Indian weddings are rich in tradition and culture. They are multi-day celebrations full of vibrant colors and festive events. Each event has its own special meaning and purpose – starting with the Mehndi party…
The Medhni party is typically held one to two days before the wedding ceremony. The bride and all the important women in her life spend hours getting covered in intricate henna designs that symbolize beauty and joy. It’s a time for the bride to be with her mom, bridesmaids, aunts, etc. and learn all of the secrets to a happy marriage.
The Sangeet is a celebration that’s meant to bring the bride and groom’s families together. It’s a night full of song and dance and occurs the day before the wedding ceremony.
The wedding ceremony starts with the baraat or procession of the groom. Traditionally, the groom travels to the ceremony site by horse. However, when there isn’t a horse available he can get there by car or on foot.
Regardless of the groom’s mode of transportation, the baraat should be festive and fun! The groom, his family and friends should sing and dance their way to the ceremony. This symbolizes their acceptance of the bride and excitement to welcome her into their family.
The baraat ends with the start of the Milni ceremony. This is when the groom’s family meets the bride’s family at the entrance of the wedding venue. Relatives on both sides embrace and exchange garlands before the bride’s family escorts the groom to the mandap. It’s a crucial moment that shows the bride’s family accepts the groom.
Once the groom, has reached the mandap his bride emerges and they see each other for the first time. This moment, known as the Varmala ceremony, is also important. It’s the moment that the bride and groom exchange floral garlands as a way to express their acceptance of one another.
Once the groom’s family accepts the bride (baraat), the bride’s family accepts the groom (Milni) and the bride and groom accept each other (Varmala), it’s time to get married!
During the ceremony there are many traditions and rituals that take place. The most beautiful of them all is the Saptapadi. This is when the bride and groom make seven vows as they take seven steps together. During the Saptapadi, they promise to love and respect one another until the end of time.
When the ceremony is done, it’s time to party! The bride, groom and all of their guests eat, drink and dance the night away in the ultimate celebration of love.