9 Evergreen Traditions That Make An Indian Wedding The Most Beautiful Celebration In The World!

This article has been written by Namrata Arora for BollwoodShaadis.com

Indian weddings are colourful, bright, and loaded with traditions, they’re occasions of sheer joy. Each and every culture showcases its unique customs that are a delight to witness. Even just imagining a wedding without these beautiful traditions is quite a difficult thing, let alone actually not having these traditions be a part of them at all.

So, we thought of compiling a few Indian wedding traditions that should carry on for generations to come and without which, weddings will definitely not be as much fun as they are now.

#1. The Mehendi ceremony

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It’s all about applying intricate henna designs on the hands and feet of the bride. Not only the bride, but all her friends and the ladies in the family get it applied on their hands. It is said that darker the colour of the mehendi, the more love and affection the bride will get from her hubby dearest and mother in-law. The venue is decorated with flowers and curtains. This function is one for which the bride and her friends eagerly wait as this is practically their last night together to have fun, dance, sing, and let their hair loose with each other. Also, there is something enchantingly serene about this night that makes it a memorable one.

#2. The Chooda ceremony

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Can any Punjabi bride imagine her wedding to take place without having the chooda ceremony? We do not know what it is, but somehow, a marriage seems incomplete without those beautiful red and white ivory bangles. Many non-Punjabi  brides love wearing choodas as well. Seriously! And for her friends’ delight, it’s the kalire ceremony that follows and decides who gets married next!

#3. The Sehrabandi

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bollywoodshaadis

The sehrabandi is the ritual in which the groom’s sister ties a sehra on his head after completing a specific puja. It is one of the most emotional moments between a brother, who is getting married and his sister. In North Indian weddings, it is one of the most sacred and followed pre-wedding traditions.

 

 

#4. The Joota Chupai

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The jiju’s relationship with his saalas and saalis is incomplete without the joota chupai tradition where the bride’s siblings hide the groom’s shoes while he sits for the marriage ceremony. They then return the shoes in exchange for money. It is the best way for the two to bond and become closer amidst having some fun and also some serious bargaining!

 

#5. The Bidaai

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This is one of the saddest yet happy and emotional event of the entire wedding, when the bride has to say her final goodbyes to her family and friends to go to her new house. Though it gets everyone teary-eyed, it’s one of the most cherished traditions amongst all

 

#6. The Kalash

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When the bride enters her new house, she has to gently kick a small kalash full of rice with her right foot before she enters. This marks the beginning on her new life in her new house, and brings prosperity and good luck in the house. It is also synonymous with Goddess Lakshmi entering the house.

 

#7. Post-wedding games

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These are major stress busters for the newly-married couple after a hectic and long day. The friends and family members of the groom arrange for post-wedding games that the newlyweds are supposed to play. Games range from opening multiple knots on the thread tied to each other’s wrists prior to the wedding, or searching for a ring in a thaali full of coloured water. It is a great way to break the ice and bond with each other for the bride and her new family.

 

 

#8. Tossing of the bouquet

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lenaherveybaycelebrant.com

For a Christian bride, who does not have functions like the mehendi or the sangeet for her and her friends to connect, tossing of the bridal bouquet is one such moment where she gets to do that. It is special to her friends as it is believed that whoever catches it, gets married next!

 

#9. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

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Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolises borrowed happiness; and something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity. This custom is for the Christian bride, and it symbolises wearing something on her wedding day that has been in her family from generations as it is considered to be lucky and auspicious.

 

 

About the Author: This article has been written by Namrata Arora for BollwoodShaadis.com

Wedding Gifts – What ‘NOT’ to gift

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While the concept of gift registry is catching up fast even in India, it can still be difficult to decide on a good wedding gift for the lucky couple. If a registry does exist, it’s always safe to stick to the list to ensure you get the couple something they actually need, rather than something you thought would be good for them. However, if you still do feel you know the best, we’ve compiled a short list of things to stay away from while deciding their wedding gift.Fresh flowers / fruit baskets

Fresh flowers / fruit baskets

While it’s extremely common to gift bouquets at engagement or wedding ceremonies, do take a moment to step back and think about it. The couple themselves are too busy during the days of celebrations to sit back and appreciate the gift you got them, and by the time they actually do get some time to breathe, all they’ll be left with are rotting flowers from you. Or worse, fruits or food items that have gone bad. It’s a lot of money and prettiness that goes to waste without being appreciated, and more often than not ends up being left behind at the venue or given away quickly.

 Re-gifting your own gifts

Yes, I know it’s tempting. You ended up with a pretty ugly vase or dinner set, or a china-doll that feels a little too creepy to display, or maybe you just don’t have any space in your cramped house in Mumbai. But before you re-wrap that gift and decide to pass it on, just think about how you felt opening it to begin with. Gifts are a blessing from you to the happy couple, an indication of your wishes to them, do you really want that to be a hand-me-down? Nobody likes to receive unwanted gifts, or gifts showing traces of re-packing or use. Be original, and put in a bit of thought into your wedding gift!

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Religious gifts

Religion is a very personal belief, and just because religious idols or Pooja thalis seem pretty and acceptable to give, they might not be the best gifts unless you are very sure of the couple’s beliefs. Moreover, religious gifts become difficult to refuse or pack away keeping in mind people’s sentimentalities. Best to steer clear of this area to ensure no awkwardness when the gifts are opened.

Art work

Art again is a personal choice, one that can vary significantly from person-to-person. What is beautiful to you, may not be as meaningful to another, and may end up as an item to store away somewhere. Unless you know about the couple’s choice in art, or know of their favourite artist and manage to get your hands on an original / replica, it might be safe to stay away from gifting any paintings on their wedding.

A gift requiring space in the house

This is something we can’t stress enough. Be aware of the couple’s expected lifestyle post marriage. Are they moving to another city? Will they be staying in a big house, or a small apartment? Is it already furnished? A big gift at the end of the day requires space and is difficult to transport, so make sure the couple has the requirement and the ability to use that gift. If the house is already fully furnished, appliances may end up duplicated. Huge show pieces for a small apartment will end up as a huge headache for the couple. And nobody manages to take big gifts with them while moving out of the country.

So the next time you’re invited to a wedding, be a little considerate and put yourself in the couple-to-be’s shoes before you decide what to gift them. After all, your gift is supposed to be something they cherish, not something they have nightmares about!

All you need to know about a Solitaire Diamond!

The engagement ring is a dream most women have had since they were little girls, and while they do come in all materials and styles, the most popular and desirable by far is the solitaire ring. That lone diamond that commands presence and beauty and symbolizes the love of a lifetime.

But as romantic as the notion of that ring may be, choosing one can be equally confusing! We recommend doing a bit of research before entering your jewellery store, to avoid last minute confusion or a purchase that you later regret. After all, this is one ring that will be worn for a lifetime!

And when it comes to solitaires, there’s no escaping the technical basics of the 4Cs. Here we list them out for you to make a more informed decision.

The Cut

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While the round diamond is by far the most popular, there are multiple other shapes in which a diamond can be bought, and more importantly, the price gets impacted by your choice as well. The round shape also happens to be the most expensive cut available in the market. You may want to try out something different, such as the Marquise, Princess cut, Pear, Heart or Emerald shape to see what suits the bride’s finger and looks the best.

Carat

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We keep hearing the term carat used loosely regarding your jewellery’s quality, but what does this really mean? While a lot of people believe it has to do with your diamond’s size, it’s actually a measure of the weight of the stone. Hence, a 1 carat diamond would not come in a standard size, but varies on the basis of the cut and shape as well. Based on the carat measure of your diamond, you could be shelling out anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to 2 lakhs for your precious stone!

One of the methods to bring the ring of your dreams a little closer to your budget is to shave off a tiny amount of cents (1 carat is made of a 100 cents) from your diamond. 10 cents reduced does not affect the size or look of your diamond significantly to the naked eye, but definitely impacts the price at which it is sold.

Colour

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Believe it or not, there are multiple colour ranges for your diamond, and not all are pure white and sparkly! The range starts from D, which is the rare absolutely colourless range, and heads all the way to Z, the latter of which have a slight yellow tinge. Not surprisingly, D-F are the most expensive range of diamonds and the price goes down as the colour changes. Makes sure you ask your jeweller exactly what colour range your diamond falls in!

Of course, this colour spectrum does not include the extremely rare pink and blue diamonds, which cost much more than a D diamond!

Clarity

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Last but not the least, the fourth C – Clarity, is something inherent to a diamond, and cannot be altered by human intervention. As with the colour chart, there is also grading of clarity starting from FL-IF, VVS1-VVS2, VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2, I1, I2 & I3. The clarity grade depends on, if the diamond is flawless without any inclusions (FL-IF), and the amount of imperfections visible under magnification of the naked eye, with I2-I3 standing for an imperfect diamond. Again, an FL diamond would by far be the most expensive, with your price range reducing with each grade. Rings can fit a little better into your budget by a small change from VVS to VS, which might not really show as much of a difference in quality to the naked eye, but makes a much bigger difference in price!

The Ring

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Some people prefer selecting their diamond separately, and then having it set into a ring of their choice. Either way, the band is also an important choice along with the diamond. While gold is beautifully classic, platinum is classy and new-age. Do think about what you prefer, in terms of your skin tone and the look of your ring. Moreover, the design of the band can completely define how your ring looks. Whether you want a plain band or a prong setting, do see different catalogues to get a better idea of your dream ring.

 

Certification

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We would also suggest looking for a certified diamond, to ensure quality of purchase. There are multiple agencies such as the IGI & GIA who offer certifications, so make sure you ask your jewellery store manager for this!

So put on your research hat, decide your budget and see what specifications you prefer, because the final price of your ring is going to be dependent on all the qualities mentioned above. Moreover, ensure you know what you’re buying, and don’t get duped into purchasing a lower quality product for a higher price!

Wedding App! What’s that?

As the world gets more tech savvy, why shouldn’t your wedding as well? In the last few years, wedding websites have become all the rage, with introductions about the bride & groom, programmes, etc. But wouldn’t it be great to have something more interactive and current, all in the palm of your hand?  Enter the wedding app!

Wedding apps can be customized for Android,iOS and Windows Phone, integrated with your wedding website, and have possibilities of multiple useful features.  They especially make sense with everyone traveling and a multitude of coordination to be done with the guests involving transportation and timelines. Here we list some of the exciting features you can incorporate in your wedding app.

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Meet the Guests!

Send out invites asking your guests to download the wedding app and sign into the guest book. Your app can build a fun directory with quirky information about each guest, enabling everyone to get to know each other in advance, plan the pre-wedding bachelor / bachelorette, tell funny tales and instances about the bride and groom and let the wedding fun begin months in advance!

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Keep things organized via the Instant Messenger and RSVP page

The guests can use the app to RSVP and inform you about their travel plans. They can also message you through the app, to be constantly in touch about any changes. Apps can offer customizations to form groups in the messenger module, enabling guests to interact with each other and plan things out via the app.

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Gift Registry via the Wedding App

Why get burdened with a zillion gifts you’ll end up never using or giving away? Create your gift registry online, using e-commerce sites and link them back to your app, allowing your guests to spend their money intelligently and getting you a gift you’ll actually use and appreciate! It’s a win-win for everyone.

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Countdown to the D-Day

Your wedding app can integrate with your phone’s calendar and store the event into people’s schedule. What’s more, the app can display a countdown to the big day, building excitement with animation and trivia. You can also have reminders springing up before the different functions planned, ensuring people are up-to-date and on time. 

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Turn your wedding into a vacation!

Let’s face it, while your wedding is definitely the most important day in your life, it can sometimes turn into a bit of a drag for your guests. So why not turn it into a fun sightseeing trip for everyone? Let your app report the expected weather for the day, the history of your venue, amazing places to visit nearby. Add information about travel, local transport, interesting trivia and maybe even form a group for guests with similar interests to plan a small excursion between events? Feeding in your detailed programme with timings into the app will enable guests to plan their day, and manage some fun on the side! No more lost wandering aunties who missed the bus because they thought you said 6pm instead of 4pm… It’s all there on the app, with built in reminders!

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 18.02.48Live stream your Wedding!

You know the excitement of watching a cricket match live, and then realizing you’re on the screen for everyone as well? Recreate the hype at your wedding by having your videographer upload a live stream onto the app, available for all your guests to see! Moreover, it enables all your invitees to view every aspect of the wedding, even if they were unable to attend. 

lenaherveybaycelebrantCreate a live photo album

It takes months of asking and begging all friends and family to send you all the pics they took at your wedding, and even then you almost never manage to get all! Have no fear, your wedding app is here! Create a live photo sharing environment, with everyone on the app being able to share any pics they take directly from their phone to all other guests, and most importantly, you! You can build in fun photo props into the app for guests to modify their pictures and create virtual photo booths and photo strips. And why not link it to your social media page for direct uploads?

The possibilities of development on your wedding app are endless. While there are customizable designs and templates available which are relatively easy and quick to build, one can always build completely new models and customized modules as per their requirements. Contact your wedding planner to help you build an app that your guests will be talking about and trying to copy for years to come!

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8 Things to keep in mind when selecting your Wedding Invitation cards

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While everyone concentrates on the venue, décor, and menu for a wedding, the true first look of the wedding is showcased in your invitation card. But more often than not, planning of the invites is left to the last minute, leading to annoying errors and sudden panic. We bring to you a short checklist to ensure a smooth tension free invitation process.

Do the Math!

The first most important thing to have in place is a list of guests to be invited. This is the starting point of all planning, including the size of the venue, and definitely the number of cards to be printed. But we do suggest a good buffer to be accounted for in the order you give for your cards. There are always people missed out, last minute invites, people expecting separate invites within a family…the list of surprises is endless. Better to be prepared with extra cards, than flustered or embarrassed later!

Make an informed choice

Make sure you see your printer’s portfolio before placing your order. Just the design isn’t enough to base your decision on, it’s always recommended to visit the shop / have him visit you and check out the textures, colours and thickness of the papers used. Sometimes background colours that look beautiful in isolation, might not look great with the font colour selected. While you should be as creative as you want, it always helps to see a lot of samples to ensure you have the correct vision for your card.

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Plan the functions

Keep in mind if every person on your guest list will be invited to all of the functions. If not, choose designs that allow for removable inserts, which you can customize depending on who you’re inviting for which function.

Check, check, check!

Always insist on getting a proof of your card, and take out some time to read it peacefully. It’s easy to skip spelling errors, miss out names and not notice small grammatical glitches. Ensure at least two other people review your proofs before you give the final go ahead, because beyond this point, it will be extremely costly and time consuming to go back and make changes!

Beware the Indian Standard Time

You might want to consider mentioning timings on the cards an hour prior to the actual event. You need to account for the time people take to reach and settle in, with latecomers causing unwanted delays in your ceremonies.

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Be Practical

While wedding cards today come in all shapes and sizes, always keep in mind how you plan to send them to your guests. While heavy boxes will add to the shipping costs, irregular shapes may face the risk of damage in transit. While something looks pretty in front of you, ensure it reaches your guests as pretty and painlessly as possible!

Get address stickers

When preparing the guest list, also start the task of collating addresses of all the invitees. This is a herculean task and often requires a lot of time and effort, so it’s best to plan in advance. Utilize your printer’s service to print address stickers, as it is the easiest and most efficient way of preparing the invites. You can always go for a personalized touch and have all addresses handwritten (whether you do it yourself or hire someone), but ensure you plan enough time for this, as it can only be done once all the cards have arrived from the printer.

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Pretty favours to accompany your card

While wedding favours as a concept might seem new, but it has always been around in the form of a box of sweets that are often handed out with cards, especially when the invitations are being hand delivered. But now there is a multitude of options available that can be given out with the invites or at the venue. Customizable wedding favours are different, thoughtful, pretty and memorable! From confectionaries to scented sensations, you can see some creative ideas here (link to https://theweddingplannersindia.com/category/everything-else/wedding-101-how-to-pick-favours-with-flavour/). Plan your favours along with your cards to match the themes and make a pretty combination invite.

But more than anything else, ensure you give yourself enough time to plan and choose your invitation. It is after all an integral part of your wedding, something that should be enjoyed and remembered fondly!