Let’s take a look at the rituals of a quintessential Indian wedding:
“Haldi” is a fun-filled tradition that’s an integral part of every Indian wedding celebration. In this amazing ritual, a sacred paste of turmeric, milk, rosewater and sandalwood is slathered on the bride’s skin. It’s usually performed a day prior to the wedding and is known by the name of “Manjha” in a Muslim wedding.
This ceremony places great emphasis on the goodness of turmeric which is said to have magical healing properties. Applying haldi (turmeric) cleanses the skin and results in a radiant glow on the bride’s face. It is believed to ward off the evil eye and also acts as a natural stress buster.
It’s a significant ceremony as yellow colour is considered auspicious, and is symbolic of protection and new beginnings. Brides usually wear yellow attire and flower jewellery for this event.
While traditionally bride and groom were not allowed to meet during the pre-wedding ceremonies, nowadays, families celebrate the functions together. It’s a day of fun, laughter, giggles and a lot of turmeric with both the families and friends.
The Mehendi ceremony is another interesting event that’s celebrated with great zeal in almost all Indian weddings. In this joyous event, the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with beautiful mehndi or henna designs. It’s held a day before the wedding and witnesses the participation of all female members of the family.
An essential part of the bridal look; Henna is believed to bring prosperity and good luck. It also has cooling effects, which is beneficial in reducing anxiety and elevating mood. The colour that the mehndi leaves behind is said to be symbolic of the intensity of love between the couple.
Brides love to have detailed designs; thus, a professional is often hired to apply the Henna. The most amazing part is that the groom’s name remains hidden in the design which he has to find later.
Sangeet ceremony which translates to a musical event is often celebrated along with the Mehendi function. Traditionally, all the ladies of the family gathered together to enjoy an evening filled with music and dance performances. It has now become a trend for the groom and his family also to join in the festivities. Nowadays it’s also common for the bride and groom to take over the stage and dance their heart out. This a lively and cheerful get-together before the wedding that a bride will always cherish.
The most significant day of the marriage festivities is when the couple enters into the blissful wedlock. It’s the day when the promise of lifelong companionship will be made by the bride and groom to each other. It’s also the day when the bride will find herself carrying a mixed bag of emotions. The day is a roller coaster ride for the bride with happiness, anxiety, nervousness, stress, fear, and excitement approaching her together.
On the wedding day, the groom makes his spectacular entry to the venue in a decorated horse. He is accompanied by his friends and family dancing in joy to upbeat music. They are given a grand welcome by the bride’s family, and the relatives greet each other delightfully.
Once everyone is seated, the bride makes her entry leaving everyone in awe with her smile and beautiful bridal look. It’s the time when the preparations, countless days of finding the perfect wedding attire, the endless make-up trials seem worthwhile. Traditionally, Indian brides preferred the colour red for their wedding attire. However, brides rock everything from shades of pink, orange to even pastels today.
The rituals performed on the wedding day differs based on religion. However, in every religion, the ceremonies start with seeking blessings from the almighty. In a traditional Hindu wedding, the couple takes 7 “pheras” or sacred vows around a holy fire. They also exchange flower garlands and the groom adorns the bride’s forehead with vermillion. On the other hand, the number of pheras is 4 in a Sikh wedding that’s performed in the presence of the holy book. In a Muslim wedding, it’s the “Nikka” where the bride and groom give their consent.
The essence of each tradition is same and signifies that the couple is entering into a pure bond of love. Post the ceremony, the family and the guests bless the couple and shower them with gifts. Everyone enjoys a grand feast and takes the dance floor by storm.
Vidaai or bidding farewell is the last and perhaps the most difficult part of the wedding for a bride. It’s the time when she has to leave her home for a new beginning with her husband. While she is excited about her new life, she also gets tremendously emotional of leaving her entire family behind. It’s a tearful moment for the bride and her family as the bride’s father gives her hand to the groom.
Every bride knows that this ritual is inevitable, yet when the time arrives it becomes difficult.
It’s the support and assurance of her husband that makes her smile as she embarks on this new journey.
As an Indian bride, here are 3 certain things that you can expect on your wedding
You will be pampered more than ever
In every Indian home, a bride-to-be is pampered, and showered with love, blessings and gifts. You will be treated nothing less than a princess and every demand of yours will be fulfilled. It’s a great time to feel all the love and attention coming your way from parents, relatives and friends.
You will be photographed a lot
From solo bridal portraits to pictures of every ritual, be prepared be followed by a camera throughout the wedding.
Everything will fall in place like magic
With so much happening around, preparations for the wedding can get overwhelming and stressful at times. However, it’s important for the bride to understand that wedding functions are supposed to be enjoyed to the fullest.
Plan early for the functions and pick up the wedding attire that you feel the most confident in. No matter how stunning the jewellery, makeup and the outfit is, a bridal look is incomplete without the bride’s smile. Even if some things do not go as planned, embrace it and rock your wedding like a boss.