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A Hindu Wedding

A Hindu wedding is a religious ceremony and mostly the parents of the bride select the suitable bridegroom for her. In most cases, the bride sees the groom only on her wedding day. Though this custom is slowly fading, it is still prevalent. A Hindu wedding is more of a community gathering or party than a quiet, serious event.

The horoscopes of the bride and the groom are given to the astrologer and only after he confirms that they are compatible, the wedding process begins. If the horoscopes do not match, no further step is taken by both sets of parents.

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The wedding is conducted in a wedding hall and and can consume a whole day. It is not unusual that there are more than 600 guests who stay the whole day and participate in the wedding ceremonies.

The status of the bride in the new family is assessed with the gold and diamond jewelry, silver articles and household goods she brings from her parents, in addition to a lump sum of cash. All of these are previously discussed and decided by both families.

The bride gets married in the traditional wedding saree which is usually yellow in color and immediately after the marriage she changes into her grand wedding saree - usually the pure silk wedding saree costs anywhere from USD 500 to USD 15000.

There is no need to get any marriage license and there is no need to register the marriage unless the couple requires the marriage certificate for their work-related needs.

The Hindu wedding ceremony circles around the customary rituals and homahs in Sanskrit and the main traditions are:

  • Vara Satkaarah - Reception of the bridegroom and his kinsmen at the entrance gate of the wedding hall where the officiating priest chants a few mantras and the bride's mother blesses the groom with rice and trefoil and applies tilak of vermilion and turmeric powder.
  • Madhuparka Ceremony - Reception of the bridegroom at the altar and bestowing of presents by the bride's father.
  • Kanya Dan - The bride's father gives away his daughter to the groom amidst the chanting of sacred mantras.
  • Vivah-Homa - The sacred fire ceremony ascertaining that all auspicious undertakings are begun in an atmosphere of purity and spirituality.
  • Pani-Grahan - The groom takes the right hand of the bride in his left hand and accepts her as his lawfully wedded wife.
  • Pratigna-Karan - The couple walks round the fire, the bride leading, and take solemn vows of loyalty, steadfast love and life-long fidelity to each other.
  • 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 - Puffed rice offered as oblations into the sacred fire by the bride while keeping the palms of her hands over those of the groom.
  • Parikrama or Pradakshina or Mangal Fera - The couple circles the sacred fire seven times. This aspect of the ceremony legalizes the marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act as well as custom.
  • Saptapadi - Marriage knot symbolized by tying one end of the groom's scarf with the bride's dress. Then they take seven steps representing nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony and understanding, respectively.
  • Abhishek - Sprinkling of water, meditating on the sun and the pole star.
  • Anna Praashan - The couple makes food offerings into the fire then feed a morsel of food to each other expressing mutual love and affection.
  • Aashirvadah - Benediction by the elders.

The wedding feast is a grand affair and four meals are provided on the wedding day. Wedding Feast is mostly prepared in the wedding hall with a professional catering team. The wedding music is provided by the traditional Hindu musical instruments of "Nathaswaram" and its accompaniments.


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