About the Authors
Apoorv Kalra is the Co-Founder of BollywoodShaadis.com Group. He is an MBA in Marketing from University of Texas at Dallas and has been a part of the Internet industry for over five years. As a passionate young entrepreneur and spokesperson in the field of wedding planning and search marketing, Mr. Kalra has introduced several technological innovations in the Indian wedding industry. He is a visionary with a keen eye for the most intricate details. This book is his attempt at helping the public who feel quite lost when planning a marriage. Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt Ltd owns India’s largest network of Information resource portals for the soon-to-be married.

Vidhi Agrawal is the Sr. Editor at Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. She has been associated with the company since June 2010, writing actively about the various aspects of wedding planning, trends and traditions. Endowed with a curious mind and a creative bent, Ms. Vidhi’s experience in the wedding planning and online publishing industry came in handy during the compilation of the “Step by step Wedding Planning Guide.”


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Introduction Pre-Wedding Preparations
      Choosing the Marriage Venue Types of Wedding according to Location The Wedding Theme The Guest List The Invitation Cards Arrangement for your Outstation Guests

On the Wedding Day
    The Food and Beverages Photography and Videography Decorations Choosing the Marriage officiant

Post- Wedding Events
    The Wedding Reception The Wedding Toast Gift and Favours The Honeymoon


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Ltd. All Rights Reserved.Deciding on Apparel and Accessories   The Wedding attire for the bride and the groom The Bride’s trousseau Music and Entertainment       Bachelor/ Bachelorette parties The Mehendi The Sangeet The Baraat The Reception More Entertainment mantra Indian Marriages: Some Facts   Some fun facts Well known superstitions Important Legal Formalities  Marriage acts and Registration of marriages The Countdown Begins   12 Months to go 10 Months to go 4 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .

        9 Months to go 7 Months to go 3 Months to go 2 Months to go 1 Months to go 10 Days to go 1 Day to go Things that can go wrong Wedding Traditions of India    Religious weddings Regional weddings Wedding vows 5 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. .

All Rights Reserved.” Brahma Sutras. the very angels desert heaven and come and sit in that house and sing for joy. the fountainhead of Vedanta 6 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.Introduction “When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man. . Ltd.

what are the benefits and what are the dos and don’ts of an Indian wedding.Wedding is the most sacred union of two hearts and souls eternally in a revered connubial knot. and when it comes to marriage. It is a union of 2 families – immediate. . If the wedding is a traditional one. Indian weddings are generally a combination of local. traditional Indian wedding can best be described as a grand-big-fat-happy-chaotic occasion. if you are planning to organize a lavish Indian wedding for yourself. and this is true especially for the parents of the bride and the groom. religious and family traditions. A typical. It marks the beginning of a new phase in the life of a couple and adds meaning to their relationship. an Indian wedding involves large number of people. If the couple has opted for a simple. Grand Indian weddings are in fashion and are liked and appreciated throughout the world because of their gleam and charm. It must be remembered that Indian customs are very diverse. extended and even remote members. want everything to be done under the huge umbrella of ‘auspiciousness’. still planning is required to honour close friends and family members. There are several procedures to be followed and loads of arrangements that need to be done. An Indian wedding is much like a festival with lot of glimmer and full of fun and excitement. then congratulations! We are here to help you out with the marriage preparations. Further. So. If you have decided to get married. But marrying in Indian style is not a cakewalk. All Rights Reserved. 7 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. then stay tuned. Ltd. private ceremony. the number of invitees can be anywhere between 500 and 5000. there are several customs and rituals associated with it which needs to be taken care of. We will help you as a guide and will make you aware of different kinds and patterns of weddings.

All Rights Reserved. you can get an overview of the different kinds of Indian weddings which are uniquely different according to religion. and are used regardless of whatever religion or region the bride and groom belong to. proper planning leaves no room for confusion and mistakes. or by their parents in the traditional manner. Ltd. they are indigenous to the land. to organize everything in a systematic manner according to your requirement and budget. Moreover. Therefore. They may go by different names in different regions. it is important to start planning for the wedding ceremony from the day the decision of marriage has been taken. . certain festive customs are very Indian. as in. 8 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. In this wedding planning guide. either independently by the couple.Planning is therefore important. but their essence remains the same. Since this is a season of joyful celebrations. and region.

So. All Rights Reserved. preparing a list of the things to buy or selecting a beautiful place for your Honeymoon we have it all in this wedding planning guide. customs or rituals specific to family tradition. In this guide we will make sure you have proper understanding of each aspect of an Indian wedding. 9 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. private ceremonies. be our guest in this wedding season and take a ride through the pages to get an idea of the complete Indian Wedding. and choosing intimate. or the bride and groom desire them. . From different kinds of weddings. choosing the venue for getting married. More and more. Ltd. Still. the charm of comprehensive Indian wedding remains. or the local ethos. young people today are opting out of the elaborate wedding routine.Further. can be incorporated if the family.

invitations. All Rights Reserved. . the planning should start days or rather months “A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers. food and accommodation. Therefore.” before the actual wedding day. Indian rituals are also difficult and should be carried out religiously. African proverb 10 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. You have to take care of the venue. Ltd.Pre Wedding Preparation There are enormous preparations that need to be done once a couple decides to get married in the traditional Indian style. guests and much more.

An advantage of booking in advance is that you may be able to get it at the actual rates or even a little lower as opposed to doing a last minute booking. Since Indian marriages usually take place at certain auspicious times of the year. Ltd. where the rates quoted are exorbitant. Make sure that after the booking is confirmed an advance is paid. This would ensure that the venue is reserved for you and would not then be given to another person. where the wedding commitments are made by the elders of the two families concerned. You must select the venues for the following occasions:  The engagement or sagaai. . 11 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  The mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. CHOOSING THE MARRIAGE VENUE This is a very important task. It is therefore imperative that the venue be decided well in advance. there is huge rush for venues. All Rights Reserved. so that the bookings can be done.

a destination wedding locale could also serve as the honeymoon location. The reception. Ltd. decoration. Usually a separate car is kept for the bride/groom and their immediate families. including a dressing room and toilets. and simply cannot be missed. Proper conveyance and transport facility is available. make sure the guest list is small since you will be bearing all expenses of travel and stay.   The services provided include adequate seating. It would be advisable to find out and fix the rate in case of exceeding the time given. If you are planning a destination wedding. All Rights Reserved. In case some necessary items/requirements have to be brought in. This is necessary because the time for the muhurat is to be strictly observed.   If refreshments are to be served.  If you are planning a wedding abroad. There are good amenities available for the event that is to be held there.  It fits into the budget. then the venue should have the arrangements required for this. catering and music. it should be convenient to bring them to the venue. so that no one is kept waiting. Things to be considered   It is easily accessible.    There is enough area for parking vehicles. and all documentation is complete. Further. The time allotted for its use is sufficient for all the ceremonies to take place comfortably.  The actual wedding ceremony. . and convenient. then make sure all legal procedures are followed for visas and marriage license. 12 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.

Ltd. Any hint of a wrong note can be considered inauspicious with disastrous fall-outs. once the parents decide on the venue it has to be vetted by the priest. Consequently. So. It has to be kept in mind that a wedding is a very important event in the life of a couple and their families. Marriage rituals starting from the sagaai to the final wedding rituals have to be performed facing a certain 13 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. In fact. there have to be a place earmarked for these.The venue. All Rights Reserved. to a large extent. will have to be made. the parents and any family members or friends that they choose to bring with them. along with getting all the ceremonies done in the right way. . since there are rituals that are specific to the bridegroom/bride. This is another reason why so much importance is given to the venue in Indian weddings. sets the mood for the many ceremonies. In case one of the parties is from outstation. so that the rituals can be performed in the right manner. special living arrangements for the bridegroom/bride. the bonds between the families have to be forged.

in case the place of worship cannot accommodate everyone. They also have the facility for providing refreshments that guests might need during the course of the ceremony. the priest’s sanction is required there as well. it is necessary to get it cleared by the priest. since they are equipped to deal with large groups. In case the two families have decided on a common venue other than their homes. Community halls attached to the place of worship. and awnings. 14 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The main ceremonies should be held on a dais so that everyone can witness them. In such cases where a separate venue is chosen for the reception. . This enables all guests to arrive without delay. Kalyana mandapams or marriage halls. before taking the final decision on the venue and the construction of the mandap. All Rights Reserved.direction. tents. and it is only the priest who can ensure that. canopies. For the main wedding ceremony    Choose a religious place of worship. a general rule is that the venue for the reception should not be more than 20 minutes away from the venue of the marriage ceremony.  If the ceremony is planned outdoors. Therefore. You would need to check the weather conditions to see if this idea is feasible. Ltd. naturally a large open area will be required which can be covered with shamianas.

A wedding conducted according to the Special Marriage Act is usually held in the office of the Marriage Registrar. If, the bride and groom want to choose another venue where the Marriage Registrar will come, they would need to look for a venue which is licensed to hold this ceremony. In case it is decided to conduct the wedding ceremony as well as the reception in the same venue, then the choices would include:     Country clubs, Farmhouses, 5-star hotels, There are some country houses which have been turned into 5-star wedding venues. They cater only to wedding groups. They are usually on the outskirts of the town, and provide accommodation and all facilities for the families, relatives and guests of the bride and groom. Both families are therefore in the same area, and it is very convenient for everyone to attend all functions. Since the chalets/cottages/rooms housing the two parties are separate, the specific functions can be performed separately as well.




India has a rich cultural heritage, perfect for traditional weddings. Different locations are ideal for different themes and forms of wedding. Choose your favourite marriage venue for the wedding of your dreams.


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Royal Weddings
1. Rajasthan i. Even the simplest ceremony gets a touch of royalty if performed in one of the many palaces in India. Palaces have vast lawns and gardens, and are located in very picturesque surroundings. Since they have a fairy-tale quality about them, naturally, this adds to the ambience giving the marriage a very special touch.

ii. The plus points:      An in-house priest. Separate living arrangements for the bride and groom’s parties. Arrangements for all meals. All rituals and ceremonies – pre-wedding, on the wedding day, and post-wedding are taken care of. If required, even arrangements for the honeymoon are taken care of.


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iii. Some palaces to choose from:  Jaipur     The Rambagh Palace The Jai Mahal Palace The Raj Vilas Palace The Chomu Palace  Jodhpur    Ajit Bhawan Umaid Bhawan Taj Mahal Hari Ran Banka

Jaisalmer        Fort Rajwada Gorbandh Palace Jawahar Niwas Narayan Niwas The Neemrana Palace-Fort The Sariska Palace The Deogarh Palace

Udaipur       Taj Lake Palace Jagat Niwas Palace Oberoi Udai Vilas Shiv Niwas Palace Fateh Prakash Palace The Devigarh Fort Palace

2. Gujarat i. Gujarat is another state which offers royal weddings. Many of their palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels where Indian weddings are organized. Gujarat, like Rajasthan, is full of colour and verve.


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seven8 kms from Ahmedabad Nilambagh Palace Hotel. Bhavnagar Kusum Vilas Palace Nazar Bagh Palace Uparkot Fort Dabhoi Fort Beach Weddings 1. Palampur The Palace.ii. The plus points:       Local priest Traditional folk music Ladies’ dances for the sangeet Decorations including floral arrangements Lunch and dinner Videography by professionals iii. . Uthelia. Kerala 18 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Some places to choose from:        Balram Palace Resort.

Ltd. Floral decoration of the venue and special decoration of the mandap. However. Kerala offers several exotic wedding locations. Accommodation for family and guests up to a certain number. Also. Kerala is on the South-West coast of India. and wedding make-up. . time is set aside for visiting places of local interest and sight-seeing. Weddings in Kerala are quite simple as compared to North Indian weddings. ii. Classical dance and music performances for the pre-wedding festivities are organized.i. the maximum numbers of days over which the festivities are spread is 2 to 3 days. Clothes (including costume jewellery for the bride) for the bride and groom. 19 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. The groom is brought on the back of an elephant in the baraat. The plus points:       The wedding feast is a culinary experience and is served on banana leaves. and curves along the Arabian Sea.

beach parties with live music. Some places to choose from:      Kovalam Somatheeram Varkala Shanghumukham The backwaters of Kumarakom. Ltd. 20 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Beach weddings have a touch of the unconventional. The wedding attire of the bride and the groom are made available. Hotels and resorts in Goa organize the whole wedding including accommodation. You may choose to have the main wedding ceremony in a traditional houseboat. The plus points:    A special choir sings during the ceremony. Photography and videography are possible. entertainment.iii. All Rights Reserved. and barbecues. . Goa i. and can be quite charming if both families love the outdoors. food and beverages. ii. as well as local sight-seeing. Beach weddings are quite exotic in their own way.    Kumarakom Lake Resort Zuri Kumarakom Resort The Taj Malabar in Kochi 2.

. All Rights Reserved. the hotel usually makes all the arrangements accordingly. One bottle of celebratory champagne for the bride and groom are on the house. Music is traditional Goan.    If you choose a theme. and the food as well. Ltd. sangeet and all the other rituals that have to be performed – all with that very special Goan touch. arrangements are made for the mehendi. For a Hindu wedding. Some places to choose from:     Calangute Baga Palolem Colva 21 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. iii.

All Rights Reserved.Island Weddings 1. Lakshadweep i. Ltd. ii. The plus points: Lakshadweep offers excellent facilities for the wedding ceremony and offers a number of value-added services such as wedding cruises. iii. and chances to explore the underwater beauty. . Some places to choose from:      Kavaratti Kalpeni Kadmat Minicoy Bangaram 22 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This is an archipelago and the islands are located off the South-West coast of India in the Arabian Sea.

iii. Andaman i. The whole island is decorated. a wedding can be planned in a wildlife sanctuary provided the necessary permissions are taken from the local government body. Ltd. . All Rights Reserved. 23 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The three sanctuaries which are ideal are:    Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh. ii. making it exclusive. and is a place of exquisite beauty.2. The plus point: An entire island can be reserved for the wedding parties. Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. with the special marriage venue decorated even more elaborately to make it stand out. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. This is also an archipelago. Here are some places you can choose from:    Havelock Island Ross Island Red Skin Island Wildlife Sanctuaries For the daring and adventurous.

All Rights Reserved. a Rajasthani or Gujarati palace/haveli venue. It would be a good idea to have a few options. . There are different venues amongst which the Chalets Naldehra in Shimla would be the ideal wedding venue. this would have to fit into the broad framework. or a venue in Kerala would mean that the dress code would need to be worked out to match the venue. It has a variety of green hills. Kashmir is considered as heaven on earth and planning your best day at such a romantic place would be a truly exhilarating experience.Mountain weddings If mountains fascinate you. just in case your first choice of venue is not available. any additional ceremonies or rituals would be easily accommodated after discussing it with the presiding priest. Likewise for the Beach. the keyword in theme weddings is homogeneity. if they want to incorporate their own vows or some personal touch. Island. or Wildlife Sanctuary weddings. All weddings make allowances for the personal touch. not to the dress or the other wedding paraphernalia. then India would be the most preferred choice for you to tie the wedding knot. If we think about mixing and matching. However. 24 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  If the bride and groom are from different states in India. then this would apply only to the ceremonies.  If the bride and groom are from the same background. also becomes the theme. in some cases.  THE WEDDING T HEME The venue chosen. For instance. Ltd. it is easiest. step farming mountains and snow clad peaks which add a lot of class and glamour to your marriage party.

Sometimes just one kind of flower can be chosen to create the whole theme such as the Rose theme. If one of them is from another country. there are provisions for that as well. Since their wedding day is a special one for them. or in a garden. A season such as Spring. 25 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or Winter. The Indian wedding ceremony can accommodate all additions or changes. All Rights Reserved. Summer. A floral theme. they may decide on a theme which has a special meaning for them. or Orchid theme or Arum lily theme. and the religious ceremony could take place in a place of worship. A favourite film. Choosing a theme This depends entirely on the bride and groom. . the civil ceremony could take place either in the Marriage Registrar’s office. Something as indigenous as a Village theme. A specific historical period. A fantasy such as an Arabian Night theme. Ltd. or in the home of either party. It could be based on:           A hobby or personal interest.  In case there are two ceremonies involved – a civil ceremony and a religious one. Monsoon. and the couple wants an Indian wedding. or on a jet. for instance on a ship. A retro theme such as the 50s or the 80s. A favourite place. A romantic theme.

 One colour theme. the colour the groom wears will dictate the dress code for all the male guests. In Indian weddings since the groom is usually dressed in cream. It is always better to have a couple of options if you are creating your own theme. another one can be chosen. it will match with whatever colour the theme uses. . Even a dark suit will not be out of place should the groom decide on a one. as well as the families concerned. 26 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Dress code (including make-up) for all guests. You can use different shades.to keep the following things in mind when creating your own theme:    Decorations including creating the backdrop. The attire (including make-up) of the bride and groom. but the basic colour remains the same. Remember . However. It is important because in case it is difficult to get one theme organized. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

romantic or fantasy theme means great expense. someone they trust should be given the responsibility of working out all the details.  For whatever reason.  Check out the feasibility of your chosen theme with the elders in the family as well as with the presiding priest. A mantra you could use. but the two should blend with each other. Ltd. Of course. choose a theme that can be enjoyed by the older people and the children as well. if the bride and groom are unable to handle this work. All Rights Reserved.   Make sure you think the whole thing through to the last detail and have enough time to make it happen.  The table décor at the reception as well as the favours should reflect the theme. It should always be remembered that an Indian wedding is a social event and if those attending are not comfortable. if you decide on a different theme for the reception.  The budget: This is of the greatest importance when planning a theme wedding. the one that never really goes wrong: Keep it simple! Things to be considered  The theme that is chosen should suit the personalities of the bride. the groom and the families. . there will be room for inauspicious comments. Once again. all the family members attend weddings. Food and beverages – Even if you serve a different kind of cuisine. 27 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. since the right ambience has to be created.   Make sure that nothing inauspicious is incorporated. The same theme should be used for pre-wedding rituals and post-wedding ceremonies as well so that the theme doesn’t lose its essence. it should not be too different from the wedding theme. A royal. The end result should be completely authentic. the table settings and service as well as mode of serving will have to match the theme.

with lots of zari and gold. pink. All Rights Reserved. . besides the specific colours at the ceremony.  Would you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? The theme chosen will then have to be adapted accordingly. Ltd. Whether the ceremony is a Christian one or a Nikaah. Outdoor weddings will naturally be more expensive since it needs more elaborate décor and lighting. the other wedding colours used are the same. You would not want to have to deal with something you have not chosen for the most special occasion of your life. 28 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. maroon. in India. In case you are handing over the wedding preparations to a wedding planner agency. red. They have to be shades of orange. ensure that you participate in all the major decisions.  Colours are very important in Indian weddings.

 Since there are certain traditional leaves that have to be used for a traditional ceremony. . All Rights Reserved. happiness and purity. Ltd. Banana leaves signify prosperity. roses. 29 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. it should match the mood created by the theme. and lime is exchanged at the time of the sagaai to seal the alliance  The kind of music chosen has to match the ambience created by the theme. these will have to be included in the décor. So. traditional instruments such as the shehnai or nadaswaram have to be used. The leaves required are:  Banana leaves with the stem (this is usually placed on the four supports of the mandap). Colours are important in a retro theme as well. and neon colours for the 80s. you could look at psychedelic colours for the 60s. A tambool which is a combination of a betel leaf. But. note that traditional flowers at all Indian weddings are the jasmine.    Betel leaves symbolize good fortune. other than that. an areca nut. and marigolds. Mango leaves signifying prosperity. hot pink (and very little or preferably no black. gerberas and carnations are used quite frequently too. During certain times in a traditional wedding. whether you are choosing a live band or getting a DJ or using soft background music.  In case you have chosen a floral theme. besides the traditional colours. where you will naturally use lots of flowers. Orchids. since black is considered inauspicious) for the 50s.

you would realize how much the wedding expense will turn out to be. on a spreadsheet. Now. Conventionally. as well as what expenses still have to be factored in. In an Indian wedding great thought goes into planning this. One by one as the expenses pile up. Points to be kept in mind when drawing up the guest list: The Budget – This is very important. Ltd. Only then can you have an overview of what you are spending and on what. 30 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  The expenses on food and beverages can be looked at again and the menus can be re-worked. . you can do your pruning. Very gradually as the realistic picture emerges. All Rights Reserved. even the tiniest ones. remember to record all of them.  Since this is a very big day in the lives of two people and two families. THE GUEST L IST This is the most important task as well as the most difficult one. it is important that there should be no cutting down on the ceremonies and rituals that are important. the invitations go from the bride’s family to guests of both parties.

or in a venue outside? Are they to be all in one place. it is advisable to get an older member of the family to handle this. The Venue – This is an important consideration when planning the guest list. 31 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Since this is a delicate matter. food and beverages. you will see that it falls in concentric circles. You will need to sit with some trusted person from the groom’s side. every guest’s comfort is important. or at different places? Is the venue you are choosing convenient for the rituals and ceremonies? What are the expenses involved as regards. as well as other smaller details? First. décor.  Remember there cannot be one final budget. For instance (and this is besides the immediate family). While the decorations of certain areas cannot be compromised with. If you make out a list. Some vital questions that may help you decide the all-important venue are:      Which ceremonies and rituals are you planning on? Where would you like to have them – at home. . You would not want disgruntled guests to spoil this happy and auspicious occasion. to get inputs from the groom’s family as to whom all they want to be invited. Remember. close family members. or to go back with bad memories There are some people who absolutely have to be invited. The idea is to stay within a structure and ensure that there is enough leeway for unexpected expenses. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. there are other areas where the decoration can be minimal. transportation. decide on the number of guests you can invite.

If there are common friends between the bride’s family and the groom’s family. naturally. . Ltd. naturally their parents too should be given invitations.The number of guests coming from out of town is next to be decided. Here too. the two points under consideration would be:   How many can be accommodated with the family and friends? For those who are to be put up in guest houses/hotels. For you. Consequently. either a joint invitation can be given. During an Indian wedding. so that they can schedule it into their own personal calendars. guests from outstation mean expenses of accommodation. how many days are you looking at. it is advisable to keep room for the unexpected. children enjoy the most and are a part of every ceremony.  If some of the invitees are working. their number should also be taken into account. transport. i. Arrangements will have to be made for them. then you would have to ask whether. as host. All Rights Reserved. Therefore. meals.   If the bride’s and groom’s friends are being invited. how many ceremonies besides the main wedding would you like them to come for? Accordingly they will have to be told. and any other foreseeable expense.  Would you like your colleagues and others in the organization to attend the wedding and other ceremonies?   Would you rather have them for only the reception? Would you like to host a separate reception only for them? 32 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Guests from the place of residence  This would include friends of the family.. or an invitation from both sides can be given. sight-seeing (if any).e.

 Giving everyone enough time is a thoughtful gesture. then naturally you would want him/her to be with you. one that will help you in your planning as well A wedding is a new beginning in many ways.  Whoever has been given the responsibility of making the guest list must discuss it with the parents of the bride and groom. Ltd.  A good idea would be to draw up a guest list which includes family and friends – everyone you would like to witness this very important day. .  In a traditional Indian wedding a large number of extended family members and guests arrive for the wedding. so inviting friends and relatives whom you haven’t seen in ages is a great 33 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.In case you have to cut down on the guest list  Cut down on colleagues from the place of work. All Rights Reserved. especially if it is the first wedding in the family.  Do not invite anyone out of a sense of guilt.  A guest list needs to be worked-on at least a couple of months before the wedding so that out-of-towners can get their train/plane reservations done. But other than that. They will need to make arrangements at their own homes too before coming for the wedding. Of course if you have a really close friend. One practice is to send out beautifully written cards saying that you are married and would be delighted to have the guest over for a small informal get together/ reception. any kind of formal-have-to invitations are not really necessary.

How the invitation is given is in itself a mini-ritual. 34 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. sweets. because sacred vermilion. the invitation is delivered by hand and very ceremoniously to all the guests whether they are members of the family. One practice which is catching on very rapidly when sending invitations to guests in far off places is via the Internet. pre-wedding. followed by a personal telephone call. Ltd. and post-wedding. . members of the religious fraternity you belong to. The invitation is scanned and sent by email. An important custom to be kept in mind is that in a traditional Indian wedding. a great deal of thought needs to go into the creation of invitation cards. that takes time as well. While ‘the more the merrier’ is good. either within the country or overseas. Consequently. The invitation cards need to be ordered well in advance since they have to be personally delivered. betel nut are given when inviting the guest. and you are inviting extended family members. It could well be that some guests are common to both the bride’s family and the groom’s family. or people of the locality. close and extended. A wedding is also a time for renewing old ties and bonding. ensuring that everyone is comfortable is the responsibility of the two families concerned. haldi. If they are being sent by post. All Rights Reserved. friends. sandalwood.thing.  THE INVITATION CARDS Invitation cards say a lot. The hard copy of the invitation is sent by post or courier so that the guest has this in hand as well. though. relatives and guests for the reception only. neighbours. It could be that the wedding is to be a family affair. on the wedding day. There are many rituals and ceremonies. The invitation. has to go from both sides. It could be that you want all your invitees to attend all the functions.

All Rights Reserved. A map of the venue/venues. An RSVP. If there are ceremonies that are unique to the family. 35 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . or some kind of confirmation that the guest could send back as acceptance or inability to attend. The dates. Those who belong to other communities can then participate whole-heartedly in the various rituals and it is not just another meaningless ritual for them. it would be good to have something symbolic of both cultures in the card. times and venues of the other ceremonies and rituals. or create your own card. it helps if a short description is given. time and venue of the actual wedding ceremony. Give yourself enough time to choose a card from the thousands of designs available.The main points to be included in a wedding invitation are:      The date. The wedding invitation is the first hint of the theme of your wedding. Ltd. If the wedding transcends countries and cultures.

. Shiva-Parvathi. Religious icons such as Ganesh. and the Buddha are often used. These have a distinct ethnic touch.The Themes of a Marriage card 1. In the center of the leaf a miniature idol of Ganesha is placed. The card is bordered with sanctified red string.  The picture of a decorated doli/palki (palanquin) is engraved/embossed. Choose a particular motif from the embroidery on your wedding attire. Ltd. 2. Contemporary or modern  The themes would be an extension of the wedding theme. Radha Krishna.   Add embellishments like rhinestones or beads or even a piece of matching tulle. or having the card shaped like a betel leaf is considered auspicious. Traditional   The design can be the same as the design on the wedding sari/dress. the cross Swastika and Om. All Rights Reserved. Hand-drawn or stylized versions are also used. The motif can be repeated in different colours. the star and crescent. 36 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  The picture of a betel leaf.

The lid can have a special motif fixed onto it. Use thick. 3. . if the design is cut out on thin cream/cream-gold paper. look very elegant. Use bronze-.  Henna designs: These are very intricate designs. 4. not a scroll). So. The invitation/invitations on colour-coded paper are placed inside. The box would have a small stylized clasp. and if traced on paper and cut out. such as the couple’s initials entwined. The cases could have a small clasp. the invitation/invitations in matching glossy paper can be placed. All Rights Reserved. Some other prevalent forms of invitation cards  Wedding scroll: The invitation could open out like a scroll. embossed paper so that the scroll is firm. Adorned with a pearl. it would make a very elegant card cover. Ltd. silver. Tips on creating your own card  The card should be 5” by seven” (for a standard card. 37 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. organza or taffeta. Could be on special hand-made paper. or an attractively tied velvet ribbon.  Box invitation: These are made with embossed card material. scented if possible. Could have miniature pictures of the bride and groom. It is covered with silk.    Could be hand-painted. or rhinestone.plated slim cases to hold the scroll. Inside.or gold. The box is made of wood. Embossed either on plain paper or hand-made paper. the background can be in dark red or dark hennacoloured paper.

Once the card is printed with the words that you want. it is in the name of both grandparents and parents. Betel leaves. or in a contrasting colour.  The font – Both colour and size should be chosen with care. you could decorate it before distributing it. or in dark blue. The invitation is in the names of the grandparents. rhinestones. . or embossed in gold or silver. so that the entire card looks pleasing. of both the bride and the groom. yellow. tassel. Ltd. The format of your Marriage card   The top right side of the card contains couple of lines of a mantra or verses. Palki (palanquin). Colours usually chosen are classic ivory matched with maroon. Black is never used. Swastik. green. At least one of these religious symbols should be used for Hindu wedding: Ganesh. In a modern invitation.    Use a single sheet. it is in the name of the parents. The colour of the ink would either be a darker shade to the paper used.    You could either choose designed paper – self designed. one for close friends. The style and wording are contemporary as 38 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or hand-made. The words to be highlighted in bold or in a larger size should be clearly worked out. zari thread. if they are living. You can choose more than one colour so that you have one colour for close family. The colours used in traditional cards are red. Use beads. the bride and groom directly invite the guests. or ribbons to create your own design on the cards. Alternately. or layer the card. or with a design of your choice. The paper should be decorated. one for extended family and other relatives. Alternately you could affix a small charm. shiny or textured. All Rights Reserved. and one for your other guests. Om. Sometimes. orange/saffron and gold. or the Kalash.

All the cards should be colour-coded. . While the pre-wedding rituals are different.   The time. All Rights Reserved. You could also mention an alternate route if there is one possible. When working out the budget for the wedding invitations. It can be in the form of a poem. two names and numbers are printed where the guests can give a call. the cards would have the same rituals/ceremonies. or something different that the bride and groom feel is meaningful to them. while the bride’s card would start with the time the baraat is received. you could enclose an RSVP card with a self-addressed stamp affixed to it.  A typical Indian custom is to have “With Best Compliments” and the names of two immediate family members or close relatives mentioned. 39 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and other cards may have details of the other rituals and ceremonies. Clear maps and directions should be given. The budget of your Marriage Card This is an important consideration. the auspicious item you are planning to give along with the card should be factored in. This would vary in the two cards. Postage and self-addressed stamps too need to be included in the calculation. so that.  Instead of waiting for your guests to confirm. the groom’s card would start with the time the baraat leaves.  Another format is to have only the main wedding ceremony on one card. You could mention important landmarks near the wedding venue.well. In case the RSVP is mentioned on the card. Ltd. for the wedding day. all they have to do is to post the card. dates and venues should be clearly mentioned. From then onwards.  The left side of the card has the details of the rituals and ceremonies.

Ltd. There is nothing worse than having too small or too large a venue. The venue should be such that there is enough space for the guests to move about freely and the bride and groom to circulate among the guests. . or even remind the guests about the date. you are not looking at an exact number. The size of the venue and the guest list are directly linked.  The invitations should be planned to be sent out at least six weeks in advance. the bride’s family sends out all the invitations.   For a moderate budget. but it is important to have an idea of how much catering is required.   The parents of the friends of the bride and groom should be invited. This would give enough time to get the confirmations. so both these factors have to be worked on simultaneously. 40 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This would help in planning the reception as well as other meals and snacks.  One family member should be deputed to handle the RSVPs so that he or she knows the numbers. including the guest list given to them by the groom’s family. It would also enable your guests to plan their schedules. then naturally you would like to go for an elaborate card and elaborate detailing as well. and use the money for other wedding expenditure. If money is not a problem. the person in charge of the RSVPs could call and confirm personally. in case hotels and rooms have to be booked and travel arrangements made. All Rights Reserved. simple cards with simple. Naturally.  Further. You can also design simple invitations. Other considerations  In some traditions. if not earlier. elegant designs can be planned on.

 ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR OUTSTATION GUESTS Sending out invitations early. There are quite a few options for guests coming from other places. then arrangements for everyone to stay will have to be made elsewhere. Some may come for a month before the wedding to help out with the arrangements. and a similar arrangement for meals would be made in the home of the groom to cater to his family members who are staying in other places. then it is important to see that they are comfortable. 41 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. Close friends of the bride-to-be and groom generally stay with the family. then hotel accommodation at reduced rates is offered to the guests as part of the wedding package. If your guests are being put up in guest houses. then transport arrangements will need to be made for them to be brought to the ‘wedding home’ or biyahghar every day. All Rights Reserved. All meals would be served at the wedding venue for the guests of the bride’s family. Guest houses are available. This helps in planning where your guests are going to stay. If the guests are staying too far to walk. or there are elderly people in the group. However. . they can be accommodated in the home of the bride-to-be and the groom. preferably close by. especially to those who are in other places. If there is place in the house. ensures that you get confirmations of those who are definitely coming. if there are many people coming in from out of town. If the wedding is to be conducted in a hotel. and have modern facilities and amenities. Sometimes the hotel includes breakfast in the tariff.

then sight-seeing tours could be arranged. and maybe a small hamper of fresh fruits and chocolates on arrival. . 42 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Sometimes. the hotel will gladly put welcoming flowers and a small hamper of fruits in every room the wedding guests occupy. family friends are accommodating and might host a few guests. On request. make sure that there are cabs or other pre-arranged cars waiting for them.  Book enough cars so that there is transport available whenever required. This naturally makes it special for the guests. Ltd. give them a call to personally welcome them. The drivers should be thoroughly briefed about the venue.A wedding in another place is also an excuse for guests to have a little holiday of their own. Giving guests a list of places to see and good restaurants they can try out is a good idea just in case they want to wander around by themselves. so that the guests know who is receiving them. All Rights Reserved. There are a few do’s here:  Request the hotel/guest house to see to it that there are fresh flowers in the room. and they should stand holding placards with the names of the guests.  In the event of your not picking up your guests from their place of arrival.   Once the guests reach the place they are staying. If that is the case.

confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. Ltd. Ancient Greek poet." Homer. 43 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved.On the Wedding Day "There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife. .

. The days on which the post-wedding ceremonies take place. 44 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The occasions that you would need to plan for are:     The sagaai. All Rights Reserved.There are several arrangements that need to be done on the wedding day. The several days over which pre-wedding rituals are held. decorations. For example arrangements for food and beverages. etc. The wedding day.  THE F OOD & B EVERAGES Food is an extremely important part of Indian weddings. Ltd. You may have given orders for them beforehand but these things are organized on the Dday itself.

which is the sagaai. Table décor including centrepieces on the tables and buffet. or the 45 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The areas that would need looking into and which usually fall in the domain of catering are:            Menu planning for all meals and snacks. Buffet arrangement with burners to keep the food hot. Cutlery and crockery.A decision that you will have to make regarding the catering depends on what choice you opt for:   Professional caterers. Ltd. Decoration of the venue. Soft drinks and other beverages. Members of the family.   Hotels/restaurants. The first meal that the two families have together is during the finalizing of the alliance. cooks who are well-versed in the art of non-vegetarian cuisine. Place cards if chosen. Uniformed waiters. All Rights Reserved. . Home cooks or professionals who specialize in vegetarian wedding cuisine or in the case of Muslim weddings. Wedding cake if so decided on. Table linen. Bar.

the biyah-ghar or the homes of the bride and groom start getting guests from about 10 days to a week before the wedding. Sometimes guests. naturally would have all meals with the family. This is an absolute must. with help from cooks and masalchis. The kitchen of the home should also be considered for the purpose. tea and sweets or assorted biscuits and snacks are served. or if the kitchen in the home is big enough.engagement. have all their meals. Usually. All Rights Reserved. Ideally a vegetarian meal is served. Ltd. who decide to stay with the families of the bride and groom. In either case. with the hosts. it can be done here too. it is important to plan it very carefully. starting with the morning tea. who have been put up in guest houses or hotels close by. both the indoor and outdoor kitchens are required. as described above. irrespective of the time. the cooking is done outdoors. In case members of the family are taking over the whole business of cooking. an outdoor oven and cooking marquee is put up where professional cooks with their masalchis (helpers) belonging to the Brahmin class set the kitchen. 46 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Non-vegetarian dishes by professional khansamas(cook) are also cooked in a different part of the marquee since both the cooking utensils and serving dishes have to be kept separate. but in some communities a meal without a non-vegetarian dish is unthinkable. In many traditional homes. Therefore. . Relatives. In any get-together. All guests who drop in are served snacks and made to stay for a meal. This will have to be factored in.

so there has to be specific arrangements and different cooks assigned to this.Since there is such diversity of cuisine. a meal would include:   Drinks – alcoholic. The meals reflect:     The region to which the bride and groom belong. The likes and dislikes of the bride and groom. Snacks. because their food habits are specific and need more care and attention. Keep in mind the requirements of older people and children as well. One universal favourite is chaat. Ltd. menus with different cuisines are planned. and this is a festive time full of fun and good cheer. Even if the family is vegetarian. A variety of appetizers or starters. the guests may not be. If the ceremony stretches for long hours then there should be enough food and drink arrangements to meet the excess requirements. The local cuisine (for variety). . Ideally. and most weddings have a live chaat counter going. Some traditional dishes. and/or non-alcoholic. All Rights Reserved. drinks and beverages are in demand throughout the day. 47 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Consequently there should be some non-vegetarian dishes at every meal.

different types of dals (pulses). All Rights Reserved. but if preferred. different types of rice preparations. 3 or four non-vegetarian dishes. Decide on all the meals that would need catering. Even if china is used for serving meals. Also. Choosing the wedding caterer   Decide on your budget. long trestle tables are set up at the time of the first ceremony. the guests sit on the floor on white sheets.   Paan. and are taken down after the last ceremony is over. Traditional Indian meals are served on banana leaves. A wash basin or some kind of arrangement for washing and wiping hands and rinsing the mouth is a must. it is also wise to plan the meals day by day so that you have an overall picture. The main course which would have at least 5 vegetable dishes (more if it is a purely vegetarian meal). or whether it is to be handled by members of the family in the home kitchen. different kinds of breads and a variety of salads and curd preparations. Ltd. In many cases. or whether this is to be done by other cooks. can be offered. Seasonal fruits and ice creams (including the indigenous kulfi) are part of the dessert too. . Sometimes. At this time. Most Indians eat with their fingers. Serving coffee or tea is not strictly done. the traditional wedding feast is on banana leaves. Maybe 48 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. for this meal. Decide on whether you want the caterer to provide snacks. custom may dictate that there are separate areas for men and women to eat.  A large selection of desserts including typical traditional Indian sweets and general desserts.

Whoever is doing the decorations. Maybe the people who are to decorate the house and wedding mandap can handle this as well. The caterer should be open to your ideas and suggestions with regards to recipes and spices to be used. fruits and non-vegetarian foods are going to be bought. The sooner you book the caterer the better. Ltd.        Though many caterers can be found online. may well be snapped up by someone else. All Rights Reserved.  Checking out various options as regards caterers and their rates needs to be started at least 10 months prior to the wedding. . some of the bride’s family members could be present behind selective food counters.  Matches your theme. It would be easier to negotiate the rates if you do it well in advance. 49 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. check to see that it:  Is homogenous. Find out if they handle venue and table decoration as well. Give the decorations to someone else.  Is aesthetic and elegant.a mixing of options would be needed to help you stay within the budget. and the caterer you would like. If you do not feel convinced. Decide from where the vegetables. Plan out the menus. it would be safer to go by personal recommendation.   As a personal gesture. For the following two reasons:  Weddings happen by seasons. Alternately.  The rates become higher closer to the wedding date. Taste samples of the food so you know what you are going to get. It is also a good idea to plan a buffer in case you exceed the budget. you could get some of your close friends and relatives to handle it. then do not take any chances. The caterer should be able to provide both traditional dishes as well as some dishes from the local cuisine.

Ltd. and the glasses they are to be served in. guests. All Rights Reserved. In a sit-down meal. and children will be moving about. Arrangements will need to be done accordingly.  The caterer should be knowledgeable about cocktails and other liquor that is being served.  Office friends and colleagues. 50 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or a buffet.  The groom’s family. This needs consideration since there are:  The bride’s family. you will naturally need to plan the seating. relatives and guests.  Vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. Allows for space since waiters. .  You would need to decide whether you want a sit-down meal. relatives and guests.

 Sit with the photographer and/or videographer and brief them thoroughly so that those precious moments are recorded according to your wish. Of course guests and close friends will use their own cameras to take photographs of moments that are important. PHOTOGRAPHY AND V IDEOGRAPHY Capturing the wedding on film is a very important task. as well as general pictures of the wedding. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. reception. It is always a better idea to trust the reputation that comes to you by word of mouth. Find a good. . Consulting a professional   Find out how much of the budget should be set aside for this purpose. 51 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and guests. reputed organization that deals exclusively with weddings.

you would have paid for something you are not satisfied with. Therefore. The photographer and/ or videographer should be invited a day before to see the rehearsal. . Remember if the pictures are not clicked at the right time. This has the wonderful effect of creating just the right festive atmosphere. Assign a family member to guide the photographer through all the ceremonies. The first of the pre-wedding functions is the formal engagement ceremony which takes place after the elders of both families have agreed to the match. it would be a tragedy. auspicious dates are fixed for all formal functions. the homes of the bride-to-be and groom are decorated right from this point on. or there are shots that are unnecessary.  A portfolio shoot is a must and make sure that there are only two other people in addition to the bride and the groom for the portfolio shoot. All Rights Reserved. Presence of many people makes the couple conscious. Finalize the details of the deal before the wedding. Ltd. for an Indian wedding is like a festival! 52 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.   For the videos. nor are they going to come again. so that he has an idea about the whole event and what to expect out of it. And worse. The first thing that goes up usually is the decorative lights. because these moments cannot be re-played. List out priority shots for every ceremony. do indicate the preferred choice of music for the background.  DECORATIONS Since all Indian weddings are guided by the stars.

colourful rangolis made with rice powder and other coloured powders are made at the entrance and various other places. Since they are a necessity. 53 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The doorway is also exquisitely decorated with colourful hangings called torans or bandanwaars. some thought has to be given to the kind and quantity of flowers that you would need to order. Things to be considered  The budget – How much you would decide to set aside for flowers. Ltd. the whole yard is decorated with lights as well. marquees or canopies with sides. The house and yard are also enclosed with colourful shamianas. Flowers play an important role in Indian wedding decorations. . Bright. All Rights Reserved. Naturally the one at the entrance is the most elaborate and colourful. While lights drape every bit of at least the façade of the house. colourful decorations are a sign that this is a ‘wedding home’.Bright.

Garlands of jasmines are also given to all the lady guests. That would include shipping charges.  Flowers for the bridal bouquet in Christian weddings have to have a small spray of orange blossoms. no matter what the other flowers used are. Rose petals are always used to bless the bride and groom.  The kind of flowers – If you go in for what is available locally. Also. 54 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. varmala and table centerpieces are amongst the most important areas that require elaborate floral decoration. these would be less expensive than ordering the flowers from another place. flowers have to be included in every rangoli. the buttonhole or boutonnière. It is a single flower or a bud and is usually a white carnation or a rose. doli.     The colours of the flowers must be bright and vibrant. For South Indian weddings. mandap. entryway. . car. One flower that has to be included no matter what the other choices of flowers are. The rose is another flower that is necessary for Indian weddings. sehra. All Rights Reserved. jasmine is a must.  Who will arrange the flowers – Few of the flower arrangements could be taken care of by members of the family. as well as the fact that there may be some damage to the flowers. is the marigold. But in case you are planning for a lot of flower arrangements. Fresh flowers available locally would prevent these problems. While the outline is traced in white or the design is filled in with different colours. for the groom and best man as well as men of the immediate family of both sides has to be planned. Bridal dais. Trivia: the tradition of boutonniere dates back from medieval days when the knights would pin the flowers presented by the damsels to flaunt their love and acceptance.  No wedding venue is complete without the rangoli. then it would be better if you give the responsibility to professional decorators. pillars.

In Indian weddings. so that everyone can see and participate in the ceremony. It is a four-poled canopy. The car. He may even get onto a horse for the last bit of the journey to the bride’s house. the bridegroom along with other family members goes to the bride’s house. Nowadays. Decorating the Mandap The main wedding takes place in a small. Traditionally he is supposed to go on a beautifully decorated horse. . The bridegroom’s house is as elaborately decorated. the wedding ceremony takes place in the bride’s house. Ltd. there are all kinds of ceremonies in both houses both before and after the wedding. sanctified area called the mandap. All Rights Reserved. Furthermore. is decorated. because this is where the bride is going to be brought after the wedding. the bridegroom goes in a car. The poles are elaborately 55 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. After a small ceremony in his house. and is made on a raised platform or stage. therefore.

There are small seats for the pundits as well as for the bride and groom. When the bridegroom comes to the bride’s house. The bride is brought in by her cousins and sisters to garland the groom. He then garlands her and they are taken to the mandap. A small havan is made since the ceremony takes place in the presence of a sacred fire. the whole mandap including the roof is made of flowers. As the latest trend. The two sets of parents also sit in the mandap. The roof in some cases is dome shaped. Of course the more elaborate weddings have intricately created mandaps. . It is also decorated with flowers. Splashes of pink can also be added. the mangalsutra is tied around the bride’s neck. The predominant colours used in the mandap are gold and red. The garlands are masterpieces in themselves. the 56 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Even the simplest of weddings has a mandap. The dais is decorated. The other close family members generally stand around the mandap. he is made to stand on a slightly raised dais for the garlanding ceremony. It is in this mandap that the wedding vows are taken.decorated as is the roof of the mandap. prettily decorated. and the seven pheras (circumnavigations) of the fire are made. All Rights Reserved. Sometimes. Ltd.

women in the groom’s procession are gifted with scented vials and potpourris and the men are gifted with flowers for their button-holes. The kalash is painted with ethnic designs on the outside. Two items which every Indian wedding use as symbols of shagun (auspiciousness) are the Kalash and the thaali. A swastika symbol. Sometimes it is smeared with turmeric paste and a vermilion dot is put on it. . The swastika symbolizes well-being. A plantain leaf is placed on it. is made in the center. Sometimes an incense stick is also placed on the thaali. flowers. the thaali with the ritual fire. Another way of decorating it is to cover the thaali in silver or gold paper and put a zari border around it. It is usually of brass. An aarti is also performed when the bride goes to the groom’s house after the wedding ceremony. Sometimes beautifully painted earthen pots are used. though silver can be used as well. The kalash pots can be placed individually. A small decorative lit diya is placed in the middle of this sign. or one on top of the other in order of decreasing size. It is a big thaali made of brass or silver. The coconut which is placed on top can be kept in its natural form. To make the thaali more decorative. The kalash is a pot in which a coconut is placed. auspicious red vermilion powder and rice grains are kept handy. or decorated. Ltd. all the items on the thaali can be placed in small colourful clay containers. 57 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Since the welcome ceremony of the groom requires an aarti. sandalwood paste. turmeric paste. All Rights Reserved. The ceremonial thaali too is decorated beautifully. It is ringed with washed fresh mango leaves.

the music of the shehnai or the nadaswaram is considered auspicious. All Rights Reserved. Whatever the theme of the wedding is. No-matter what other music is chosen. the musicians then move to the wedding mandap area. or a dais which is decorated. Their swinging gently on this swing together signifies that while life together is bound to have its ups and downs.In case a particular wedding ceremony has some other requirements. This would definitely add to the ambience. For instance. Ltd. especially if it is cold. Consequently a swing is decorated and kept in a suitable place. 58 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Sometimes there is a small area on top of or near the gate from where the musicians play as the bridegroom enters the gate. both of them will weather everything together. and there are certain times in the course of the ceremony where they are required to be played. . or house can be created near the wedding mandap. these have to be arranged for and put up well in advance. This place can be a mandap. a small canopy is put up so that the instruments and the musicians are not only protected from the weather. then the musician’s mandap can resemble a mud hut with beautiful designs on the walls with mirror work and motifs. After the welcome. Wherever the musicians are to sit. Often traditional instruments such as the shehnai or nadaswaram are played accompanied by percussion instruments like the tabla or thavil. thick mattresses covered with white cloth are arranged on a dais. the Tamil wedding ceremony has a special occasion when the bride and groom have to sit on a swing. In most venues there is a separate place ear-marked for the musicians. Sometimes. a separate mandap in the form of a temple. If the theme is ethnic. In this case. the place assigned to the musicians has to be done up to match. but the arrangement looks attractive. for the musicians.

then the floor of the whole room has thick mattresses covered with brocade cloth. If the bride has chosen to offer favours to all the guests. The vestry where the bride and groom go to sign the marriage register after the ceremony is also decorated in white. One very important feature of an Indian wedding is the nonstop eating and drinking that happens. soft lighting adds to the atmosphere. Sometimes there are festoons below the ceiling to create a second ceiling. the Church is decorated with white flowers. Lighting is important. the room where the bride and groom sit is always beautifully done up and decorated. Whatever the arrangement. then the maharajah chairs are placed in the room. Chairs are placed for the family members as well. church door and entrance are decorated. either the bride and groom are in different rooms and the Maulvi goes to them separately to ask for their consent. since they actively participate in the nikaah. The traditional Indian wedding is a long drawn out affair. Consequently there has to be a dining area or dining shamiana (tent) close to 59 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. If they choose to sit on the floor. The altar is specially decorated with flowers and candles. This is the most important day of one’s life and needs to be photographically recorded in detail. . so the lighting should be such that these turn out realistic and beautiful. the room is divided by a kind of decorative partition. For a nikaah ceremony. then a table near the entry holds the favours and these are given to all the guests after the ceremony is over and the guests are leaving the church. Good. The pews. if they choose to sit on chairs. Sometimes.Forms of decoration according to the wedding type For a church wedding. or they may sit in the same room. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. aisle. no matter what kind of wedding ceremony it is. Videos and photographs are taken. Alternately. The pews are also decorated. Gossamer and organza can also be used as decorating material along with flowing satin ribbons.

Ltd. they are a part of the wedding. This dining area can be done up attractively with long trestle tables and chairs. Since there are bound to be both non-vegetarian and vegetarian guests. Thus. the two buffets can be placed separately. The chairs too can have their backs and seats covered so as to look festive. Incense stick which forms an important part of Indian celebrations is lit so that the whole atmosphere is redolent with the smell of sandalwood/jasmine/frank incense. There are flower arrangements all around.where the cooks are cooking. This kind of large-scale cooking is usually done outdoors in a makeshift kitchen which is enclosed in a colourful shamiana. the choice of the priest is very important. Therefore. All Rights Reserved. Often during the ceremony. where people of several religions and castes stay together with peace. People also opt in 60 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. There are caterers with their own cooks and bearers/waiters who take over. The buffet is attractively and conveniently located and arranged. and yet doing their own socializing!  CHOOSING THE M ARRIAGE OFFICIANT Rituals play a very significant part during an Indian wedding. . India is a land of diversity. All tables are covered with table cloths and runners with a centrepiece of flowers or fruits. or sets of small tables to seat four. a group of people might want to sit and chat over a cup of tea.

Ltd. and at the same time see that the necessary customs are observed. Able to explain the meanings of the various rituals. . Able to explain the meanings of the chants/prayers so that the bride and groom understand what is happening. In fact he should be able to adapt the rituals to the conditions prevailing. so that participation of all concerned is whole-hearted. constraints and apprehensions of the families so that there is no jarring note on this happy occasion.for inter-caste /inter-religion /inter. Prerequisite of a good marriage priest  He should be knowledgeable about:     The Vedic texts and mantras that are related to marriage.region marriages. or have an assistant who knows English.  Able to create a meaningful ceremony when the bride and groom belong to different castes so that none of the elders are offended. and who can do the explaining. 61 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  Involved in the whole process right from the time the commitments are made by the two families. All Rights Reserved. So the officiant or the priest for the purpose of marriage should be selected with great care.  Understand the restraints.  Able to explain the meanings of the ceremonies in English. in case one of the parties is a foreigner. All the legal procedures that are involved in the marriage.

no human being must separate. All Rights Reserved.” The Bible 62 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. . Therefore what God has fixed together.Post Wedding Events “So they are no longer two but one flesh.

just the close family members and friends would go for a meal to the newlyweds’ favourite place. the family would host a small get-together with food and drink at home.  THE WEDDING R ECEPTION The Wedding Reception is a very big event. All Rights Reserved. or recommended by a reliable person. In this case. . For the couple. In case entertainment is planned or there is to be a dance. then the music or live band is booked accordingly. Often. The reception is usually worked around a meal. Ltd. or on the same day. If you are planning on an intimate wedding. the catering is generally given to a catering agency either known to the family. the venue can either be the home or some other suitable place. This is done in consultation with the family. it might be a good idea to have a Master of Ceremonies who can 63 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. There may be multiple tiered wedding cake. Even if the wedding is a traditional one. There are wedding reception halls available in 5-star hotels. In this instance. now is the time to be comfortable and enjoy the rest of the events with relief.Most of the Indian traditional weddings last for more than a week. You have much more to expect. Alternately. or one can also arrange the reception in a privately-run reception hall. as well as that of the guests. Here again. There are still lot of rituals and post – wedding ceremonies that are carried out. then the reception that you would plan would naturally be in accordance with it. It can be a day or two after the wedding. even if the main event is over. depending on the convenience of the newly-weds. the decoration of the hall is the caterers’ responsibility along with the menu. The date for the reception may vary.

All Rights Reserved. Things that needs to be considered       Use fabric banners in bright colours draped on the walls and below the ceiling. Make someone in-charge of receiving and recording gifts unless it is specified that gifts are not to be given. Ensure that there are sufficient parking spaces for the vehicles. the new entrant to their family and home. The wedding reception is usually hosted by the groom’s family as a mark of welcoming the bride. The light from colorful aromatic candles floating in bowls filled with water creates a warm ambience. whereas the post wedding reception is the responsibility of the groom’s side. 64 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Table runners can be elaborate with candles and flowers on them. care has to be taken to make all the bookings in advance. . Since in India weddings are in definite seasons. According to Indian tradition the engagement and the wedding ceremony is organized and arranged by the bride’s family.hold the whole entertainment together. Ltd. Chairs covered with single color linen and sashes of contrasting colors tied around them look very attractive.

If a hall is chosen for the reception. are placed on this. again beautifully decorated. Adorning the Reception area    One large shamiana or marquee. Naturally. lots of tulle and organza and special lighting. At one end is a special canopy with a dais. This is highly decorated and a Maharajah sofa or two Maharajah chairs. specially created for the occasion. and the way the bar is set up should match the décor chosen. If the home of the groom is large enough to host the reception. then there could be waiters circulating the drinks. or a bar could be set up in an especially ear-marked place. 65 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . All Rights Reserved.Wedding receptions can be planned outdoors if the weather is favorable. There are lots of flowers. Ltd. then there’s nothing like it. the reception could be held there. There is something very festive about an outdoor reception. A great deal of red and gold are also used. The sofa and special chairs can be hired. then a stage is set up (unless there is already one) with an elaborate backdrop. if the reception venue that has been chosen has a lawn or garden. If a bar is being planned. the way the food is served also adds to the whole effect. the way the waiters are dressed. A side covering with a dome frame covered with flowers. Alternately. This dais can be used for certain pre-wedding rituals as well as for the reception when the bride and groom receive guests. or decorative tinsel and flower streamers from a central pole covering the entire area. Here again. Small canopies over tables for four people. These are decorated with beaten silver or aluminum and have red upholstery.

All Rights Reserved. Consequently. Flowers. 66 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The food and beverages. Candles in elaborate candelabra. there are two main factors that need to be considered:   The décor. Martini bowls with floating candles. you will have to decide what percentage of the budget set aside for the reception is to be used for each of these. . and draped chairs with muted lighting create a wonderful ambience. table cloths. when you are planning the reception.Therefore. Some tips are:    Strings of miniature lights draped all over the room with a few well-concealed soft lights. Ltd. One plan could be to have simple but elegant décor and a good table. candles.

A.” A. Milne (1882-1956). Seasonal and local flowers. “If you live to be a hundred. you can polish it and refine it. . English author Things to remember if you are the chosen speaker  Write down what you would like to say. elaborately worked. All Rights Reserved.    Lace over-cloth on the table cloths.  Bowls of flowers and fruits on the buffet table or side tables. Good crockery and cutlery. 67 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. a toast is proposed by the groom’s Best Man or the bride’s Maid of honour.  THE WEDDING TOAST During most of the receptions. I want to live to be a hundred minus one day. you could even think of silver cutlery and bone china crockery. Plain table cloths with bright. zari table runners. Once you have the basic gist of what you want to say. Ltd. or a close friend of the bride and groom. If it is a small gathering. so I never have to live without you.

in such a case the amount should be mentioned against the name. You could mention an anecdote connected with the bride and groom. Ask everyone to lift their glass and say: “To ______ (name of the bride). Talk about some positive quality about the bride and groom. End with best wishes for a long.  You could also include a quotation if you like. and mention your connection with the bride and groom. 68 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Once the newlyweds come back after their honeymoon and get down to settling in their new home. . Say how touching the wedding ceremony was. and _______(name of the groom). Thank the hosts. Sometimes. thank you cards must be sent out. or some memory you have of both of them.  GIFTS AND FAVOURS The person who is in charge of handling the guest list should be deputed to look after the gifts as well. Further when making the toast        Introduce yourself right at the beginning. Ltd. happy and prosperous married life. All Rights Reserved. cash is given. Compliment the bride.

Details of those who is gifted what is decided in advance. but the person organizing the party can hint at the gifts the bride would like.  Gifts given to the bride and groom at their bachelor/bachelorette parties. This can take the form of a brass/silver/ thaali on which certain auspicious items are placed. or some hand-crafted article that has been specially made for the family to be given on this occasion. for instance. For instance.  Gifts exchanged by the two families during certain rituals and ceremonies. This helps in keeping the budget within bounds 69 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. jewellery. gifts given by them can be fun gifts. The kind of gift and the cost of it depend on how close the relationship is. All Rights Reserved. or. Since this is a party for close friends. a well-phrased sentence is inserted in the wedding invitation.There are different categories of gifts  Gifts that are given by the parents to the guests. Though it is not very common. at the time of the milni. in Punjabi weddings. Ltd. it can be something specific to the wedding theme. or decide on. a dinner set or bedroom linen and all the invitees would get to contribute to some part of that. all the male relatives from the groom’s side are given gifts by the male members from the bride’s side. or cash when given to the bride/groom Gifts given to immediate family members would be clothes or cash. It is important therefore to decide on these gifts early on and get them so that there is no last minute crisis and you don’t end up paying more than what you intended or what your budget allows for. and give them the invitation card. Sometimes. . or something for their future home. In this case. This is done when the parents personally visit the guests to invite them.  Wedding gifts to the bride and groom. These generally take the form of clothes. the bride and groom may decide against gifts.

do not be either extravagant or frugal. The good thing about Indian handicrafts is that you can get something unique for every budget. Ltd. This could be in the form of boxes of sweets. 70 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Shagun or return gifts or favours are given to relatives and close friends as a gesture of appreciation for having attended the wedding. specially ordered for the occasion. and the cost would be less when ordered in bulk. or the same one for everyone. These would be personal. All Rights Reserved. Souvenirs. In this case the store is instructed to wrap the boxes with special wrapping given to them or ordered by the family. You could decide on different favours.    Whatever you give your guests should make them feel special. if you are designing them would need to be ordered in advance. . Tips for wedding favours or shagun  When you set aside money for these.

Candles in hand-crafted candle holders. These are available in a large variety. 71 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. These are made of copper and brass. The container could be made of wicker or beaten silver/foil. bowls. The motifs are from Hindu mythology. They are encrusted in silver. or you could order your own design as well. Aroma candles are also available in all shapes. Silk shawls and stoles. silver. All Rights Reserved. A set of diyas. Kashmiri craft. Alternately you can order the kinds of dry fruits you would like included. Copper. Silver coins engraved with Ganesh and Laxmi. then you can have different kinds for different sets of guests. Thanjavur (Tanjore) plates. You get all kinds of diyas from pottery to ceramic and most gorgeously painted and embellished. and Laxmi. Traditional Indian batik art and craft work. or brass pooja thaali. . These are available as readymade gift items. Wall hangings. napkin rings.      Statues or small idols of Ganesh. Woodcraft. and copper designed wall plates. and great range of price and colour.   Magnets or magnet frames with pictures of the bride and groom. Indian miniature paintings. sizes and aromas. Ltd. jewel boxes. Dry fruit box. Brass.Some ideas for gifts          Ornamental serving trays. Should you decide on this.

 Shagun or favours can be ordered. If possible. However. Use your creativity to make favours with them.  Chocolates in personalized wrappers with the wedding monogram or the initials of the bride and the groom. 72 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. small cards made with handmade paper can be affixed with the names of the person you are giving the gift to. Remember this is a personal acknowledgement of the guest/relative/close friend. Anything done in a hurry or in a slipshod manner is only going to create an inauspicious vibe towards the bride and groom. Consequently a lot of thought has to go into it. designs and lengths. Giving something traditional and indigenous to the place of the wedding would be special.  Every State in India is known for its own indigenous craft. Cotton stoles in different colours with a thin border of zari can be considered. A specially designed hamper containing lots of different stuff. . or bought online too from stores which specialize in them. It is always a good idea to gift the favors to the outstation guests a few hours before the wedding. for a traditional wedding.  All these gifts would have either an engraving of your initials or a card with your photographs on it. All Rights Reserved. Ltd. this is so because many guests schedule their departure within hours after the wedding or the reception is concluded. it is the members of the family who personally look into this. Handloom weaves are gorgeous and are available in different colours.

Ltd. the wishes of the newly-weds as to the destination are respected. the newly-weds might want to gift this to themselves. All Rights Reserved. 73 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. whether the couple knew each other before the wedding. This is the time when the newly-weds lay the first foundation stones of their life together. . Whether the marriage has been a love marriage. it is time for the young couple to go away for a few days. always with the same person. “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times. THE H ONEYMOON Wedding over. The honeymoon is planned either by the parents or the newly-weds. A honeymoon is very important for the newly-weds. Hotel bookings and reservations should be confirmed. On the other hand. Ensure that all travel arrangements are in place. it is good for them to go somewhere beautiful and where they can be alone. American journalist and author.” Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983). Facts to be taken into account      For how many days are you are planning your honeymoon? What kind of budget are you setting? Plan well in advance so that there are no glitches. or an arranged one. Naturally if it is planned by the parents. or they are strangers.

it would be advisable to go over all the arrangements with them instead of leaving things entirely to in their hands. then that would be accounted for in the wedding planning details and the budgeting 74 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . If the couple is going abroad. the advantage of planning in advance is that any last minute changes/difficulties can be absorbed. the couple has another destination in mind.   Choose a destination where the couple is not viewed as tourist targets. Ltd. and adjustments made. If online bookings are being made. Honeymoon destinations – If the wedding is in a place where it would be possible for the couple to stay on for their honeymoon. after the wedding. leaving the newlyweds to stay on. Consequently. Whether you are planning an off-the-beaten-track destination. If however. ensure that you take printouts of all the documents. then there is nothing like it. then all the necessary documentation should be done. In case the honeymoon package is being planned by a travel agent. All Rights Reserved. foreign exchange and other details cleared. Special arrangements will have to be made in this case as well. or a typical honeymoon destination. Carry least possible luggage. everyone would come away. visas obtained and travel documents. tickets etc.

or whoever is planning out the honeymoon study the itinerary and hotel detail including meals etc so that the couple can enjoy a relaxing. Some choice of honeymoon destinations in India       Kashmir Himachal Pradesh Rajasthan Kerala The Lakshadweep Islands The Andamans       The Kumaon hills Darjeeling Ladakh Goa Ootacamund Any of the wildlife sanctuaries Some travel agents offer honeymoon tours in     The South criss-crossing the states of Kerala. All Rights Reserved. The North-East. So. you could try out one of the packages offered by a reputed travel agent. The North. It is imperative that the bride and groom. mainly in Rajasthan or the hills. Ltd. 75 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Gangtok and the surrounding hills.Hotels and travel agents offer ready-made honeymoon packages. Tamil Nadu. Karnataka and Andhra. . if you are not sure of planning your honeymoon tour on your own. stress-free honeymoon.

These range from 6 days and 5 nights. In which case. All Rights Reserved. or arrangements going awry. it would be a good idea to see that all the travel documents are in order before the wedding. to 1seven days and 16 nights stay. . It would also be a good idea to plan everything beforehand so that there is no last minute rush. You might plan a honeymoon abroad. 76 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or change of plans. Ltd.

we will create abundance and joy for each other. . And then this moment will have been worthwhile. each bride wants to look like a princess and each groom wants to look the best. Deepak Chopra. Indian spiritual guru.” 77 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. lightheartedness.Deciding on Apparel and Accessories During the wedding. and love. All Rights Reserved. Ltd. “If we share with caring. So here are few suggestions about deciding upon the apparel and accessories that would help you to choose your dress for your most special day.

sangeet. THE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM Deciding on the wedding dress is an event in itself. Pared down. baraat. . in a traditional Indian wedding there are other functions as well such as the mehendi. for the reception. 78 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. or the bride’s family is asked by the groom’s family to decide on what the bride is to wear. or for the reception. In some cases. There is:  The sari (both 6-yards and 9-yards). The Bride’s attire There is a wide range to choose from for wedding wear for a traditional Indian wedding. Here too. In a Church wedding. green is the auspicious colour. Ltd. Traditional auspicious wedding colours are red and gold. the bride’s colours are white/ivory and gold. and the bride’s family would bear that expense. They then bear the expense of this particular dress. reception. However. The wedding wear gifted by the groom’s family to the bride is worn either at the wedding for some particular ceremony. vidaai. and grihapravesh or entrance into the groom’s home. the groom could be asked to choose what he would like. Depending on the various customary traditions the wedding dress is either gifted by the bridegroom’s family to the bride. However. The bride’s family too gifts one wedding outfit to the groom. the bride would wear something in red. there are two main ceremonies: the engagement ceremony and the wedding.

 The lehenga which is a long skirt with a matching blouse or choli and a dupatta.  Full-length gowns . as well as for the pheras when the end of the scarf has to be tied to the end of the groom’s dupatta. While there are different size of bands of zari on the dhoti. Ltd. The dhoti-blouse-kavani for Kerala weddings.Here again another matching but not as elaborately worked dupatta can be used for the pheras and other rituals.Christian brides might opt for this. All Rights Reserved.   The gharara/sharara-dupatta. the kavani might be embroidered as well. if required. All kinds of patterns are available. . The dress comes with a veil which can be either short or long depending on the style of the dress. A second matching scarf can be used for ceremonies where the scarf has to be put over the heads of the bride and groom.  The shalwar-kurta-dupatta . 79 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and an extra matching dupatta for the pheras. blouse and kavani.

The bride may choose to wear her mother’s wedding sari.  There is no one particular shade of red. the bride might choose to wear platinum. and gold/silver thread embroidery. Valkalam. Crepe. and work out the matching accessories. Chanderi. rings on her fingers and toes.  The wedding dress is embellished with zari. All Rights Reserved. Shamoi-satin. Mysore. Nowadays. . brocade is used as well. In Maharashtra.    Indian brides wear a nose ring . Kosa. The Bengali bride has to wear a loha or iron bangle along with special bangles made from conch shell (shankha) and lacquer (pola). white gold. Brocade. the bride might want to design her outfit herself. and earrings.  The material is silk – Benarsi. If custom requires. so the bride wears a green sari with traditional zari work on the sari in gold and silver threads. Tussar. Tissue. The traditional chuda (red and ivory bangles) is a must in some communities. then the bride’s forehead is decorated with delicate designs made with sandalwood paste. green is considered auspicious. or even silver jewellery. Many designers have a wedding section. It depends on the region the family belongs to. Ikat. Crystals. chains. they are works of art. Glass bangles are also in fashion. or zardosiwork. so that is an option you could look into. sequins.  The Indian bride wears quite a lot of gold as well – Bangles. The bride might have to wear armlets and a waistband if custom so dictates. Chiffon. necklaces. Or else. Ltd. Kota. anklets. Bandhini. the bride may choose the shade that suits her. or Kanjeevaram. Sometimes. 80 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Sometimes a dash of pink makes the wedding attire even more glamorous. Fench lace. Bandhej. and lace are also used.Whatever dresses the bride chooses.    The shade of white ranges from pure white to cream to ivory for the dress with matching veil. or Paithani.

he will usually change into a suit for the reception. Sometimes blue or green are also worn at the reception. Ltd. For the reception – Saris. ghagra-cholis in tissue. has the most elaborate dressing. The Groom’s attire The Indian bridegroom wears either traditional ethnic wear or the western suit.   All brides wear flowers in their hair. Some options are: 81 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. burgundy. Hair ornaments ranging from the mang and borla which is pinned in the parting. If the groom chooses Indian wear for his wedding. to very elaborate ornaments are worn on the sides of the head. Jewellery stores have a wedding section.  For the mehendi – Sari in Benarsi or Kanjeevaram silk with traditional motifs. The jewellery worn is usually traditional. lehengas. All Rights Reserved. The colours to choose from are maroon. or pink.   The wedding. Try the sorbet colours like mango. Some weaves and colours that are commonly chosen are:  For the sangeet – Lachcha in tissue and zardosi. bags/clutches for each outfit for each occasion are also worked out. of course. The colours are usually pastel. peach or pista. Matching sandals. There is a wide range of ethnic wear to choose from. wine red. so that too needs to be planned for. Nowadays. and are quite amenable to creating something original just for you. The colours chosen are usually wine or ochre. . the wedding attire is usually a mix of the Western and Indian. and woven into the hairdo. organza or silk with embroidery or zardosi work. shoes.

This is a knee-length coat with a lining. While the traditional colour is cream. The achkan is worn over a long shirt. grooms go in for dark colours as well.Instead of the churidar. though.This is usually in pink. The dhoti is tied in different ways depending on the community the groom belongs to. and is narrow at the feet. the achkan has rather heavy zari work on it.  South Indian weddings require that the groom be bare-chested for the ceremony. The sherwani is heavily embroidered with zari.  The churidar . made of light material and is usually cream. 82 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .  The turban or safa . Turbans are made of fine cotton. Nowadays. All Rights Reserved.This is a long coat with a mandarin collar. Refrain from Achakan if height is a constraint  The sherwani . It is made of lightweight material. he has a sehra or a veil or flowers covering his face. Dark or cream.This is a long shirt coming down to the knees.  The shalwar . Groom’s Safa is ornamented and remarkedly different from that of the other baraatis. has a drawstring waistband. It does not have a lining. and is usually either white or cream. Ltd. The achkan . In that case he wears a silk dhoti with zari. is wide at the top. the groom might want to wear the loose flowing shalwar with his kurta or achkan. It is made from suit material. The colour is cream or white. It is heavily embroidered and is in cream or a dark colour. it can be of a dark colour. The dhoti is usually white or cream.These are tight-fitting trousers with gathers near the foot. This is made of lightweight material.  Some communities have the groom dressed in silk dhotis with a broad zari border. Over this. and a silk kurta with gold buttons.  The kurta . stones and Swarovski crystals.

Ltd. In case the bridegroom is in dhoti. he would wear the appropriate shoes.This is an East-West combination. but with a mandarin collar. or brocade. The footwear that goes with ethnic wear is heavily embroidered juttis (shoe) or mojaris. then he would wear open sandals. The groom might choose to wear Western clothes. in that case he can go for a 3-piece or even 2-piece suit. This is in suit material and is usually of a dark colour. The trousers are the normal suit trousers. The fabric is silk. The jacket is the normal jacket length. 83 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. terry wool.  The bandh-gala suit . . both for the wedding as well as the reception purpose. With western wear.

The two most important things are the bride’s and groom’s feelings. especially since so many kinds of dress are needed for the different ceremonies and rituals. wishes and desires. everything depends on the family. Guests’ attire The colour of the attire that the lady guests wear. Therefore. All Rights Reserved. It must be mentioned that while the wedding attire is very personal and makes for family heirlooms. Once again. if there is a theme. one has to keep aside ample amount of time for stitching and fittings While many sites offer online purchase of bridal wear and groom’s wear. Even if one goes to a wedding boutique. is specified in the invitation.All wedding dresses take a long time to make if they are being made to order. If a tailor is making your wedding wear. it would be a good idea to get them in advance and get the last minute adjustments done by a local tailor. After the ceremony. . and the budget. it would be good to remember that in India. Gentlemen are usually dressed in dark colours if they wear suits. they are returned. and have them cleaned and made ready to wear. This is one day when clothes have to fit perfectly. wedding attire for the bride and groom can be hired for the day. then fittings would need to be scheduled in to avoid any last minute glitches. While these are ideal arrangements. weddings usually happen in definite seasons. a point to keep in mind is the fit. Ltd. The families could get these well in advance. Consequently last minute decisions are to be totally avoided if one is to have a stress-free wedding. This would considerably decrease the expense on attire. Shades of the colour could be chosen. If they decide on Indian 84 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.

wear. All Rights Reserved. having a trousseau makes it a little easier for the bride… Along with different outfits in different materials for the first few days. Clothes that are packed can include trousers and matching shirts/kurtis if you like western wear. she might feel inhibited about asking for what she needs. The reason a bride is given a trousseau is because the first few days at in-laws place are the most challenging for her. matching accessories are included. . Otherwise the trousseau will 85 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. with white/cream churidars. embroidered kurtas or sherwan is in cream or dark colours. Male guests may have to wear a safa (turban) if custom dictates. then they would wear colourful. Even if the newly-weds are leaving for their own new home immediately after the wedding.  THE BRIDE’S T ROUSSEAU Planning the trousseau is what takes a lot of time and energy. Ltd. or bandh-gala (closed neck) suits in dark colours. Since she is going to a new home. All women wear flowers at the wedding. It is best to send her to her new home prepared.

Different kinds of jewellery. saris. and all kinds of bath linen. quilts. This includes bed sheets. An Indian bride is always given a box of linen as part of her trousseau. Some clothes for ordinary home wear are also packed. counterpanes. table cloths. as her in-laws welcome her and introduce her to their family and social circle. “Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking. nightwear and lingerie form an important part of her trousseau. lehengas. The Ultimate addition to her Hope Chest is her trousseau. The bride may also take some family heirlooms to her new home. It is filled until the day the daughter gets married.have the usual embroidered and embellished shalwar-kurta sets. pillow cases. Ltd. table mats. Toiletries. These things play a significant role in knitting the generations together Some families have the tradition of starting a Hope Chest when their daughter is born. cushion covers. Through the years. this chest is filled up with something or the other that their daughter would need to start a family. in both bright and pastel shades for morning and evening wear. The bride will have to be a part of many gatherings from dinners to teas. The vanity box contains all the cosmetics the new bride may need initially. . bags are included. All Rights Reserved. blankets.” Chinese Proverb 86 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. as well as a whole range of shoes/sandals. curtains.

” Hindu Marriage Poem 87 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. unite. Ltd.Music and Entertainment “Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning. . You are thought and I am sound.

In the recent past. 88 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The fun of music and entertainment begins about a week before the actual ceremony. these parties have become more creative and meaningful and are mostly meant for the joy and camaraderie rather than only drinking and sensual pleasure. As we know. with lots of drinking. music and entertainment play a very important part.  BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE PARTIES The bachelor or the bachelorette parties. than a hung-over one…or worse. Flair of parties and outings are organized to enjoy the happiest moments in the life of a couple. A kind of ‘the last time to let yourself go before you bite the dust’! It is always a good idea to plan these bachelor parties at least a week before the Big Day. . then a small gathering of friends in a pub. a few rounds of drinks. a damaged one… If the groom is not the socializing kind. This is usually a time for all-male talk and jokes. and music will do the trick. in India. fireworks and gaiety. Different occasions and customs are a part of Indian weddings. mark the period of transition from singlehood and independent lifestyle to a completely committed married life. Bachelor party for the groom A bachelor party for the groom is thrown by the best man/dearest friend/inner circle of friends. Having a stag party the night before a wedding just may not work out well for the groom. or someone’s house.During Indian weddings. Ltd. dancing. food. Better to have a fresh groom. All Rights Reserved. marriage is celebrated like a festival.

first you could take the groom. It is also known as the bridal shower. and then from there take him to the planned venue. close friends decide on a surprise party. Ltd. This can work out well if well-planned. or common friends of the groom and bride may be invited.   Close relatives of the bride. A few guidelines are:    Have only close. Make it clear that friends of friends are not welcome. 89 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Sometimes. In fact. the night of the party. This is called a hen or bachelorette or stagette or kitchen tea party. or meet up with the groom in the usual place where you all hang out. All Rights Reserved. Consequently drawing up the list of invitees and sending out the invitations is of paramount importance. trusted friends. Bachelorette party for the bride A girls’ night for the bride-to-be. A thumb rule is that whatever is planned should be in good taste. if a ‘do’ is being thought of. and not a general bash for everyone. then planning and organizing it is important – right down to the last detail. In India. Uninvited guests from the same workplace might make it embarrassing for the groom at best and messy at worst. is organized by her close friends. Also. just so that there are no embarrassments for the groom. it is about the groom. Naturally. Don’t invite the groom’s workmates unless you are prepared to invite them all. . the groom would not know about it till he gets to the venue.However. it would be the close female relatives who organize this.

The bride-to-be. The size of the hen party depends on the bride-to-be’s preferences. . some older ladies will have to be roped in to help organize this event. Alternately. and sangeet. Another form of party which is of late gaining popularity is at a spa or resort. Since these are very elaborate. All Rights Reserved. or in a close friend’s house. or haldi-mehendi ceremony. Gifts for the new home might also be given at this party. The mehendi ceremony.The bachelorette parties are usually organized in the bride’s home. in which case it would be organized in a hotel. If the budget permits. then a flower-seller could also be called who would make gajras (garlands) for all the women. gajras are bought and given to each lady. A surprise party could also be planned for the bride-to-be. of course. where the bride-to-be goes with a few of her intimate friends for a pampering-indulgent weekend. The girls might want to have a bash. There would be a lot of food. has a lot of gajras woven into her hair. Ltd. music and dancing. 90 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. though will definitely take place in the bride’s house. and the married women tease and provoke the bride-to-be.

they should be chosen and given fair notice so that they come prepared. Whether it is a bachelor party or a bachelorette party. After all. 91 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. Therefore. so that thank-you notes can be sent after the wedding. .A few tips:     Plan this a few days before the wedding. Make sure everything is well organized. and everything should be elegantly done. Since there are professional henna artists available. then someone should make a record. so a dholak (double-sided drum) should be available. the groom’s and bride-to-be’s wishes should be respected. it is a part of the wedding memories! There are event management companies that you could work with to plan your friend’s bachelor or bachelorette party.  The songs are usually traditional. which could be considered. a theme which could be worked around the traditional would be great! Traditionally these bachelor and the bachelorette parties are sponsored by the friends of the bride and the groom. If gifts are given. since the traditional parties have their own special charm. the budget for these parties is not included in the wedding budget. However. These companies have theme nights on offer. Ltd.

Bollywood has played its part in this. To a certain extent. THE M EHENDI Music and entertainment are an inherent part of an Indian wedding. everyone at the ceremony gets the mehendi done on their palms. Or. These can be put into the playlist in an iPod. the bride can either select the songs herself. 92 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Professional mehendiwalis are called in. A dholak is a must because folk songs are also sung. Ltd. . and played at the time of the mehendi. Organizing the event A DJ can be arranged who will take care of the music. Starting with the mehendi celebration the fun begins. Sometimes a bangle seller is also called in so that everyone can choose glass bangles to wear. All Rights Reserved. While the bride has a very elaborate and intricate design made on her arms right up to her finger tips. or a disc can be burned. Bollywood movies also have a great selection of songs that can be used at this time. or her friends can do the selection along with her. Either the older ladies in the family who know the songs can sing these or a professional group can be hired for the occasion.

 THE BARAAT The baraat. THE S ANGEET The Sangeet is another festive occasion. . performances are often staged on these songs. is when the bridegroom and his family come to the bride’s house (or marriage venue) for the wedding ceremony. This is a slow procession bringing the groom. The families of both the side come together and enjoy this event with songs and dance. it is best to go traditional with music from the shehnais. There’s lots of music at this ceremony. For the wedding ceremony. or a special dance. This ceremony is specially performed at the bride’s place. All Rights Reserved. nadaswarams. The sangeet ceremony is performed after the mehendi. The dhol and dholak are favourite instruments at this occasion.     Professional performers can be hired for the evening.  You can have a theme for the sangeet. 93 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. There are traditional songs that are sung at this occasion. Bollywood has a plethora of song for every ceremony related to the wedding. or some particular item featuring the bride and groom. Ltd. santoor or even the flute. Special Features of Sangeet  You can get family members and friends to put up a skit. Certain dances such as the garba. Songs can be used to portray different anecdotes from the life of the bride and the groom or their courtship period. bhangra are done at this ceremony. dandiya.

Ltd. it is traditional music that is used: the Bridal Chorus is played when the bride enters the church. Sometimes as they reach the home. Other music includes hymns or anthems that are special for the bride and groom. The Church Choir can sing a special song. especially as the baraat nears the marriage venue. and appropriate to the ceremony. In various cultures. hence the commentary. at the Church. This is the moment everyone is waiting for in the bride’s house. the bride may choose to have the mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. While the Christian wedding does not have the baraat. it is considered ominous for the bride to watch the baraat of the groom. the groom’s parents join in the dance. or a close family friend can sing a special solo. 94 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . which belts out filmy numbers. while a group of groom’s friends and family members dance. Moreover. All Rights Reserved.Excitement of the event Usually a band is hired. and the Wedding March is played after the wedding ceremony is over and the bride and groom walk through the congregation leaving the church. her friends give her a running commentary on what is happening. and while the bride cannot leave her room. Firecrackers are burst on this occasion. stopping frequently on the way.

in good taste. Subsequently. and the first dance belongs to the bride and groom. there can be soft soothing music played gently in the background. a dance troupe is hired to give a performance. The song played for their dance is their favourite song. a special song can be played if there is a cake-cutting ceremony. The choice of music should be vast and pleasing. Ltd. 95 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. THE RECEPTION The reception is the most important post-wedding event in India. It’s the time when everyone can let their hair down. This is a time when guests generally go to felicitate the bride and groom. Sometimes. either classical dance or something contemporary. Otherwise. . or a professional DJ can be hired for the occasion. and everyone is out to have a good time. All the tension associated with the wedding is over. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment associated with the Reception There may be dancing. One of the family members can take over this duty.

You can have your guests take part in this evening. It is therefore a good idea to plan out something for late night where you can relax. Classical dancers can also be contacted to give performances. Sky lanterns – You can get personalized ones which can be released into the sky at the end of the reception. Each guest is given a candle which they light from the Unity Candle. It can be in the form of a book. Ideally.  A Unity Candle – This is a candle which the bride and groom light together.   A fireworks display to end the night. or get professional entertainers.  In case you are of a classical bent of mind and prefer classical music and dance. arrive. This in itself can be quite taxing. MORE E NTERTAINMENT MANTRA There are various other occasions during an Indian wedding where fun and entertainment play an important part. or games. and make it a family entertainment. you could organize a mehfil or mini concert. symbolizing their witnessing and participation at your wedding. Ltd. there should be a picture of the guest and a line or two from them. you should attend to them.  Guest Book – This can be done in many ways. where you can get professional classical musicians to perform. or a movie can be organized so that they won’t come in every one’s way. If you find out that they have any food preferences. They light up the sky and look wonderful.  Keeping children occupied is necessary and a magician. . All Rights Reserved.  Having qawwalis and sher-shairi evenings is also a popular form of entertainment at this time. you can get your favourite haunt to arrange for these. Breaking the ice and getting to know them is best done over a friendly meal. who you may not have seen for many years. In fact keep a table booked for late night binges and get-togethers. 96 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Since a wedding is also a time when relatives.

unhappy times. get together is ideal. or munching snacks. This is also the time when old sorrows. old disagreements. Ltd. and magicians can entertain the group. At these family gatherings. It can be around a bonfire. space permitting. Rides can be organized too for the children. then one day can be assigned to creating a fair. mime artists. It could be skits. one-act plays. All Rights Reserved. Comedians. swaps anecdotes. and kept occupied leaving their parents time 97 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Caricaturists can give everyone caricatures as a memento of a fun time together! There can be small games organized. having a certain amount of time every day when the whole family. families put up a small stage in their yard where everyone gets a chance to put up some entertainment for the rest of the family. You wouldn’t want your guests to be at a loose end.  If the family is musically inclined. and everyone reminisces. It is the responsibility of the families to create happy and good memories for the guests. jugglers. and generally brings everyone else up-to-date on their lives. only close friends may be included. . choirs. Entertainment plans are made keeping in mind the guests who are coming for the wedding. kids included.  If you enjoy fairs. including ‘Finders Keepers’ where clues are given to find the hidden object. A Karaoke Box can be set up in one side of the reception venue and friends and family members could go and sing a few lines of their favorite songs  Sometimes. but usually after the day’s chores are over. recitations. It is a time of renewal. depending on the age and inclination of the family members. or lounge around aimlessly. Since this is essentially a time for bonding and picking up threads. sing-song evenings can be a perfect time for bonding and catching up. toasting marshmallows. it is family time. There are bound to be lulls during the course of the wedding. shares photographs. and regrets can be buried. It is also the responsibility of the hosts to see to it that the children are looked after. musical performances.

Meals. Thoughtful hosts try to and find out the preferences of the guests.to pick up old threads. so that their favourite foods are included. . One evening can be given to fast food binging! 98 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. must be served on time. especially if it is an outside caterer. All Rights Reserved.

Indian Marriages
Some Fun Facts

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.”
Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd.writer extraordinaire Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Indian All Rights Reserved.

An Indian wedding has several distinct and diversified features which you won’t be able to get anywhere else. There are several norms and rituals which need to be followed religiously. In each of these rituals there is a special place for different members of the family. While some of the rituals are need to be done by the brother, some are done by the sister-in-law, while some other rituals are meant for the maternal uncle. These rituals are meant to involve and unite all the members of the family. These customs add a special charm to these wedding ceremonies and have individual and extraordinary significance associated with them.

Some of the interesting facts about Indian marriages are listed below.  There is a ritual where the sisters-in-law (could include female cousins too), hide the shoes of the new brotherin-law, and demand money for them. It is only when the brother-in-law gives them the money that they return his shoes.  Among the Parsis, the new brother-in-law has to keep his hands in water till he promises to give money to the sisters-in-law.   Sometimes, the sisters-in-law threaten to pour milk on the groom’s shoes unless he gives them money. Another ritual is when seven strands of thread are used to tie the hands of the bride and groom. These threads are removed only when the sisters-in-law are paid off!  A Gujarati custom is when the bride’s mother tries to catch the bridegroom’s nose when he comes with his baraat. This is a reminder that since he is going to take away the daughter of the house, he has to look after and


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cherish her. A Marwari custom requires the groom to sit in his Mother in laws laps and is given gifts upon doing so  A shallow basin is filled with a mix of water and milk, and a ring and some coins are put into this basin. The basin is then placed in front of the bride and groom and they are given seven chances each to fish out the ring. The one who gets the ring first is supposed to be the dominant person in the marriage.  When the groom brings his new bride to his house, his sisters close the door and refuse to open it till he gives them money and gifts.  In some communities, if the bride and groom are holding each other’s right hand for the pheras, a sacred cloth is placed over the hands to ward off the evil eye.  Among the Punjabis, a set of chudas (red and ivory bangles) are given to the bride to wear for the wedding ceremony by the maternal uncle. This is considered a good omen for the bride and is supposed to bring good luck to her in her new home.  Punjabi brides wear kaleeres which are silver or gold plated ornaments tied to the chudas. She is supposed to shake her kaleere over the unmarried girls in the family. The girl on whose head the kaleere falls is the next to get married.  Chero pakaryo – this is a fun custom in Gujarati weddings where the groom has to pull at the sari of his motherin-law as she passes, indicating that he wants more gifts  Aathwas – this is a Kashmiri custom. The couple is required to cross their arms and hold hands. Their hands are covered by a cloth. They are now told to pull off the engagement ring. The one who pulls off the ring first is going to be the head of the family!


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Here are some important points to avoid while the ceremony is on. This is a point to be taken into consideration when planning a honeymoon abroad. All Rights Reserved. The bride should not wear her complete wedding dress before the wedding day. Fridays and Saturdays are not lucky in some communities. Only if there is no other alternative should the marriage be arranged at a time other than the auspicious marriage seasons. Ltd.  The two surnames should not begin with the same letter.  WELL KNOWN SUPERSTITIONS We all become a bit superstitious when it comes to an important event like marriage. There are pundits who will work out alternative spellings. On the second night after the wedding. The number 13 is avoided by all. .   Thursdays. Another Kashmiri custom is that the eldest aunt refuses to let the newly-weds enter their home unless she is given a gift of cash or jewellery. In case there is a rehearsal. she should leave a few stitches undone. the bride and groom are not allowed to look at each other. you might like to keep some of them in mind. While you may not want to follow all the superstitions mentioned.  Kaal ratri is a Bengali custom.  The bride should not write her new name with the groom’s surname before the wedding. Of course the couple could use their individual passports and the bride can legally change her name when they get back.   The bride should not make her own wedding dress. 102 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.

All Rights Reserved. Ltd. to look at herself. the bride should take one last look at herself in the mirror before leaving. After she is fully dressed and ready. 103 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This is to confuse evil spirits. the bride has to put her right foot forward first. though. The veil is to protect her from the evil eye or evil spirits.   The Maid of honour and bridesmaids are dressed very much like the bride. During the grihapravesh in her new home.  The bride should cover her head and face. She should not come back. .

All Rights Reserved.Important Legal Formalities “Two souls with but a single thought.” John Keats (1795-1821). English Romantic poet 104 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. two hearts that beat as one. . Ltd.

Buddhists and Jains) The Marriage and divorce Act for Parsis The Marriage Act for the Muslims The Special Marriage Act There are some common conditions such as the groom should be 21 years of age and the bride should not be younger than 18 years of age. all unique and different. if they go by their parents’ wishes. their parents and witnesses. Make sure someone in the family is deputed to find out all the details. groom. then eclectic ceremonies can be planned out. The different marriage laws are:      The Christian Marriage Act The Hindu Marriage Act (includes Hindus. and get the necessary documentation done so that there are no lapses here. it has to be registered in order to be considered legal. 105 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. they should not be within the prohibited degree of the relationship. Still. Ltd. All Indian marriages have to be registered. especially because of its mind-boggling diversity. on setting up their new home. There are personal laws in each religion. Sikhs. All Rights Reserved. . young people choose their own mates and not necessarily from the same religious group (or caste) or State. Knowing the marriage laws in India helps. Even if the marriage register in the Church is signed by the bride. Further. which govern marriage and divorce. They may opt for a basic ceremony preferring to use the money they would have spent on a wedding. MARRIAGE ACTS & R EGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES Increasingly in India.

Further. Here again. If anyone objects to the marriage. if anyone has any objection. Here the registration is taken as the actual marriage. banns have to be published three Sundays before the wedding. In the Muslim Marriage Act. it is communicated to the Parish priest within this period. It also permits a man to have four wives.For a Christian marriage. The Hindu Marriage Act provides registration of a marriage that has been solemnized. the marriage is a written legal contract. . 106 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Both parties have to appear before the Marriage Registrar along with their parents/guardians/witnesses one month from the date of the marriage. All Rights Reserved. the notice for marriage is put up 30 days before the fixed wedding date in the Marriage Officer’s office. provided he can treat them equally. There are certain rules which have to be fulfilled. Each partner is allowed to include conditions. The Special Marriage Act is for people who are from different communities. Ltd. it has to be communicated to the Marriage Officer within the 30 day period.

. Foremost Hindi-Urdu writer of 20th century 107 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved.” Munshi Premchand (1880-1936). Ltd. . “Trust is the first step to love..The Countdown Begins.

If the wedding is a Civil Marriage. maulvi. The date can then be finalized. Decide whether there is there to be a separate engagement ceremony or will all the ceremonies be on one day. Decide whether you would like to handle the wedding yourself. Choose two or three options in case the first choice is not available or suitable. and notice has to be put up. 108 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. details regarding documentation required have to be worked on. Ltd. You may even feel anxious and confused about deciding upon events and things. contract that is required has to be worked on so that there is no problem at the last minute.    Start checking websites or talking to family and friends about details of the various ceremonies involved. here is a complete checklist that can help you out.After you choose your life partner and plan to get married. in his office. All legal paperwork. 30 days prior to the wedding day.  12 MONTHS TO  GO The date is decided – either by the couple or according to the Vedic calendar. religious leader has to be free on that day as well. purohit. documentation. or a theme based wedding. In case of Christian wedding banns have to be published three Sundays before the wedding in the Church that the family attends. . All Rights Reserved. or whether you would like to have a wedding planning agency involved. then the place of worship has to be contacted to see if the date you have chosen is convenient for them. The priest.  If the wedding is to be a religious ceremony. If you want your marriage ceremony to be the perfect one. the Panchang.   Are you thinking of a traditional wedding. there are several arrangements that need to be done. The Marriage Officer has to be met.

. Either set up a separate wedding account.  In case the wedding is to be in another place. You might want to include certain rituals in the main ceremony.  Set the budget. You can tell them that the formal invitation will follow.   If a loan is to be taken. it would be good to contact your bank at this point. In that case. bachelor/bachelorette parties have to be decided. Any clearances required. Informing them informally helps them to mark the date in their calendars and make travel reservations. you want to give them fair notice so that they keep themselves free for the happy occasion. sangeet. you will need to work them into the traditional ceremony in consultation with the priest.   Venues for the mehendi. Start corresponding with family and friends you would like to invite giving them the date of the wedding and the place where it is to be conducted. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Other non-religious ceremonies and rituals are decided upon too at this time. or keep a budget spreadsheet ready. or reservations to be made will then need to be obtained/done. then the requirements for conducting the marriage there have to be found out. 109 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. but since you are keen that they attend.

.  10 MONTHS TO  GO Start on the guest list. and get their rates. family friends. your guest list would include extended family. Besides the people you definitely want to come. If there are boutiques that deal with wedding wear. These are recorded and the expenses are put down as they are made. or worse land in a debt you cannot repay. Ltd. this is the time to start going to them and talking to them about what you are looking for. This is an expense that will have to be factored in. This is one sure way of keeping on top of the budget. This is a good time to see if you have left anyone out. Think about colours and accessories. This will help you decide on what should be budgeted and how much leeway you have. these can be worked on as well. Importantly it is a good time to pick up threads of relationships and friendships.   Travel. distant relatives. Consequently this is the time to explore hotels/clubs/country houses/guest houses to find out rates. All Rights Reserved. both yours and your parents’ colleagues at work. Remember: you NEED to be in control of your budget – you would not want to impoverish yourself. decide whether you are going to send them their tickets.  The bride-to-be and the groom now start thinking about and getting ready for the big day. fabrics.  If you are getting people from out of town.  Draw up a list of caterers. and neighbours.  Remember that out-of-towners will need to be put up. In case your close friends or close relatives are willing to have house guests. tailors. Get estimates for everything. and catered to. whether it is a style that 110 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Check out styles. have meetings with them. accommodation and catering expenses will help you decide on your guest list. designers. The bride-to-be and groom need to start thinking about their wedding wear.

so that there is enough time to get the things that the bride-to-be would need. Certain points have to be kept in mind:  The venue. This will help you in your final decision and choice.  Lingerie and accessories are also to be decided along with different clothes. The mehendi ceremony and the Sangeet are the other two important rituals that have to be organized. 111 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. However.  The guest list. then keep time for fittings. All Rights Reserved. The food and drink.will suit you and that you will be comfortable in. You will also get an idea of costs. .  The bride-to-be and her parents also need to start work on the trousseau. if your family or you decide to host it. If you want your wedding to be colour coded. Ltd.  The mehendiwali and the bangle seller if bangles are going to be worn at this ceremony have to be arranged. then you have to decide:      The venue. then this has to be kept in mind while choosing all the different outfits. This is one thing that usually gets left for the last and then there is panic buying which never works out.  Usually the best friend/friends of the bride-to-be and groom organize the bachelor/bachelorette party. If you are getting your wedding wear made to order. The entertainment. The guest list.   The clothes of the parents and siblings are also decided at this time.

.  If so decided. ensure that there is enough 112 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the people concerned should be contacted to know if they are free. and their charges. Getting the dholak. or whether you are going to buy them. Ltd.  The venue for the Wedding Reception. decide whether you and the family are going to make them. the place for the Jai mala. then calling in a DJ to handle the music. and where the traditional musicians are going to sit.  If you have planned on favours to be given on the wedding day to the guests. the mandap.  It is a good idea to have one person who is close to the bride-to-be and the groom to handle the tiny details such as:  Who will have the garlands ready for the Jai mala?  Who has charge of the rings and/or the mangalsutra?  Who keeps the gifts of clothing that arrive from the bride-to-be’s home or the groom’s home and which has to be changed into during the wedding ceremony?  Start thinking about the decorations for the:  Wedding home.  If the dandiya is to be done. thought has to be given to a photographer and videographer.  Marriage venue.  The place where daily meals for out-of-towners attending the wedding are to be. the dandiya sticks have to be organized.   At this stage. Either way. All Rights Reserved. If any entertainment is being planned for the days preceding the wedding and the wedding day itself.

. and find out how much it is going to cost so that it can be factored into the budget. Ltd.  Thank you cards. has to be made at this time.   The order for the wedding cake.  A short description of the various ceremonies and their meaning and significance for the guests.  Order of worship if it is a Christian wedding. if you have decided on one.time. RSVP. since the bride and lady guests wear flowers (gajras) in their hair.  9 MONTHS TO GO  Wedding stationery:  Invitations:    Simple or elaborate. 113 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Furthermore. this has to be thought of.  If you are planning on a formal dinner reception. It is also a good time to start thinking about the wedding vows.  Book the florist – which are the venues that require flowers. and what kind and colour of flowers. Directions to the venue. and a final decision made early enough.  Book the beauty parlour or beauticians who will come home and attend to the bride and all the lady guests in both households. All Rights Reserved. then would you like a table plan and name/place cards.  Printed vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus.

 From the accommodation to the wedding home every day. If travel abroad is decided. . then this can be given to the person in charge so that there are no glitches and everyone reaches their destinations on time)  Settle on the honeymoon – the location.  Back to the place of departure.  If the wedding is to be at another venue.  (If lists are made and all routes planned. and visas etc applied for. then transporting the bride-to-be. then the necessary documentation has to be done. 114 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Once this is decided. the parents and all the guests to that venue. Ltd. then reservations and bookings should be made. 7 MONTHS TO GO  All transportation needs to be booked at this point:  From place of arrival to the accommodation. and the number of days the newly-weds are to be there. All Rights Reserved. the groom.  Taking all the guests back after the wedding.

You may want some engraving to be made on the rings as well. . it is important that the hair style does not interfere with the veil/ghunghat and you are comfortable. Start deciding on the kind of jewellery to be worn on the wedding day.  Begin the beauty and the diet regime if you need to shed a few kilos before the wedding  3 MONTHS TO GO  Go for your first trials of the wedding wear. and what is required as part of the trousseau. then talks with the jewelers should be initiated. Adjustments can be made if needed. All Rights Reserved.  Check out the make-up you are going to use.  The wedding rings and mangalsutra design have to be decided on and preferably bought. Ltd. and changes. if required. and hair style that you want. If possible. This should not be done in a hurry. can be made. We are looking at long hours and 115 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Moreover. If there is a design that has to be copied. you could try out your bridal make-up and hair style so that you know how you are going to look.

Depute someone to keep a count of who all are coming.  For those who live in the same town. the done thing is to take the invitation card personally to their homes. A photograph of the bride and groom is also sometimes enclosed with the thank you card/note. Sweets are also given along with the card.   Start buying your trousseau. If there is to be entertainment. Ltd. They will know that you really want them to attend the wedding. the size of and what kind of centrepiece the tables should have. If you like. These are from people who live out of town. Decide on how the tables are going to be placed. and for close relatives.  2 MONTHS TO GO  Get confirmatory RSVPs. Send out the invitations. or something specific to the location of your home. as this is auspicious news and in India the custom is to ‘sweeten the mouth’ of the person you are giving the auspicious news to. see to it that there are enough places for each guest to sit comfortably. . and where they are to stay?  In case you have not heard from them. a phone call to them is in order. then that area has to be marked out.it is absolutely essential to ensure that what you wear and how you dress does not cause any discomfort or stress.  Keeping a list of guests who attend is necessary so that you can send them personalized thank you cards/notes after the wedding.  Visit the venue for the reception. their arrival and departure details. 116 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. then other small mementos can be given – something which is specific to your family tradition.

Ltd. sit together to ensure that the music chosen adds to the atmosphere. Your trousseau should be in the final stages of readiness for packing.  1 MONTH TO    GO Both the bride-to-be and the groom need to go for the final round of fitting. or any other ceremony. Bachelor/bachelorette parties happen in this last month. Start checking to see if your trousseau is making progress. It is advisable to have these parties at least a week or 10 days before the Big Day. This is the time when the bride-to-be and the groom need to start relaxing. the hymns. If you have decided on a DJ to handle the music. prayers and vows (if you want to add to or change the traditional wedding vows). . lesson readings. then besides the traditional music for the procession and recession.   Confirm all the bookings. All Rights Reserved. sangeet and any other rituals/ceremonies are slated in. anthems.  Music for the various ceremonies is to be worked on. If you want a live band at the reception.  Guest book – this is also a good idea.  Mehendi. For the other wedding ceremonies. this is the time to consult with him/her and decide on the music to be used. If you are going in for a Church service. 117 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Confirm menus for all the meals. as your guests can sign their names in and write a few lines for the bride and groom. In case your friends are handling the music. this will have to be booked. and consulted with about the kind of music you would like to have. you will need professional musicians for the main ceremony.

Check the transportation arrangement and incorporate changes. Visiting an aromatherapy center or spa clinic four to five days before the ceremonies begin helps a lot in enlivening the spirit. All Rights Reserved.    Final dance rehearsals if lavish arrangements have been made for the sangeet. In case any of your friends are to speak at the reception. this is the time to schedule it. Take down the vehicle number and the contact number of the chauffeur driving every vehicle.  10 DAYS TO GO   Make a final confirmation with various vendors and other services providers. Packing for the honeymoon and final check of all the documents. Include the timings for snacks and meals also.  If you want to have a rehearsal.  A final round of fitting is in order. ranging from the dress. Mind and body relaxation whenever possible.  Get a complete health check up done and brides can consult gynecologists for ways to prevent their courses from coinciding with the wedding or the honeymoon. Try out everything. they need to be told now so that they have enough time to prepare. .   Check with the caterer and update him with the final guest count and any other changes. if any. specifically their date of validity. shoes. for the convenience of the guests. Plan out the wedding schedule and hand over printed copy of those all the vendors and the guests. jewelery to bags and clutches. 118 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  Brides must prepare their emergency kit keeping all the necessary stuff and entrusting the kit to one of her bridesmaids. Ltd.

Bride and Groom often find themselves overworked and bereft of all the energy due to the long ceremonies that take place one after the other. If you are leaving for your honeymoon the same day. All Rights Reserved.  Gifts to be given: This is a personal gesture and its importance lies in the bonds that are made and preserved. Ensure that the Jai malas are ready.   Try and have an early night so that you are rested for the next day. Check all the accessories are ready.  If you wear lenses. and has settled into their new home. Send your personal luggage to the place where you are to spend the first night. and all your travel arrangements are in place. Arrange for a person who will receive all the gifts and keep a record of them. if he/she has them. 1 DAY TO    GO Hang up all the clothes the bride-to-be and groom are going to wear. Check with the person you have requested to keep the wedding rings/mangalsutra. or get the beauticians over to the home. . 119 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Sleep or take nap whenever it is possible during the ceremonies. it is time to send out the Thank You cards to your close relatives and guests. then do not under any circumstances use it for more than 10-15 hours at a stretch.      Decorate all the venues. ensure that the entire luggage is packed and ready. or their rooms in the family home. You do not want a sore eye on your wedding day. Ltd. or do you?  Finally: After the couple returns from the Honeymoon. The bride-to-be and her friends and other lady family members go to the Beauty parlour.

advance payments made. Even the simplest traditional wedding costs a lot of money. 120 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and importantly will keep you focused on the big picture. In fact.  The budget – this is the area where the greatest errors can happen. Keep a certain amount of money for emergency expenses. and other small expenses. no expense is really small – everything should be factored in and noted down. Work out an itemized budget. Your budget spreadsheet should show if you have taken a loan.” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). to stay within the budget. For your convenience we have listed some points that need to be taken care of. legal fees. and money spent.  Make lists for everything – This will help you not to get caught up in niggling details. Father of the Nation You will have to be very careful about going ahead with the marriage plan. . It is a good idea when making estimates to keep some leeway. THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG “I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage. Common errors happen in estimates taken. as far as is possible. In fact your planner should have a column for estimated cost and beside it a column showing the actual cost… However. Ltd. Don’t forget to factor in fees that have to be paid. try. All Rights Reserved. pertinent details of the loan. donations that have to be given. or in the records that are kept of money spent. estimates.

Try to keep the perspective and concentrate on doing one thing at a time. A rush-rush invitation will never be welcome. and do not leave your parents to pick up bitter pieces. Ensure that the invitation is worded perfectly.  When taking estimates. Remember. You. sometimes. but it pays off big dividends. Ltd. Good organization is tedious and time consuming. Form a good team of those whom you can entrust with specific responsibilities. Focus on the task in hand. As this is a distracting time and a thousand things will need your simultaneous attention. It sounds contradictory. In fact. If directions to the venue are given they should be clear and unambiguous. All Rights Reserved. Do not leave anything for the last week. However. and certainly not for the last day. confirm. Sometimes hard decisions might need to be taken. 121 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  Try to be and stay realistic. therefore. shop around for the best deals. remember that you want happy memories.   Check. This is also a time when no one can say ‘No’ to the bride-to-be or the groom. and then get it all down from the vendors in writing. This way there is no chance of the prices/costs changing. and double-check all bookings well before the last month. . see that any communication is perfectly written.   Negotiate with the places where you are putting up your guests so that you are assured of the best deal.   This is a time of togetherness with family – make sure that everyone is included. and who will see them through. everyone will want to give their advice. but everyone will be able to enjoy the wedding only if every little detail is in place before the big day. need to know which to keep and which to politely sift out. Also make sure that you have enough time to comfortably visit all those to whom you have to personally convey the invitation.

A traditional Indian wedding is a time when two whole families get together. Travel plans are often jeopardized in India due to sudden delays in the arrival and departure of the trains and the planes. Ltd. . All Rights Reserved.  Security is an important issue and make sure you have perked up the security arrangements at all the possible places connected with the wedding. special security arrangements are made in case of destination wedding as the entire bridal procession with all its expensive stuff will be travelling to a different place. Enjoy the occasion! 122 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.

thou art Earth. I am song. We two together shall live here. thou art she.Wedding Traditions of India Book Supplement “I am this.” Atharva Veda 123 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . thou art verse. Becoming parents of children. I am Heaven. All Rights Reserved. Ltd.

If so desired. The parents of the bride-to-be go to the groom’s home for this ceremony. Each has its own tradition. If. the bride-to-be and groom are present. This is called the Sagaai or Roka or the Tilak. An astrologer is consulted. Their rituals. 124 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. After the proposal has been accepted by both families. an announcement is made. since the agreement is formalized between the elders of the two families. He matches the horoscopes and provides information on the ceremonies that needs to be performed. All Rights Reserved. The Hindu Wedding The proposal for the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ is made by close or extended family members.  RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS India is a country where people of different cultures and religions come together and live peacefully. being different. The auspicious date/dates and an idea of the location is also suggested by him (specifics are worked out later by the families). it is good to have a complete idea about different styles and patterns of marriage and what the marriage rituals are.India is a uniquely different country. then they may exchange garlands and/or rings. are distinct from one another. Usually the bride-to-be and the groom are not present at this ceremony. So before going ahead with an Indian marriage. culture and heritage. a meal can be hosted. close friends. There are diversified forms of wedding according to the religion and region. . It has unity in diversity. Ltd. or a well-wisher. Sweets and gifts are exchanged between the two families. The different types of weddings according to religion are explained below.

Ltd.   Sangeet ceremony – This is meant especially for the ladies of the two families. Vidaai. 125 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. this is when the bride is formally sent to the bridegroom’s house. .  Pre-wedding rituals Mehendi ceremony – Mehendi or henna is applied on the hands of the to-be-bride and hymns or folk songs are sung during this ceremony. All Rights Reserved. 3.   Post-wedding ceremonies Reception. 2. Haldi ceremony – This ceremony is held on the morning of the wedding day. sandalwood and rosewater.     On the wedding day The Baraat from the groom’s house arrives at the bride’s house Varmala Kanyadaan and Saptpadi The marriage ceremony is held according to traditional rituals.1. The bride is smeared with paste of turmeric.

After the bond is formalized. the groom goes in and stands at the altar with the Best Man and the Page Boy carrying the rings. This takes place either at the house of the brideto-be or a venue chosen by the two families. and talks to them about the seriousness and sanctity of marriage. the date for an engagement ceremony is fixed. 1.The Christian Wedding If the couple has not chosen each other. and Maid of honour. The couple exchange rings. The groom arrives at the Church with his Best Man and Page Boy a little before the wedding.  The Flower girls are the first in the Bridal procession and they scatter flower petals on the aisle as they move towards their places near the altar. They may decide to take a vow at this time. Ltd. The bride arrives at the Church with her immediate family. The parish priest blesses the young couple. The bridesmaids and flower girls arrive at the same time too. followed by the bridesmaids.   Pre-wedding rituals The bridal shower or bachelorette party. The stag or bachelor party. close or extended family members decide on the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’.    On the wedding day The bride and groom leave their respective homes after prayers and blessings. The Maid of honour is next. . 126 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  At the appropriate time. All Rights Reserved. 2.

3.  Lastly the Priest pronounces them man and wife. Here. or they may go to one of the few Buddhist temples that are licensed to conduct marriage ceremonies. either the traditional vows are used or the bride and groom may choose their own vows. To the Wedding March. The bride walks down the aisle to the strains of the Bridal March on the arm of her father to meet the bridegroom. something which holds special meaning for them. The Buddhist wedding There are no formal ceremonies in a Buddhist wedding. The couple can have a registered wedding. and pronounces the benediction. 127 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.   Post-wedding ceremonies The reception.  The Priest conducts the Wedding Service. blesses the young couple and the congregation. There are also selected readings from the Bible. The bride leaves for the groom’s home. The priest may or may not give a short sermon about the sanctity of marriage. During the service there may be hymns and an anthem chosen for the occasion by the bride and groom. .   The couple goes to the vestry and signs the marriage register with witnesses. Vows are taken by the bride and groom and wedding rings are exchanged. the couple walks down the aisle of the Church.

Tisarana and Pancasila hymns are sung. and the couple recites the wedding vows that are found in the Sigilovdda Sutta.  The parents of the couple then put a loop of strings on the heads of the bride and groom joining them together. along with the lama of the temple in their locality. After prayers. and do not want anything to go wrong. decide on a date on which the proposal can be made to the ‘girl’s’ family. a red paste is put on the foreheads of the bride and groom. The Buddhist part: where the couple offers prayers in a Buddhist temple and gives gifts to the monks. The Vandana. So. They light candles and incense sticks. 128 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .  Chessian. 2. all the guests share the Madyan which is a ceremonial drink. the groom’s family. The non-Buddhist part: where the couple follows traditions and customs specific to their families.This is the betrothal ceremony.This is not strictly necessary. go to the Buddhist temple.  Pre-wedding rituals Matching of horoscopes.  On the wedding day The bride. All Rights Reserved. after the horoscopes have been matched. but many people are superstitious.A Buddhist wedding takes place in two parts. food. Ltd. sweets and money. The bride and groom bow in front of the Buddha. The maternal uncle of the bride has pride of place in this ceremony. groom and the two families. Prayers are offered. and the proposal is made. The couple makes offerings of flowers. Sometimes. 1.

so that the child born becomes Jain only. a coconut.  Pre-wedding rituals Laghana Lekhan . and then the priest reads out the aforementioned letter which has come from the house of the bride-to-be and which gives the date for the marriage ceremony. sweets. 129 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the brother of the bride-to-be puts a tilak on the groom’s forehead. .  The Sagaai . money and a ring. Ltd. the date is sent to the groom’s house. All Rights Reserved.In this ritual. or auspicious time of the marriage is decided at this ritual. The elders then bless the groom. 1. a puja is done in the house of the bride-to-be. washes his hands and performs the Vinayakyantra puja.3. The Jain wedding Jains are strictly devoted to their community and prefer to marry within their community.The Sagaai or engagement ceremony takes place the same day as the Lagna Patrika Vachan is read. After the Vachan is read. Their style of marriage is very sophisticated with a grand public announcement and a variety of rituals.The groom wears the traditional headgear. The mahurat. Close friends and relatives attend. He also gives him gifts which include clothes. The couple leaves for their new home.  Lagna Patrika Vachan . Once it is decided by the priest.   Post-wedding ceremonies There may be a wedding feast or reception.

on the other hand Sikhs follow their holy book Adi Grantha or Guru Granth Sahib during the wedding ceremony.     On the wedding day The Baraat from the groom’s house arrives at the bride’s house. Sva Graha Aagaman or welcoming of the bride at her new home. All Rights Reserved. Reception. 2.     Post-wedding ceremonies Ashirvad – The elders of the family bless the couple. Mada Mandap . 130 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. The Granthi Bandhan and Phere. These rituals are performed by a priest. 3.The Mada Mandap takes place one or two days before the wedding in the houses of the groom and the bride-to-be. The Mangal Geet. But one main difference between the two forms of wedding is. The Kanyavaran or Kanyapradan. The Sikh wedding The customs followed during a Sikh wedding is somewhat similar to Hindu weddings. Jina Grahe Dhan Arpana tradition of giving alms to the Jain temple. while Hindus use Vedic texts. .

1.  Milni – This is the main ceremony and is held in the Gurudwara.  Gana or sacred thread ceremony – During this ceremony a chunni or a veil is gifted to the bride by the groom’s mother and aunties. The priest tells them about the obligations of marriage. Post-wedding ceremonies 131 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. On this occasion the bride’s family goes to the groom’s family with sweets. 2. .  Mehendi and Vatna – Prior to the wedding the Vatna ceremony is conducted. The groom gets a gold ring. gold mohre (coins) and a kada (bangle) from the bride’s father or guardian.  Pre-wedding rituals Shagun or tilak – It is better known as Kurmai. it is followed by Lawaan when the bride and the groom hold both ends of a scarf and takes four rounds around the Granth Sahib and then they are declared husband and wife. Several hymns are sung and the couple is made to sit before the Adi Granth (religious book of the Sikhs). The Sikh wedding normally takes place before noon. All Rights Reserved.  On the wedding day Gharoli ceremony – The Gharoli ceremony is celebrated at the groom’s house where his sisters-in-laws and other female relatives fill in an earthen pitcher or Gharoli with water from a well or Gurudwara. turmeric. rosewater and cream called ubatan is applied on the bride’s body and she is then scrubbed clean. Ltd. Early morning a paste of sandal. 3. jewellery and clothes as gifts.

 The Supra nu Murat is the day before the wedding day. Ltd. The pot is then placed at the entrance of the home. dates and a piece of coconut. length-wise and breadthwise. Traditional songs are sung. The plant is to be watered for 8 days then transplanted. All Rights Reserved. This is made into a paste and applied to the bride and groom.It is celebrated four days before the wedding day. The families of the bride and groom plant a young tree (usually a mango tree) in a pot. None of the rituals are complete without the use of fire. A fifth lady sits in the middle with a dry turmeric powder. and four married women are given a supra containing betel leaf. The Parsi wedding Fire plays a very important role during Parsi wedding as they consider it to be the most sacred. betel nut. friends and neighbours sits down for a meal together to celebrate the occasion. The ‘achoo meecho’ or eliminating the evil eye is compulsory before every single ceremony. Vidaai or doli. 132 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  Pre-wedding rituals Madhavsaro . accompanied by prayers by the family priest. . 1. The groom’s family comes to the bride’s home with gifts for the bride. The Parsi weddings are mostly performed either on the first day of the month which they call Hormazd Roe or on the twentieth day of the month. turmeric. It is a mehendi-haldi ceremony. These supras are exchanged seven times among the four women: cross-wise.  Adarni is three days before the wedding day. Parsi weddings are mostly conducted during the evening. Family. which they name as the Behram Roj.  Reception. after sunset.

.   Post-wedding Reception.2. and a black cap. 133 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.   Nahan . She can then demand gifts from the groom. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. The groom is in Parsi Dagli and Feta which is a white long kurta-like shirt. The bride leaves for the groom’s house where the groom’s mother again performs the achimuchu ceremony. Dressing in traditional attire.The home is decorated with rangoli.  On the wedding day According to the Zoroastrian faith. the time immediately after sunset or very early in the morning is auspicious for marriage.     The Achumichu is performed at the Fire Temple. The Chero bandhvanu when the couple exchanges rings. sprinkles milk on his show and removes the seven strands that the priest had tied around the couple during the ceremony. The haath borvanu -This is when the bride’s sister puts the groom’s hand in a glass of water. The bride is dressed in her Madhavate which is a white sari with heavy gold embroidery. 3. The Ara Antar which is a variation of the first look of Hindu marriage.

Mutual consent is of the 134 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. In different parts of the world. a silver or gold coin wrapped in silk is given to the bride by the groom’s mother. The coin is tied on the upper arm of the bride. and then the Ijab-e-Qubul (formal proposal is made by the groom and accepted by the bride) takes place. It is held either in the bride’s or the groom’s home. He reads the Quran. The Manjha and mehendi ceremonies are when the bride is dressed in yellow. The marriage rituals usually revolve around the bride and the groom approving their marriage in front of the witness. Elaborate mehendi designs are then made on her hands and feet. and turmeric paste is applied on her body.The Muslim wedding or the Nikaah Muslim wedding or Nikah rituals extends up to three days.  Pre-wedding rituals Istikhara . 1. All Rights Reserved.This is when the priest asks blessings from the Almighty Allah.   Magni is when the close family of the groom visit the bride. 2. The groom’s mother then visits the bride’s home with sweets. .A Maulvi (priest) presides over this ceremony.  Imam-Zamin . Musicians play traditional music.  The Nikaah . these rituals are performed in different ways and customs.  On the wedding day The baraat arrives from the groom’s home bringing the groom. and the two families exchange sweets and fruits. The bride’s brother and the groom share a glass of sherbet. Ltd. There is no special mahurat for the Nikaah.In this ritual.

the couple is made to sit together for the first time. This is the contract which contains the terms and conditions that both parties have to abide by.This is the grand reception hosted by the groom’s parents.    The groom then seeks the blessings of all the older women. They recite prayers as instructed by the Maulvi. Men and women sit separately for the marriage feast. Their heads are covered by a dupatta.  Post-wedding ceremonies Rukshat is when the bride leaves her home.On the fourth day after the Nikaah. After the meal. The mother of the groom holds a Quran over the bride’s head as she steps into her new home. Ltd. 135 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.  The Nikaahnama is signed.  Welcoming the bride. This is a monetary arrangement made by the groom’s family for the bride. Then the Quran is placed between them and they look at each other for the first time through mirrors.greatest importance. . the bride visits her parents.   Chauthi . 3. The bride’s father places his daughter’s hand in the hand of the groom. The Meher is given. Walimah . The Maulvi and the Walis (the two fathers) are the witnesses. All Rights Reserved.

Ltd.  Brahmbhoj – During the early hours of the wedding day. . and very straightforward. A paste of turmeric and sandalwood powder is applied on the body of the bride-to-be and then it is scrubbed clean. This is the process of purification before applying mehendi (henna) on the hands and the feet of the bride-to-be. 1. The Arya Samaj wedding is completely unpretentious. This indicates that they should always stay together like the star which is always in the same position in the sky. who founded the Arya Samaj.  Mehendi – This is also held at the bride’s place and the female friends and relatives attend this ritual.  Chudha and Nath – On the wedding day. The vows are taken during the Panigrahana ceremony. and not at all lavish. the maternal uncle of the bride gives her red ivory chudha and nath (big round nose rings) and helps her wear it on her hands and nose respectively.  Pre-wedding rituals Ladies’ Sangeet – The female friends and relatives mostly attend this ritual at the bride’s house and sing wedding and folk songs. 16 Brahmins are fed as it is a customary of the Arya Samaj and they consider it to be auspicious. 2. All Rights Reserved. The ceremony is Vedic (not religious). On the wedding day: 136 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. An interesting ritual is the Dhruvnakshatra when the bride and groom look at the Polestar together.The Arya Samaj Wedding This wedding is based on the teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

This indicates that their marriage would be steady as a rock. the couple walks four times around the fire. .  Pratigya Mantra – The couple hold each other’s hand and take wedding vows after which they walk around the fire.  Thread ceremony and yagnya – In this ceremony the groom needs to wear a sacred thread and worships the Fire God.  Saptapadikriya . This ritual indicates good health and nourishment for the family.  Shilarohan – In this ritual the brother of the bride conveys his blessings to the couple by placing her foot on a stone.  Parikrama – During this ritual.During this ritual the couple worships the Sun God.During this ritual the end of the bride’s saree is tied with end of the groom’s shawl and they take seven steps which signify the seven important needs. All Rights Reserved.  Kesh Mochan – The groom unties the hair of the bride gently and recites mantras promising her that he will be gentle and kind to her and never hurt her or let her go throughout the life. Ltd. Hriday Sparsh. hands and his face with it. 137 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. curd and ghee onto the groom’s cupped palm and he scatters the mixture in all directions and has the remnants. the groom promises to be respectful towards all women. Then she puts the mixture of honey. While the bride prays for the good health and healthy relationship.  Kanya Daan – The parents of the bride hands over their daughter to her new family and blesses them to be together always.The couple promises to be gentle and kind hearted towards each other by touching each other’s heart. The bride gives the groom a pitcher of water he washes his feet. The bride and the groom exchange garlands.   Suryadarshan .

. It is held between one month and one year after the marriage and usually done by the sister-in-law of the bride. The Kashmiri wedding The first step is the matching of the teknis or horoscopes. The different kinds of marriage according to the region are explained below. The girl’s family hosts a grand feast.  REGIONAL W EDDINGS India is a vast sub-continent and different places in India have their own specialty and distinctiveness. Sindoor Daan . This is essentially between the elders of both families. in both homes the eldest aunt prepares var 138 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The Pole star signifies consistency in relationship while the other two stars signify togetherness. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. 3. Once the commitment is made.in this ritual the groom fills the parted hair of the bride with Vermillion or Sindoor.  Dhruv Darshan -The couple views the Pole star or Dhruv tara as well as the two stars of the Great Bear constellation. and the date finalized. Vasisth and Arundhati. and exchange flowers.   Post. the Vanna or engagement ceremony takes place. Also. They meet in the temple. Taking off the Chudha – The Chudha which the bride wears on the wedding day is taken off in this ritual.wedding rituals Reception – Reception is normally held at a wedding or a banquet hall. This is done thrice.

A traditional cook.The bride and groom have their ceremonial bath in their respective homes. The wedding mahurat is either in the morning or at night. Gifts including money. 1.  Pre-wedding rituals Livun .   Wanwun . . All Rights Reserved. Ltd. 139 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and her trousseau. The bride’s parents give their daughter clothes.(kheer) which is offered to the neighbors and relatives. The homes of the bride and groom are decorated. 51 thaalis of sweets. This is followed by a puja. sets up a mud and brick oven. dry fruits. 2.This is like the sangeet where friends and neighbors join the family in music sessions.This ritual is to be done a week before the wedding. Maanziraat .  Two or three days before the wedding.  Two days before the wedding. The family is expected to fast till all the wedding nuptials are over. especially the dijaru which is an ear ornament is given to the bride. dates. the groom’s family sends jewellery made of flowers and tinsel to the bride. Jewellery. and a pot of misri are sent to the boy’s house from the girl’s family. The rituals of the traditional bath and mehendi take place.  On the wedding day The Diugun ceremony . sugar and gota (a special mixture of nuts) is sent to the groom’s house by the bride’s family. ghee. She is then dressed using these.This is the ritual where cleaning of the home is done. the waza. fresh and dry fruit.

This is a gift of cosmetics. rice and flowers is sprinkled on them. The aunt feeds both of them.   During the visits to the bride’s home – the Satraat and Phirlath – the newly-weds are given clothes and gifts. a small mirror. The groom’s family sends the sanzvaru to the bride. A pair of pigeons is released in celebration. 3. There is a havan and puja.  The baraat arrives at the bride’s home bringing the groom. a shawl and special paan wrapped in varq or silver/gold foil. followed by a kanshiran when a veil is held over the head of the bride and groom (this ceremony is in their own homes) and a mixture of water. the bride’s family sends roth khabar to the family of the groom. 140 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The bride and groom are then led to the mandap for the ceremony. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.   Post-wedding ceremonies Vidaai – the bride is blessed by her parents and sent to the groom’s house. The newly-weds are welcomed into the groom’s home by the groom’s eldest aunt.  The devgon ceremony is observed in both homes. The bride is supposed to use these cosmetics for her makeup during the wedding. This is a 1 metre long and 21/2 metre wide cake decorated with nuts. On the Saturday or Tuesday after the wedding. The two fathers exchange nutmeg. and then the bride changes into clothes that are given to her by the groom’s parents. . curd. The bride is given her wedding clothes by her maternal uncle.  All the wedding rituals are performed in front of the sacred fire and seven pheras are to be made by the bride and the groom. A peacock feather is tied to the groom’s turban with a gold thread. milk. sindoor.

1.The Punjabi wedding The rituals of a Punjabi wedding are similar to a Sikh wedding. A Punjabi wedding is full of fun. or dhols. very vibrant.The Chunni chadana ceremony is done at the bride’s home. The ritual involves the bride-to-be eating one half of a date. The groom’s sister or sister-in-law gives the bride-to-be a red sari. The relatives and friends of the bride-to-be bless the groom.The Sagan ceremony is held either in the groom’s home or in a banquet hall. The groom’s parents and close relatives attend this ceremony. Wedding folk songs are sung to the accompaniment of dholaks. The announcement of the forthcoming wedding is made.The mehendi and Kwar Dhoti ceremony. During the Kwar Dhoti ceremony. which is made of kesar. Ltd. The father of the bride-to-be applies the Tilak.The first ceremony is the Roka ceremony. All Rights Reserved. sweets.  Pre-wedding rituals Roka . participates in this event.This is a time for music and dance in the homes of the groom and bride-to-be. Each member of the family. and flower petals. irrespective of their age. rice grains. Punjabis are very strict about their community and they tend to marry within their community. Mehendi is taken to the house of the bride-to-be by the groom’s sister and brother-in-law. A pundit performs a havan. and give him sweets and gifts.  Sagan . fruits and dry fruits are exchanged. 141 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . The other half is given to the groom to eat. and a harmonium. Gifts.  The Sangeet .  Chunni Chadana . This is the formal engagement ceremony.  Mahendi . dry fruits. and has a carnival atmosphere! Bhagra the dance which most of the Punjabis love to do during the ceremony adds charm to the event. on the forehead of the groom. especially dry dates are given to the bride’s family.

 Vatna . and then the groom’s father and elders tie the sehrabandi on his head. Prasad (sweets offered to the gods during the havan) is given to everyone.After the Vatna and ghara ghardoli ceremony.The siblings of the bride-to-be go to the nearby temple and bring back holy water for the bride to bathe in. he is welcomed with garlands and rose water is sprinkled on him and the other guests. the bridegroom wears his wedding clothes. She then dons her wedding finery. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A havan is performed by the pundit. and the bride-to-be is made to sit facing them. and a red thread or mauli is tied on the bride’s wrist. and sweets are given to the mare that is to carry the groom. The maternal uncle and aunt then put red and ivory bangles on her wrists. are tied on the bangles. 142 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or gold-plated).When the groom arrives at the bride’s house. These bangles are first touched by all those who are present as a mark of their blessings. Kalira (small traditional ornaments in beaten gold and silver. He also ties a pink turban that has been blessed by everyone present.  On the wedding day The churha or bangles ceremony. He then gets on his mare ready to go to the home of the bride-to-be in a baraat or procession. A paste of turmeric powder and mustard oil is put on the bride-to-be by her friends and female relatives.  The Ghori chadana .  The maternal uncle of the bride-to-be gives her the clothes she is suppose to wear at the wedding ceremony. .  The ghara ghardoli ceremony . and they are warmly welcomed.Four earthen lamps are lit.  The Milni ceremony . A puja is performed. Flower petals are showered on the bride-to-be.  The Sehrabandi .A small ceremony is performed to ward off the evil eye.2.

 Pre-wedding rituals Kachchi misri – Misri (candy sugar) and coconut are given to the bride-to-be and the prospective groom. A priest studies the horoscopes of the bride-to-be and the groom and fixes the wedding date. The bride has to cook something sweet at her in law’s place. The kanyadaan and phere .   Post-wedding Ceremonies The vidaai . . Ltd.  For the blessing. The Sindhi Wedding The Sindhi wedding follows Vedic rites. Then there are the mangalpheras around the sacred fire. followed by the sindoor ritual when the groom puts sacred vermilion on the parting in the bride’s hair. he ties the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. the couple touches the feet of all the elders of both families and is blessed by them. All Rights Reserved. Parents of marriageable girls and eligible bachelors give a Guryanni (the lady match maker) the horoscopes of their children.This is the most important part of the ceremony.The bride leaves her home and goes with her husband to her new home.This is the exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom. She then locates suitable matches for them. 3. Auspicious days for a Sindhi marriage are the Satyanarayan Chandsi or the day of the New Moon. Lastly. 143 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The kanyadaan is when the bride’s father gives his daughter’s hand to the groom. 1.  Varmala .

Berana satsang – 10 days before the wedding day this satsang is organized in the name of the Sindhi god Jhulelal. This also signifies the beginning of the wedding ceremonies.

Pakki misri – The formal engagement held one week before the wedding. There is an exchange of rings between the bride-to-be and the groom in the presence of family and close friends.

Mehendi ceremony is held at the residence of the bride and the groom. At this time traditional wedding songs are sung.

The Sangeet is usually held at the bride’s home. A lot of enjoyment including dancing and singing takes place on this occasion.

Saagri – On a particular evening, the groom’s married sisters and cousins come to the bride’s home with jewellery made from the jasmine/mogra flowers. They dress her in silk, and put the flower jewellery on her. Flower petals are showered on the bride. Later when the groom arrives, he is welcomed with garlands and there is a dinner party held.

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Ghari puja – Is done in the homes of the bride-to-be and the groom. Santh – The night before the wedding, seven married ladies apply oil on the girl’s head. An earthen pot is kept in front of her and she is asked to break it at one go.

2. 

On the wedding day The Baraat arrives bringing the groom with great fanfare, music, singing and dancing. They are welcomed by the bride’s family.


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Swagatam – At the entrance of the home, the bridegroom places his right foot on top of the bride’s foot. He then enters the house. The bride’s brother washes his sisters, and the groom’s feet with milk and water.

Hathialo – The bridegroom’s dupatta is tied to one end of the bride’s sari/dupatta. Their hands are tied together with the sacred thread. Prayers are then offered by both of them.

The main ceremony is conducted by a priest in front of the sacred fire. He reads verses from the Holy Books. The couple goes around the fire four times. The groom touches his forehead with the bride’s hand. Their heads are then held together signifying their union.

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Kanyadaan – The bride’s parents give the hand of their daughter to the groom. Vidaai – The bride leaves for her new home.

3.  

Post-wedding ceremonies Reception. The datar ceremony – When the bride is welcomed to the groom’s home. The groom’s parents wash their new daughter-in-law’s feet. The bride sprinkles milk throughout the house. The groom’s parents then cover the bride’s head. An important custom is when the bride places a handful of salt in her husband’s hand. He has to give it back to her without spilling any of it. This is done three times. The bride performs the same ritual with other family members. This is to signify that just as salt blends with food to give it its taste, she too should blend with the family and be a part of their joys and sorrows. Chhanar or Dev uthana – The totemic deity is removed signifying that the whole wedding ceremony is finally completed.


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Sataurah – The newly-weds visit the bride’s parental home for the first time. They are given gifts, and sweets by the bride’s parents.

The Gujarati wedding
Gujarati weddings are filled with symbolic rituals. These rituals act as a guide to instruct the couple to lead a happily married life. The Gujaratis have utter respect for their wives and handover the keys of the house to them after marriage. The wives are expected to take care of the home. Whereas the husbands take major decisions and wives follow them. 1.  Pre-wedding rituals Sagaai – This is when the formal announcement of the marriage takes place. The ceremony is at the groom’s home. The bride’s family arrives with the Matli, which is a steel container filled with sweets and gifts for the groom and his family.     Mandap mahurat – A few days before the wedding, a Ganesh puja is performed in both the homes. Griha Shanthi – This is a rituals performed for maintaining peace and tranquility in the family. Pithi – This is the ceremony in which turmeric paste is applied on the bride and groom. Mehendi – The bride’s hands and legs are covered with exquisite designs. During this ritual, traditional folk songs are sung.  Garba – The night before the wedding both families come together to perform the garba.


On the wedding day


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  Gujarati weddings are generally held at night. Hasta milap – The groom’s dupatta is tied to the bride’s sari. Post-wedding ceremonies 147 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. When the priest starts the ceremony.  Mangalpheras – As the priest chants the mantras. The groom has to recite certain mantras as well.  Saubhagyavati bhava – Seven married women from the bride’s family whisper good wishes and blessings in the right ear of the bride. Ponkvu – The groom arrives at the bride’s house and is welcomed by the bride’s mother. He is given a drink of milk and honey.    Jaimala – The bride and groom exchange garlands. There are four pheras. All Rights Reserved. Madhuparka – The groom’s feet are washed. Ltd. .  Saptapadi – The groom helps the bride touch seven betel nuts with her right toe while they both recite the seven vows of commitment. Kanya agaman – The bride is brought to the mandap by the maternal uncle.   Kanyadaan – The bride’s father washes the groom’s feet and gives him the hand of his daughter. the antarpaat is lowered and the couple exchange garlands. the couple seeks blessings from all senior members of the family as well as friends present. The bride and groom are separated by a curtain called the antarpaat. the couple walks around the sacred fire. Rose petals and rice are showered on them by those witnessing the marriage.  Shubh ashirwad – After all the rituals are over. 3. She does an aarti to greet the groom.

  Vidaai – The bride leaves her home. Haldi ceremony. goddess of wealth and good fortune). At the entrance there is a vessel filled with rice. . Ltd.  Reception.  Pre-wedding rituals Shakar puda – Exchange of sugar between the families. Ghar ni Laxmi – The bride (Laxmi. spilling some rice. The Maharashtrian wedding Maharashtrian wedding takes place according to the muhurat patra which is set up to maintain and measure the time before the actual moment scheduled for the marriage. The brides usually adorn green or yellow coloured saree and a half moon is designed on her forehead as a sign of good luck. 1. All Rights Reserved. The bride worships Goddess Parvati in the entrance until she is asked by the priest to come onto the dais. On the wedding day 148 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The groom’s parents give the bride a sari signifying acceptance of her. is welcomed with an aarti before she steps inside the house.   Various pujas take place in the two homes. The bride is to gently knock the vessel with her right foot. 2.

September 15th to October 15th (Bhadrapad) and December 15th to January 15th (Shunya) are considered ill-fated. Tond dhune and Vyahi Bhet. The Tamil wedding The Tamilian weddings are quite simple though they have a fairly large community. The Tamil calendar is consulted before fixing the date of marriage. the antarpaat is removed. 149 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Her new name is traced on a plate of rice. Gifts are exchanged between the two parents on behalf of the newly-weds. All Rights Reserved. The seemaan puja is performed when the groom arrives at the bride’s home.  The Antarpaat is placed between the bride and groom. Changing of the bride’s name. Consequently weddings are not held in during those months. The Tamilian brides usually wear a bright coloured saree adorned with flowers in the hair. 3.      Post-wedding ceremonies: Reception. Ltd. The groom’s feet are washed by the bride’s parents and he is welcomed into the home with gifts.   The Laxminarayan puja is performed for the bride and groom. And according to the Tamil Calendar the dates from July 15th to August 15th (Aashad). Varaat or vidaai. Grihapravesh of the bride in her new home. Kanyadaan and tying of the mangalsutra is then executed. and the bride and groom exchange garlands and perform the mangalpheras. The priest chants the wedding mantras. .

Then the groom says that he is going to Kashi and is not interested in setting up a home. He is welcomed warmly and the bride’s brother puts a tilak on the groom’s forehead.  Exchange of garlands and swing ceremony – Garlands are exchanged by the bride and groom and they are made to sit on a swing while ceremonies are performed around them. they are together through it all. The groom comes to the wedding venue a day before the wedding day. 150 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The Nicchiyadharatham is when the bride’s parents do a Ganesh puja. Saptapadi – The bride and groom go around the fire seven times. At this time he also announces the details of the wedding. and ask for their blessings.1. 2. Muhurtam – Prayers are offered by the two families the day before the wedding. . Ltd. Prayers are chanted through the day.    Pre-wedding rituals The Lagna Pathirigai is read by the priest. Tying of the mangalsutra.  On the wedding day Mangal snanam and Kashi Yatra – The bride and groom are given ceremonial baths at their respective homes. The Naandi ceremony is performed to honour the ancestors. All Rights Reserved. This is to show that while life has its ups and downs. The bride’s father has to stop the groom and bring him to his home where he is welcomed by the family of the bride.    The families fast the day before the wedding.    Kanyadaan.

3. Huge number of customs is followed during a Bengali wedding. The unique feature of the Bengali wedding is the blowing of conch shells. Ltd. In other marriages that take place in South India. They are considered as the intellectual community of India.    Post-wedding ceremonies Exchange of gifts. . they consider it to be sacred and it is mostly blown during any holy or religious ceremonies. All Rights Reserved. Reception. It is also blown to attract the attention of the guests towards the ceremony. Pre-wedding rituals 151 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the main customs remain:      The muhurtam The Kanyadaan The tying of the mangalsutra Grihapravesham Reception Rituals and ceremonies that are dictated by family tradition are included. The Bengali wedding The Bengali community has the essence of warmth and gratitude within themselves. 1. Grihapravesham – When the bride enters the house of the groom.

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Adan Pradan – This is when the lineage of the bride and groom are traced back seven generations by the priest. The Patri-patra confirms the alliance. The Vridhi puja to honour the ancestors. The ceremonial bath. Water is brought from a nearby temple for this bath. Gifts are exchanged between the two families during the gae halud tattva and the adhibas tattva.

2. 

On the wedding day Haldi and ceremonial bath - Conch shell bangles are dipped in turmeric water and put on the bride’s arm, and then the bride is dressed in all her bridal finery.   The groom is welcomed with the blowing of conch shells and ululation. The bride is carried into the mandap, and after a short ceremony when she walks around the groom seven times, there is the shubho dhrishti when they see each other for the first time.  The exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom. This is done 3 times to the chanting of the mantras.  The Saat paak and sampradhan ceremonies are conducted when the kanyadaan is done and the bride walks around the groom seven times.

3. 

Post-wedding ceremonies Vidaai.


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Bou baran and Basar ghar is when the bride steps into her new home. At the threshold she has to dip her feet in a paste of red lac dye and milk, and as she steps in the imprint of her feet are made on the floor of her new home. The groom’s sister then takes her in. She is given red and ivory bangles, and the loha(iron) or a steel bangle.

Bashi baye is when the groom puts the sacred vermilion in the bride’s hair parting. Prayers are offered to the Sun god.

Boubhaat – A feast is set out for the family, relatives and guests. The bride makes a rice preparation which is served at this time.

Dira gaman is when the newlyweds visit the bride’s parental home for the first time after the wedding.

Oriya and Assamese weddings share common features with the Bengali wedding. Again, family traditions and local culture add to the colour and festivities.
It is good to remember too that though the actual wedding ceremony is dictated by religious affiliation, they also have the local traditional flavor.

Further:  The North Indian wedding – This is the most elaborate form of wedding which stretches along many days. There is a lot of fun and gaiety that goes on throughout. These weddings are very ostentatious.


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The South Indian wedding – These weddings have a lot of traditional cultural programs during the days preceding the wedding. The bridegroom is welcomed in the local temple and then taken to the kalyana mandapam. One interesting custom is when the feet of the bride and groom are washed with milk and dried with silk cloth by the father of the bride.

The East Indian wedding – This includes Bengal, Orissa and the Northeastern states. The common ceremony is the kanyadaan. Other wedding rituals are specific to the state. The Assamese ceremonies are not very elaborate, but here the traditional wedding meal is held before the actual wedding ritual.

The West Indian wedding – Here we are talking about Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Maharashtrian weddings are scheduled in the morning or late evening. After the wedding, there is usually a Laxmi Narayan puja that is held.

 WEDDING V OWS According to Hindu tradition
  The seven vows of marriage symbolize the seven promises made by the bride and groom. The ceremony is performed in the presence of the sacred fire or havan. The place where the havan is done is beautifully decorated too.  All weddings in the Hindu tradition have the chanting of Vedic mantras.


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But after the pheras. th th th th rd According to the Muslim tradition    The Maulvi reads certain texts from the Quran. the groom leads the first four and the bride leads the next three. mind and soul and that they will have a long marriage.  four – That they will acquire knowledge.That they would pride a prosperous living for the household/family. happiness and harmony by mutual love. she sits on the left side.  5 – That they will be increase their family and be responsible for their children.   Of the seven pheras. 155 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. mental and spiritual powers in order to live a healthy lifestyle. They also pray to be blessed with healthy. All Rights Reserved. . The meaning of the vows taken with each of the seven pheras are:  1 . understanding and faith. The groom gives the bride the Meher or compulsory gift. respect. Before taking the vows. the bride sits on the right side of the groom.  6 – That they will have self-control of the body. and avoid all the hindrances to a healthy family life.  2 nd st – That they would develop their physical. honest and brave children. Ltd.  seven – That they would be true and loyal to each other and remain companions and best of friends for their lifetime. The bride and the groom have to give their consent willingly.  3 – That they will earn and increase their wealth by righteous means.

After this they are made to sit together. to be my wedded (wife/husband). and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. According to the Christian tradition  When the rings are exchanged. ‘til death do us part: according to God’s holy ordinance. he says the following oath: ‘With this ring I thee wed.  Arrangements have to be made separately for male and female guests. for better or for worse. for richer or for poorer. Certain points have to be kept in mind in a Muslim wedding:  The prenuptial agreement and conditions in the marriage contract have to be discussed and agreed to before the wedding. legal and immigration issues need to be dealt with before the wedding. Amen’.  In case the couple is from two different countries. and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness. ________. with my body I thee worship.  The couple signs the Nikaahnama which is a legal marriage document. 156 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. They repeat certain prayers after the Maulvi. these vows are repeated by the groom and bride: I.  As the groom then places the ring on the bride’s ring finger. . to have and to hold from this day onwards. in sickness and in health. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. ______. take you. to love and to cherish.

are not allowing themselves to be stopped by considerations of caste and creed. ceremonies and rituals and plan something which everyone agrees to. No matter what the tradition is. increasingly. 157 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. It is important. let no man put asunder’. Inspirational poems may be used. Ltd. instead of using the traditional vows. there are special customs belonging to the individual families. Young Indians. even though they may choose their partners. groom and the elders of both families sit down with the priest and work out a ceremony that everyone is comfortable with. some form of vows is taken publicly in the presence of witnesses.  In some Christian weddings. Further. the bride. . the ring is placed on the finger of the bride by the priest as a symbol of the bond between the bride and Christ. Very often. All Rights Reserved. Most importantly. The priest then exhorts the congregation with the words: ‘Whom God has joined together. since two families are involved. it has to have meaning for the bride and groom. the families may want to have some sort of ceremony and a reception. therefore. However. to sift through all the customs. In these cases. relatives may come up with all kinds of demands. the bride and groom decide on special vows that they create.  Very often.

Ltd.” Deepak Chopra. All Rights Reserved.“If we share with caring. . And then this moment will have been worthwhile. 158 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and love. lightheartedness. Indian spiritual guru. we will create abundance and joy for each other.

. Ltd.159 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved.

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