According to the Hindu belief system, marriages are made in paradise and are meant for seven lifetimes. Marriage is a blessed relationship and is considered a key turning point in the life of a person. In Hinduism, every sole practice and tradition in a marriage ceremony is allied with profound spiritual implication. Hindus stick to to these rituals and continue with these wedding ethnicities. They believe that marriage is not just a tie between two souls but also the blending of two different families. Hindu weddings are all about traditional outfits, heavy jewellery pieces such as jhumka earrings, a variety of foods, cultural music, dance, and various pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals.
Hindu weddings may differ slightly from state to state. Each state has its twist on wedding ceremonies depending on cultural impacts. In some Hindu communities’ weddings are modest and sophisticated while in others weddings fascinate magnificence. For example, in north India, marriages are termed as vivah sanskar accompanied by the band, dhol, and noise. Similarly, when it comes to south Indian weddings what comes first to mind is south Indian jewellery. South Indian brides adorn beautiful heavy gold jewellery pieces and they appear like a goddess.
What to wear for a Hindu wedding?
Don’t be anxious to go colourful, brighter, and bold. At Hindu weddings, you will see a lot of vibrant colours, attractive jhumka earrings, and neckpieces. Any ethnic wear appears appropriate for a Hindu marriage celebration. Indo-western outfits paired with traditional jewellery also look stunning. For men, you can go in sherwanis, dhoti kurta or kurta pyjamas.
Hindu wedding rituals that make them unique and interesting
Haldi Ceremony: In this ritual, a paste of Haldi is applied to the bride and groom. Family members and friends apply haldi to them and ward off evil spirits.
Mehndi Ceremony: After the Haldi mehndi ceremony occurs and bride puts on mehndi on her hands and feet. It is believed that the darker the colour of mehndi, the happier the after-marriage life of the couple. Often the bride writes the groom’s name on their hands with mehndi.
Welcoming the baraat and groom: The groom arrives at the marriage venue along with the baraat. It involves dancing, singing with a parade of relatives and friends. Depending on the culture, groom arrive on the horse, elephant, or in fancy cars. The bride’s mother welcomes the groom with Kumkum tilak and aarti and offering the sugar or sweets. In some Hindu cultures, the bride’s sisters welcome the groom and they also ask for neg (money or gifts) to let them enter inside. As the girl gang gets their gifts, the groom cuts the ribbon and enters inside.
Milni Ceremony: In this part, the relatives from both sides meet each other by hugging and exchanging the haars and gifts. For example, the bride’s brother meets and greets the groom’s brother.
Shoes hiding (joota chhupai) As the groom sits at the mandap, he removes his shoes because he can’t enter the mandap with shoes. Bride’s sisters hide his shoes to earn some more neg (money) from him. It’s a very cute and fun ritual. Then he gets his shoes back once he pays some money to the girl gang.
Ganesh puja: And the wedding ceremony begins with Ganesh puja. Ganesh is the embodiment of knowledge, auspicious events, and the remover of obstacles.
Kalash puja Kalash is a copper pot, filled with water, topped with leaves, and dry coconut. This ritual is followed by worshipping the five elements of creation.
Kanya aagman: The bride arrives at the mandap escorted by her brothers, sisters, and friends. The mandap is the wedding canopy decorated with four poles that represent purusharthas, four phases of life, four walls of the home, etc.
Jaimala or var mala The couple exchanges floral garlands and this ritual is called the Jai mala ceremony. It symbolises that the couple accepts each other by exchanging garlands.
Granthi Bandhan: In this tradition, the couple ties the knot which means the groom’s stole is tied to the bride’s dupatta. Granthi Bandhan symbolises that the couple’s souls are joined together through the holy matrimony.
Kanya pratigrahan and kanya daan: In this ritual, the parents give their daughter’s hand into the hand of the groom and request him to take the best care of their daughter as his life partner. The groom accepts the bride’s hand and they promise each other that they will remain faithful to each other.
Saat phere: The couple takes 7 rounds around the sacred fire in the mandap. Seven rounds represent seven vows taken by the couple and their relation for seven lifetimes.
Sindoor daan and mangal sutra: Groom ties the Mangal sutra around the bride’s neck which is the symbol of dignity and signifies the promise to be together always. Then the groom applies red sindoor or vermilion to the bride’s head.
Vidaai: After getting the blessings from the elders vidaai ceremony occur. The bride’s family hugs the bride and gives farewell to the couple. Bride moves ahead throwing flowers, rice, and coins backward which means she is reflecting good luck and prosperity to her parents’ house.
Bride’s welcome Groom’s sister on the entrance asks for their neg to get the bride in. Then the bride makes Griha Parvesh followed by aarti and flowers. Then she pushes the Kalash with her right toe and puts her feet in a dish filled with red liquid leaving her footprints inside the house which means the family accepts her as a family member.
Muh dikhai: This ritual introduces the bride to the groom’s family. The female relatives unveil the bride’s face and present gifts to her. Then fun games begin between the bride and groom.
The bottom line
Hindu weddings are traditional, immense, cheerful, and colourful. These are a celebration of love, commitment, religion, rituals, and culture. In India, different regions have different customs in wedding rituals. The colour of the bride’s dress, accessories, names of rituals may differ from region to region. Nowadays brides love to experiment with their pieces of jewellery and attires. For example, some brides these days prefer wearing south Indian jewellery on their wedding day as it looks stunning and offers a heavy look to the bride.