Indian Wedding

Indian wedding customs are known for their strictly observed traditions, which means they are almost the same as they were thousands of years ago. Let me begin by pointing out what makes a substantial difference between the Indian marriage and the marriage elsewhere. In other countries, a man usually chooses a woman, but it can also be vice versa. In India, the marriage totally depends on the decision of the groom’s parents. They are looking for an eligible girl for their son and negotiate the future marriage with her parents. The girl doesn’t really have a say: her parents can finally order her to marry even a guy she hardly knows, and she is to obey.

On the wedding day the bride and groom are not allowed to eat anything until the wedding ceremony begins. Girls from the family perform wedding dances and songs at the groom’s house. Then it is the turn of a short but important ritual known as ‘gaye holud’: Indians praise the yellow color which they associate with the sun and regard as a symbol of fidelity.

Monsoon wedding

The wedding itself is usually celebrated in the evening. It must take place at the bride’s house. When the time is due, the groom arrives there accompanied by his relatives and friends. The groom steps on a flat stone and waits for several people to bring the bride in a wooden palanquin. The bride will be wearing a luxurious sari, usually bright red, with numerous adornments.

The entire wedding procession moves to the place where the priest will unite the hands of the couple with a flower garland after he says a prayer and listens to the couple’s vows.

Usually the engagement when the groom puts a ring on the bride’s finger and the wedding itself are separated by one or two very tense months. The parents take this time to prepare the daughter’s dowry.

Monsoon wedding

Then the wedding day comes. It usually gathers up to 700 or 800 guests. The bride’s parents are to treat and lodge them. The bride is dressed in a bright red sari. Also, bright red bracelets are a must: they show the girl is getting married.

At night, the bride is taken to an open space in front of the house, where she patiently waits for the groom to arrive. Finally, the groom arrives mounted, his costume decorated with goldwork and belted with a fire-bright girdle, his head in a bright turban. Musicians usually accompany the procession. After the feast, the newly married couple is guided to a ‘vedi’, a small temple made of five bamboo sticks covered with a tent. There is a fire inside. One end of the bride’s sari is tied to the groom’s girdle, which symbolizes their union and attachment to each other. The bride and groom take their seats near the fire. Then they must stand up, join their hands and go round the fire seven times.

Now they are spouses. As the couple returns to the bride’s house, the new husband is put to sleep in a separate room, with some traditional jokes, while the wife is left alone in her maidenly bedroom. The husband’s relatives go to spend the night to their place. In the morning, the young wife is taken to the husband’s house, still wearing her wedding garment. Now the new wife will not step into her parent’s house until it’s been a month since the wedding. This will be her ‘first visit’.

1 Photos of the Indian Wedding

Monsoon wedding

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