The ceremonial union of two people can be a shining moment that paves the way towards a bright future with a happy heart. A Hindu wedding ceremony program is a very grand occasion. It shifts someone’s life completely, into a fully new one. To some, a marriage ceremony is the most important event in their life. This is why most people are inclined to throw very special and meaningful ceremonies. There are so many ways to conduct a Hindu wedding ceremony program; most of them are, of course, tailored specifically to the couple’s preferences. What you might not have considered, however, is the type of wedding ceremony.
There are so many different types, all rich with history and culture, many of which tied directly to certain religions. Mormonism and Paganism are two such examples. By discovering how all of these different kinds of wedding ceremony programs are distinct, but also very similar, will be a great help in the planning of your own future wedding ceremony program. The focus going forward from here on out will be the cultural richness of Hindu wedding ceremonies and their planning steps.
Traditions at a Hindu Wedding Ceremony
A traditional Hindu wedding ceremony cannot be explained or broken down so easily, or so quickly; the culture is very rich, and has allowed for significant customization options. In fact, there are a wide array of templates that can be chosen from. However, there are universal aspects that these templates tend to share. Going forward, we will identify certain elements to help plan for such events!
1. Hindu Wedding Ceremony Extravagance!
To illustrate, a Hindu wedding ceremony program can be seen as an immensely extravagant event. These events can be so large that the count of guests can range in the hundreds or maybe even the thousands.
A large reason for this is that many people, of course, get invited; family, friends, even if they live overseas, and sometimes even the entire local community. For some, if not most, this paints a very attractive picture. The atmosphere from having such a large extravagant event helps create a very powerful atmosphere. Below are some, not all, traditions that are used in a traditional Hindu Wedding.
1. Haldi Ceremony
This ceremony also known as the pithi, is known to take place the morning of the wedding day. Loved ones of the couple will paint portraits of them, while they are both in their own homes. It is important that the couple do not see each other before that night. After this ceremony the families will stay after to begin getting ready for the big day.
A sangeet or Garba is a performance by the family to celebrate the wedding between two families. It includes singing and dances. Oftentimes both sides of the union perform their own to show their excitement of their family is going to be united as one. Some make it a competition between the two families to make it even more exciting.
Traditionally, After the Sangeet, the hands and feet of the bride’s close friends and family members are covered in designs of Henna. It’s a tradition that the person who is creating the henna to make designs that reflect the couple and often camouflages the groom’s name. This will often take hours to do because they are so intricate and unique to every person.
4. The Giving Away of the Bride
Like Western cultures, the father of the bride gives away the bride. However, in the Hindu culture, the bride is walked down the aisle by the males in her family, typically the brothers or uncles of the bride. The father of the Bride officially offers the bride to the groom by placing the his hands on both his daughter and soon-to-be son in-law’s shoulders.
5. Significance of the Alter
The alter for the wedding is called mandap. A mandap is only made for a wedding ceremony that is on some sort of platform and is typically covered in flowers and greenery. the parents of both the groom and bride get to sit under the mandap to signify the union of both families. Like other cultures, marriage is a sacrament. Therefore, a fire is lit throughout the ceremony to serve as a witness of the offerings given. These offerings, known as homan, include puffed rice as a wish for a happy marriage.
Attire for a Hindu Wedding Ceremony
6. Guests Attire
One might wonder what to even wear at such an extravagant event. Traditional clothing is always expected, but that does not mean that the clothing cannot look exquisite. It is also not uncommon for it to be expected for men and women to cover their legs, arms, and shoulders out of tradition. This is one area in which a Hindu wedding ceremony program greatly from a standard wedding ceremony, so this should not come as much of a surprise.
Traditionally, women guests wear clothing items such as saris or lenghas, and for men guests long sleeves and tunics. Every guest needs to bring something to cover their head during the ceremony. It is encouraged to make your outfits as fun as you can with bright colors.
7. Groom and Bride Attire
How long does a Hindu wedding ceremony program last?
These events can be very long; they can span the course of three days. Just think about that; typically, when someone thinks of a wedding ceremony, they think of an event that can span the course of mere hours. This goes to show just how extravagant these wedding ceremonies can be.
The first day of the three tends to be a closer, more personal get-together with close family members. The second day is open for all other guests; it is a time of celebration, to have fun until the third day for the final event. The final day is for the actual marriage and reception, but there is typically no kiss at the end; it is not a part of the tradition, but it is said to be common.
As mentioned previously, however, it is important to note the importance and prevalence of Hinduism. For example, sending prayers to a particular god, or one of the many rituals such as the showering of rice over each couple. You may encounter some of these rituals that you might never have imagined before, along with symbols and regalia representing the deeper aspects of Hinduism. You might learn or discover brand new aspects of Hinduism that you might have never known about or imagined!
Food and Drinks
It is very important for all of the guests to know that there will typically not be alcohol served at any Indian wedding. The ceremony consists of many religious traditions that take place starting at an hour and a half in. Many modern couples are beginning to break away from this tradition. So in the years to come it is not yet known what the new traditions could consist of.
Food can be a very important part of the Hindu Wedding. The general rule of planning the catering for any Hindu Wedding is the sumptuous dishes. It is recommended that you include a meat dish, for example, a buttered chicken. You can also add some other dishes that include Paneer dishes like saag paneer and muttar paneer. Most guests will look forward to the meals that are served, so it is important to plan ahead!
Post Wedding Ceremonies
Every Hindu Wedding consists of a few post-wedding ceremonies. Often the couple is gifted with jewelry and lots of love!
This event is considered one of the most emotional ones throughout this process. During this part of the ceremony, the bride steps out of two doors with 5 handfuls of rice. She tosses the rice over her head, which reflects wealth and prosperity. typically the bride is very emotional during this, she is giving her parents back all they have given her the past years.
11. Blessing Ceremony
This ceremony is often referred to as the Aashirvaad Ceremony. This ceremony is held to get the blessing of the elder family members on both sides. During this ceremony, the bride’s family will greet the groom’s family at their residences. They will bring sweets and jewelry along with them.
. Mooh Dikhai Ceremony
Mooh Dikhai is a very important part of the post ceremony. It is the time that the bride is fully introduced to her new groom’s family. It begins with revealing the bride and showering her with many gifts.
The Hindu wedding ceremony is potentially a spectacle to behold. It is a time for merriment across days instead of being a one-day event to celebrate what could be someone’s most special event and memory for life. Should you ever find the opportunity to attend one of these ceremonies, it is highly recommended to go and indulge in all of the culturally rich spectacles that are sure to beguile guests. We hope you enjoyed our article on holding a Hindu Wedding Ceremony Program
Edited by: Kristin Pocius