Nowhere is the unique diversity of India more
evident than its marriage traditions and ceremonies.
With multitudes of different religion, traditions and
customs, Indian weddings are a melting pot of myriad
Modern India too has evolved some of its own wedding
traditions such as the Indian wedding barat and the
Indian wedding games. Some popular games, such as hiding
the shoes have even been glamorized by Bollywood movies.
Barat refers to the procession of the groom on a horseback,
accompanied by family members, relatives and friends.
The groom sits on a decorated white mare (ghodi), resplendent
in his wedding attire, and usually carries a sword.
A barat is an occasion of much revelry and you can often
see the relatives of the groom dancing with gay abandon
on the streets as they proceed towards the wedding venue.
Nikhil Bhide - The Wedding Planner will provide for
all you barat arrangements. Right from selecting the
ghori (white mare), choosing a brass band party and
deciding on which tunes would they play (and that can
include all the latest Bollywood musical hits as well
as the groom's favorite ones), leave all the worries
to us. In addition to the barat, we also provide arrangements
for the Doli as well.
Another important wedding tradition that has stood
the test of time is the use of Henna for adorning the
hands and feet. Pertaining to ladies, the art of applying
Henna, also known as Mehendi goes back as far as 5000
years ago, but you can see still se eager women- young
and old get henna applied to their hands during the
occasion of a wedding ceremony. Even through Henna is
green in color and appearance, when applied on the skin,
it takes a orange- reddish hue. These days one can even
go for fanciful Mehendi colors in gold, silver and black,
but those are liable to cause allergic reaction. Henna
is best to be appreciated in its purest form. You can
get beautiful, intricate designs imprinted on your hands
and feet that will lend a traditional yet a contemporary
look to your overall get-up for a marriage function.
These days, there is generally a Mehendi night as a
part of the pre-wedding functions where lot of Mehendi
artists come and apply henna to the ladies of the house
to the accompaniment of dholaks and much revelry. Nikhil
Bhide - The Wedding Planner will arrange for all your
needs and recreate a magical Mehendi night for you.
We would book professional Mehendi artists who would
recreate magical designs on your hands and feet.
Some of the traditional Hindu wedding
Vara Satkaarah: This refers to the reception accorded
to the bridegroom and his kinsmen at the entrance of
the wedding venue where the groom receives blessings
from the bride's mother who applies a tilak of vermilion
and turmeric powder on his forehead.
Madhuparka Ceremony: The groom is accorded another
welcome, this time by the father of the bride at the
Kanya Dan: One of the most purest sacrifices
ever, the bride's father gives away his daughter to
the groom to the accompaniment of chanting of sacred
Vivah-Homa: The sacred fire ceremony is kindled
by the priest presiding over the marriage ritual to
ensure the commencement of all auspicious activities.
Pani-Grahan: The bride's right hand is placed
in the groom's left hand whereby he accepts her as his
lawfully wedded wife.
Pratigna-Karan: With the bride leading, the
couple walks around the sacred fire while taking vows
of loyalty, steadfast love and life-long fidelity to
Shila Arohan: The mother of the bride assists
her to step onto a stone slab and counsels her to prepare
herself for a new life.
Laja-Homah: The couple offer puffed rice into
the sacred fire as a symbol of offering to the Fire
God, whereby the bride stands in front of the groom
and keeps her palms over those of the groom.
Parikrama/ Pradakshina/ Mangal Fera: The most
important aspect of a Hindu wedding ceremony, taking
these seven rounds around the sacred fire legalizes
the marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act as
well as traditional customs.
Saptapadi: Saptapadi indicates the seven steps
taken by the couple that represent nourishment, strength,
prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony
and understanding, respectively. This is done after
the groom's scarf has been tied to the bride's dress.
Abhishek: Abhishek entails sprinkling of water,
meditating on the sun and the pole star by the couple.
Anna Praashan: The couple gives oblations in
the fire and then feed a morsel to each other as an
expression of their mutual love and affection.
Aashirvadah: The couple receives blessings from
all the elders in the family who wish them a successful
Some other rites that have been mentioned
in one of India's oldest religious books- Manusmriti
that describes the different types of marriage are:
Rite of Brahmana (Brahma) - This rite involves
the father of the bride inviting the prospective groom
who is a man learned in the Vedas and of good conduct
to his house and handing his daughter to the him after
decking her with jewels and costly garments.
Rite of the Gods (Daiva) - Here the girl, bejeweled
with ornaments is handed over to a priest who carries
out a sacrifice.
Rite of the Rishis (Arsha) - According to this
rite, the girl is married off after the groom makes
a offering of a cow and a bull.
Rite of the Prajapati (Prajapatya) -The parents
marry off their daughter while blessing the newly wed
couple with these particular words-"May both of
you perform your duties together" .
Rite of the Asuras (Demons) - The groom receives
the bride's hand in marriage only after he has given
enough wealth to her kinsmen.
Rite of the Gandharva - Loosely translated as
a love marriage, this union is initiated by the groom
and the bride themselves as they are sexually attracted
to each other.
Rite of the Rakshasa - This rite entails the
forcible kidnapping of the girl by her prospective husband
after he has killed off all her family members.
Rite of the Pisaka - The worst of all, according
to the Pisaka rite, the man seduces a girl when she
is sleeping or intoxicated or if she is mentally unbalanced
Nikhi Bhide-The Wedding Planner is based in Mumbai,
and offers wedding planning services for all of India,
with a special focus on Mumbai and Goa.
Nikhil Bhide - The Wedding Planner offers
information on Indian wedding traditions and online
booking for wedding services and arrangements.