traditional dance that expresses the joy and love that the newlywed couple feels. The talaash is typically performed by the bride’s family. This dance is a sign that the bride’s family accepts the groom and his family.
During the talaash, the bride’s family members and the groom’s family members dance together to tell a story about the union of the two families. The story is about how the two families come together and celebrate the union of the two families. The story often includes a mythological theme or a moral lesson. During the talaash, the bride’s family and the groom’s family members often wear traditional clothes, paint their faces, and carry traditional items.
Samprotyaanam – the sacred thread ceremony
The sacred thread ceremony is a Hindu tradition that marks the end of the engagement period. During this ceremony, the bride is ceremonially clothed with a sacred thread made of threads that represent purity and spiritual attachment. The sacred thread ceremony is usually performed by a Brahmin priest. In addition to the thread, the bride also receives a sacred thread box. The sacred thread box is a symbolic container that holds the sacred thread. The sacred thread box is usually gifted by the bride’s family members.
The sacred thread ceremony is a time for the bride and her family members to express their love for the bride and her new life with the groom. The bride’s family members often give speeches about why they chose the bride, what makes her special, and what her role in the family will be after marriage.
Sacred thread ceremonies are also a good time for the bride and groom to express their feelings for one another. The ceremony is a good time for the bride and groom to exchange vows and promises to stay together for the rest of their lives.
Vastuharana – the exchanging of vows or garlands
The exchanging of vows or garlands is a Hindu tradition that marks the end of the sacred thread ceremony. During this ritual, the bride and groom exchange vows and garlands. The exchanging of vows ceremony is usually performed by the bride’s family members. The exchanging of vows ceremony is usually symbolic and usually performed indoors.
During the exchanging of vows ceremony, the bride, groom, and their family members recite vows to one another. The vows are typically about the future happiness, love, and commitment of the couple. After the vows, the groom and bride will exchange garlands.
The bride and groom will exchange garlands made of marigold flowers that are important for fertility. The garlands given by the bride are usually made of gold, silver, saffron, or cloth. The garlands given by the groom are usually made of beads.
Dasvandhan – the concluding ritual
The final ritual of an Indian wedding is the Dasvandhan, also known as the waving of the sacred thread ceremony. During this ritual, the bride and groom wave the sacred thread that the bride received during the sacred thread ceremony. The bride and groom will also wave the garland that the bride received during the talaash ceremony.
After waving the sacred thread, the newlyweds will have a meal together, often with the family members and friends that were invited to the wedding. The Dasvandhan is an important part of an Indian wedding ceremony. The Dasvandhan not only marks the completion of the wedding but also celebrates the sacred thread that the bride and groom received during the sacred thread ceremony. The Dasvandhan is also a good opportunity to thank your guests for coming to your wedding. The Dasvandhan is also a good time to give gifts to guests, such as a bottle of wine, chocolates, or flowers.