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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

invitations. All Rights Reserved. Ltd. African proverb 10 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.” before the actual wedding day. guests and much more. Therefore. the planning should start days or rather months “A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers.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. food and accommodation. Indian rituals are also difficult and should be carried out religiously. .

 The mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. All Rights Reserved. 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. where the wedding commitments are made by the elders of the two families concerned. so that the bookings can be done. You must select the venues for the following occasions:  The engagement or sagaai. It is therefore imperative that the venue be decided well in advance. Ltd. there is huge rush for venues. 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. 11 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. . This would ensure that the venue is reserved for you and would not then be given to another person. where the rates quoted are exorbitant. CHOOSING THE MARRIAGE VENUE This is a very important task.

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

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

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

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




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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The caterer should be knowledgeable about cocktails and other liquor that is being served.  The groom’s family. relatives and guests. and the glasses they are to be served in.  You would need to decide whether you want a sit-down meal. Ltd.  Office friends and colleagues. All Rights Reserved. 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. Arrangements will need to be done accordingly. In a sit-down meal. guests. you will naturally need to plan the seating. relatives and guests. or a buffet. Allows for space since waiters. and children will be moving about.  Vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Marriages
Some Fun Facts

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It has unity in diversity. If. All Rights Reserved. The different types of weddings according to religion are explained below. a meal can be hosted. . 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. being different. are distinct from one another.  RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS India is a country where people of different cultures and religions come together and live peacefully. The parents of the bride-to-be go to the groom’s home for this ceremony. An astrologer is consulted. After the proposal has been accepted by both families. the bride-to-be and groom are present. or a well-wisher. Their rituals. The auspicious date/dates and an idea of the location is also suggested by him (specifics are worked out later by the families). Each has its own tradition. close friends. He matches the horoscopes and provides information on the ceremonies that needs to be performed. culture and heritage. Ltd. This is called the Sagaai or Roka or the Tilak. So before going ahead with an Indian marriage. If so desired. it is good to have a complete idea about different styles and patterns of marriage and what the marriage rituals are. There are diversified forms of wedding according to the religion and region. Sweets and gifts are exchanged between the two families. then they may exchange garlands and/or rings. The Hindu Wedding The proposal for the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ is made by close or extended family members. since the agreement is formalized between the elders of the two families.India is a uniquely different country. an announcement is made.

  Post-wedding ceremonies Reception. All Rights Reserved. 2. sandalwood and rosewater.   Sangeet ceremony – This is meant especially for the ladies of the two families.     On the wedding day The Baraat from the groom’s house arrives at the bride’s house Varmala Kanyadaan and Saptpadi The marriage ceremony is held according to traditional rituals. . Haldi ceremony – This ceremony is held on the morning of the wedding day. Vidaai. Ltd. this is when the bride is formally sent to the bridegroom’s house. The bride is smeared with paste of turmeric.1. 125 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. 3.  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 Christian Wedding If the couple has not chosen each other. The bridesmaids and flower girls arrive at the same time too. 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. close or extended family members decide on the ‘girl’ and ‘boy’.  At the appropriate time. The stag or bachelor party. After the bond is formalized. and Maid of honour. 126 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The groom arrives at the Church with his Best Man and Page Boy a little before the wedding. The bride arrives at the Church with her immediate family. followed by the bridesmaids.   Pre-wedding rituals The bridal shower or bachelorette party. All Rights Reserved.    On the wedding day The bride and groom leave their respective homes after prayers and blessings. the date for an engagement ceremony is fixed. 2. 1. and talks to them about the seriousness and sanctity of marriage. Ltd. .  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 couple exchange rings. This takes place either at the house of the brideto-be or a venue chosen by the two families. The parish priest blesses the young couple. They may decide to take a vow at this time.

. During the service there may be hymns and an anthem chosen for the occasion by the bride and groom. and pronounces the benediction. There are also selected readings from the Bible. All Rights Reserved. 127 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. Ltd. Here. The Buddhist wedding There are no formal ceremonies in a Buddhist wedding. 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. To the Wedding March.   Post-wedding ceremonies The reception. Vows are taken by the bride and groom and wedding rings are exchanged.  The Priest conducts the Wedding Service. The bride walks down the aisle to the strains of the Bridal March on the arm of her father to meet the bridegroom. 3. the couple walks down the aisle of the Church.   The couple goes to the vestry and signs the marriage register with witnesses. or they may go to one of the few Buddhist temples that are licensed to conduct marriage ceremonies.  Lastly the Priest pronounces them man and wife. The couple can have a registered wedding. The bride leaves for the groom’s home. blesses the young couple and the congregation. something which holds special meaning for them.

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

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

Jina Grahe Dhan Arpana tradition of giving alms to the Jain temple.     Post-wedding ceremonies Ashirvad – The elders of the family bless the couple. 3. Reception. But one main difference between the two forms of wedding is. The Sikh wedding The customs followed during a Sikh wedding is somewhat similar to Hindu weddings. Mada Mandap . The Kanyavaran or Kanyapradan. Ltd. The Mangal Geet. 2. The Granthi Bandhan and Phere.     On the wedding day The Baraat from the groom’s house arrives at the bride’s house. while Hindus use Vedic texts. Sva Graha Aagaman or welcoming of the bride at her new home. 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. . These rituals are performed by a priest.The Mada Mandap takes place one or two days before the wedding in the houses of the groom and the bride-to-be. All Rights Reserved.

2.  On the wedding day Gharoli ceremony – The Gharoli ceremony is celebrated at the groom’s house where his sisters-in-laws and other female relatives fill in an earthen pitcher or Gharoli with water from a well or Gurudwara.  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. jewellery and clothes as gifts. . The groom gets a gold ring.  Mehendi and Vatna – Prior to the wedding the Vatna ceremony is conducted. Several hymns are sung and the couple is made to sit before the Adi Granth (religious book of the Sikhs). Ltd. turmeric. On this occasion the bride’s family goes to the groom’s family with sweets. Early morning a paste of sandal. gold mohre (coins) and a kada (bangle) from the bride’s father or guardian. 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.  Pre-wedding rituals Shagun or tilak – It is better known as Kurmai. rosewater and cream called ubatan is applied on the bride’s body and she is then scrubbed clean. 3.1. All Rights Reserved. Post-wedding ceremonies 131 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt. The Sikh wedding normally takes place before noon.  Milni – This is the main ceremony and is held in the Gurudwara. The priest tells them about the obligations of marriage.

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

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

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

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

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

  Suryadarshan . This indicates that their marriage would be steady as a rock. This ritual indicates good health and nourishment for the family.  Parikrama – During this ritual.  Kanya Daan – The parents of the bride hands over their daughter to her new family and blesses them to be together always.  Thread ceremony and yagnya – In this ceremony the groom needs to wear a sacred thread and worships the Fire God. The bride gives the groom a pitcher of water he washes his feet.During this ritual the couple worships the Sun God. While the bride prays for the good health and healthy relationship. The bride and the groom exchange garlands.  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. All Rights Reserved. curd and ghee onto the groom’s cupped palm and he scatters the mixture in all directions and has the remnants. hands and his face with it. the groom promises to be respectful towards all women.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.  Shilarohan – In this ritual the brother of the bride conveys his blessings to the couple by placing her foot on a stone. Then she puts the mixture of honey. 137 Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide| Copyright 2010 Red Hot Web Gems India Pvt.The couple promises to be gentle and kind hearted towards each other by touching each other’s heart. .  Pratigya Mantra – The couple hold each other’s hand and take wedding vows after which they walk around the fire. Hriday Sparsh. the couple walks four times around the fire.  Saptapadikriya .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. 

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


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

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

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

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

3.  

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


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

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


On the wedding day


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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