10 Beautiful Wedding Traditions in India That You Didn’t Know About

What should you expect at an Indian wedding?


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Indian weddings are known for their elaborate ceremonies, beautiful color schemes, traditional wear and deep cultural significance. The weddings differ according to religion but, because 77 percent of the country practices Hinduism, the following traditions will focus on their customs and beliefs.

Indian Wedding Ceremonies Traditionally Span 3 Days

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra lovers were captured by beautiful photos from their traditional wedding, but many wondered: How is this wedding still going on? In India, the ceremony lasts an average of three days, with different rituals being performed on each as the couple officially joins together.

What to Expect on Day 1

A priest will perform the ganesh pooja with the couple and those who are closest to them. During the ceremony, the priest will invoke the energy of the Hindu elephant God, Lord Ganesh, who will remove obstacles that may hold the couple back.

What to Expect Early on Day 2

One of the most recognizable ceremonies to outsiders is the mehndi, where the bride’s female friends and family members cover her hands and feet in henna. Outside of the obvious beauty belonging to the intricate shapes, each design symbolizes a different blessing wished upon her.

What to Expect Later on Day 2

All of the wedding guests get their first site of the bride and groom during the sangeet. It is during this stage of the wedding that most closely resembles a party. Everyone dances, eats, enjoys performances and the love in the air.

What to Expect on Day 3

Day 3 belongs to the wedding ceremony, itself. The couple is officially joined, and everyone soaks in the beauty.

The Bride Wears Red

Hindu weddings in India are largely recognized by their bold and alluring colors. Brides are donned in beautiful shades of bright red, which represents prosperity and fertility.

The Jai Mala

To symbolize their want to marry one another, the couple will exchange floral garlands during the Jai Mala.

The Kanyadaan – When the Bride’s Father Gives Her Away

Similar to American traditions, the bride’s father will give her away during the wedding ceremony. Where the moment differs, however, is when her father places the pair’s hands together and pours water onto his daughter’s, which then transfers down into the grooms.

Sindoor is Dusted into the Bride’s Hair

Continuing the red trend, a tinted powder is spread across the part in the bride's hair, which symbolizes that she is a married woman.

The Aashirwad

After the ceremonies come to an end, both families join together to hold a blessing for the couple. Friends, family and relatives will wish the new pair well wishes and bring a gift in celebration.

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