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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.”
Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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
Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 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. All Rights Reserved. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved. . 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. Ltd. .Introduction “When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man. 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.” Brahma Sutras.
want everything to be done under the huge umbrella of ‘auspiciousness’. Further. If the wedding is a traditional one. It marks the beginning of a new phase in the life of a couple and adds meaning to their relationship. and when it comes to marriage. There are several procedures to be followed and loads of arrangements that need to be done. A typical. So. private ceremony.Wedding is the most sacred union of two hearts and souls eternally in a revered connubial knot. . then stay tuned. then congratulations! We are here to help you out with the marriage preparations. All Rights Reserved. extended and even remote members. We will help you as a guide and will make you aware of different kinds and patterns of weddings. It is a union of 2 families – immediate. Indian weddings are generally a combination of local. still planning is required to honour close friends and family members. If the couple has opted for a simple. what are the benefits and what are the dos and don’ts of an Indian wedding. Ltd. If you have decided to get married. if you are planning to organize a lavish Indian wedding for yourself. It must be remembered that Indian customs are very diverse. an Indian wedding involves large number of people. 7 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the number of invitees can be anywhere between 500 and 5000. But marrying in Indian style is not a cakewalk. there are several customs and rituals associated with it which needs to be taken care of. traditional Indian wedding can best be described as a grand-big-fat-happy-chaotic occasion. Grand Indian weddings are in fashion and are liked and appreciated throughout the world because of their gleam and charm. An Indian wedding is much like a festival with lot of glimmer and full of fun and excitement. religious and family traditions. and this is true especially for the parents of the bride and the groom.
8 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and region. as in. either independently by the couple. it is important to start planning for the wedding ceremony from the day the decision of marriage has been taken. They may go by different names in different regions. and are used regardless of whatever religion or region the bride and groom belong to. Moreover. they are indigenous to the land. to organize everything in a systematic manner according to your requirement and budget. or by their parents in the traditional manner.Planning is therefore important. Since this is a season of joyful celebrations. . All Rights Reserved. Ltd. In this wedding planning guide. certain festive customs are very Indian. Therefore. you can get an overview of the different kinds of Indian weddings which are uniquely different according to religion. but their essence remains the same. proper planning leaves no room for confusion and mistakes.
and choosing intimate. young people today are opting out of the elaborate wedding routine. 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. In this guide we will make sure you have proper understanding of each aspect of an Indian wedding. customs or rituals specific to family tradition. can be incorporated if the family. From different kinds of weddings.Further. More and more. All Rights Reserved. or the bride and groom desire them. the charm of comprehensive Indian wedding remains. 9 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. So. 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. Ltd. Still. choosing the venue for getting married. . or the local ethos.
Pre Wedding Preparation There are enormous preparations that need to be done once a couple decides to get married in the traditional Indian style.” before the actual wedding day. All Rights Reserved. . invitations. the planning should start days or rather months “A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers. Therefore. guests and much more. African proverb 10 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. You have to take care of the venue. Indian rituals are also difficult and should be carried out religiously. food and accommodation.
where the rates quoted are exorbitant. It is therefore imperative that the venue be decided well in advance. This would ensure that the venue is reserved for you and would not then be given to another person. You must select the venues for the following occasions: The engagement or sagaai. . Since Indian marriages usually take place at certain auspicious times of the year. 11 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. so that the bookings can be done. there is huge rush for venues. Make sure that after the booking is confirmed an advance is paid. 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. where the wedding commitments are made by the elders of the two families concerned. Ltd. CHOOSING THE MARRIAGE VENUE This is a very important task. The mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. All Rights Reserved.
make sure the guest list is small since you will be bearing all expenses of travel and stay. If you are planning a wedding abroad. Things to be considered It is easily accessible. so that no one is kept waiting. catering and music. 12 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. it should be convenient to bring them to the venue. The reception. including a dressing room and toilets. and all documentation is complete. and simply cannot be missed. decoration. then make sure all legal procedures are followed for visas and marriage license. There is enough area for parking vehicles. Further. This is necessary because the time for the muhurat is to be strictly observed. a destination wedding locale could also serve as the honeymoon location. All Rights Reserved. . In case some necessary items/requirements have to be brought in. It would be advisable to find out and fix the rate in case of exceeding the time given. The services provided include adequate seating. then the venue should have the arrangements required for this. Usually a separate car is kept for the bride/groom and their immediate families. It fits into the budget. The actual wedding ceremony. If you are planning a destination wedding. If refreshments are to be served. There are good amenities available for the event that is to be held there. The time allotted for its use is sufficient for all the ceremonies to take place comfortably. Proper conveyance and transport facility is available. and convenient.
. In case one of the parties is from outstation. 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. So. once the parents decide on the venue it has to be vetted by the priest. Consequently. It has to be kept in mind that a wedding is a very important event in the life of a couple and their families. sets the mood for the many ceremonies. In fact. there have to be a place earmarked for these. Any hint of a wrong note can be considered inauspicious with disastrous fall-outs. along with getting all the ceremonies done in the right way. the parents and any family members or friends that they choose to bring with them. special living arrangements for the bridegroom/bride. This is another reason why so much importance is given to the venue in Indian weddings. the bonds between the families have to be forged. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. to a large extent. since there are rituals that are specific to the bridegroom/bride. will have to be made. so that the rituals can be performed in the right manner.The venue.
In case the two families have decided on a common venue other than their homes. and it is only the priest who can ensure that. This enables all guests to arrive without delay. The main ceremonies should be held on a dais so that everyone can witness them. in case the place of worship cannot accommodate everyone. Therefore. before taking the final decision on the venue and the construction of the mandap. They also have the facility for providing refreshments that guests might need during the course of the ceremony. In such cases where a separate venue is chosen for the reception. canopies. Community halls attached to the place of worship. . All Rights Reserved. Ltd.direction. and awnings. 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. You would need to check the weather conditions to see if this idea is feasible. If the ceremony is planned outdoors. the priest’s sanction is required there as well. it is necessary to get it cleared by the priest. tents. since they are equipped to deal with large groups. Kalyana mandapams or marriage halls. naturally a large open area will be required which can be covered with shamianas. For the main wedding ceremony Choose a religious place of worship. 14 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
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.
OF WEDDING ACCORDING TO
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.
Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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.
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.
. Palampur The Palace. seven8 kms from Ahmedabad Nilambagh Palace Hotel. All Rights Reserved. Uthelia.ii. Some places to choose from: Balram Palace Resort. The plus points: Local priest Traditional folk music Ladies’ dances for the sangeet Decorations including floral arrangements Lunch and dinner Videography by professionals iii. Ltd. Bhavnagar Kusum Vilas Palace Nazar Bagh Palace Uparkot Fort Dabhoi Fort Beach Weddings 1. Kerala 18 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
Accommodation for family and guests up to a certain number. Ltd. Clothes (including costume jewellery for the bride) for the bride and groom. Classical dance and music performances for the pre-wedding festivities are organized. ii. The plus points: The wedding feast is a culinary experience and is served on banana leaves. 19 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and curves along the Arabian Sea. Floral decoration of the venue and special decoration of the mandap. Also. Kerala is on the South-West coast of India. All Rights Reserved. Weddings in Kerala are quite simple as compared to North Indian weddings. The groom is brought on the back of an elephant in the baraat. the maximum numbers of days over which the festivities are spread is 2 to 3 days. . and wedding make-up.i. However. time is set aside for visiting places of local interest and sight-seeing. Kerala offers several exotic wedding locations.
entertainment. Photography and videography are possible. You may choose to have the main wedding ceremony in a traditional houseboat. Kumarakom Lake Resort Zuri Kumarakom Resort The Taj Malabar in Kochi 2. The plus points: A special choir sings during the ceremony. beach parties with live music. Beach weddings are quite exotic in their own way. Ltd. and barbecues. ii. Goa i. Some places to choose from: Kovalam Somatheeram Varkala Shanghumukham The backwaters of Kumarakom. and can be quite charming if both families love the outdoors.iii. Hotels and resorts in Goa organize the whole wedding including accommodation. The wedding attire of the bride and the groom are made available. Beach weddings have a touch of the unconventional. food and beverages. 20 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . All Rights Reserved. as well as local sight-seeing.
For a Hindu wedding. iii. and the food as well. Music is traditional Goan. One bottle of celebratory champagne for the bride and groom are on the house. sangeet and all the other rituals that have to be performed – all with that very special Goan touch. Some places to choose from: Calangute Baga Palolem Colva 21 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. the hotel usually makes all the arrangements accordingly. . arrangements are made for the mehendi. If you choose a theme. Ltd.
. 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. iii. Ltd. ii. This is an archipelago and the islands are located off the South-West coast of India in the Arabian Sea.Island Weddings 1. All Rights Reserved. The plus points: Lakshadweep offers excellent facilities for the wedding ceremony and offers a number of value-added services such as wedding cruises. and chances to explore the underwater beauty. Lakshadweep i.
Andaman i. . 23 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. and is a place of exquisite beauty. The whole island is decorated. Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. iii. a wedding can be planned in a wildlife sanctuary provided the necessary permissions are taken from the local government body. Here are some places you can choose from: Havelock Island Ross Island Red Skin Island Wildlife Sanctuaries For the daring and adventurous. with the special marriage venue decorated even more elaborately to make it stand out. This is also an archipelago. Ltd. ii. All Rights Reserved. making it exclusive.2. The three sanctuaries which are ideal are: Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The plus point: An entire island can be reserved for the wedding parties.
Mountain weddings If mountains fascinate you. any additional ceremonies or rituals would be easily accommodated after discussing it with the presiding priest. or Wildlife Sanctuary weddings. a Rajasthani or Gujarati palace/haveli venue. Island. It would be a good idea to have a few options. All Rights Reserved. If we think about mixing and matching. just in case your first choice of venue is not available. It has a variety of green hills. 24 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. it is easiest. Likewise for the Beach. or a venue in Kerala would mean that the dress code would need to be worked out to match the venue. If the bride and groom are from the same background. in some cases. then this would apply only to the ceremonies. All weddings make allowances for the personal touch. then India would be the most preferred choice for you to tie the wedding knot. this would have to fit into the broad framework. THE WEDDING T HEME The venue chosen. if they want to incorporate their own vows or some personal touch. There are different venues amongst which the Chalets Naldehra in Shimla would be the ideal wedding venue. Kashmir is considered as heaven on earth and planning your best day at such a romantic place would be a truly exhilarating experience. . also becomes the theme. If the bride and groom are from different states in India. step farming mountains and snow clad peaks which add a lot of class and glamour to your marriage party. Ltd. However. For instance. not to the dress or the other wedding paraphernalia. the keyword in theme weddings is homogeneity.
and the couple wants an Indian wedding. A floral theme. Since their wedding day is a special one for them. or in a garden. A favourite film. It could be based on: A hobby or personal interest. and the religious ceremony could take place in a place of worship. If one of them is from another country. A specific historical period. A favourite place. . All Rights Reserved. or Orchid theme or Arum lily theme. there are provisions for that as well. Summer. or in the home of either party. 25 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. A season such as Spring. In case there are two ceremonies involved – a civil ceremony and a religious one. A retro theme such as the 50s or the 80s. Sometimes just one kind of flower can be chosen to create the whole theme such as the Rose theme. Monsoon. for instance on a ship. A romantic theme. Something as indigenous as a Village theme. Choosing a theme This depends entirely on the bride and groom. The Indian wedding ceremony can accommodate all additions or changes. A fantasy such as an Arabian Night theme. or on a jet. they may decide on a theme which has a special meaning for them. Ltd. the civil ceremony could take place either in the Marriage Registrar’s office. or Winter.
In Indian weddings since the groom is usually dressed in cream. The attire (including make-up) of the bride and groom. However. It is always better to have a couple of options if you are creating your own theme. All Rights Reserved. another one can be chosen. the colour the groom wears will dictate the dress code for all the male guests. One colour theme. Dress code (including make-up) for all guests. Ltd. 26 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .to keep the following things in mind when creating your own theme: Decorations including creating the backdrop. as well as the families concerned. It is important because in case it is difficult to get one theme organized. Even a dark suit will not be out of place should the groom decide on a one. You can use different shades. but the basic colour remains the same. Remember . it will match with whatever colour the theme uses.
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. if you decide on a different theme for the reception. Check out the feasibility of your chosen theme with the elders in the family as well as with the presiding priest. Ltd. Food and beverages – Even if you serve a different kind of cuisine. A mantra you could use. the table settings and service as well as mode of serving will have to match the theme. Make sure that nothing inauspicious is incorporated. A royal. The end result should be completely authentic. The budget: This is of the greatest importance when planning a theme wedding. For whatever reason. The table décor at the reception as well as the favours should reflect the theme. 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. someone they trust should be given the responsibility of working out all the details. there will be room for inauspicious comments. Make sure you think the whole thing through to the last detail and have enough time to make it happen. Of course. romantic or fantasy theme means great expense. It should always be remembered that an Indian wedding is a social event and if those attending are not comfortable. but the two should blend with each other. all the family members attend weddings. choose a theme that can be enjoyed by the older people and the children as well. the groom and the families. if the bride and groom are unable to handle this work. . since the right ambience has to be created. 27 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Once again. it should not be too different from the wedding theme. All Rights Reserved.
in India. maroon. In case you are handing over the wedding preparations to a wedding planner agency. You would not want to have to deal with something you have not chosen for the most special occasion of your life. pink. Colours are very important in Indian weddings. with lots of zari and gold. the other wedding colours used are the same. All Rights Reserved. ensure that you participate in all the major decisions. Outdoor weddings will naturally be more expensive since it needs more elaborate décor and lighting. Would you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? The theme chosen will then have to be adapted accordingly. 28 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. Whether the ceremony is a Christian one or a Nikaah. red. They have to be shades of orange. besides the specific colours at the ceremony. .
During certain times in a traditional wedding. whether you are choosing a live band or getting a DJ or using soft background music. Betel leaves symbolize good fortune. So. hot pink (and very little or preferably no black. and marigolds. 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. Banana leaves signify prosperity. But. and neon colours for the 80s. Ltd. . All Rights Reserved. happiness and purity. Orchids. Since there are certain traditional leaves that have to be used for a traditional ceremony. you could look at psychedelic colours for the 60s. The leaves required are: Banana leaves with the stem (this is usually placed on the four supports of the mandap). since black is considered inauspicious) for the 50s. 29 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. note that traditional flowers at all Indian weddings are the jasmine. In case you have chosen a floral theme. A tambool which is a combination of a betel leaf. other than that. traditional instruments such as the shehnai or nadaswaram have to be used. besides the traditional colours. where you will naturally use lots of flowers. these will have to be included in the décor. an areca nut. Colours are important in a retro theme as well. Mango leaves signifying prosperity. it should match the mood created by the theme. roses. gerberas and carnations are used quite frequently too.
In an Indian wedding great thought goes into planning this. the invitations go from the bride’s family to guests of both parties. you can do your pruning. . as well as what expenses still have to be factored in. Since this is a very big day in the lives of two people and two families. you would realize how much the wedding expense will turn out to be. THE GUEST L IST This is the most important task as well as the most difficult one. One by one as the expenses pile up. it is important that there should be no cutting down on the ceremonies and rituals that are important. Points to be kept in mind when drawing up the guest list: The Budget – This is very important. Very gradually as the realistic picture emerges. Only then can you have an overview of what you are spending and on what. The expenses on food and beverages can be looked at again and the menus can be re-worked. Now. remember to record all of them. Conventionally. All Rights Reserved. 30 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. even the tiniest ones. on a spreadsheet.
Ltd. The idea is to stay within a structure and ensure that there is enough leeway for unexpected expenses. décor. For instance (and this is besides the immediate family). you will see that it falls in concentric circles. or to go back with bad memories There are some people who absolutely have to be invited. . as well as other smaller details? First. You would not want disgruntled guests to spoil this happy and auspicious occasion. Remember there cannot be one final budget. You will need to sit with some trusted person from the groom’s side. 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. Remember. or at different places? Is the venue you are choosing convenient for the rituals and ceremonies? What are the expenses involved as regards. decide on the number of guests you can invite. While the decorations of certain areas cannot be compromised with. it is advisable to get an older member of the family to handle this. there are other areas where the decoration can be minimal. transportation. food and beverages. Since this is a delicate matter. All Rights Reserved. The Venue – This is an important consideration when planning the guest list. If you make out a list. to get inputs from the groom’s family as to whom all they want to be invited. 31 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. or in a venue outside? Are they to be all in one place. every guest’s comfort is important. close family members.
so that they can schedule it into their own personal calendars. guests from outstation mean expenses of accommodation. Arrangements will have to be made for them. meals. If some of the invitees are working.The number of guests coming from out of town is next to be decided. naturally. Therefore. If there are common friends between the bride’s family and the groom’s family. transport. how many days are you looking at. it is advisable to keep room for the unexpected.. their number should also be taken into account. 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. 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. how many ceremonies besides the main wedding would you like them to come for? Accordingly they will have to be told. . Consequently. either a joint invitation can be given. children enjoy the most and are a part of every ceremony. For you. During an Indian wedding. Guests from the place of residence This would include friends of the family. as host. then you would have to ask whether. i. Ltd. If the bride’s and groom’s friends are being invited. naturally their parents too should be given invitations. All Rights Reserved. and any other foreseeable expense. or an invitation from both sides can be given.e. Here too. sight-seeing (if any).
. 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. All Rights Reserved. But other than that. Ltd. Giving everyone enough time is a thoughtful gesture. 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. Whoever has been given the responsibility of making the guest list must discuss it with the parents of the bride and groom. In a traditional Indian wedding a large number of extended family members and guests arrive for the wedding. Of course if you have a really close friend. one that will help you in your planning as well A wedding is a new beginning in many ways. any kind of formal-have-to invitations are not really necessary. especially if it is the first wedding in the family. 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. Do not invite anyone out of a sense of guilt. They will need to make arrangements at their own homes too before coming for the wedding.In case you have to cut down on the guest list Cut down on colleagues from the place of work. 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. then naturally you would want him/her to be with you.
that takes time as well. It could be that you want all your invitees to attend all the functions. haldi. While ‘the more the merrier’ is good. the invitation is delivered by hand and very ceremoniously to all the guests whether they are members of the family. though. or people of the locality. The invitation cards need to be ordered well in advance since they have to be personally delivered.thing. sweets. The invitation. followed by a personal telephone call. It could well be that some guests are common to both the bride’s family and the groom’s family. neighbours. friends. It could be that the wedding is to be a family affair. either within the country or overseas. pre-wedding. The invitation is scanned and sent by email. close and extended. An important custom to be kept in mind is that in a traditional Indian wedding. A wedding is also a time for renewing old ties and bonding. One practice which is catching on very rapidly when sending invitations to guests in far off places is via the Internet. If they are being sent by post. 34 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and you are inviting extended family members. THE INVITATION CARDS Invitation cards say a lot. a great deal of thought needs to go into the creation of invitation cards. Consequently. How the invitation is given is in itself a mini-ritual. members of the religious fraternity you belong to. on the wedding day. betel nut are given when inviting the guest. because sacred vermilion. Ltd. There are many rituals and ceremonies. ensuring that everyone is comfortable is the responsibility of the two families concerned. and post-wedding. All Rights Reserved. has to go from both sides. The hard copy of the invitation is sent by post or courier so that the guest has this in hand as well. . sandalwood. relatives and guests for the reception only.
Ltd. times and venues of the other ceremonies and rituals. it would be good to have something symbolic of both cultures in the card. 35 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. An RSVP. . A map of the venue/venues. time and venue of the actual wedding ceremony. All Rights Reserved. it helps if a short description is given. 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. If there are ceremonies that are unique to the family. If the wedding transcends countries and cultures. 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. The wedding invitation is the first hint of the theme of your wedding. or create your own card. or some kind of confirmation that the guest could send back as acceptance or inability to attend.
The picture of a decorated doli/palki (palanquin) is engraved/embossed. 36 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The motif can be repeated in different colours. Add embellishments like rhinestones or beads or even a piece of matching tulle. Ltd. Contemporary or modern The themes would be an extension of the wedding theme. 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. Hand-drawn or stylized versions are also used. The picture of a betel leaf. All Rights Reserved. the star and crescent. Shiva-Parvathi.The Themes of a Marriage card 1. These have a distinct ethnic touch. and the Buddha are often used. the cross Swastika and Om. In the center of the leaf a miniature idol of Ganesha is placed. Radha Krishna. 2. Choose a particular motif from the embroidery on your wedding attire. The card is bordered with sanctified red string. . Religious icons such as Ganesh.
Use bronze-. such as the couple’s initials entwined. 3. look very elegant. It is covered with silk. the invitation/invitations in matching glossy paper can be placed. and if traced on paper and cut out. . The cases could have a small clasp. embossed paper so that the scroll is firm. 37 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. silver. organza or taffeta. The box is made of wood. Use thick. All Rights Reserved. Tips on creating your own card The card should be 5” by seven” (for a standard card.plated slim cases to hold the scroll. So. Box invitation: These are made with embossed card material. Ltd. or an attractively tied velvet ribbon. Some other prevalent forms of invitation cards Wedding scroll: The invitation could open out like a scroll. the background can be in dark red or dark hennacoloured paper. The lid can have a special motif fixed onto it. Could be on special hand-made paper. The box would have a small stylized clasp. The invitation/invitations on colour-coded paper are placed inside.or gold. if the design is cut out on thin cream/cream-gold paper. Henna designs: These are very intricate designs. 4. Adorned with a pearl. Could have miniature pictures of the bride and groom. it would make a very elegant card cover. scented if possible. not a scroll). Could be hand-painted. or rhinestone. Inside. Embossed either on plain paper or hand-made paper.
Colours usually chosen are classic ivory matched with maroon. Ltd. You can choose more than one colour so that you have one colour for close family. one for extended family and other relatives. zari thread. it is in the name of both grandparents and parents. and one for your other guests. of both the bride and the groom. one for close friends. the bride and groom directly invite the guests. Use beads. or in a contrasting colour. At least one of these religious symbols should be used for Hindu wedding: Ganesh. or ribbons to create your own design on the cards. All Rights Reserved. or the Kalash. orange/saffron and gold. The style and wording are contemporary as 38 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. tassel. or layer the card. green. The words to be highlighted in bold or in a larger size should be clearly worked out. Black is never used. Alternately. The format of your Marriage card The top right side of the card contains couple of lines of a mantra or verses. it is in the name of the parents. rhinestones. In a modern invitation. You could either choose designed paper – self designed. or with a design of your choice. . or embossed in gold or silver. if they are living. The colour of the ink would either be a darker shade to the paper used. The colours used in traditional cards are red. or hand-made. Once the card is printed with the words that you want. Palki (palanquin). you could decorate it before distributing it. The paper should be decorated. Alternately you could affix a small charm. Use a single sheet. yellow. Om. Swastik. shiny or textured. Betel leaves. The invitation is in the names of the grandparents. The font – Both colour and size should be chosen with care. so that the entire card looks pleasing. Sometimes. or in dark blue.
From then onwards. A typical Indian custom is to have “With Best Compliments” and the names of two immediate family members or close relatives mentioned. It can be in the form of a poem. All the cards should be colour-coded. The time. for the wedding day. All Rights Reserved. you could enclose an RSVP card with a self-addressed stamp affixed to it. Postage and self-addressed stamps too need to be included in the calculation. You could also mention an alternate route if there is one possible. or something different that the bride and groom feel is meaningful to them. This would vary in the two cards. . all they have to do is to post the card. While the pre-wedding rituals are different. Ltd. the groom’s card would start with the time the baraat leaves. and other cards may have details of the other rituals and ceremonies. You could mention important landmarks near the wedding venue. The left side of the card has the details of the rituals and ceremonies. the cards would have the same rituals/ceremonies. Clear maps and directions should be given. When working out the budget for the wedding invitations. two names and numbers are printed where the guests can give a call. while the bride’s card would start with the time the baraat is received.well. so that. In case the RSVP is mentioned on the card. Instead of waiting for your guests to confirm. Another format is to have only the main wedding ceremony on one card. 39 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the auspicious item you are planning to give along with the card should be factored in. The budget of your Marriage Card This is an important consideration. dates and venues should be clearly mentioned.
so both these factors have to be worked on simultaneously. including the guest list given to them by the groom’s family. For a moderate budget. One family member should be deputed to handle the RSVPs so that he or she knows the numbers. if not earlier. the person in charge of the RSVPs could call and confirm personally. You can also design simple invitations. simple cards with simple. the bride’s family sends out all the invitations. Ltd. 40 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Naturally. but it is important to have an idea of how much catering is required. If money is not a problem. This would give enough time to get the confirmations. in case hotels and rooms have to be booked and travel arrangements made. . elegant designs can be planned on. There is nothing worse than having too small or too large a venue. All Rights Reserved. then naturally you would like to go for an elaborate card and elaborate detailing as well. The invitations should be planned to be sent out at least six weeks in advance. you are not looking at an exact number. Further. This would help in planning the reception as well as other meals and snacks. Other considerations In some traditions. The size of the venue and the guest list are directly linked. or even remind the guests about the date. It would also enable your guests to plan their schedules. 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. The parents of the friends of the bride and groom should be invited. and use the money for other wedding expenditure.
then arrangements for everyone to stay will have to be made elsewhere. especially to those who are in other places. if there are many people coming in from out of town. All Rights Reserved. ensures that you get confirmations of those who are definitely coming. Guest houses are available. preferably close by. Ltd. and have modern facilities and amenities. Close friends of the bride-to-be and groom generally stay with the family. they can be accommodated in the home of the bride-to-be and the groom. However. If there is place in the house. . or there are elderly people in the group. This helps in planning where your guests are going to stay. ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR OUTSTATION GUESTS Sending out invitations early. If your guests are being put up in guest houses. 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. If the guests are staying too far to walk. Sometimes the hotel includes breakfast in the tariff. If the wedding is to be conducted in a hotel. then hotel accommodation at reduced rates is offered to the guests as part of the wedding package. then it is important to see that they are comfortable. There are quite a few options for guests coming from other places. All meals would be served at the wedding venue for the guests of the bride’s family. then transport arrangements will need to be made for them to be brought to the ‘wedding home’ or biyahghar every day. Some may come for a month before the wedding to help out with the arrangements. 41 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
There are a few do’s here: Request the hotel/guest house to see to it that there are fresh flowers in the room. 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. 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. and maybe a small hamper of fresh fruits and chocolates on arrival. All Rights Reserved. so that the guests know who is receiving them.A wedding in another place is also an excuse for guests to have a little holiday of their own. Once the guests reach the place they are staying. This naturally makes it special for the guests. On request. and they should stand holding placards with the names of the guests. If that is the case. give them a call to personally welcome them. the hotel will gladly put welcoming flowers and a small hamper of fruits in every room the wedding guests occupy. Sometimes. In the event of your not picking up your guests from their place of arrival. family friends are accommodating and might host a few guests. 42 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . then sight-seeing tours could be arranged. The drivers should be thoroughly briefed about the venue. Ltd.
Ancient Greek poet. All Rights Reserved. 43 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." Homer. Ltd.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.
Ltd. For example arrangements for food and beverages. All Rights Reserved. THE F OOD & B EVERAGES Food is an extremely important part of Indian weddings. . The occasions that you would need to plan for are: The sagaai. The several days over which pre-wedding rituals are held.There are several arrangements that need to be done on the wedding day. The days on which the post-wedding ceremonies take place. etc. You may have given orders for them beforehand but these things are organized on the Dday itself. The wedding day. decorations. 44 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. cooks who are well-versed in the art of non-vegetarian cuisine. Hotels/restaurants. Bar. Place cards if chosen. The first meal that the two families have together is during the finalizing of the alliance. Ltd. or the 45 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Table décor including centrepieces on the tables and buffet. Cutlery and crockery. Table linen. Buffet arrangement with burners to keep the food hot. Members of the family. which is the sagaai.A decision that you will have to make regarding the catering depends on what choice you opt for: Professional caterers. Uniformed waiters. Home cooks or professionals who specialize in vegetarian wedding cuisine or in the case of Muslim weddings. Soft drinks and other beverages. Decoration of the venue. Wedding cake if so decided on. All Rights Reserved.
Relatives. irrespective of the time. This will have to be factored in. Ideally a vegetarian meal is served. with help from cooks and masalchis. The kitchen of the home should also be considered for the purpose. Therefore. the cooking is done outdoors. All guests who drop in are served snacks and made to stay for a meal. tea and sweets or assorted biscuits and snacks are served. Usually. or if the kitchen in the home is big enough. it can be done here too.engagement. with the hosts. it is important to plan it very carefully. who have been put up in guest houses or hotels close by. the biyah-ghar or the homes of the bride and groom start getting guests from about 10 days to a week before the wedding. 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. Ltd. 46 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. have all their meals. starting with the morning tea. In either case. In any get-together. . In many traditional homes. an outdoor oven and cooking marquee is put up where professional cooks with their masalchis (helpers) belonging to the Brahmin class set the kitchen. In case members of the family are taking over the whole business of cooking. Sometimes guests. as described above. but in some communities a meal without a non-vegetarian dish is unthinkable. This is an absolute must. both the indoor and outdoor kitchens are required. who decide to stay with the families of the bride and groom. naturally would have all meals with the family.
Ltd. a meal would include: Drinks – alcoholic. Some traditional dishes. so there has to be specific arrangements and different cooks assigned to this. Ideally. Keep in mind the requirements of older people and children as well. Even if the family is vegetarian. . and most weddings have a live chaat counter going. The meals reflect: The region to which the bride and groom belong. The local cuisine (for variety). and this is a festive time full of fun and good cheer. and/or non-alcoholic. because their food habits are specific and need more care and attention. A variety of appetizers or starters. All Rights Reserved.Since there is such diversity of cuisine. Snacks. the guests may not be. menus with different cuisines are planned. The likes and dislikes of the bride and groom. Consequently there should be some non-vegetarian dishes at every meal. One universal favourite is chaat. 47 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. If the ceremony stretches for long hours then there should be enough food and drink arrangements to meet the excess requirements. drinks and beverages are in demand throughout the day.
In many cases. and are taken down after the last ceremony is over. Seasonal fruits and ice creams (including the indigenous kulfi) are part of the dessert too. long trestle tables are set up at the time of the first ceremony. At this time. A large selection of desserts including typical traditional Indian sweets and general desserts. the traditional wedding feast is on banana leaves. or whether it is to be handled by members of the family in the home kitchen. The main course which would have at least 5 vegetable dishes (more if it is a purely vegetarian meal). Decide on all the meals that would need catering. Paan. Traditional Indian meals are served on banana leaves. different types of rice preparations. . Serving coffee or tea is not strictly done. Even if china is used for serving meals. Ltd. Choosing the wedding caterer Decide on your budget. or whether this is to be done by other cooks. can be offered. Most Indians eat with their fingers. All Rights Reserved. but if preferred. for this meal. Decide on whether you want the caterer to provide snacks. Maybe 48 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 3 or four non-vegetarian dishes. Sometimes. A wash basin or some kind of arrangement for washing and wiping hands and rinsing the mouth is a must. custom may dictate that there are separate areas for men and women to eat. the guests sit on the floor on white sheets. Also. different kinds of breads and a variety of salads and curd preparations. different types of dals (pulses). it is also wise to plan the meals day by day so that you have an overall picture.
All Rights Reserved. Decide from where the vegetables. Ltd. fruits and non-vegetarian foods are going to be bought. may well be snapped up by someone else. Alternately. As a personal gesture. Is aesthetic and elegant. then do not take any chances. The rates become higher closer to the wedding date. The caterer should be open to your ideas and suggestions with regards to recipes and spices to be used. Give the decorations to someone else. It is also a good idea to plan a buffer in case you exceed the budget. Matches your theme. Checking out various options as regards caterers and their rates needs to be started at least 10 months prior to the wedding. and the caterer you would like. Though many caterers can be found online. Find out if they handle venue and table decoration as well. Plan out the menus. . The caterer should be able to provide both traditional dishes as well as some dishes from the local cuisine. 49 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. you could get some of your close friends and relatives to handle it. check to see that it: Is homogenous. it would be safer to go by personal recommendation. some of the bride’s family members could be present behind selective food counters. Whoever is doing the decorations. If you do not feel convinced. It would be easier to negotiate the rates if you do it well in advance. Taste samples of the food so you know what you are going to get. The sooner you book the caterer the better.a mixing of options would be needed to help you stay within the budget. Maybe the people who are to decorate the house and wedding mandap can handle this as well. For the following two reasons: Weddings happen by seasons.
or a buffet. guests. The caterer should be knowledgeable about cocktails and other liquor that is being served. In a sit-down meal. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. You would need to decide whether you want a sit-down meal. The groom’s family. Office friends and colleagues. Allows for space since waiters. All Rights Reserved. you will naturally need to plan the seating. and children will be moving about. relatives and guests. This needs consideration since there are: The bride’s family. relatives and guests. . Arrangements will need to be done accordingly. and the glasses they are to be served in. Ltd. 50 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
Sit with the photographer and/or videographer and brief them thoroughly so that those precious moments are recorded according to your wish. Consulting a professional Find out how much of the budget should be set aside for this purpose. Find a good. It is always a better idea to trust the reputation that comes to you by word of mouth. as well as general pictures of the wedding. All Rights Reserved. PHOTOGRAPHY AND V IDEOGRAPHY Capturing the wedding on film is a very important task. . Of course guests and close friends will use their own cameras to take photographs of moments that are important. reception. 51 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. reputed organization that deals exclusively with weddings. and guests.
because these moments cannot be re-played. . DECORATIONS Since all Indian weddings are guided by the stars. Therefore. This has the wonderful effect of creating just the right festive atmosphere. The photographer and/ or videographer should be invited a day before to see the rehearsal. Presence of many people makes the couple conscious. Remember if the pictures are not clicked at the right time. Finalize the details of the deal before the wedding. All Rights Reserved. do indicate the preferred choice of music for the background. Ltd. List out priority shots for every ceremony. And worse. For the videos. The first thing that goes up usually is the decorative lights. so that he has an idea about the whole event and what to expect out of it. it would be a tragedy. nor are they going to come again. 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. Assign a family member to guide the photographer through all the ceremonies. 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. for an Indian wedding is like a festival! 52 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 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. you would have paid for something you are not satisfied with.
Since they are a necessity. The doorway is also exquisitely decorated with colourful hangings called torans or bandanwaars. Ltd. Things to be considered The budget – How much you would decide to set aside for flowers. Naturally the one at the entrance is the most elaborate and colourful. . 53 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. colourful decorations are a sign that this is a ‘wedding home’. some thought has to be given to the kind and quantity of flowers that you would need to order. Bright. The house and yard are also enclosed with colourful shamianas. Flowers play an important role in Indian wedding decorations. All Rights Reserved. the whole yard is decorated with lights as well. colourful rangolis made with rice powder and other coloured powders are made at the entrance and various other places. While lights drape every bit of at least the façade of the house. marquees or canopies with sides.Bright.
No wedding venue is complete without the rangoli. 54 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The colours of the flowers must be bright and vibrant. Garlands of jasmines are also given to all the lady guests. no matter what the other flowers used are. entryway. the buttonhole or boutonnière. Ltd. . 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. Rose petals are always used to bless the bride and groom. Bridal dais. as well as the fact that there may be some damage to the flowers. varmala and table centerpieces are amongst the most important areas that require elaborate floral decoration. But in case you are planning for a lot of flower arrangements. Fresh flowers available locally would prevent these problems. car. then it would be better if you give the responsibility to professional decorators. For South Indian weddings. While the outline is traced in white or the design is filled in with different colours. flowers have to be included in every rangoli. Who will arrange the flowers – Few of the flower arrangements could be taken care of by members of the family. these would be less expensive than ordering the flowers from another place. All Rights Reserved. The rose is another flower that is necessary for Indian weddings. for the groom and best man as well as men of the immediate family of both sides has to be planned. Flowers for the bridal bouquet in Christian weddings have to have a small spray of orange blossoms. mandap. It is a single flower or a bud and is usually a white carnation or a rose. The kind of flowers – If you go in for what is available locally. pillars. jasmine is a must. sehra. That would include shipping charges. doli. One flower that has to be included no matter what the other choices of flowers are. Also. is the marigold.
the bridegroom along with other family members goes to the bride’s house. Furthermore. the wedding ceremony takes place in the bride’s house. so that everyone can see and participate in the ceremony. because this is where the bride is going to be brought after the wedding. He may even get onto a horse for the last bit of the journey to the bride’s house. The car. Ltd. It is a four-poled canopy. Nowadays. . The bridegroom’s house is as elaborately decorated. and is made on a raised platform or stage. The poles are elaborately 55 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the bridegroom goes in a car. Traditionally he is supposed to go on a beautifully decorated horse. Decorating the Mandap The main wedding takes place in a small. is decorated. All Rights Reserved.In Indian weddings. After a small ceremony in his house. sanctified area called the mandap. therefore. there are all kinds of ceremonies in both houses both before and after the wedding.
prettily decorated. Of course the more elaborate weddings have intricately created mandaps. Splashes of pink can also be added. The dais is decorated. All Rights Reserved. There are small seats for the pundits as well as for the bride and groom. The predominant colours used in the mandap are gold and red. and the seven pheras (circumnavigations) of the fire are made. .decorated as is the roof of the mandap. The bride is brought in by her cousins and sisters to garland the groom. the mangalsutra is tied around the bride’s neck. The two sets of parents also sit in the mandap. He then garlands her and they are taken to the mandap. the whole mandap including the roof is made of flowers. It is in this mandap that the wedding vows are taken. the 56 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The garlands are masterpieces in themselves. A small havan is made since the ceremony takes place in the presence of a sacred fire. When the bridegroom comes to the bride’s house. The other close family members generally stand around the mandap. As the latest trend. Ltd. It is also decorated with flowers. Sometimes. he is made to stand on a slightly raised dais for the garlanding ceremony. The roof in some cases is dome shaped. Even the simplest of weddings has a mandap.
Ltd. A plantain leaf is placed on it. flowers. The kalash is painted with ethnic designs on the outside. A swastika symbol. the thaali with the ritual fire. Sometimes an incense stick is also placed on the thaali. To make the thaali more decorative. Sometimes beautifully painted earthen pots are used. . Two items which every Indian wedding use as symbols of shagun (auspiciousness) are the Kalash and the thaali. The coconut which is placed on top can be kept in its natural form. The ceremonial thaali too is decorated beautifully. A small decorative lit diya is placed in the middle of this sign. 57 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. It is ringed with washed fresh mango leaves. auspicious red vermilion powder and rice grains are kept handy. sandalwood paste. An aarti is also performed when the bride goes to the groom’s house after the wedding ceremony. Since the welcome ceremony of the groom requires an aarti. Another way of decorating it is to cover the thaali in silver or gold paper and put a zari border around it. or decorated. though silver can be used as well. all the items on the thaali can be placed in small colourful clay containers. Sometimes it is smeared with turmeric paste and a vermilion dot is put on it. is made in the center. All Rights Reserved. The kalash pots can be placed individually. The kalash is a pot in which a coconut is placed. It is usually of brass. The swastika symbolizes well-being. turmeric paste.women in the groom’s procession are gifted with scented vials and potpourris and the men are gifted with flowers for their button-holes. or one on top of the other in order of decreasing size. It is a big thaali made of brass or silver.
thick mattresses covered with white cloth are arranged on a dais. both of them will weather everything together. for the musicians. 58 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and there are certain times in the course of the ceremony where they are required to be played. the music of the shehnai or the nadaswaram is considered auspicious. or house can be created near the wedding mandap. If the theme is ethnic. these have to be arranged for and put up well in advance. the musicians then move to the wedding mandap area. Sometimes there is a small area on top of or near the gate from where the musicians play as the bridegroom enters the gate. Wherever the musicians are to sit. For instance. the place assigned to the musicians has to be done up to match. This would definitely add to the ambience. . After the welcome. then the musician’s mandap can resemble a mud hut with beautiful designs on the walls with mirror work and motifs. In this case. but the arrangement looks attractive. Consequently a swing is decorated and kept in a suitable place. Often traditional instruments such as the shehnai or nadaswaram are played accompanied by percussion instruments like the tabla or thavil. This place can be a mandap. or a dais which is decorated. the Tamil wedding ceremony has a special occasion when the bride and groom have to sit on a swing. No-matter what other music is chosen.In case a particular wedding ceremony has some other requirements. Ltd. Whatever the theme of the wedding is. All Rights Reserved. In most venues there is a separate place ear-marked for the musicians. Sometimes. Their swinging gently on this swing together signifies that while life together is bound to have its ups and downs. a separate mandap in the form of a temple. a small canopy is put up so that the instruments and the musicians are not only protected from the weather. especially if it is cold.
If they choose to sit on the floor. Gossamer and organza can also be used as decorating material along with flowing satin ribbons. . One very important feature of an Indian wedding is the nonstop eating and drinking that happens. no matter what kind of wedding ceremony it is. either the bride and groom are in different rooms and the Maulvi goes to them separately to ask for their consent. The pews are also decorated. The vestry where the bride and groom go to sign the marriage register after the ceremony is also decorated in white. Good. so the lighting should be such that these turn out realistic and beautiful.Forms of decoration according to the wedding type For a church wedding. the room where the bride and groom sit is always beautifully done up and decorated. This is the most important day of one’s life and needs to be photographically recorded in detail. Chairs are placed for the family members as well. the Church is decorated with white flowers. since they actively participate in the nikaah. then the floor of the whole room has thick mattresses covered with brocade cloth. Ltd. Lighting is important. All Rights Reserved. Sometimes there are festoons below the ceiling to create a second ceiling. soft lighting adds to the atmosphere. Alternately. 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. Sometimes. For a nikaah ceremony. then the maharajah chairs are placed in the room. The pews. The traditional Indian wedding is a long drawn out affair. Videos and photographs are taken. the room is divided by a kind of decorative partition. The altar is specially decorated with flowers and candles. or they may sit in the same room. aisle. if they choose to sit on chairs. 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. church door and entrance are decorated. Whatever the arrangement. If the bride has chosen to offer favours to all the guests.
. the choice of the priest is very important. All Rights Reserved. they are a part of the wedding. where people of several religions and castes stay together with peace. There are caterers with their own cooks and bearers/waiters who take over.where the cooks are cooking. All tables are covered with table cloths and runners with a centrepiece of flowers or fruits. Since there are bound to be both non-vegetarian and vegetarian guests. India is a land of diversity. Ltd. Therefore. The chairs too can have their backs and seats covered so as to look festive. Often during the ceremony. This dining area can be done up attractively with long trestle tables and chairs. People also opt in 60 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. There are flower arrangements all around. The buffet is attractively and conveniently located and arranged. 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. or sets of small tables to seat four. Thus. the two buffets can be placed separately. a group of people might want to sit and chat over a cup of tea. and yet doing their own socializing! CHOOSING THE M ARRIAGE OFFICIANT Rituals play a very significant part during an Indian wedding. This kind of large-scale cooking is usually done outdoors in a makeshift kitchen which is enclosed in a colourful shamiana.
Involved in the whole process right from the time the commitments are made by the two families. constraints and apprehensions of the families so that there is no jarring note on this happy occasion. Able to explain the meanings of the ceremonies in English. All the legal procedures that are involved in the marriage. Able to explain the meanings of the chants/prayers so that the bride and groom understand what is happening. . and at the same time see that the necessary customs are observed. So the officiant or the priest for the purpose of marriage should be selected with great care. In fact he should be able to adapt the rituals to the conditions prevailing. Able to create a meaningful ceremony when the bride and groom belong to different castes so that none of the elders are offended. 61 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and who can do the explaining. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.for inter-caste /inter-religion /inter. so that participation of all concerned is whole-hearted. in case one of the parties is a foreigner.region marriages. Prerequisite of a good marriage priest He should be knowledgeable about: The Vedic texts and mantras that are related to marriage. or have an assistant who knows English. Understand the restraints. Able to explain the meanings of the various rituals.
” The Bible 62 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.Post Wedding Events “So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has fixed together. no human being must separate. Ltd. . All Rights Reserved.
Even if the wedding is a traditional one. or on the same day. 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. the venue can either be the home or some other suitable place. depending on the convenience of the newly-weds. This is done in consultation with the family. There are wedding reception halls available in 5-star hotels. . THE WEDDING R ECEPTION The Wedding Reception is a very big event. It can be a day or two after the wedding. the decoration of the hall is the caterers’ responsibility along with the menu. as well as that of the guests. Often. There may be multiple tiered wedding cake. even if the main event is over. Alternately. If you are planning on an intimate wedding. The date for the reception may vary. The reception is usually worked around a meal. Here again. or one can also arrange the reception in a privately-run reception hall. then the reception that you would plan would naturally be in accordance with it. or recommended by a reliable person. In this instance. just the close family members and friends would go for a meal to the newlyweds’ favourite place. In case entertainment is planned or there is to be a dance. For the couple. Ltd. In this case. the catering is generally given to a catering agency either known to the family. 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. There are still lot of rituals and post – wedding ceremonies that are carried out. All Rights Reserved. You have much more to expect. the family would host a small get-together with food and drink at home. then the music or live band is booked accordingly.
care has to be taken to make all the bookings in advance. Table runners can be elaborate with candles and flowers on them. Ltd.hold the whole entertainment together. Things that needs to be considered Use fabric banners in bright colours draped on the walls and below the ceiling. 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. Since in India weddings are in definite seasons. the new entrant to their family and home. Ensure that there are sufficient parking spaces for the vehicles. Make someone in-charge of receiving and recording gifts unless it is specified that gifts are not to be given. 64 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. whereas the post wedding reception is the responsibility of the groom’s side. Chairs covered with single color linen and sashes of contrasting colors tied around them look very attractive. . According to Indian tradition the engagement and the wedding ceremony is organized and arranged by the bride’s family.
specially created for the occasion. The sofa and special chairs can be hired. Here again. or decorative tinsel and flower streamers from a central pole covering the entire area. If a bar is being planned. A side covering with a dome frame covered with flowers. Alternately. This is highly decorated and a Maharajah sofa or two Maharajah chairs. or a bar could be set up in an especially ear-marked place. There is something very festive about an outdoor reception. 65 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. then a stage is set up (unless there is already one) with an elaborate backdrop. Small canopies over tables for four people. . If the home of the groom is large enough to host the reception. At one end is a special canopy with a dais.Wedding receptions can be planned outdoors if the weather is favorable. There are lots of flowers. again beautifully decorated. If a hall is chosen for the reception. This dais can be used for certain pre-wedding rituals as well as for the reception when the bride and groom receive guests. Adorning the Reception area One large shamiana or marquee. lots of tulle and organza and special lighting. Ltd. the reception could be held there. if the reception venue that has been chosen has a lawn or garden. and the way the bar is set up should match the décor chosen. then there’s nothing like it. A great deal of red and gold are also used. These are decorated with beaten silver or aluminum and have red upholstery. are placed on this. the way the waiters are dressed. All Rights Reserved. the way the food is served also adds to the whole effect. then there could be waiters circulating the drinks. Naturally.
Ltd.Therefore. . 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. One plan could be to have simple but elegant décor and a good table. when you are planning the reception. Some tips are: Strings of miniature lights draped all over the room with a few well-concealed soft lights. Flowers. All Rights Reserved. candles. there are two main factors that need to be considered: The décor. Candles in elaborate candelabra. table cloths. 66 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Martini bowls with floating candles. Consequently. The food and beverages.
Milne (1882-1956). Plain table cloths with bright. 67 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . Bowls of flowers and fruits on the buffet table or side tables. I want to live to be a hundred minus one day. or a close friend of the bride and groom. A. If it is a small gathering. THE WEDDING TOAST During most of the receptions. English author Things to remember if you are the chosen speaker Write down what you would like to say. zari table runners. Seasonal and local flowers.” A. Once you have the basic gist of what you want to say. All Rights Reserved. Good crockery and cutlery. a toast is proposed by the groom’s Best Man or the bride’s Maid of honour. so I never have to live without you. “If you live to be a hundred. Ltd. Lace over-cloth on the table cloths. you could even think of silver cutlery and bone china crockery. you can polish it and refine it. elaborately worked.
thank you cards must be sent out. GIFTS AND FAVOURS The person who is in charge of handling the guest list should be deputed to look after the gifts as well. 68 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. Once the newlyweds come back after their honeymoon and get down to settling in their new home. Say how touching the wedding ceremony was. cash is given. Compliment the bride. All Rights Reserved. in such a case the amount should be mentioned against the name. Further when making the toast Introduce yourself right at the beginning. Sometimes. happy and prosperous married life. Talk about some positive quality about the bride and groom. and _______(name of the groom). Thank the hosts. and mention your connection with the bride and groom. You could also include a quotation if you like. Ask everyone to lift their glass and say: “To ______ (name of the bride). or some memory you have of both of them. End with best wishes for a long. . You could mention an anecdote connected with the bride and groom.
. All Rights Reserved. and give them the invitation card. Gifts exchanged by the two families during certain rituals and ceremonies. 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. or cash when given to the bride/groom Gifts given to immediate family members would be clothes or cash. a dinner set or bedroom linen and all the invitees would get to contribute to some part of that. for instance. all the male relatives from the groom’s side are given gifts by the male members from the bride’s side. it can be something specific to the wedding theme. or something for their future home. gifts given by them can be fun gifts. This helps in keeping the budget within bounds 69 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Details of those who is gifted what is decided in advance. at the time of the milni. Sometimes. Gifts given to the bride and groom at their bachelor/bachelorette parties. Wedding gifts to the bride and groom. This is done when the parents personally visit the guests to invite them. These generally take the form of clothes.There are different categories of gifts Gifts that are given by the parents to the guests. For instance. This can take the form of a brass/silver/ thaali on which certain auspicious items are placed. In this case. Since this is a party for close friends. jewellery. the bride and groom may decide against gifts. Though it is not very common. in Punjabi weddings. Ltd. or some hand-crafted article that has been specially made for the family to be given on this occasion. or decide on. but the person organizing the party can hint at the gifts the bride would like. or. a well-phrased sentence is inserted in the wedding invitation. The kind of gift and the cost of it depend on how close the relationship is.
or the same one for everyone. if you are designing them would need to be ordered in advance. 70 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. do not be either extravagant or frugal. Ltd. Whatever you give your guests should make them feel special. All Rights Reserved. In this case the store is instructed to wrap the boxes with special wrapping given to them or ordered by the family. specially ordered for the occasion. and the cost would be less when ordered in bulk. Souvenirs. These would be personal. Shagun or return gifts or favours are given to relatives and close friends as a gesture of appreciation for having attended the wedding. Tips for wedding favours or shagun When you set aside money for these. The good thing about Indian handicrafts is that you can get something unique for every budget. You could decide on different favours. . This could be in the form of boxes of sweets.
You get all kinds of diyas from pottery to ceramic and most gorgeously painted and embellished. and great range of price and colour. or brass pooja thaali. These are available as readymade gift items. The motifs are from Hindu mythology. 71 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The container could be made of wicker or beaten silver/foil. jewel boxes. These are available in a large variety. and copper designed wall plates. silver. sizes and aromas. Silk shawls and stoles. Ltd. Traditional Indian batik art and craft work. then you can have different kinds for different sets of guests. bowls. Indian miniature paintings. They are encrusted in silver. Alternately you can order the kinds of dry fruits you would like included. and Laxmi. Candles in hand-crafted candle holders. All Rights Reserved. A set of diyas. Woodcraft.Some ideas for gifts Ornamental serving trays. Kashmiri craft. Wall hangings. Thanjavur (Tanjore) plates. Dry fruit box. These are made of copper and brass. Magnets or magnet frames with pictures of the bride and groom. napkin rings. Copper. . Silver coins engraved with Ganesh and Laxmi. Brass. Aroma candles are also available in all shapes. or you could order your own design as well. Should you decide on this. Statues or small idols of Ganesh.
it is the members of the family who personally look into this. 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. small cards made with handmade paper can be affixed with the names of the person you are giving the gift to. Chocolates in personalized wrappers with the wedding monogram or the initials of the bride and the groom. this is so because many guests schedule their departure within hours after the wedding or the reception is concluded. A specially designed hamper containing lots of different stuff. for a traditional wedding. or bought online too from stores which specialize in them. Ltd. All these gifts would have either an engraving of your initials or a card with your photographs on it. Shagun or favours can be ordered. All Rights Reserved. Use your creativity to make favours with them. If possible. However. Giving something traditional and indigenous to the place of the wedding would be special. It is always a good idea to gift the favors to the outstation guests a few hours before the wedding. Remember this is a personal acknowledgement of the guest/relative/close friend. 72 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Every State in India is known for its own indigenous craft. designs and lengths. Cotton stoles in different colours with a thin border of zari can be considered. Handloom weaves are gorgeous and are available in different colours.
All Rights Reserved. whether the couple knew each other before the wedding. . The honeymoon is planned either by the parents or the newly-weds. it is time for the young couple to go away for a few days. Ensure that all travel arrangements are in place. Hotel bookings and reservations should be confirmed. This is the time when the newly-weds lay the first foundation stones of their life together. or they are strangers. A honeymoon is very important for the newly-weds. “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times. Naturally if it is planned by the parents. Ltd.” Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983). or an arranged one. 73 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. always with the same person. Whether the marriage has been a love marriage. THE H ONEYMOON Wedding over. it is good for them to go somewhere beautiful and where they can be alone. the newly-weds might want to gift this to themselves. On the other hand. the wishes of the newly-weds as to the destination are respected. American journalist and author. 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.
Consequently. and adjustments made. In case the honeymoon package is being planned by a travel agent. after the wedding. Carry least possible luggage. leaving the newlyweds to stay on. 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. the advantage of planning in advance is that any last minute changes/difficulties can be absorbed. then there is nothing like it. If the couple is going abroad. it would be advisable to go over all the arrangements with them instead of leaving things entirely to in their hands. . the couple has another destination in mind. tickets etc. or a typical honeymoon destination. Honeymoon destinations – If the wedding is in a place where it would be possible for the couple to stay on for their honeymoon. Choose a destination where the couple is not viewed as tourist targets. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. If online bookings are being made. everyone would come away. Special arrangements will have to be made in this case as well. visas obtained and travel documents. Whether you are planning an off-the-beaten-track destination. ensure that you take printouts of all the documents. foreign exchange and other details cleared. If however. then all the necessary documentation should be done.
or whoever is planning out the honeymoon study the itinerary and hotel detail including meals etc so that the couple can enjoy a relaxing. 75 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. stress-free honeymoon. All Rights Reserved. if you are not sure of planning your honeymoon tour on your own. Ltd. Karnataka and Andhra. So. Tamil Nadu. you could try out one of the packages offered by a reputed travel agent. mainly in Rajasthan or the hills. Gangtok and the surrounding hills. . The North-East.Hotels and travel agents offer ready-made honeymoon packages. The North. 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. It is imperative that the bride and groom.
In which case. 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. or change of plans. or arrangements going awry. All Rights Reserved. it would be a good idea to see that all the travel documents are in order before the wedding. You might plan a honeymoon abroad. . 76 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd.These range from 6 days and 5 nights.
” 77 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Deepak Chopra. and love. lightheartedness. . each bride wants to look like a princess and each groom wants to look the best. “If we share with caring. Indian spiritual guru. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. 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.Deciding on Apparel and Accessories During the wedding. we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile.
green is the auspicious colour. for the reception. 78 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Traditional auspicious wedding colours are red and gold. or for the reception. or the bride’s family is asked by the groom’s family to decide on what the bride is to wear. However. the bride’s colours are white/ivory and gold. Depending on the various customary traditions the wedding dress is either gifted by the bridegroom’s family to the bride. THE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM Deciding on the wedding dress is an event in itself. In some cases. and the bride’s family would bear that expense. there are two main ceremonies: the engagement ceremony and the wedding. The bride’s family too gifts one wedding outfit to the groom. All Rights Reserved. The wedding wear gifted by the groom’s family to the bride is worn either at the wedding for some particular ceremony. baraat. However. sangeet. Pared down. the bride would wear something in red. They then bear the expense of this particular dress. reception. . The Bride’s attire There is a wide range to choose from for wedding wear for a traditional Indian wedding. In a Church wedding. Here too. Ltd. the groom could be asked to choose what he would like. and grihapravesh or entrance into the groom’s home. vidaai. in a traditional Indian wedding there are other functions as well such as the mehendi. There is: The sari (both 6-yards and 9-yards).
if required. Full-length gowns . . 79 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the kavani might be embroidered as well. A second matching scarf can be used for ceremonies where the scarf has to be put over the heads of the bride and groom. All Rights Reserved. The dhoti-blouse-kavani for Kerala weddings.Christian brides might opt for this. The lehenga which is a long skirt with a matching blouse or choli and a dupatta. as well as for the pheras when the end of the scarf has to be tied to the end of the groom’s dupatta.Here again another matching but not as elaborately worked dupatta can be used for the pheras and other rituals. The shalwar-kurta-dupatta . and an extra matching dupatta for the pheras. All kinds of patterns are available. The gharara/sharara-dupatta. blouse and kavani. The dress comes with a veil which can be either short or long depending on the style of the dress. Ltd. While there are different size of bands of zari on the dhoti.
Glass bangles are also in fashion. Mysore. Many designers have a wedding section. Indian brides wear a nose ring . It depends on the region the family belongs to. Chiffon. The bride may choose to wear her mother’s wedding sari. so the bride wears a green sari with traditional zari work on the sari in gold and silver threads. . Kota. The Indian bride wears quite a lot of gold as well – Bangles. Kosa. Bandhej. so that is an option you could look into. and earrings. All Rights Reserved. The bride might have to wear armlets and a waistband if custom so dictates. In Maharashtra. Or else. and work out the matching accessories.Whatever dresses the bride chooses. Sometimes. the bride might choose to wear platinum. white gold. The material is silk – Benarsi. or Paithani. Chanderi. Crystals. the bride might want to design her outfit herself. brocade is used as well. then the bride’s forehead is decorated with delicate designs made with sandalwood paste. the bride may choose the shade that suits her. or zardosiwork. and gold/silver thread embroidery. Sometimes a dash of pink makes the wedding attire even more glamorous. rings on her fingers and toes. or even silver jewellery. green is considered auspicious. The wedding dress is embellished with zari. The shade of white ranges from pure white to cream to ivory for the dress with matching veil. Fench lace. If custom requires. Shamoi-satin. necklaces. 80 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The traditional chuda (red and ivory bangles) is a must in some communities. Nowadays. Tussar. The Bengali bride has to wear a loha or iron bangle along with special bangles made from conch shell (shankha) and lacquer (pola). Brocade. Tissue. sequins. or Kanjeevaram. chains. Valkalam. Ltd. and lace are also used. Ikat. Crepe. anklets. Bandhini. There is no one particular shade of red. they are works of art.
The wedding. ghagra-cholis in tissue. If the groom chooses Indian wear for his wedding. Hair ornaments ranging from the mang and borla which is pinned in the parting. Nowadays. and are quite amenable to creating something original just for you. For the mehendi – Sari in Benarsi or Kanjeevaram silk with traditional motifs. The colours chosen are usually wine or ochre. For the reception – Saris. wine red. Some weaves and colours that are commonly chosen are: For the sangeet – Lachcha in tissue and zardosi. burgundy. Jewellery stores have a wedding section. and woven into the hairdo. All Rights Reserved. or pink. peach or pista. he will usually change into a suit for the reception. The colours are usually pastel. . There is a wide range of ethnic wear to choose from. All brides wear flowers in their hair. shoes. Sometimes blue or green are also worn at the reception. the wedding attire is usually a mix of the Western and Indian. The jewellery worn is usually traditional. The colours to choose from are maroon. so that too needs to be planned for. Matching sandals. has the most elaborate dressing. Try the sorbet colours like mango. bags/clutches for each outfit for each occasion are also worked out. The Groom’s attire The Indian bridegroom wears either traditional ethnic wear or the western suit. lehengas. organza or silk with embroidery or zardosi work. Some options are: 81 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. of course. Ltd. to very elaborate ornaments are worn on the sides of the head.
It is made from suit material.Instead of the churidar. the groom might want to wear the loose flowing shalwar with his kurta or achkan. The achkan . It is made of lightweight material. The kurta .This is a knee-length coat with a lining. Ltd. 82 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. South Indian weddings require that the groom be bare-chested for the ceremony. though. is wide at the top. made of light material and is usually cream. The colour is cream or white. The dhoti is tied in different ways depending on the community the groom belongs to. has a drawstring waistband. The shalwar . While the traditional colour is cream. In that case he wears a silk dhoti with zari. The sherwani is heavily embroidered with zari. and a silk kurta with gold buttons. Groom’s Safa is ornamented and remarkedly different from that of the other baraatis. The achkan is worn over a long shirt. Refrain from Achakan if height is a constraint The sherwani . All Rights Reserved. grooms go in for dark colours as well.This is a long shirt coming down to the knees.These are tight-fitting trousers with gathers near the foot. The turban or safa . Some communities have the groom dressed in silk dhotis with a broad zari border. It is heavily embroidered and is in cream or a dark colour. Turbans are made of fine cotton. Nowadays. it can be of a dark colour. stones and Swarovski crystals. Dark or cream. The churidar . Over this. and is usually either white or cream. The dhoti is usually white or cream.This is a long coat with a mandarin collar. he has a sehra or a veil or flowers covering his face. and is narrow at the feet.This is usually in pink. . This is made of lightweight material. the achkan has rather heavy zari work on it. It does not have a lining.
terry wool.This is an East-West combination. 83 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. he would wear the appropriate shoes. With western wear. but with a mandarin collar. In case the bridegroom is in dhoti. The jacket is the normal jacket length. The footwear that goes with ethnic wear is heavily embroidered juttis (shoe) or mojaris. The bandh-gala suit . The fabric is silk. . then he would wear open sandals. both for the wedding as well as the reception purpose. All Rights Reserved. The groom might choose to wear Western clothes. in that case he can go for a 3-piece or even 2-piece suit. The trousers are the normal suit trousers. or brocade. This is in suit material and is usually of a dark colour.
especially since so many kinds of dress are needed for the different ceremonies and rituals. The two most important things are the bride’s and groom’s feelings. Shades of the colour could be chosen. Therefore. Gentlemen are usually dressed in dark colours if they wear suits. 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. If a tailor is making your wedding wear. if there is a theme. wishes and desires. . it would be good to remember that in India. Guests’ attire The colour of the attire that the lady guests wear. weddings usually happen in definite seasons. a point to keep in mind is the fit. then fittings would need to be scheduled in to avoid any last minute glitches. wedding attire for the bride and groom can be hired for the day. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. and the budget. After the ceremony. It must be mentioned that while the wedding attire is very personal and makes for family heirlooms. Once again. The families could get these well in advance. Even if one goes to a wedding boutique. everything depends on the family. and have them cleaned and made ready to wear. If they decide on Indian 84 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. they are returned.All wedding dresses take a long time to make if they are being made to order. it would be a good idea to get them in advance and get the last minute adjustments done by a local tailor. This is one day when clothes have to fit perfectly. Consequently last minute decisions are to be totally avoided if one is to have a stress-free wedding. is specified in the invitation. This would considerably decrease the expense on attire. While these are ideal arrangements.
then they would wear colourful. Male guests may have to wear a safa (turban) if custom dictates. 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. matching accessories are included. THE BRIDE’S T ROUSSEAU Planning the trousseau is what takes a lot of time and energy. It is best to send her to her new home prepared. Since she is going to a new home. All women wear flowers at the wedding. . with white/cream churidars. embroidered kurtas or sherwan is in cream or dark colours. Clothes that are packed can include trousers and matching shirts/kurtis if you like western wear. Otherwise the trousseau will 85 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.wear. The reason a bride is given a trousseau is because the first few days at in-laws place are the most challenging for her. or bandh-gala (closed neck) suits in dark colours. she might feel inhibited about asking for what she needs. Ltd. Even if the newly-weds are leaving for their own new home immediately after the wedding.
Through the years. “Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking. counterpanes. All Rights Reserved.have the usual embroidered and embellished shalwar-kurta sets. in both bright and pastel shades for morning and evening wear. and all kinds of bath linen. cushion covers. Some clothes for ordinary home wear are also packed. nightwear and lingerie form an important part of her trousseau. The Ultimate addition to her Hope Chest is her trousseau. Different kinds of jewellery. . It is filled until the day the daughter gets married. curtains. bags are included. Ltd. as her in-laws welcome her and introduce her to their family and social circle. lehengas. table mats. this chest is filled up with something or the other that their daughter would need to start a family. saris. This includes bed sheets. An Indian bride is always given a box of linen as part of her trousseau. table cloths. The vanity box contains all the cosmetics the new bride may need initially. quilts. The bride may also take some family heirlooms to her new home. 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. blankets. The bride will have to be a part of many gatherings from dinners to teas. Toiletries. as well as a whole range of shoes/sandals.” Chinese Proverb 86 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. pillow cases.
Ltd. You are thought and I am sound.” Hindu Marriage Poem 87 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.Music and Entertainment “Let us share the joys. All Rights Reserved. unite. We are word and meaning. .
than a hung-over one…or worse. Different occasions and customs are a part of Indian weddings. In the recent past. a damaged one… If the groom is not the socializing kind. in India. these parties have become more creative and meaningful and are mostly meant for the joy and camaraderie rather than only drinking and sensual pleasure. fireworks and gaiety. a few rounds of drinks. 88 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This is usually a time for all-male talk and jokes. food. marriage is celebrated like a festival. dancing. and music will do the trick. Better to have a fresh groom. Having a stag party the night before a wedding just may not work out well for the groom.During Indian weddings. BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE PARTIES The bachelor or the bachelorette parties. music and entertainment play a very important part. All Rights Reserved. The fun of music and entertainment begins about a week before the actual ceremony. with lots of drinking. . 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. Bachelor party for the groom A bachelor party for the groom is thrown by the best man/dearest friend/inner circle of friends. As we know. then a small gathering of friends in a pub. Ltd. Flair of parties and outings are organized to enjoy the happiest moments in the life of a couple. or someone’s house. mark the period of transition from singlehood and independent lifestyle to a completely committed married life.
However. Also. Close relatives of the bride. the groom would not know about it till he gets to the venue. or common friends of the groom and bride may be invited. is organized by her close friends. Naturally. 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. Ltd. and not a general bash for everyone. Consequently drawing up the list of invitees and sending out the invitations is of paramount importance. This is called a hen or bachelorette or stagette or kitchen tea party. then planning and organizing it is important – right down to the last detail. A thumb rule is that whatever is planned should be in good taste. . This can work out well if well-planned. first you could take the groom. or meet up with the groom in the usual place where you all hang out. just so that there are no embarrassments for the groom. Sometimes. it would be the close female relatives who organize this. and then from there take him to the planned venue. In India. close friends decide on a surprise party. trusted friends. Don’t invite the groom’s workmates unless you are prepared to invite them all. In fact. the night of the party. Uninvited guests from the same workplace might make it embarrassing for the groom at best and messy at worst. Bachelorette party for the bride A girls’ night for the bride-to-be. if a ‘do’ is being thought of. It is also known as the bridal shower. A few guidelines are: Have only close. All Rights Reserved. it is about the groom.
music and dancing. then a flower-seller could also be called who would make gajras (garlands) for all the women. The bride-to-be. A surprise party could also be planned for the bride-to-be. and sangeet. There would be a lot of food. Since these are very elaborate. or in a close friend’s house. All Rights Reserved. or haldi-mehendi ceremony. Gifts for the new home might also be given at this party. has a lot of gajras woven into her hair. If the budget permits. The mehendi ceremony. The girls might want to have a bash. some older ladies will have to be roped in to help organize this event. . The size of the hen party depends on the bride-to-be’s preferences. Another form of party which is of late gaining popularity is at a spa or resort. 90 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.The bachelorette parties are usually organized in the bride’s home. in which case it would be organized in a hotel. and the married women tease and provoke the bride-to-be. though will definitely take place in the bride’s house. Alternately. of course. where the bride-to-be goes with a few of her intimate friends for a pampering-indulgent weekend. gajras are bought and given to each lady. Ltd.
Ltd. If gifts are given. Therefore. All Rights Reserved. then someone should make a record. the groom’s and bride-to-be’s wishes should be respected. These companies have theme nights on offer. Whether it is a bachelor party or a bachelorette party. 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. Since there are professional henna artists available. However. 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. the budget for these parties is not included in the wedding budget. The songs are usually traditional. and everything should be elegantly done. so that thank-you notes can be sent after the wedding. 91 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. since the traditional parties have their own special charm. After all.A few tips: Plan this a few days before the wedding. which could be considered. Make sure everything is well organized. . so a dholak (double-sided drum) should be available. they should be chosen and given fair notice so that they come prepared.
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. These can be put into the playlist in an iPod. Or. While the bride has a very elaborate and intricate design made on her arms right up to her finger tips. Ltd. Either the older ladies in the family who know the songs can sing these or a professional group can be hired for the occasion. or her friends can do the selection along with her. and played at the time of the mehendi. To a certain extent. Bollywood has played its part in this. A dholak is a must because folk songs are also sung. Sometimes a bangle seller is also called in so that everyone can choose glass bangles to wear. All Rights Reserved. Professional mehendiwalis are called in. the bride can either select the songs herself. or a disc can be burned. . 92 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Starting with the mehendi celebration the fun begins. Organizing the event A DJ can be arranged who will take care of the music. Bollywood movies also have a great selection of songs that can be used at this time.
Ltd. santoor or even the flute. dandiya. Professional performers can be hired for the evening. . Songs can be used to portray different anecdotes from the life of the bride and the groom or their courtship period. This is a slow procession bringing the groom. nadaswarams. performances are often staged on these songs. For the wedding ceremony. 93 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. You can have a theme for the sangeet. All Rights Reserved. There are traditional songs that are sung at this occasion. This ceremony is specially performed at the bride’s place. is when the bridegroom and his family come to the bride’s house (or marriage venue) for the wedding ceremony. it is best to go traditional with music from the shehnais. or a special dance. The dhol and dholak are favourite instruments at this occasion. THE BARAAT The baraat. The families of both the side come together and enjoy this event with songs and dance. Bollywood has a plethora of song for every ceremony related to the wedding. or some particular item featuring the bride and groom. Special Features of Sangeet You can get family members and friends to put up a skit. There’s lots of music at this ceremony. bhangra are done at this ceremony. The sangeet ceremony is performed after the mehendi. Certain dances such as the garba. THE S ANGEET The Sangeet is another festive occasion.
. Other music includes hymns or anthems that are special for the bride and groom. Ltd. The Church Choir can sing a special song. while a group of groom’s friends and family members dance. stopping frequently on the way. which belts out filmy numbers. especially as the baraat nears the marriage venue. 94 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and appropriate to the ceremony. and while the bride cannot leave her room. In various cultures.Excitement of the event Usually a band is hired. it is considered ominous for the bride to watch the baraat of the groom. at the Church. Moreover. or a close family friend can sing a special solo. All Rights Reserved. hence the commentary. it is traditional music that is used: the Bridal Chorus is played when the bride enters the church. Firecrackers are burst on this occasion. the bride may choose to have the mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. and the Wedding March is played after the wedding ceremony is over and the bride and groom walk through the congregation leaving the church. Sometimes as they reach the home. While the Christian wedding does not have the baraat. the groom’s parents join in the dance. her friends give her a running commentary on what is happening. This is the moment everyone is waiting for in the bride’s house.
This is a time when guests generally go to felicitate the bride and groom. and everyone is out to have a good time. a special song can be played if there is a cake-cutting ceremony. One of the family members can take over this duty. All the tension associated with the wedding is over. Entertainment associated with the Reception There may be dancing. It’s the time when everyone can let their hair down. Sometimes. in good taste. or a professional DJ can be hired for the occasion. either classical dance or something contemporary. . Ltd. 95 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and the first dance belongs to the bride and groom. a dance troupe is hired to give a performance. Subsequently. THE RECEPTION The reception is the most important post-wedding event in India. The song played for their dance is their favourite song. The choice of music should be vast and pleasing. All Rights Reserved. there can be soft soothing music played gently in the background. Otherwise.
In fact keep a table booked for late night binges and get-togethers. It can be in the form of a book. Guest Book – This can be done in many ways. or a movie can be organized so that they won’t come in every one’s way. you should attend to them. arrive. In case you are of a classical bent of mind and prefer classical music and dance. MORE E NTERTAINMENT MANTRA There are various other occasions during an Indian wedding where fun and entertainment play an important part. You can have your guests take part in this evening. A Unity Candle – This is a candle which the bride and groom light together. Ltd. Breaking the ice and getting to know them is best done over a friendly meal. who you may not have seen for many years. or get professional entertainers. If you find out that they have any food preferences. Having qawwalis and sher-shairi evenings is also a popular form of entertainment at this time. there should be a picture of the guest and a line or two from them. Since a wedding is also a time when relatives. symbolizing their witnessing and participation at your wedding. They light up the sky and look wonderful. . All Rights Reserved. Ideally. A fireworks display to end the night. It is therefore a good idea to plan out something for late night where you can relax. where you can get professional classical musicians to perform. Keeping children occupied is necessary and a magician. This in itself can be quite taxing. Each guest is given a candle which they light from the Unity Candle. or games. and make it a family entertainment. Sky lanterns – You can get personalized ones which can be released into the sky at the end of the reception. 96 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. you could organize a mehfil or mini concert. you can get your favourite haunt to arrange for these. Classical dancers can also be contacted to give performances.
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. Ltd. and regrets can be buried. it is family time. It is also the responsibility of the hosts to see to it that the children are looked after. depending on the age and inclination of the family members. kids included. This is also the time when old sorrows. Rides can be organized too for the children. and generally brings everyone else up-to-date on their lives. If the family is musically inclined. musical performances. only close friends may be included. choirs. shares photographs. Caricaturists can give everyone caricatures as a memento of a fun time together! There can be small games organized. Comedians. All Rights Reserved. It can be around a bonfire. toasting marshmallows. It is the responsibility of the families to create happy and good memories for the guests. recitations. and magicians can entertain the group. one-act plays. old disagreements. space permitting. but usually after the day’s chores are over. . mime artists. Since this is essentially a time for bonding and picking up threads. 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. unhappy times. There are bound to be lulls during the course of the wedding. jugglers. It is a time of renewal. including ‘Finders Keepers’ where clues are given to find the hidden object. and kept occupied leaving their parents time 97 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. then one day can be assigned to creating a fair. swaps anecdotes. sing-song evenings can be a perfect time for bonding and catching up. or lounge around aimlessly. and everyone reminisces. If you enjoy fairs. having a certain amount of time every day when the whole family. It could be skits. or munching snacks. You wouldn’t want your guests to be at a loose end. Entertainment plans are made keeping in mind the guests who are coming for the wedding. At these family gatherings. get together is ideal.
Thoughtful hosts try to and find out the preferences of the guests. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. One evening can be given to fast food binging! 98 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. so that their favourite foods are included. . Meals. must be served on time. especially if it is an outside caterer.to pick up old threads.
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 FUN FACTS
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
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!
WELL KNOWN SUPERSTITIONS We all become a bit superstitious when it comes to an important event like marriage. Only if there is no other alternative should the marriage be arranged at a time other than the auspicious marriage seasons. In case there is a rehearsal. On the second night after the wedding. 102 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This is a point to be taken into consideration when planning a honeymoon abroad. Ltd. The number 13 is avoided by all. 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. Here are some important points to avoid while the ceremony is on. The bride should not write her new name with the groom’s surname before the wedding. the bride and groom are not allowed to look at each other. Fridays and Saturdays are not lucky in some communities. . Thursdays. The bride should not wear her complete wedding dress before the wedding day. 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. There are pundits who will work out alternative spellings. While you may not want to follow all the superstitions mentioned. you might like to keep some of them in mind. The two surnames should not begin with the same letter. Kaal ratri is a Bengali custom. she should leave a few stitches undone. All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved. 103 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the bride has to put her right foot forward first. the bride should take one last look at herself in the mirror before leaving. though. After she is fully dressed and ready. The bride should cover her head and face. During the grihapravesh in her new home. 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. She should not come back. . This is to confuse evil spirits. Ltd. to look at herself.
two hearts that beat as one. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.” John Keats (1795-1821). English Romantic poet 104 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .Important Legal Formalities “Two souls with but a single thought.
Ltd. All Rights Reserved. They may opt for a basic ceremony preferring to use the money they would have spent on a wedding. Sikhs. if they go by their parents’ wishes. groom. MARRIAGE ACTS & R EGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES Increasingly in India. . all unique and different. which govern marriage and divorce. Still. All Indian marriages have to be registered. Make sure someone in the family is deputed to find out all the details. The different marriage laws are: The Christian Marriage Act The Hindu Marriage Act (includes Hindus. 105 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. on setting up their new home. they should not be within the prohibited degree of the relationship. it has to be registered in order to be considered legal. Knowing the marriage laws in India helps. Even if the marriage register in the Church is signed by the bride. young people choose their own mates and not necessarily from the same religious group (or caste) or State. Further. their parents and witnesses. especially because of its mind-boggling diversity. There are personal laws in each religion. 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. then eclectic ceremonies can be planned out. and get the necessary documentation done so that there are no lapses here.
Ltd. In the Muslim Marriage Act. the marriage is a written legal contract. It also permits a man to have four wives. banns have to be published three Sundays before the wedding. it is communicated to the Parish priest within this period. Here the registration is taken as the actual marriage. Each partner is allowed to include conditions. it has to be communicated to the Marriage Officer within the 30 day period.For a Christian marriage. provided he can treat them equally. There are certain rules which have to be fulfilled. If anyone objects to the marriage. Both parties have to appear before the Marriage Registrar along with their parents/guardians/witnesses one month from the date of the marriage. . Further. All Rights Reserved. if anyone has any objection. the notice for marriage is put up 30 days before the fixed wedding date in the Marriage Officer’s office. 106 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Here again. The Special Marriage Act is for people who are from different communities. The Hindu Marriage Act provides registration of a marriage that has been solemnized.
The Countdown Begins.. 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). “Trust is the first step to love. Ltd.
Decide whether there is there to be a separate engagement ceremony or will all the ceremonies be on one day. The Marriage Officer has to be met. maulvi. 12 MONTHS TO GO The date is decided – either by the couple or according to the Vedic calendar. All legal paperwork. If the wedding is to be a religious ceremony. or whether you would like to have a wedding planning agency involved. If the wedding is a Civil Marriage. If you want your marriage ceremony to be the perfect one. contract that is required has to be worked on so that there is no problem at the last minute. Are you thinking of a traditional wedding. Choose two or three options in case the first choice is not available or suitable. then the place of worship has to be contacted to see if the date you have chosen is convenient for them. Ltd. The date can then be finalized. 108 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and notice has to be put up. there are several arrangements that need to be done. Decide whether you would like to handle the wedding yourself. details regarding documentation required have to be worked on. religious leader has to be free on that day as well. 30 days prior to the wedding day. the Panchang. purohit. or a theme based wedding. .After you choose your life partner and plan to get married. in his office. documentation. In case of Christian wedding banns have to be published three Sundays before the wedding in the Church that the family attends. here is a complete checklist that can help you out. All Rights Reserved. You may even feel anxious and confused about deciding upon events and things. Start checking websites or talking to family and friends about details of the various ceremonies involved. The priest.
sangeet. 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. In case the wedding is to be in another place. . Any clearances required. or keep a budget spreadsheet ready. You might want to include certain rituals in the main ceremony. Venues for the mehendi. Either set up a separate wedding account. bachelor/bachelorette parties have to be decided. you will need to work them into the traditional ceremony in consultation with the priest. Informing them informally helps them to mark the date in their calendars and make travel reservations. Set the budget. Ltd. Other non-religious ceremonies and rituals are decided upon too at this time. then the requirements for conducting the marriage there have to be found out. In that case. 109 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. If a loan is to be taken. All Rights Reserved. you want to give them fair notice so that they keep themselves free for the happy occasion. or reservations to be made will then need to be obtained/done. You can tell them that the formal invitation will follow. but since you are keen that they attend. it would be good to contact your bank at this point.
Think about colours and accessories. family friends. Travel. If there are boutiques that deal with wedding wear. Remember that out-of-towners will need to be put up. Check out styles. designers. All Rights Reserved. 10 MONTHS TO GO Start on the guest list. These are recorded and the expenses are put down as they are made. Consequently this is the time to explore hotels/clubs/country houses/guest houses to find out rates. and catered to. this is the time to start going to them and talking to them about what you are looking for. decide whether you are going to send them their tickets. Besides the people you definitely want to come. This is one sure way of keeping on top of the budget. Ltd. fabrics. This is an expense that will have to be factored in. Get estimates for everything. The bride-to-be and groom need to start thinking about their wedding wear. accommodation and catering expenses will help you decide on your guest list. these can be worked on as well. Importantly it is a good time to pick up threads of relationships and friendships. This will help you decide on what should be budgeted and how much leeway you have. Remember: you NEED to be in control of your budget – you would not want to impoverish yourself. tailors. have meetings with them. The bride-to-be and the groom now start thinking about and getting ready for the big day. If you are getting people from out of town. both yours and your parents’ colleagues at work. and neighbours. Draw up a list of caterers. your guest list would include extended family. or worse land in a debt you cannot repay. This is a good time to see if you have left anyone out. . distant relatives. whether it is a style that 110 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and get their rates. In case your close friends or close relatives are willing to have house guests.
The bride-to-be and her parents also need to start work on the trousseau. All Rights Reserved. Usually the best friend/friends of the bride-to-be and groom organize the bachelor/bachelorette party. The guest list. The entertainment. The clothes of the parents and siblings are also decided at this time.will suit you and that you will be comfortable in. The guest list. This is one thing that usually gets left for the last and then there is panic buying which never works out. Certain points have to be kept in mind: The venue. If you are getting your wedding wear made to order. This will help you in your final decision and choice. Lingerie and accessories are also to be decided along with different clothes. If you want your wedding to be colour coded. Ltd. then this has to be kept in mind while choosing all the different outfits. then keep time for fittings. You will also get an idea of costs. The food and drink. However. . if your family or you decide to host it. 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. The mehendi ceremony and the Sangeet are the other two important rituals that have to be organized. so that there is enough time to get the things that the bride-to-be would need. 111 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
The venue for the Wedding Reception. or whether you are going to buy them. the mandap. the people concerned should be contacted to know if they are free. If you have planned on favours to be given on the wedding day to the guests. If the dandiya is to be done. the place for the Jai mala. If any entertainment is being planned for the days preceding the wedding and the wedding day itself. Ltd. then calling in a DJ to handle the music. 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. decide whether you and the family are going to make them. If so decided. ensure that there is enough 112 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and their charges. the dandiya sticks have to be organized. The place where daily meals for out-of-towners attending the wedding are to be. Marriage venue. and where the traditional musicians are going to sit. Getting the dholak. thought has to be given to a photographer and videographer. Either way. At this stage. . All Rights Reserved.
If you are planning on a formal dinner reception. and a final decision made early enough. Thank you cards. Directions to the venue. has to be made at this time. Furthermore. this has to be thought of. 113 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 9 MONTHS TO GO Wedding stationery: Invitations: Simple or elaborate. All Rights Reserved.time. then would you like a table plan and name/place cards. if you have decided on one. Book the beauty parlour or beauticians who will come home and attend to the bride and all the lady guests in both households. and what kind and colour of flowers. since the bride and lady guests wear flowers (gajras) in their hair. It is also a good time to start thinking about the wedding vows. . and find out how much it is going to cost so that it can be factored into the budget. RSVP. Book the florist – which are the venues that require flowers. Ltd. Order of worship if it is a Christian wedding. The order for the wedding cake. Printed vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus. A short description of the various ceremonies and their meaning and significance for the guests.
Ltd. . and the number of days the newly-weds are to be there. Once this is decided. then transporting the bride-to-be. the groom. 7 MONTHS TO GO All transportation needs to be booked at this point: From place of arrival to the accommodation. All Rights Reserved. 114 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Taking all the guests back after the wedding. then the necessary documentation has to be done. and visas etc applied for. then reservations and bookings should be made. the parents and all the guests to that venue. Back to the place of departure. From the accommodation to the wedding home every day. 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. (If lists are made and all routes planned. If the wedding is to be at another venue. If travel abroad is decided.
and hair style that you want. if required. Moreover. Adjustments can be made if needed. Start deciding on the kind of jewellery to be worn on the wedding day. and changes. All Rights Reserved. and what is required as part of the trousseau. If there is a design that has to be copied. . This should not be done in a hurry. If possible. Check out the make-up you are going to use. 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. 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. you could try out your bridal make-up and hair style so that you know how you are going to look. then talks with the jewelers should be initiated. We are looking at long hours and 115 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. can be made. The wedding rings and mangalsutra design have to be decided on and preferably bought. Ltd.
Visit the venue for the reception. If there is to be entertainment. see to it that there are enough places for each guest to sit comfortably.it is absolutely essential to ensure that what you wear and how you dress does not cause any discomfort or stress. 2 MONTHS TO GO Get confirmatory RSVPs. a phone call to them is in order. For those who live in the same town. Keeping a list of guests who attend is necessary so that you can send them personalized thank you cards/notes after the wedding. and for close relatives. These are from people who live out of town. Sweets are also given along with the card. the done thing is to take the invitation card personally to their homes. Send out the invitations. then that area has to be marked out. Start buying your trousseau. A photograph of the bride and groom is also sometimes enclosed with the thank you card/note. Ltd. 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. 116 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. the size of and what kind of centrepiece the tables should have. and where they are to stay? In case you have not heard from them. They will know that you really want them to attend the wedding. If you like. All Rights Reserved. Depute someone to keep a count of who all are coming. then other small mementos can be given – something which is specific to your family tradition. or something specific to the location of your home. their arrival and departure details. Decide on how the tables are going to be placed. .
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. then besides the traditional music for the procession and recession. Confirm menus for all the meals. sangeet and any other rituals/ceremonies are slated in. anthems. 117 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. Start checking to see if your trousseau is making progress. If you are going in for a Church service. Mehendi. This is the time when the bride-to-be and the groom need to start relaxing. Bachelor/bachelorette parties happen in this last month. and consulted with about the kind of music you would like to have. sit together to ensure that the music chosen adds to the atmosphere. It is advisable to have these parties at least a week or 10 days before the Big Day. this will have to be booked. Confirm all the bookings. the hymns. lesson readings. this is the time to consult with him/her and decide on the music to be used. In case your friends are handling the music. you will need professional musicians for the main ceremony. prayers and vows (if you want to add to or change the traditional wedding vows). Ltd. For the other wedding ceremonies. Music for the various ceremonies is to be worked on. If you want a live band at the reception. Your trousseau should be in the final stages of readiness for packing. as your guests can sign their names in and write a few lines for the bride and groom. If you have decided on a DJ to handle the music. . Guest book – this is also a good idea.
for the convenience of the guests. Check with the caterer and update him with the final guest count and any other changes. Try out everything. Final dance rehearsals if lavish arrangements have been made for the sangeet. 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. shoes. Take down the vehicle number and the contact number of the chauffeur driving every vehicle. Mind and body relaxation whenever possible. if any. Packing for the honeymoon and final check of all the documents. ranging from the dress. specifically their date of validity. Include the timings for snacks and meals also. Brides must prepare their emergency kit keeping all the necessary stuff and entrusting the kit to one of her bridesmaids. 10 DAYS TO GO Make a final confirmation with various vendors and other services providers. . 118 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Plan out the wedding schedule and hand over printed copy of those all the vendors and the guests. jewelery to bags and clutches. A final round of fitting is in order. In case any of your friends are to speak at the reception. this is the time to schedule it. they need to be told now so that they have enough time to prepare. If you want to have a rehearsal. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Visiting an aromatherapy center or spa clinic four to five days before the ceremonies begin helps a lot in enlivening the spirit. Check the transportation arrangement and incorporate changes.
or get the beauticians over to the home. 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. 119 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Try and have an early night so that you are rested for the next day. or their rooms in the family home. it is time to send out the Thank You cards to your close relatives and guests. Gifts to be given: This is a personal gesture and its importance lies in the bonds that are made and preserved. All Rights Reserved. Decorate all the venues. If you are leaving for your honeymoon the same day. ensure that the entire luggage is packed and ready. Send your personal luggage to the place where you are to spend the first night. If you wear lenses. and has settled into their new home. Ensure that the Jai malas are ready. You do not want a sore eye on your wedding day. Sleep or take nap whenever it is possible during the ceremonies. Ltd. then do not under any circumstances use it for more than 10-15 hours at a stretch. . Check all the accessories are ready. Check with the person you have requested to keep the wedding rings/mangalsutra. and all your travel arrangements are in place. Arrange for a person who will receive all the gifts and keep a record of them. The bride-to-be and her friends and other lady family members go to the Beauty parlour. or do you? Finally: After the couple returns from the Honeymoon. if he/she has them. 1 DAY TO GO Hang up all the clothes the bride-to-be and groom are going to wear.
Father of the Nation You will have to be very careful about going ahead with the marriage plan. Don’t forget to factor in fees that have to be paid. In fact your planner should have a column for estimated cost and beside it a column showing the actual cost… However. and other small expenses. .” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG “I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage. Keep a certain amount of money for emergency expenses. For your convenience we have listed some points that need to be taken care of. The budget – this is the area where the greatest errors can happen. and importantly will keep you focused on the big picture. 120 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. pertinent details of the loan. Your budget spreadsheet should show if you have taken a loan. and money spent. as far as is possible. Work out an itemized budget. no expense is really small – everything should be factored in and noted down. try. advance payments made. or in the records that are kept of money spent. to stay within the budget. In fact. All Rights Reserved. Ltd. Even the simplest traditional wedding costs a lot of money. It is a good idea when making estimates to keep some leeway. Make lists for everything – This will help you not to get caught up in niggling details. estimates. Common errors happen in estimates taken. legal fees. donations that have to be given.
This is also a time when no one can say ‘No’ to the bride-to-be or the groom. but everyone will be able to enjoy the wedding only if every little detail is in place before the big day. Check. and do not leave your parents to pick up bitter pieces. remember that you want happy memories. Ensure that the invitation is worded perfectly. Good organization is tedious and time consuming. . This is a time of togetherness with family – make sure that everyone is included. When taking estimates. You. but it pays off big dividends. sometimes. As this is a distracting time and a thousand things will need your simultaneous attention. Focus on the task in hand. Negotiate with the places where you are putting up your guests so that you are assured of the best deal. This way there is no chance of the prices/costs changing. In fact. Try to keep the perspective and concentrate on doing one thing at a time. A rush-rush invitation will never be welcome. see that any communication is perfectly written. therefore. confirm. and double-check all bookings well before the last month. and who will see them through. shop around for the best deals. Do not leave anything for the last week. need to know which to keep and which to politely sift out. Form a good team of those whom you can entrust with specific responsibilities. Remember. and then get it all down from the vendors in writing. Try to be and stay realistic. All Rights Reserved. If directions to the venue are given they should be clear and unambiguous. However. 121 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. It sounds contradictory. Ltd. Sometimes hard decisions might need to be taken. everyone will want to give their advice. Also make sure that you have enough time to comfortably visit all those to whom you have to personally convey the invitation. and certainly not for the last day.
Enjoy the occasion! 122 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Security is an important issue and make sure you have perked up the security arrangements at all the possible places connected with the wedding. . Ltd. 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. All Rights Reserved. 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.
thou art verse. thou art she. . Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Becoming parents of children. thou art Earth. We two together shall live here. I am song. I am Heaven.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.
After the proposal has been accepted by both families. are distinct from one another. If. There are diversified forms of wedding according to the religion and region. If so desired. it is good to have a complete idea about different styles and patterns of marriage and what the marriage rituals are. the bride-to-be and groom are present. He matches the horoscopes and provides information on the ceremonies that needs to be performed. then they may exchange garlands and/or rings.India is a uniquely different country. An astrologer is consulted. This is called the Sagaai or Roka or the Tilak. close friends. The different types of weddings according to religion are explained below. a meal can be hosted. Their rituals. Sweets and gifts are exchanged between the two families. It has unity in diversity. or a well-wisher. The Hindu Wedding The proposal for the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ is made by close or extended family members. The auspicious date/dates and an idea of the location is also suggested by him (specifics are worked out later by the families). The parents of the bride-to-be go to the groom’s home for this ceremony. Each has its own tradition. culture and heritage. 124 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. So before going ahead with an Indian marriage. All Rights Reserved. Ltd. RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS India is a country where people of different cultures and religions come together and live peacefully. since the agreement is formalized between the elders of the two families. . an announcement is made. Usually the bride-to-be and the groom are not present at this ceremony. being different.
1. 2. 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. Haldi ceremony – This ceremony is held on the morning of the wedding day. this is when the bride is formally sent to the bridegroom’s house. 3. The bride is smeared with paste of turmeric. . Post-wedding ceremonies Reception. Sangeet ceremony – This is meant especially for the ladies of the two families. All Rights Reserved. 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. 125 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Vidaai. Ltd.
The bride arrives at the Church with her immediate family. 126 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The groom arrives at the Church with his Best Man and Page Boy a little before the wedding. . and Maid of honour. On the wedding day The bride and groom leave their respective homes after prayers and blessings. the date for an engagement ceremony is fixed. After the bond is formalized. They may decide to take a vow at this time. Pre-wedding rituals The bridal shower or bachelorette party. The bridesmaids and flower girls arrive at the same time too. 1. 2. Ltd. At the appropriate time. and talks to them about the seriousness and sanctity of marriage. The parish priest blesses the young couple. followed by the bridesmaids. The couple exchange rings. The Maid of honour is next. The stag or bachelor party. All Rights Reserved.The Christian Wedding If the couple has not chosen each other. 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. close or extended family members decide on the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’. 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.
The bride walks down the aisle to the strains of the Bridal March on the arm of her father to meet the bridegroom. Post-wedding ceremonies The reception. To the Wedding March. . 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. something which holds special meaning for them. 3. Vows are taken by the bride and groom and wedding rings are exchanged. Lastly the Priest pronounces them man and wife. All Rights Reserved. the couple walks down the aisle of the Church. The couple can have a registered wedding. or they may go to one of the few Buddhist temples that are licensed to conduct marriage ceremonies. The Buddhist wedding There are no formal ceremonies in a Buddhist wedding. Here. The bride leaves for the groom’s home. 127 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The Priest conducts the Wedding Service. blesses the young couple and the congregation. Ltd. The couple goes to the vestry and signs the marriage register with witnesses. There are also selected readings from the Bible. and pronounces the benediction. either the traditional vows are used or the bride and groom may choose their own vows.
The parents of the couple then put a loop of strings on the heads of the bride and groom joining them together. and do not want anything to go wrong. after the horoscopes have been matched. On the wedding day The bride. The Vandana.A Buddhist wedding takes place in two parts. sweets and money. They light candles and incense sticks. After prayers.This is not strictly necessary. The maternal uncle of the bride has pride of place in this ceremony. along with the lama of the temple in their locality. Pre-wedding rituals Matching of horoscopes. So. The non-Buddhist part: where the couple follows traditions and customs specific to their families. 1. The Buddhist part: where the couple offers prayers in a Buddhist temple and gives gifts to the monks. Chessian. go to the Buddhist temple. groom and the two families. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. and the couple recites the wedding vows that are found in the Sigilovdda Sutta. Tisarana and Pancasila hymns are sung. The couple makes offerings of flowers. Prayers are offered. . and the proposal is made. 2. decide on a date on which the proposal can be made to the ‘girl’s’ family. food. Sometimes. all the guests share the Madyan which is a ceremonial drink. but many people are superstitious. 128 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. a red paste is put on the foreheads of the bride and groom.This is the betrothal ceremony. The bride and groom bow in front of the Buddha. the groom’s family.
The Jain wedding Jains are strictly devoted to their community and prefer to marry within their community. Pre-wedding rituals Laghana Lekhan . a puja is done in the house of the bride-to-be. The mahurat. Close friends and relatives attend. Once it is decided by the priest. sweets.The groom wears the traditional headgear. Ltd. 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. Post-wedding ceremonies There may be a wedding feast or reception. money and a ring. . 129 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.3.The Sagaai or engagement ceremony takes place the same day as the Lagna Patrika Vachan is read. or auspicious time of the marriage is decided at this ritual. a coconut. so that the child born becomes Jain only. 1. Their style of marriage is very sophisticated with a grand public announcement and a variety of rituals. the date is sent to the groom’s house. Lagna Patrika Vachan . the brother of the bride-to-be puts a tilak on the groom’s forehead. All Rights Reserved. The elders then bless the groom. The couple leaves for their new home. He also gives him gifts which include clothes.In this ritual. The Sagaai . After the Vachan is read. washes his hands and performs the Vinayakyantra puja.
On the wedding day The Baraat from the groom’s house arrives at the bride’s house. . 2. The Sikh wedding The customs followed during a Sikh wedding is somewhat similar to Hindu weddings. 130 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. while Hindus use Vedic texts. on the other hand Sikhs follow their holy book Adi Grantha or Guru Granth Sahib during the wedding ceremony. Ltd. The Granthi Bandhan and Phere.The Mada Mandap takes place one or two days before the wedding in the houses of the groom and the bride-to-be. These rituals are performed by a priest. Reception. 3. Mada Mandap . All Rights Reserved. Post-wedding ceremonies Ashirvad – The elders of the family bless the couple. But one main difference between the two forms of wedding is. The Mangal Geet. Jina Grahe Dhan Arpana tradition of giving alms to the Jain temple. The Kanyavaran or Kanyapradan. Sva Graha Aagaman or welcoming of the bride at her new home.
Several hymns are sung and the couple is made to sit before the Adi Granth (religious book of the Sikhs). 3. gold mohre (coins) and a kada (bangle) from the bride’s father or guardian. turmeric. 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. 2. 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. . Mehendi and Vatna – Prior to the wedding the Vatna ceremony is conducted. The Sikh wedding normally takes place before noon.1. Ltd. On this occasion the bride’s family goes to the groom’s family with sweets. 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 groom gets a gold ring. Milni – This is the main ceremony and is held in the Gurudwara. Post-wedding ceremonies 131 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. rosewater and cream called ubatan is applied on the bride’s body and she is then scrubbed clean. Early morning a paste of sandal. Pre-wedding rituals Shagun or tilak – It is better known as Kurmai. The priest tells them about the obligations of marriage. jewellery and clothes as gifts.
It is celebrated four days before the wedding day. It is a mehendi-haldi ceremony. Pre-wedding rituals Madhavsaro . Reception. Family. accompanied by prayers by the family priest. The ‘achoo meecho’ or eliminating the evil eye is compulsory before every single ceremony. None of the rituals are complete without the use of fire. Vidaai or doli. These supras are exchanged seven times among the four women: cross-wise. betel nut. . 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. Parsi weddings are mostly conducted during the evening. The plant is to be watered for 8 days then transplanted. The groom’s family comes to the bride’s home with gifts for the bride. The pot is then placed at the entrance of the home. dates and a piece of coconut. length-wise and breadthwise. 132 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This is made into a paste and applied to the bride and groom. after sunset. Adarni is three days before the wedding day. 1. friends and neighbours sits down for a meal together to celebrate the occasion. turmeric. The Parsi wedding Fire plays a very important role during Parsi wedding as they consider it to be the most sacred. Ltd. The Supra nu Murat is the day before the wedding day. The families of the bride and groom plant a young tree (usually a mango tree) in a pot. and four married women are given a supra containing betel leaf. which they name as the Behram Roj. A fifth lady sits in the middle with a dry turmeric powder. All Rights Reserved. Traditional songs are sung.
The bride leaves for the groom’s house where the groom’s mother again performs the achimuchu ceremony. All Rights Reserved. 3.2. On the wedding day According to the Zoroastrian faith. Post-wedding Reception. Dressing in traditional attire.The home is decorated with rangoli. 133 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The Achumichu is performed at the Fire Temple. and a black cap. the time immediately after sunset or very early in the morning is auspicious for marriage. sprinkles milk on his show and removes the seven strands that the priest had tied around the couple during the ceremony. The Chero bandhvanu when the couple exchanges rings. The Ara Antar which is a variation of the first look of Hindu marriage. The bride is dressed in her Madhavate which is a white sari with heavy gold embroidery. Nahan . Ltd. She can then demand gifts from the groom. The groom is in Parsi Dagli and Feta which is a white long kurta-like shirt. . The haath borvanu -This is when the bride’s sister puts the groom’s hand in a glass of water.
All Rights Reserved.The Muslim wedding or the Nikaah Muslim wedding or Nikah rituals extends up to three days. 1. The Nikaah . On the wedding day The baraat arrives from the groom’s home bringing the groom. The marriage rituals usually revolve around the bride and the groom approving their marriage in front of the witness. He reads the Quran. Magni is when the close family of the groom visit the bride.This is when the priest asks blessings from the Almighty Allah. Imam-Zamin . Mutual consent is of the 134 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . Pre-wedding rituals Istikhara . Ltd.A Maulvi (priest) presides over this ceremony. In different parts of the world. a silver or gold coin wrapped in silk is given to the bride by the groom’s mother. these rituals are performed in different ways and customs. and then the Ijab-e-Qubul (formal proposal is made by the groom and accepted by the bride) takes place. There is no special mahurat for the Nikaah. and turmeric paste is applied on her body.In this ritual. The coin is tied on the upper arm of the bride. and the two families exchange sweets and fruits. The Manjha and mehendi ceremonies are when the bride is dressed in yellow. Musicians play traditional music. Elaborate mehendi designs are then made on her hands and feet. The groom’s mother then visits the bride’s home with sweets. It is held either in the bride’s or the groom’s home. 2. The bride’s brother and the groom share a glass of sherbet.
greatest importance. Walimah . The Maulvi and the Walis (the two fathers) are the witnesses. the couple is made to sit together for the first time. Welcoming the bride. the bride visits her parents. 3. Post-wedding ceremonies Rukshat is when the bride leaves her home. They recite prayers as instructed by the Maulvi. The bride’s father places his daughter’s hand in the hand of the groom. 135 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The groom then seeks the blessings of all the older women.This is the grand reception hosted by the groom’s parents. The Meher is given. The Nikaahnama is signed.On the fourth day after the Nikaah. Chauthi . This is a monetary arrangement made by the groom’s family for the bride. All Rights Reserved. Their heads are covered by a dupatta. After the meal. This is the contract which contains the terms and conditions that both parties have to abide by. Ltd. The mother of the groom holds a Quran over the bride’s head as she steps into her new home. Men and women sit separately for the marriage feast. Then the Quran is placed between them and they look at each other for the first time through mirrors. .
All Rights Reserved. An interesting ritual is the Dhruvnakshatra when the bride and groom look at the Polestar together. A paste of turmeric and sandalwood powder is applied on the body of the bride-to-be and then it is scrubbed clean. 2. and very straightforward. 1. The Arya Samaj wedding is completely unpretentious.The Arya Samaj Wedding This wedding is based on the teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. 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. This indicates that they should always stay together like the star which is always in the same position in the sky. The vows are taken during the Panigrahana ceremony. . Mehendi – This is also held at the bride’s place and the female friends and relatives attend this ritual. Brahmbhoj – During the early hours of the wedding day. 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. Chudha and Nath – On the wedding day. 16 Brahmins are fed as it is a customary of the Arya Samaj and they consider it to be auspicious. 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. Ltd. and not at all lavish. who founded the Arya Samaj. This is the process of purification before applying mehendi (henna) on the hands and the feet of the bride-to-be.
During this ritual the couple worships the Sun God. 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. Shilarohan – In this ritual the brother of the bride conveys his blessings to the couple by placing her foot on a stone. This ritual indicates good health and nourishment for the family. The bride gives the groom a pitcher of water he washes his feet. Then she puts the mixture of honey. Saptapadikriya . . 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. Parikrama – During this ritual. All Rights Reserved. the groom promises to be respectful towards all women. Ltd. 137 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. This indicates that their marriage would be steady as a rock. 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. curd and ghee onto the groom’s cupped palm and he scatters the mixture in all directions and has the remnants.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. the couple walks four times around the fire. The bride and the groom exchange garlands. Suryadarshan . Hriday Sparsh. hands and his face with it.
It is held between one month and one year after the marriage and usually done by the sister-in-law of the bride. and the date finalized. Sindoor Daan . The Pole star signifies consistency in relationship while the other two stars signify togetherness. Post.wedding rituals Reception – Reception is normally held at a wedding or a banquet hall. All Rights Reserved. . The different kinds of marriage according to the region are explained below. The girl’s family hosts a grand feast. Also. the Vanna or engagement ceremony takes place. Ltd. The Kashmiri wedding The first step is the matching of the teknis or horoscopes. and exchange flowers. REGIONAL W EDDINGS India is a vast sub-continent and different places in India have their own specialty and distinctiveness. This is essentially between the elders of both families.in this ritual the groom fills the parted hair of the bride with Vermillion or Sindoor. in both homes the eldest aunt prepares var 138 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Once the commitment is made. 3. Taking off the Chudha – The Chudha which the bride wears on the wedding day is taken off in this ritual. They meet in the temple. This is done thrice. Dhruv Darshan -The couple views the Pole star or Dhruv tara as well as the two stars of the Great Bear constellation. Vasisth and Arundhati.
ghee. the groom’s family sends jewellery made of flowers and tinsel to the bride.This ritual is to be done a week before the wedding. Pre-wedding rituals Livun . 1. The homes of the bride and groom are decorated. and a pot of misri are sent to the boy’s house from the girl’s family. On the wedding day The Diugun ceremony .This is like the sangeet where friends and neighbors join the family in music sessions. . The bride’s parents give their daughter clothes. sugar and gota (a special mixture of nuts) is sent to the groom’s house by the bride’s family. 139 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Two or three days before the wedding. Ltd. especially the dijaru which is an ear ornament is given to the bride. This is followed by a puja.This is the ritual where cleaning of the home is done. and her trousseau. dates. Wanwun . the waza. fresh and dry fruit. A traditional cook. dry fruits. 2. sets up a mud and brick oven. All Rights Reserved. Jewellery. Maanziraat . Gifts including money.The bride and groom have their ceremonial bath in their respective homes. The family is expected to fast till all the wedding nuptials are over. The wedding mahurat is either in the morning or at night. She is then dressed using these. The rituals of the traditional bath and mehendi take place.(kheer) which is offered to the neighbors and relatives. 51 thaalis of sweets. Two days before the wedding.
the bride’s family sends roth khabar to the family of the groom. 3. milk. sindoor. 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 is supposed to use these cosmetics for her makeup during the wedding. All Rights Reserved. The newly-weds are welcomed into the groom’s home by the groom’s eldest aunt. The groom’s family sends the sanzvaru to the bride. There is a havan and puja. This is a 1 metre long and 21/2 metre wide cake decorated with nuts. rice and flowers is sprinkled on them. 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. The bride is given her wedding clothes by her maternal uncle. curd. 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. The bride and groom are then led to the mandap for the ceremony. The devgon ceremony is observed in both homes. Post-wedding ceremonies Vidaai – the bride is blessed by her parents and sent to the groom’s house. . Ltd. The two fathers exchange nutmeg. A pair of pigeons is released in celebration. On the Saturday or Tuesday after the wedding. A peacock feather is tied to the groom’s turban with a gold thread. a small mirror. The baraat arrives at the bride’s home bringing the groom. This is a gift of cosmetics. and then the bride changes into clothes that are given to her by the groom’s parents. a shawl and special paan wrapped in varq or silver/gold foil. 140 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
A Punjabi wedding is full of fun. This is the formal engagement ceremony. The other half is given to the groom to eat. All Rights Reserved. and a harmonium. 1. Pre-wedding rituals Roka .This is a time for music and dance in the homes of the groom and bride-to-be. 141 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.The Chunni chadana ceremony is done at the bride’s home. The relatives and friends of the bride-to-be bless the groom. Each member of the family. The ritual involves the bride-to-be eating one half of a date. Wedding folk songs are sung to the accompaniment of dholaks. Mehendi is taken to the house of the bride-to-be by the groom’s sister and brother-in-law. The Sangeet . on the forehead of the groom. or dhols. rice grains. During the Kwar Dhoti ceremony. The announcement of the forthcoming wedding is made. 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.The Sagan ceremony is held either in the groom’s home or in a banquet hall. Chunni Chadana . Punjabis are very strict about their community and they tend to marry within their community.The mehendi and Kwar Dhoti ceremony. Mahendi . and give him sweets and gifts. which is made of kesar. sweets. The groom’s parents and close relatives attend this ceremony. irrespective of their age. A pundit performs a havan. participates in this event. Gifts. and flower petals. Sagan . very vibrant.The Punjabi wedding The rituals of a Punjabi wedding are similar to a Sikh wedding. . The groom’s sister or sister-in-law gives the bride-to-be a red sari. Ltd.The first ceremony is the Roka ceremony. fruits and dry fruits are exchanged. especially dry dates are given to the bride’s family. The father of the bride-to-be applies the Tilak.
Prasad (sweets offered to the gods during the havan) is given to everyone.2. The maternal uncle of the bride-to-be gives her the clothes she is suppose to wear at the wedding ceremony. She then dons her wedding finery. Vatna . or gold-plated). Ltd. the bridegroom wears his wedding clothes. The maternal uncle and aunt then put red and ivory bangles on her wrists. are tied on the bangles.A small ceremony is performed to ward off the evil eye.Four earthen lamps are lit. All Rights Reserved. These bangles are first touched by all those who are present as a mark of their blessings. Flower petals are showered on the bride-to-be. He then gets on his mare ready to go to the home of the bride-to-be in a baraat or procession. and they are warmly welcomed.After the Vatna and ghara ghardoli ceremony. he is welcomed with garlands and rose water is sprinkled on him and the other guests.When the groom arrives at the bride’s house. A havan is performed by the pundit. A puja is performed. . The Milni ceremony . and sweets are given to the mare that is to carry the groom. The ghara ghardoli ceremony . On the wedding day The churha or bangles ceremony. and the bride-to-be is made to sit facing them. A paste of turmeric powder and mustard oil is put on the bride-to-be by her friends and female relatives. Kalira (small traditional ornaments in beaten gold and silver. He also ties a pink turban that has been blessed by everyone present. The Sehrabandi . The Ghori chadana . and then the groom’s father and elders tie the sehrabandi on his head.The siblings of the bride-to-be go to the nearby temple and bring back holy water for the bride to bathe in. and a red thread or mauli is tied on the bride’s wrist. 142 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
3. Then there are the mangalpheras around the sacred fire. Post-wedding Ceremonies The vidaai .This is the most important part of the ceremony. Parents of marriageable girls and eligible bachelors give a Guryanni (the lady match maker) the horoscopes of their children. Ltd. She then locates suitable matches for them. followed by the sindoor ritual when the groom puts sacred vermilion on the parting in the bride’s hair. The Sindhi Wedding The Sindhi wedding follows Vedic rites. The kanyadaan and phere . he ties the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. Auspicious days for a Sindhi marriage are the Satyanarayan Chandsi or the day of the New Moon.This is the exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom. For the blessing. All Rights Reserved. .The bride leaves her home and goes with her husband to her new home. the couple touches the feet of all the elders of both families and is blessed by them. Varmala . 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. Lastly. 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. Pre-wedding rituals Kachchi misri – Misri (candy sugar) and coconut are given to the bride-to-be and the prospective groom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kanyadaan – The bride’s parents give the hand of their daughter to the groom. Vidaai – The bride leaves for her new home.
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.
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
the antarpaat is lowered and the couple exchange garlands. Rose petals and rice are showered on them by those witnessing the marriage. Shubh ashirwad – After all the rituals are over. Ponkvu – The groom arrives at the bride’s house and is welcomed by the bride’s mother. The groom has to recite certain mantras as well. the couple seeks blessings from all senior members of the family as well as friends present. Ltd. Mangalpheras – As the priest chants the mantras. Kanya agaman – The bride is brought to the mandap by the maternal uncle. Madhuparka – The groom’s feet are washed. Post-wedding ceremonies 147 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. He is given a drink of milk and honey. Jaimala – The bride and groom exchange garlands. Saptapadi – The groom helps the bride touch seven betel nuts with her right toe while they both recite the seven vows of commitment. Kanyadaan – The bride’s father washes the groom’s feet and gives him the hand of his daughter. 3. The bride and groom are separated by a curtain called the antarpaat. There are four pheras. When the priest starts the ceremony. Saubhagyavati bhava – Seven married women from the bride’s family whisper good wishes and blessings in the right ear of the bride. . the couple walks around the sacred fire. She does an aarti to greet the groom. All Rights Reserved. Gujarati weddings are generally held at night. Hasta milap – The groom’s dupatta is tied to the bride’s sari.
At the entrance there is a vessel filled with rice. The bride worships Goddess Parvati in the entrance until she is asked by the priest to come onto the dais. 1. is welcomed with an aarti before she steps inside the house. The groom’s parents give the bride a sari signifying acceptance of her. Haldi ceremony. goddess of wealth and good fortune). spilling some rice. Various pujas take place in the two homes. All Rights Reserved. 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. 2. On the wedding day 148 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Reception. Vidaai – The bride leaves her home. Ghar ni Laxmi – The bride (Laxmi. The bride is to gently knock the vessel with her right foot. Ltd. . Pre-wedding rituals Shakar puda – Exchange of sugar between the families.
The Antarpaat is placed between the bride and groom. The seemaan puja is performed when the groom arrives at the bride’s home. 3. the antarpaat is removed. The groom’s feet are washed by the bride’s parents and he is welcomed into the home with gifts. The Tamil calendar is consulted before fixing the date of marriage. Grihapravesh of the bride in her new home. The priest chants the wedding mantras. 149 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. and the bride and groom exchange garlands and perform the mangalpheras. Post-wedding ceremonies: Reception. Kanyadaan and tying of the mangalsutra is then executed. Ltd. September 15th to October 15th (Bhadrapad) and December 15th to January 15th (Shunya) are considered ill-fated. Gifts are exchanged between the two parents on behalf of the newly-weds. Varaat or vidaai. . The Laxminarayan puja is performed for the bride and groom. Consequently weddings are not held in during those months. Changing of the bride’s name. Her new name is traced on a plate of rice. All Rights Reserved. The Tamilian brides usually wear a bright coloured saree adorned with flowers in the hair. Tond dhune and Vyahi Bhet. The Tamil wedding The Tamilian weddings are quite simple though they have a fairly large community. And according to the Tamil Calendar the dates from July 15th to August 15th (Aashad).
The Naandi ceremony is performed to honour the ancestors. 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. Ltd. The families fast the day before the wedding. 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. Pre-wedding rituals The Lagna Pathirigai is read by the priest. Prayers are chanted through the day. 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. Muhurtam – Prayers are offered by the two families the day before the wedding. All Rights Reserved. The Nicchiyadharatham is when the bride’s parents do a Ganesh puja. Kanyadaan. 2. . He is welcomed warmly and the bride’s brother puts a tilak on the groom’s forehead. Saptapadi – The bride and groom go around the fire seven times. This is to show that while life has its ups and downs. 150 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. At this time he also announces the details of the wedding. they are together through it all. and ask for their blessings. Then the groom says that he is going to Kashi and is not interested in setting up a home.1. The groom comes to the wedding venue a day before the wedding day.
It is also blown to attract the attention of the guests towards the ceremony. Reception. 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. they consider it to be sacred and it is mostly blown during any holy or religious ceremonies. Grihapravesham – When the bride enters the house of the groom.3. The unique feature of the Bengali wedding is the blowing of conch shells. Pre-wedding rituals 151 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Huge number of customs is followed during a Bengali wedding. All Rights Reserved. Post-wedding ceremonies Exchange of gifts. The Bengali wedding The Bengali community has the essence of warmth and gratitude within themselves. Ltd. . In other marriages that take place in South India. 1. They are considered as the intellectual community of India.
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.
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.
Post-wedding ceremonies Vidaai.
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.
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.
understanding and faith. mental and spiritual powers in order to live a healthy lifestyle. happiness and harmony by mutual love. The groom gives the bride the Meher or compulsory gift. The bride and the groom have to give their consent willingly. mind and soul and that they will have a long marriage. Of the seven pheras. seven – That they would be true and loyal to each other and remain companions and best of friends for their lifetime. Before taking the vows. All Rights Reserved. th th th th rd According to the Muslim tradition The Maulvi reads certain texts from the Quran. respect. four – That they will acquire knowledge. But after the pheras. The meaning of the vows taken with each of the seven pheras are: 1 . 2 nd st – That they would develop their physical. They also pray to be blessed with healthy. she sits on the left side. 155 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. 5 – That they will be increase their family and be responsible for their children. . the groom leads the first four and the bride leads the next three.That they would pride a prosperous living for the household/family. 3 – That they will earn and increase their wealth by righteous means. honest and brave children. and avoid all the hindrances to a healthy family life. 6 – That they will have self-control of the body. the bride sits on the right side of the groom.
Arrangements have to be made separately for male and female guests. ______. to love and to cherish. in sickness and in health. Amen’. The couple signs the Nikaahnama which is a legal marriage document. After this they are made to sit together. legal and immigration issues need to be dealt with before the wedding. with my body I thee worship. As the groom then places the ring on the bride’s ring finger. for better or for worse. Ltd. to be my wedded (wife/husband). he says the following oath: ‘With this ring I thee wed. In case the couple is from two different countries. these vows are repeated by the groom and bride: I. and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness. take you. According to the Christian tradition When the rings are exchanged. to have and to hold from this day onwards. 156 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. ________. for richer or for poorer. and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. ‘til death do us part: according to God’s holy ordinance. 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. . They repeat certain prayers after the Maulvi.
. Young Indians. the bride and groom decide on special vows that they create. Very often. No matter what the tradition is. therefore. the bride. are not allowing themselves to be stopped by considerations of caste and creed. increasingly. In some Christian weddings. since two families are involved. All Rights Reserved. the families may want to have some sort of ceremony and a reception. It is important. let no man put asunder’. Very often. Most importantly. 157 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. The priest then exhorts the congregation with the words: ‘Whom God has joined together. the ring is placed on the finger of the bride by the priest as a symbol of the bond between the bride and Christ. In these cases. 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. relatives may come up with all kinds of demands. it has to have meaning for the bride and groom. However. some form of vows is taken publicly in the presence of witnesses. ceremonies and rituals and plan something which everyone agrees to. to sift through all the customs. Inspirational poems may be used. instead of using the traditional vows. there are special customs belonging to the individual families. Further.
Indian spiritual guru. All Rights Reserved. lightheartedness. . we will create abundance and joy for each other. 158 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.“If we share with caring. And then this moment will have been worthwhile.” Deepak Chopra. Ltd. and love.
. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.159 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.
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