About the Event 

1. The Baarat - Groom's Procession

  • Arriving in style on the back of a beautifully decorated white horse, the groom's arrival begins the ceremony. Surrounded by friends and family dancing and singing in a large circle, he meets his bride's family at the entrance to the venue. 

2. Var Mala Ceremony

  • It takes place after the groom reaches the venue for the wedding, along with the baraat. Once he arrives there, the mother of the bride welcomes him on the doorstep with a pooja thali. She applies tilak and performs aarti to bless him and to ward off any evil. After this, the groom awaits the arrival of the bride. After a while, the bride reaches the spot with a garland in her hands. Seeing this, the groom also stands and is given a garland. The ceremony begins with the bride trying to put garland around the neck of the groom. This is prevented by the groom's friends, to tease the bride. To enable the bride to perform the ritual, the friends on her side helping her to do the same. This is one of the most awaited moments of the wedding as everyone enjoys the tussle between the two parties as well as the new couple. Finally, the groom also puts the garland around the bride's neck. This ceremony indicates that the bride has accepted the groom as her loving husband.

3. Kanya Aagaman - The Arrival of the Bride

  • Kanya Aagaman translates to ‘the arrival of the bride’. The bride and the groom are separated by a white cloth and not allowed to see one another just yet. She is escorted to the Mandap by her maternal uncles and aunts along with the bride’s sisters, bridesmaids, and cousins. The mandap is a pavilion adorned with flowers, drapes, and lights. Symbolizing growth and well-being, it is a sacred structure under which Hindu ceremonies are held. Each pillar is believed to represent the couple's parents whose love, blessings, and support made the wedding happen and at the center of the mandap burns a sacred fire called the agni.

  

 4. Agni Pooja & Managl Phera - Circling the Sacred Fire

  • The sacred fire signifies purity and the source of universal energy. The groom and bride complete four pheras (rounds) around the agni seeking the four basic goals of human life, Dharma: righteousness, Artha: prosperity, Karma: love, and family, and Moksha: liberation and detachment from worldly things.  

 5. Saptapadi - The Seven Steps

  • An Indian couple pledges their vows around the agni. The bride and groom take seven steps around the blaze while reciting this sacred Hindu pledge of marriage: 

  • With the first step, we will provide for and support each other.

  • With the second step, we will develop mental, physical, and spiritual strength.

  • With the third step, we will share the worldly possessions.

  •  With the fourth step, we will acquire knowledge, happiness, and peace.

  • With the fifth step, we will raise strong and virtuous children.

  • With the sixth step, we will enjoy the fruits of all seasons.

  • With the seventh step, we will always remain friends and cherish each other.

 6. Mangal Sutra - Groom's Promise

  • "Tying the knot" takes on a literal meaning. The groom ties a beautiful necklace, made with black, red, and white beads and strung through a black and gold string, around his bride's neck symbolizing her new status as a married woman and his vow to always protect her. 

7. Vidaai Ceremony - Farewell to the Bride

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  • The bride's family bids her farewell among tears of joy and sadness. She throws a fistful of rice behind her should wishing her childhood home happiness and prosperity. Not all brides leave the altar with a cheery smile. At Hindu weddings, the newlywed says her goodbyes during the Vidaai ceremony, a tearful event in which the bride officially leaves her home and family to start a life with her new husband. She then takes handfuls of rice to throw over her head to show thanks and pay homage to her parents.

 

Hiding the shoes

  • Instead of tossing your bouquet to a group of single ladies, consider this Indian wedding prank that could leave your bridesmaids all the richer! In the popular Indian wedding game Jutti Chupai, bridesmaids along with the bride's sisters steal and hide the groom's shoes just before the wedding ceremony begins. Once the ceremony is over, the groom hunts for his missing pair while everyone looks on at his failed attempts. Eventually, they ask the groom for a sum of money—20, 50, even 100 dollars—in exchange for his kicks. 

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© 2023 by Khyati and Prasit