Ten Things You’ll Witness Only at an Indian Wedding

An Indian wedding is a festival in many rights. It usually comprises a week-long celebration with traditions and ceremonies that are specific to that community or region. However, there are some standard quirks that you’ll see at every Indian wedding, irrespective of which caste, creed, region or tribe you belong to. And, these are what make an Indian wedding an affair to remember.

Let’s take a look at a few:

The Shehnai

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The Shehnai is the quintessential wedding instrument for Indian festivities and ceremonies. It is a popular aero phonic, double-reed wind instrument used in North Indian music. The sound of the Shehnai is intrinsically associated with Indian wedding music and retains its charm to this day. It is predominantly associated with celebration and happiness, and no wedding ceremony is complete without a seasoned bandwala churning out heart-wrenching music from this peculiar-looking descendent of the Persian surna.

Marigold

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The marigold flower, also known locally as ‘the Genda Phool’, is another classic element in Indian weddings. Marigolds have forever been associated in India with prosperity and good fortune, and no larger-than-life celebration is complete without the presence of these sun-kissed blossoms in decorations and important ceremonies. In fact, they even hold religious significance in Hindu ceremonies. In addition, marigolds come in bright and cheery colours such as orange, yellow, and reddish-orange, which have made them a favourite with wedding decorators and event planners. They are often used for torans, draped on walls and pillars, in mandap decorations as well as in wedding garlands or they’re simply used to add colourful touches to the wedding venues.

Multiple Cuisines

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If you haven’t been to an Indian wedding yet, attend one just for the food. Food is an integral part of festivities in any part of the world, but Indians take this concept to a whole new level.  Indian cuisine is a diverse mix of regional staples from across the country, infused with their own cultural, religious flavour. However, Indian weddings usually house a host of cuisines from across the globe and not just the country. Apart from your average Indian spread of chaats, curries, breads, pulavs and biryanis, these days you’ll usually be treated to lip-smacking desi versions of Italian, Chinese, Thai and Mediterranean food as well. To experience a meal at an Indian wedding is one for every bucket list!

Haldi

Pragati & Anant's Haldi, Pithi, Mehndi & Sangeet

‘Haldi’, known around the world as turmeric, holds an important place in Indian wedding festivities. Though weddings in the country are generally religiously diverse, the haldi ceremony is a typically Indian tradition for every caste and creed. Known among different communities as haldi, uptan, peethi, mandha, roce and many other names, the essentials of this ceremony remain pretty much the same. In the ceremony, a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rose water and other goodness is applied to the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding to give them that added pre-nuptial glow. In short, it’s like your very own ancient Indian spa day!

The Baraat

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The baraat is the most fun-filled Indian wedding ceremony, and Indian weddings deserve a separate category for how fun and entertaining they are. This is basically the groom’s procession of all his colourful and festive relatives and friends that commences from his house up to the wedding venue. The spruced up groom is perched on a mare (or elephant, if you’re going for the truly regal feel) in all his royalty and escorted to his eagerly waiting bride. The highlight of this ceremony is the crazy dancing the relatives indulge in during the procession. It’ll truly make you feel like Indians are the happiest people on this planet (at weddings at least).

The Sangeet

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Sangeet, or music, is synonymous with festivities in India, be it the shehnai at the wedding reception, the bhangda at the after party, the dholakwalis at the mehendi, or the sangeet ceremony before the actual wedding. The tradition, as the name suggests, is all about dance, music, and merry making. This is usually a grand, elaborate affair, encompassing the real spirit of the big fat Indian wedding. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for the wedding party to relax, unwind, enjoy the festivities, and celebrate their happiness together. It short,  the sangeet is great to break the ice between the bride and groom’s families.

The Saree

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The Saree is one Indian trend that’s garnered attention worldwide. This long, seamless fabric worn by women varies in design, colour and significance in different regions in India. The South Indian kanjivaram is poles apart from the Gujarati panetar and bandhani sarees and Mangalorean sados. Each saree is symbolic of a different tradition and ritual. Banarasi, Nauvari, Chiffon, Chanderi, the list is endless. Needless to say, you’re bound to look elegant in this gorgeous garment as it suits any body type, skin tone, and age group!

The Safa

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Safas, pagris or turbans are known for their elegant, regal look and are a significant detail in the Indian groom’s attire. It is basically a long piece of unstitched cloth that’s wrapped around the head. Available in bright colours such as fuschia, red, orange and so on, they add a touch of grace and vibrancy to the ensemble, and can be paired brilliantly with a suit, jodhpuri, sherwani or any other traditional wedding attire.

Lots and lots of Gold

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Indians, in most parts of the world, are considered gold crazy. This isn’t far from the truth, largely because this precious metal holds a special place in Indian tradition and society as a whole. Gold purchases are also thought to be auspicious on festivals such as Dhanteras, Onam and Durga Puja. From the Indian perspective, gold not only brings good fortune, but can be an investment, a status symbol, a great ornament, a thoughtful gift item, a cherished heirloom and a religious contribution. Indian brides are usually adorned in beautiful gold jewellery as a sign of prosperity and happiness, which bodes quite well for the global gold industry.

Paan/Mukhwas

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After-meal refreshments are quite popular at Indian weddings and are the perfect end to any meal. Paan and mukhwas have been used for years by Indian royalty and locals alike as a digestive and palate cleanser. Mukhwas comprises an assortment of aromatic colourful seeds and nuts coated with various flavours. Paans basically consist of saffron, gulkand (rose jam), sweetened cashews and almonds, and other minty elements wrapped in a betel leaf. These refreshments are usually set towards the exit of the venue or near the food counters so guests can help themselves after the meal. All we can say is that these minty surprises at the end of the meal are totally worth the wait!

These little quirks and peculiarities truly help make Indian weddings memorable affairs. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what the Indian wedding scene has to offer. The details is what makes these festivities a true experience for any wedding lover.

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If you think Indian Wedding outfits are the prettiest, you will be surprised at these Wedding outfits from around the world!

Weddings are such a magical time, the festivity and colours are something we just can not get enough of.

The newlyweds are the centre of attention and their wedding outfits are something everyone appreciates. We obviously love the traditional Indian wedding lehengas and sherwanis.

But ever wondered what traditional wedding outfits from other countries look like?We’ve put together a list of traditional wedding outfits from around the world and they are a feast for the eyes!

Afghanistan

Image Credit: Cosmin Danila Photography 

Bulgaria

China

Indonesia

Romania

South Korea

Tibet

Japan

Scotland

Turkey

Ghana

Where ever you may be, there is one thing common in all the above photographs, and however cliche I may sound, it is love and it shows on the couple’s faces!

 

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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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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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

These Punjabi Wedding ceremonies are so much fun you may as well call it a Fun-jabi wedding! Pun intended!

They say you know someone is a Punjabi when their party catering for 100 people can actually feed 500 people, they are willing to do the bhangra everywhere they go (except the Gurdwara) and they call people they don’t know ‘uncle’ and ‘aunty’. And when you imagine a whole load of such people together, you can expect nothing less than fun, excitement and noise. In short, a big fat Punjabi wedding.

Punjabi weddings are extremely reflective of the culture and these customs and traditions just tell you how much fun they truly are!

Roka Ceremony – An official engagement is held to seek the blessings of family and friends. At this ceremony, the to‐be‐bride receives a very significant part of her wedding day jewellery, the nose ring, popularly known as the ‘nath’ by her mother’s brother.

Shagun – Translated as engagement, in this ceremony the girl’s family confirms this relationship between the couple. This is celebrated with the boy’s family receiving gifts and jewellery.

Sagai ‐- This is the formal engagement ceremony which takes place at the groom’s house. Followed by the tikka ceremony, The girl is draped in her ‘chunni’ by the grooms mother and a dot of mehendi is applied to her palms for good luck.

Sangeet – Translated as music, this ceremony is our answer to the Western bridal shower. The female family and friends of the to‐be‐bride gather for an evening of traditional music and dancing while they play the Indian instrument, ‘dholki’. Over the years, this has been modernised with a DJ belting out commercial music.

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Mehendi – As per customs, the ‘mehendi’ is sent by the boy’s mother.
The ‘mehendi’ marks the end of the pre‐wedding rituals and the wedding ceremonies begin. A set of rituals are followed in the bride and groom’s homes before they get together for the wedding ceremony.

Haldi – Wedding preparations begin with the bride being beautified with the application of a paste of turmeric and mustard oil. Post this ritual, the bride and groom are not allowed to meet each other until the wedding day.

Chuda – On the actual wedding day, all family members touch a set of red and cream‐ivory bangles which will be presented by the uncle to the bride. This will be worn by the bride as part of her wedding attire but she does not see these bangles until she is dressed up for her wedding. Close family and friends tie gold plated dangling ornaments called ‘kaliras’ to a bangle on each wrist.

Ghodi charna – Once the groom is dressed and has been protected from evil, he is set for the final ceremony which is ‘getting on the horse’. The groom makes his way to the wedding venue on a horse that has been fed and adorned by his sisters and cousins.

After a series of rituals in both homes, the wedding ceremony takes place at either the temple, gurdwara or a generic wedding venue.

Varmala – The bride and groom meet for the exchange of the garland of flowers. This ceremony signifies the acceptance and love they have towards each other while stating that from here on they will live with each other. Both the families tease the couple and an atmosphere of fun and frolic is built and an auspicious time is chosen for the wedding ceremony.

Kanyadaan – As per Indian traditions, a father gives away his daughter at the time of marriage. In order to get his daughter married he first places a ring on the groom’s finger after which the actual wedding ceremony can begin.

Phere ‐- The main part of any Hindu wedding is the circumnavigating the mandap like Christopher Columbus did to the world, only this needs to be done 7 times around the sacred fire with Panditji chanting away something, which few people understand.The groom applies sindoor to the centre of the bride’s head and then gets her to wear a black and gold beaded necklace called the ‘mangalsutra’.

Joota Chupai – While the ceremonies are being performed, the bride’s sisters and friends steal the groom’s shoes.the groom generally has to pay a price to get them back.It is so much fun when the groom’s side decides they wont let it happen.

Vidaai – Once married, the bride departs her parents home throwing puffed rice over her head. Accompanied by her brothers, she makes her way to her new home.At her husband’s house, she is welcomed by her mother in law who circles a glass of water thrice around the head of her daughter in law before welcoming her in.

Pani bharna – The girl then steps in to her new home by using her right foot to knock a vessel filled with mustard oil which has been placed at the entrance. This is followed by a prayer offered by the couple in their room and blessings taken from the elders.
This brings them to the end of the wedding rituals and to the start of a new life filled with love, happiness and health for both.

Phere dalna – The following day, the bride’s brother picks the newly wed couple and takes them to the bride’s house so the couple can spend a day with her parents.

Who would not want to be a part of the festvities! Amazing fun!

PS: It is usually left unsaid, but Daaru flows freely like water does 😉