Indian weddings are among the most lavish affairs known to man, and they are full of ancient rituals and combine superb food, singing, dancing, flowers, exotic colours and clothing, and pageantry. They can include parties that go on for days or weeks, and the actual ceremony on the big day and the reception afterwards will often be for several hundred guests. Not only is the whole family of both bride and groom invited, but friends and distant relations who may not have met for years.
Now that Covid-19 is not exactly over, but more a part of life that we have to get on with, some relatives will fly in from abroad in order to take part.
In an Indian wedding, probably the most important part after the food and drinks at the reception is the décor. You want the day to amaze and astound everyone who arrives, and for that you need to hire a wedding décor company such as ourselves at Kenza Creations. We are specialists in wedding décor, because it is what we do, and we have been doing it for years, so we have lots of tricks up our sleeves.
A typical Indian wedding starts with the Haldi, then goes on to the Mehndi, Sangeet/Raas-Garba, and finally the ceremony and reception. The Haldi is the first of the days of the wedding and involves a turmeric paste being applied to the face, neck, arms, hands, legs, and feet of the couple by family members who offer blessings and songs. It is supposed to bring good luck, and the paste makes the skin glow.
Then comes the Mehndi which historically has been party time for the girls, although today the groom is often in attendance as well. This is where you need a Mehndi stage for the bride to sit upon while a talented artist will apply henna paste to her hands, arms, and feet in complex decorations. Very often, the artist will hide the name of the groom in the decorations and people have fun trying to find it.
It is believed that the darker the patterns appear on the skin, the more loving and prosperous the relationship will be. The design of the Mehndi stage needs to be lavish and the seating comfortable because, depending upon the amount of decoration to be applied, the process can take several hours. Meanwhile, the guests party away with plenty of food, singing and dancing.
Very often, the wedding ceremony itself and the reception will be held on a Saturday, with the Sangeet held on the Friday beforehand. Incredible as it may seem to outsiders, the Sangeet itself is huge party, again with décor, food, and festive dancing. It is like having two huge parties on consecutive days, and the Raas-Garba are fun and energetic Gujarati dances in which everyone is invited to take part.
The following day is the wedding, and this often involves the groom arriving at the ceremony on the back of a lavishly dressed horse, although today he may arrive sitting on top of a convertible. There is lots of music and dancing, and the neighbours will cheer everybody on. There is no religious significance to this, but it is an important custom, nonetheless.