If you have never been to an Indian wedding, you may be in for a surprise. Indian weddings are among the most lavish on the planet, and there are several ancient rituals that feature in most Indian weddings, whether they are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh. In fact, for many couples, planning for the wedding begins when a daughter is born, and they will open a bank account specifically to build up for that day which maybe 20 years or more ahead.
Just to begin with, there are a lot of people at Indian weddings, and when we say a lot, we mean it. It is by no means unusual for there to be four or five hundred guests at an Indian wedding, and quite often there may be more, so it is easy to see why some parents start saving up for the big day so early.
Indian weddings are Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh celebrations, and although there are some variations between the religions, and also regional areas of the country, they all have common parts. A typical wedding begins with what is known as the Haldi which is the first day of the event and is a ceremony when the couple’s hands, arms, feet, and face and neck have a turmeric paste – which is called Haldi – applied to them by family members who will give them blessings and sing songs. The Haldi is believed to provide healing, purification, and beauty, and is supposed to bring good luck and make the skin glow.
The next day of celebrations is the Mendhi and is largely party time for the girls. This is when an artist will apply a henna paste to the bride’s hands, arms, and feet in a series of intricate designs. There is a superstition that the darker the henna on the skin, the stronger the marriage will be, and so the bride is encouraged to relax while the pigment sets. There will be lots of singing and dancing, and plenty of food and drink. A fun part of the day is that the artist will try to hide the name of the groom somewhere within the designs, and everyone has to try to find it.
The next day is the Sangeet during which the bride and groom’s family members perform dances in order to wish the couple well in their future life together. This is another huge event with plenty of food and drink in a decorated venue, and it is often held on a Friday, with the ceremony itself and reception on Saturday. Everyone is encouraged to join in the dancing, and you don’t need to be an expert because the other guests will teach you the steps if you don’t know them.
The wedding has lots of rituals within it and begins with the groom arriving on a highly decorated white horse at the bride’s family home although some grooms will arrive by car and walk the last part, with the groomsmen singing and dancing along the way.
Then there is the actual wedding ceremony itself with the bride often dressed in red. The bride and groom sit under the mandap while the rituals and sacraments are carried out, and usually finish with the exchange of wedding rings.
Then it is party time with non-stop food, drink, dancing, and singing, going on late into the night.
Of course, all of these ceremonies take place in venues that are decorated in a wonderful fashion, and we can undertake everything for you at Kenza Creations. So, you may want an Indian wedding backdrop behind the mandap, masses of flowers, candles, special lighting, and so on. Our creative design team can come up with some incredible plans and decorative suggestions which we can discuss with you when planning your wedding.