Indian weddings aren’t just about the pheras and getting engaged to the love of your life, to get married one must perform six other ceremonies packed with culture and rituals! Indian weddings typically last between three to four days ending with an extraordinary Roka ceremony. The various ceremonies keep us close to our roots. Throughout these days, both the families involved celebrate traditional ceremonies along with their relatives and friends. Food, decoration, glamorous dresses, and relationships are seen to flourish during times of gratification and enjoyment. Let’s peek into the different Indian wedding ceremonies!
PRE-WEDDING CEREMONIES: –
ROKA – Roka is considered to be the official meeting attended by the family of the bride and groom to start the wedding preparations. A priest accompanies the families and decides on the date of marriage and other rituals. The bride and the groom give consent to marry each other and a healthy exchange of fruits, sweets, and gifts is seen.
ENGAGEMENT – A few months before the final knot, the family of the future bride and groom meet, and an exchange of rings is followed. Typically, close relatives and friends of both families take part in this ceremony. The father of the to-be bride and groom seeks the happiness of their wards and officially announces the wedding to the world after the exchange of wedding rings between the love birds.
MEHENDI – A day before the wedding traditional henna dye is applied on the hands and feet of the bride in beautiful designs. In some parts of India, the groom also follows the henna ceremony. While the bride gets her Mehendi done by a professional henna artist along with other females at the party, other relatives tune into some party music and dance their hearts away. The darkness of the dried Mehendi is connected to the love between the would-be couple in some places.
SANGEET – Music has been a way of finding peace and happiness during stressful times. The sangeet ceremony which is celebrated a few days prior to the wedding adds to the fun of the union between the two families. Friends and relatives from both the families of the bride and the groom prepare dance numbers and choirs. A jolly battle of thumkas is observed over the evening which brings the families closer to each other.
HALDI – Indians are always a step further when it comes to enhancing their beauty and inviting positivity in their lives. The Haldi ceremony does just this. A watery paste of turmeric or Haldi is applied to the bride and the groom in their respective homes on the morning of the wedding ceremony by their family members. Both the individuals are blessed by the Haldi appliers with prosperity and happiness forever.
POST WEDDING CEREMONIES: –
VIDAAI – The saddest ritual in the whole wedding is probably the Vidaai ceremony where the bride finally leaves for her new life with her husband. In this ceremony, the bride throws a hand full of rice over her shoulder which is caught by her mother. This ceremony symbolizes that the bride returns whatever she has consumed from her parents. Though we can truly never return the favor of our parents, this ceremony is widely honored across India in teary eyes.
GRIHA PRAVESH – After the Vidaai ceremony the bride and the groom arrive at the home of the groom where there are warmly welcomed by the family of the groom. The bride follows a ritual where she pushes a Kalash filled with rice with her right foot and steps on a dish containing a mixture of malta and walks into the house. This symbolizes that the new bride brings joy and prosperity with her.
GAMES- Many games are played after the bride enters her new home to break the ice between her and her new family members. The bride and groom are placed in different teams and asked to play games against each other. This is a fun ritual that celebrates the union and welcomes the bride into the groom’s family.
RECEPTION – The reception is the formal welcome of the bride into the groom’s family. The groom’s family throws a fest which is attended by the family and relatives of both the families and is celebrated with dancing, music, feasting on food, etcetera. Though this ceremony does not have specific rituals, it is a fun way of welcoming the bride into the new family.
ASHIRWAD- The Ashirwad ceremony is celebrated all across the country after the reception where the family of the bride visits the couple after their marriage with sweets to bless them for their future. The bride and the groom touch the feet of the elderly and seek their love and support. The day is spent feasting on food offered by the groom’s family and getting to know each other.
PAG PHERA- The pag phera ceremony is celebrated by the Indians as an auspicious event. The bride is accompanied by her brothers and cousins back to her own house after the wedding where she stays for three days. After the completion of the third day, the groom comes to get her back to the in-laws which marks the end of the vast Indian wedding rituals.