Planning Indian Weddings
East Indian weddings are exciting and colorful celebrations that observe important rituals. Whether it is part of culture or you want to create a unique experience, Crystal Ballroom BeachPlace is sharing tips for creating Indian weddings.
It is important to note that Indian weddings are not all the same. Religion is probably one of the strongest differences. Islamic weddings take place in a mosque where the bride and groom are usually separated during the negotiation of a contract. There is a celebration and rituals involved in the wedding, but it is more about a Nikah or a marriage contract. Hindu weddings take you seven times around the fire to seal the deal. While there are some differences, there are some similarities. Pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals and celebrations of Indian weddings usually last for several days, but this can be modified to suit the bride and groom.
The Colors of Indian Weddings
Red and gold are the traditional colors of Indian weddings. Blue and yellow are often incorporated into the décor. According to some traditions, the bride's and groom's homes are decorated with colorful balloons and vibrant decorations on the ceilings, walls and floors. A bride might consider adding colorful balloons to the reception area to incorporate this element. Red table runners, and gold and red chair sashes are an opportunity to incorporate more color into the theme. Gold lanterns or candelabras create the perfect centerpieces for Indian weddings. Roses, marigolds and orchids add color to match the theme.
The Mandap at Indian Weddings
If you are considering a Hindu or Jain wedding, you will want a mandap at your ceremony. This covered structure is an elaborately decorated tent where all the magic occurs. The mandap is decorated using kalashas, garlands of fruit leaves and colorful flowers. The bride and groom will sit beneath the mandap upon throne chairs during the ceremony.
A Hindu wedding begins with Baraat. This celebration is dedicated to welcoming the groom’s family to the wedding venue. The Groom is transported by family members, friends and groomsmen to the wedding venue in a procession. Traditionally, the groom arrives on a white horse. However, modern entrances involve a limousine. Upon arriving at the venue, the groom is greeted by the bride’s family, and tilak or red colored paste is applied to his forehead to ward off an evil eye. The groom continues into the venue to meet with the male relatives of the bride.
The Varmala ceremony is the moment when the bride and groom meet before the wedding. This is an important part of Indian weddings. The bride and groom exchange a garland of flowers, symbolic of the acceptance of marriage. The Groom makes his entrance to the wedding venue first, and awaits the mother of the bride. After the mother of the bride applies tilak on his forehead, he takes a seat at the mandap and awaits the bride to exchange the garland.
The Ceremony at Indian Weddings
There are three key elements of the Hindu ceremony. The Kanyadaan is when a father gives away his daughter. The Panigrahana is when the groom takes the right hand of the bride. The Saptapadi is the ritual that involves seven steps around the fire.
Kanyadaan occurs after Varmala. It is a ceremony to symbolize the father giving away his daughter. During Indian weddings, the father takes his daughter’s right hand, places it into the grooms, and requests that he take his daughter as an equal partner. As the kama-sukta (hym to love) is recited, the groom accepts.
The Kamasukta verse is:
Who offered this maiden?, to whom is she offered? Kama (the god of love) gave her to me, that I may love her Love is the giver, love is the acceptor. Enter thou, the bride, the ocean of love. With love then, I receive thee. May she remain thine, thine own. O god of love, verily, thou art, prosperity itself. May the heaven bestow thee. May the earth receive thee.
After joining their hands, the mother of the bride pours water over the palm of her husband’s hands, allowing it to trickle over the bride’s and groom’s hands. A dividing curtain between the bride and groom is lowered, and the meeting of the bride and groom or the Kanyadaan occurs.
Panigrahan is an important part of Indian weddings. The groom takes the right hand of the bride in his left and accepts her as his lawfully wedded wife. Sometimes the bride and groom sit holding hands while their hands are covered with a cloth to ward off an evil eye. The groom faces the west and the bride sits before him with her face looking towards the east as the Rig vedic mantra is recited.
I take thy hand in mine, yearning for happiness. I ask thee, to live with me, as thy husband till both of us, with age, grow old. Know this, as I declare, that the Gods Bhaga, Aryama, Savita and Purandhi, have bestowed thy person upon me that I may fulfill my Dharmas of the householder with thee. This I am. That art thou. The Sāman I. The Ŗc thou. The Heavens I. The Earth thou.
Saptapadi at Indian weddings signifies the union of the bride and groom. The marriage is not complete, unless the bride and groom take seven steps clockwise around the holy fire. This represents seven promises or vows to each other. The groom takes the bride by the hand and leads her four complete circles around the holy fire. Then the bride leads the groom the remaining three circles around the fire. With the completion of the seventh step, the marriage ceremony is complete.
Crystal Ballroom BeachPlace
If you are dreaming up romance, color and the symbolism found in Indian weddings, dream no more. Crystal Ballroom BeachPlace is an all-inclusive venue with professional designers that are dedicated to the creation of your fairy tale. Bring imagination, and let Crystal Ballroom create your unique version of traditional Indian weddings.