With so many cultures and rituals from different religions, an Indian marriage is anything but straight from the book. Each state, each religion and each culture has its own traditions associated with the Hindu marriage ceremony – an elaborate celebration lasting for several days. Most of the wedding rituals are based on their regional traditions but the common tie amongst the weddings of all the religions is the fun and excitement.
The Hindu marriage is held in a big marquee, either in the bride’s home yard or in a rented wedding hall. Rituals are traditional in a Hindu wedding ceremony, but they may vary from one community to another. Different rituals are also held before the main wedding day – Mehandi being one such example. Ganesha puja (the Elephant god) is also known as the remover of obstacles and this is done before the ceremony for his blessings. Then there are rituals likeTilak ( the sacred mark on the forehead), sangeet, ( song and dance), baaraat,( the procession), jai mala, ( garland exchange), vivah ( the main wedding ceremony), kanya daan and vidaii, which are the most important Hindu wedding rituals.
The Indian Muslim wedding also has various pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals. Each ritual has an important significance. In the pre wedding rituals the Mehandi ceremony is an important function. It is mostly celebrated at the bride’s home on the eve of the wedding ceremony or a few days before the wedding. The function of Mehandi is celebrated in a traditional way where mostly female relatives and friends of the bride come to put turmeric past on the bride and sing traditional marriage songs and dance together. Turmeric powder is an astringent and is supposed to bring a natural glow to the skin.
Welcoming the baaraat ( the arrival of the groom at the wedding venue ) is one of the biggest functions on the wedding day. The wedding is usually held in the presence of a priest, close family members relatives and friends. The wedding is then registered in a document called the Nikaahnama. An elaborate dinner is set to celebrate the occasion.
In the post wedding rituals, ‘rukshat’ is when the bride’s family bids farewell to her as she starts a new journey at her husband’s house. Among the other post wedding rituals are ‘chauthi’ and ‘valimah’. In ‘chuathi’ the bride visits her parent’s home on the fourth day after the wedding) chautha means four). And ‘valimah’ is a reception party where the family members and friends of the bride and groom come together to celebrate the occasion and bless the newly wed couple.
Indian weddings reflect the true color and traditions of India. It is the goal of our carriage service to provide these families with a unique ceremony that best typifies their culture and rituals in an effort to make their wedding day a truly memorable celebration.