Indian Wedding - Wikispaces - Wedding

An Indian Wedding
Bharati Lallapersaud
Hindu Marriage
In the Hindu religion, marriage is
considered more of a sacred ritual than
a contract.
Hindu marriage is a life-long duty and
commitment between husband and
wife. It is considered on of the strongest
bond that a man and woman have.
A Hindu marriage isn’t just a marriage
between two people, it is also between
two families.
The most important step in a Hindu
marriage is picking the bride and
groom. Usually in a love marriage, the a
boy and girl select heir own life
partners, but in arrange marriage the
parents of elders of the family choose
the prospective life partner for their
Pre-Marriage Ceremony and
The night before the wedding, the
palm and feet of the bride are
decorated with Mehendi (also
known as Henna). It is said that
the color of the mehendi signifies
the essence of love in a marriage
Both the bride and groom perform
certain rituals in their own home.
They are covered with yellowcolored dye which softens the
skin, cleanse the body and makes
it fragrant. It is washed off in the
morning on the wedding day.
Since the wedding take’s place
at the bride’s home, a mandap
or canopy is set up and
decorated. This is where the
wedding ceremony will take
Lord Ganesh, the
remover of all
obstacles. He is
worshipped at the
beginning of rituals
and ceremonies.
Wedding Day Preparations
The wedding day starts with a prayer to Lord Ganesh
to remove all evil and help with a successful and
peaceful end of the ceremony.
Then there is the Grah Shanti, worship of the nice
planets. According to ancient Indian studies, various
celestial bodies have a destiny of every individual.
During this ritual, the gods who are connected to
the plants are asked to instill courage, peace of
mind, and inner strength to the bride and groom to
help them tolerate life’s sufferings.
Traditionally, the groom sets out to the bride’s home
dressed in a traditional yellow gown and a turban,
riding a horse. He is usually accompanied by a
smaller younger brother/cousin/nephew, known as
the sarwala. Then sets of with the Baraat (Wedding
Procession), dancing and singing, to bring his bride
The Bride is dressed in a traditional Indian
Bridal Gown, usually red or yellow. She wears
a bindi (a dot placed in the middle of the
forehead, between the eyebrows) ,a tikka(
similar to a bindi, except it is put in the hair
and falls right above the bindi), nose ring,
ivory and gold bangles, which also extends
onto the fingers as rings, earrings, necklaces
and anklets. Basically all the jewelry and
decorations are to cover all the exposed
parts of the body of the bride. The bride’s
face is usually covered with a veil.
The Wedding Ceremony
 Milaap: The groom and the baraat arrive at the bride’s home and meets the bride’s family.
 Dvar Puja: At the entrance, the father of the bride and the father of the groom hug one
another. Vedic hymns are chanted by the Priest (pandit).
 Parchan: Women of the bride’s family, beginning with the bride’s mother, honor the groom
with aarti ( a form of puja) and flowers. They perform a ritual to fight off negative vibrations
around the groom.
 Janwaas: The groom and his baraat are led to Janwaas(place of rest). The pandit of the
bride officially welcomes the groom and the baraat with prayers.
 Bride is brought to the Mandap: The bride’s mother sits at the back of the bride, offering
her final blessings, and placing the crown on her daughter’s head. Then , the bride performs
the Lord Ganesh puja.
 Taak Paat: The brother of the groom takes an oath to honor, protect and respect the bride
as his sister. He garlands her with a cord of protection. The bride leaves the mandap
 Var Puja and Madhuparka: The groom enters the mandap. His feet are washed and he is
offered Madhuparka ( a sweet combination of honey, yogurt, and ghee (clarified butter)) by
the bride’s father.
 Kanya Daan: Kanya Daan means the giving away of the daughter in marriage. The bride sits in
front of her groom with her parents beside her. In her hand, she holds a loi (dough) with a
secret gift inside, which is only known by her parents. The bride’s parents give their daughter’s
hand in marriage to the groom while the bride’s brother pours water continuously over the loi.
Then her parents officially hand their daughter to the groom, with whom she will share the rest
of her life.
 Gaatha Bhandan: Tying of the Nuptial knot.
 Havan and Bhawar: The Pandit recite Vedic hymns as the couple ,make offerings to Agni
Devata (God of Fire). This is known as Havan. On completion of the offerings, the couple will
go around (bhawar) the sacred fire seven times. The bride leads first, afterwards the groom
will lead. They offer lawa (puffed grains) to Agni Devata.
 Sapta Padi: The couple walks seven steps together to mantras which express their principle
duties and needs as householders.
Today we join hearts, minds, and souls.
We will encourage each other’s hopes and comfort one another.
We live joyously and support our marriage through its trials and triumphs.
We will fly towards our dreams and walk through life’s obstacles.
We will share our responsibilities, speak and listen to one another openly and honor one another.
We will fulfill our social obligations and strive for a better future.
We will respect our spiritual values.
 Dhruva and Surya Darshan: The groom says to the bride, “ Look at the pole star (Dhurva). Oh
Star! Your position is changeless. May my wife be unchanging in her love for me”. Facing East
they say, “ Oh Suryadev ( Sun God), may we live for one hundred winters together with radiant
health and energy”.
 Varmala: The Couple exchange garlands indicating their mutual acceptance. The bride places
her hand on the groom’s heart. “ May we put our hearts together for a common purpose”. The
Groom replies, “ Into my will I take your heart. Your mind shall dwell in my mind. The Lord has
joined you and me”.
 Shila Rohan (Shila means rock; Rohan means to thread on): a rock is placed on the north east
corner of the mandap and while the bride places her right foot on the rock the groom says “
Oh Dulhan (bride), set your heart as firm as this stone. Be firm in your resistance to foes and
difficult people”.
 Vows: The groom will make seven vows to the bride and the bride will make one vow to the
groom. The bride will then take her seat on the left side of the groom, which officially makes
her his wife.
 Sindoor Dhan: Under the cover of the sheet, the groom privately rubs sindoor on the hairline
of the bride, indicating that she is now married. Rings are then exchanged.
 Ashirwaad: Ashirwaad means blessing. The entire gathering will stand and express their silent
congratulations and to pay respect to the newly married couple. They join the pandit in his
final blessings to bless the happy couple.
Afterwards, the newly weds leave the mandap to offer prayers in the bride’s home. In the
meanwhile, both families celebrate outside to the joyous occasion. There is dancing and singing
and sometimes performances.
Then it is time for the bride to leave her maternal home and go with her husband to her “new”
The groom riding the horse to
meet his future in-laws.
Greeted by the Bride’s father
Bride’s mother honoring the
groom with aarti and flowers
Sarwalla, father,
Bride making
her way to
the mandap
Bride and
mother of
the bride
Ganesh Puja
Taak Paat; brother garlands his
new sister
Bride leaves the
mandap Temporarily
The bride reenters the mandap …In style
Groom enters the mandap, accompanied by Sarwalla,
Father, and Brother
Kanya Daan
Bhawar: Going around the Sacred Fire
Sapta Padi: Seven Steps
Dhruva and Surya Darshan
Varmala: Exchange of garlands
Sindoor Dhan
Hand on the groom’s heart Hand on the bride’s heart
Exchange of rings
The End