Like most weddings, Indian weddings – both Hindu and Sikh – are filled with tradition, rituals, commitment, and love. These four incredible elements are what make Indian weddings so unique and meaningful. The rituals and traditions that have been passed down truly connect the couple to their culture and ancestors. From the attire that the bride and groom wear to the parties thrown pre and post-wedding, here are a few of our favorite Indian wedding traditions.
Save The Holy Date
Nothing is by chance when it comes to Indian wedding traditions and rituals. Everything has a purpose and is meaningful to the bride, groom and their families. In Hindu culture, picking a wedding date has nothing to do with the seasons or actually date, but rather to do with astrology. Couples look to their zodiac signs to help them settle on the luckiest time to get married which is known as muhurta. It is essential to do this to ensure a prosperous marriage.
‘Something Red’ Wedding Attire
Unlike the white wedding gown of Western weddings, Indian brides wear red saris adorned with gold embroidery. The significance of this colors combination symbolizes commitment, fertility, and spirituality. Additionally, brides also apply kumkum powder which is red in color to their forehead for luck.
Time To Party
Indian weddings are always celebrated with song, dance and loads of joy. This does not only take place at the wedding reception but also before the wedding. One of the most significant pre-parties is called a sangeet. Traditionally, the bride’s family sing a folk song to welcome the groom into their family.
Organized by the bride-to-be, a mehndi (or Mehendi or henna) party is a pre-wedding ritual celebrated in Hindu and Sikh culture (as well as Muslim weddings). This party usually takes place a day or two before the wedding and includes all the women in the bride and groom’s families as well as close friends. At this pre-wedding celebrations, everyone in attendance gathers together while the bride has stunning henna designs painted on her hands and feet.
The Haldi Ceremony
In Western culture, it is often said to be bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. But at Indian weddings, the bride and groom have a Haldi Ceremony where they paste turmeric paste onto themselves. The yellow paste is believed to ward off evil, have healing properties and bring good luck. It is the perfect way to start the wedding day.
Tying The Knot
Towards the end of Hindi ceremony, the couple literally ties the knot when the groom ties a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. This sacred thread is made of red, white and black beads that are strung together with yellow or black string. The Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune, Lakshmi, is invoked in the mangalsutra. The mangalsutra not only distinguishes the bride as a married woman but also blesses her marriage as she wears it.