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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ltd.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.

        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. .

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

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

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

More and more. private ceremonies. or the local ethos. the charm of comprehensive Indian wedding remains. young people today are opting out of the elaborate wedding routine. can be incorporated if the family. 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. Ltd. . 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. All Rights Reserved. customs or rituals specific to family tradition. choosing the venue for getting married.Further. So. and choosing intimate. Still. 9 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. From different kinds of weddings. or the bride and groom desire them.

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

It is therefore imperative that the venue be decided well in advance. 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. Ltd. so that the bookings can be done. All Rights Reserved. This would ensure that the venue is reserved for you and would not then be given to another person. where the wedding commitments are made by the elders of the two families concerned. You must select the venues for the following occasions:  The engagement or sagaai. where the rates quoted are exorbitant. . there is huge rush for venues. CHOOSING THE MARRIAGE VENUE This is a very important task.  The mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. Make sure that after the booking is confirmed an advance is paid. 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.

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

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

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

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.

 TYPES

OF WEDDING ACCORDING TO

L OCATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Rights Reserved. ii. The plus points: Lakshadweep offers excellent facilities for the wedding ceremony and offers a number of value-added services such as wedding cruises. Ltd. . and chances to explore the underwater beauty. Lakshadweep i. 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.Island Weddings 1. This is an archipelago and the islands are located off the South-West coast of India in the Arabian Sea. iii.

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

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

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

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

there will be room for inauspicious comments. The end result should be completely authentic. romantic or fantasy theme means great expense. A mantra you could use. choose a theme that can be enjoyed by the older people and the children as well. someone they trust should be given the responsibility of working out all the details. Once again. all the family members attend weddings.   Make sure that nothing inauspicious is incorporated. since the right ambience has to be created. if the bride and groom are unable to handle this work. 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. . A royal. but the two should blend with each other. it should not be too different from the wedding theme. 27 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Food and beverages – Even if you serve a different kind of cuisine. the table settings and service as well as mode of serving will have to match the theme.  The table décor at the reception as well as the favours should reflect the theme. All Rights Reserved.  For whatever reason.   Make sure you think the whole thing through to the last detail and have enough time to make it happen. 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. Ltd. the groom and the families.  The budget: This is of the greatest importance when planning a theme wedding. Of course. It should always be remembered that an Indian wedding is a social event and if those attending are not comfortable. if you decide on a different theme for the reception.  Check out the feasibility of your chosen theme with the elders in the family as well as with the presiding priest.

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

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

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

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

then you would have to ask whether. All Rights Reserved. During an Indian wedding. naturally. how many days are you looking at.  If some of the invitees are working.  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. . transport. Consequently. Therefore.   If the bride’s and groom’s friends are being invited. sight-seeing (if any). Guests from the place of residence  This would include friends of the family. If there are common friends between the bride’s family and the groom’s family. Arrangements will have to be made for them. and any other foreseeable expense. For you. it is advisable to keep room for the unexpected. meals. their number should also be taken into account.e. naturally their parents too should be given invitations. how many ceremonies besides the main wedding would you like them to come for? Accordingly they will have to be told. or an invitation from both sides can be given. either a joint invitation can be given.. guests from outstation mean expenses of accommodation. 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. i. so that they can schedule it into their own personal calendars. as host.The number of guests coming from out of town is next to be decided. Ltd. children enjoy the most and are a part of every ceremony. Here too.

They will need to make arrangements at their own homes too before coming for the wedding. But other than that.  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.  Whoever has been given the responsibility of making the guest list must discuss it with the parents of the bride and groom. any kind of formal-have-to invitations are not really necessary.  Do not invite anyone out of a sense of guilt.  Giving everyone enough time is a thoughtful gesture. then naturally you would want him/her to be with you. so inviting friends and relatives whom you haven’t seen in ages is a great 33 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. .In case you have to cut down on the guest list  Cut down on colleagues from the place of work. especially if it is the first wedding in the family. All Rights Reserved. one that will help you in your planning as well A wedding is a new beginning in many ways.  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. Of course if you have a really close friend. Ltd. 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.  In a traditional Indian wedding a large number of extended family members and guests arrive for the wedding.

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

Ltd. or create your own card. it helps if a short description is given. If there are ceremonies that are unique to the family. The wedding invitation is the first hint of the theme of your wedding. or some kind of confirmation that the guest could send back as acceptance or inability to attend. 35 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . 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. time and venue of the actual wedding ceremony. it would be good to have something symbolic of both cultures in the card. An RSVP. The dates. times and venues of the other ceremonies and rituals. Give yourself enough time to choose a card from the thousands of designs available. If the wedding transcends countries and cultures. All Rights Reserved.The main points to be included in a wedding invitation are:      The date. A map of the venue/venues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.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. All Rights Reserved. 43 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ancient Greek poet." Homer. confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore what God has fixed together. no human being must separate.” 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. . Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Though it is not very common. Ltd. the bride and groom may decide against gifts. it can be something specific to the wedding theme. Since this is a party for close friends. or cash when given to the bride/groom Gifts given to immediate family members would be clothes or cash. These generally take the form of clothes. This is done when the parents personally visit the guests to invite them. jewellery. or something for their future home. a dinner set or bedroom linen and all the invitees would get to contribute to some part of that. all the male relatives from the groom’s side are given gifts by the male members from the bride’s side. or 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. in Punjabi weddings. In this case. The kind of gift and the cost of it depend on how close the relationship is. for instance.There are different categories of gifts  Gifts that are given by the parents to the guests. Sometimes.  Gifts given to the bride and groom at their bachelor/bachelorette parties. For instance. This can take the form of a brass/silver/ thaali on which certain auspicious items are placed. 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.  Wedding gifts to the bride and groom.  Gifts exchanged by the two families during certain rituals and ceremonies. Details of those who is gifted what is decided in advance. at the time of the milni. . All Rights Reserved. This helps in keeping the budget within bounds 69 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. gifts given by them can be fun gifts. a well-phrased sentence is inserted in the wedding invitation. and give them the invitation card.

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

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

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

” Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983). or they are strangers. Naturally if it is planned by the parents. This is the time when the newly-weds lay the first foundation stones of their life together. All Rights Reserved. Whether the marriage has been a love marriage. The honeymoon is planned either by the parents or the newly-weds. 73 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 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. On the other hand. whether the couple knew each other before the wedding. it is good for them to go somewhere beautiful and where they can be alone. THE H ONEYMOON Wedding over. always with the same person. or an arranged one. Ltd. “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times. the newly-weds might want to gift this to themselves. American journalist and author. Ensure that all travel arrangements are in place. . A honeymoon is very important for the newly-weds. the wishes of the newly-weds as to the destination are respected. it is time for the young couple to go away for a few days. Hotel bookings and reservations should be confirmed.

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

if you are not sure of planning your honeymoon tour on your own. Gangtok and the surrounding hills. The North. you could try out one of the packages offered by a reputed travel agent. 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. 75 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. All Rights Reserved. Karnataka and Andhra. So. Tamil Nadu. .Hotels and travel agents offer ready-made honeymoon packages. It is imperative that the bride and groom. or whoever is planning out the honeymoon study the itinerary and hotel detail including meals etc so that the couple can enjoy a relaxing. stress-free honeymoon. Ltd. The North-East. mainly in Rajasthan or the hills.

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

Ltd. . 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. each bride wants to look like a princess and each groom wants to look the best. and love.Deciding on Apparel and Accessories During the wedding. Indian spiritual guru.” 77 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. lightheartedness. All Rights Reserved. Deepak Chopra. And then this moment will have been worthwhile. “If we share with caring. we will create abundance and joy for each other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. All Rights Reserved. We are word and meaning.” 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. Ltd. You are thought and I am sound. unite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Marriages
Some Fun Facts

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.”
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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

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

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 The two surnames should not begin with the same letter. 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. While you may not want to follow all the superstitions mentioned. 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. The bride should not wear her complete wedding dress before the wedding day. Only if there is no other alternative should the marriage be arranged at a time other than the auspicious marriage seasons. This is a point to be taken into consideration when planning a honeymoon abroad. Here are some important points to avoid while the ceremony is on. The number 13 is avoided by all.  The bride should not write her new name with the groom’s surname before the wedding.  Kaal ratri is a Bengali custom. she should leave a few stitches undone. Of course the couple could use their individual passports and the bride can legally change her name when they get back. . the bride and groom are not allowed to look at each other.  WELL KNOWN SUPERSTITIONS We all become a bit superstitious when it comes to an important event like marriage. Ltd.   The bride should not make her own wedding dress.   Thursdays. There are pundits who will work out alternative spellings. All Rights Reserved. Fridays and Saturdays are not lucky in some communities. you might like to keep some of them in mind.

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

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

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

provided he can treat them equally. if anyone has any objection. Each partner is allowed to include conditions. If anyone objects to the marriage. 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. All Rights Reserved. Here the registration is taken as the actual marriage. banns have to be published three Sundays before the wedding. In the Muslim Marriage Act. the marriage is a written legal contract.For a Christian marriage. Both parties have to appear before the Marriage Registrar along with their parents/guardians/witnesses one month from the date of the marriage. it is communicated to the Parish priest within this period. Ltd. 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. . There are certain rules which have to be fulfilled. it has to be communicated to the Marriage Officer within the 30 day period. It also permits a man to have four wives. Here again. Further.

.. Ltd. “Trust is the first step to love. 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.The Countdown Begins.” Munshi Premchand (1880-1936)..

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

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

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

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

Either way. Getting the dholak. and where the traditional musicians are going to sit.  Marriage venue.  If you have planned on favours to be given on the wedding day to the guests.  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. thought has to be given to a photographer and videographer.  The venue for the Wedding Reception. the mandap. All Rights Reserved. decide whether you and the family are going to make them. ensure that there is enough 112 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd.  The place where daily meals for out-of-towners attending the wedding are to be. If any entertainment is being planned for the days preceding the wedding and the wedding day itself. then calling in a DJ to handle the music.   At this stage.  If the dandiya is to be done. or whether you are going to buy them. and their charges.  If so decided. the place for the Jai mala. the people concerned should be contacted to know if they are free. the dandiya sticks have to be organized. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

special security arrangements are made in case of destination wedding as the entire bridal procession with all its expensive stuff will be travelling to a different place. Enjoy the occasion! 122 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 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.  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.

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

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

1.     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. Vidaai. 2. 125 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.   Sangeet ceremony – This is meant especially for the ladies of the two families.  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. . The bride is smeared with paste of turmeric.   Post-wedding ceremonies Reception. sandalwood and rosewater. Ltd. 3. this is when the bride is formally sent to the bridegroom’s house. Haldi ceremony – This ceremony is held on the morning of the wedding day. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. This is the process of purification before applying mehendi (henna) on the hands and the feet of the bride-to-be.  Mehendi – This is also held at the bride’s place and the female friends and relatives attend this ritual. The vows are taken during the Panigrahana ceremony. All Rights Reserved. 1. who founded the Arya Samaj. A paste of turmeric and sandalwood powder is applied on the body of the bride-to-be and then it is scrubbed clean. and not at all lavish. 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.  Brahmbhoj – During the early hours of the wedding day. 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 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. An interesting ritual is the Dhruvnakshatra when the bride and groom look at the Polestar together.  Chudha and Nath – On the wedding day. Ltd. The Arya Samaj wedding is completely unpretentious. 2. and very straightforward. The ceremony is Vedic (not religious).The Arya Samaj Wedding This wedding is based on the teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.

On the wedding day

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. 

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

3. 

Post-wedding ceremonies Vidaai.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ltd. . All Rights Reserved. And then this moment will have been worthwhile. 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.” Deepak Chopra. and love. lightheartedness. Indian spiritual guru.

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

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