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North Indian Marriages Simplified
Indian wedding celebrations are easily amongst one of the most vibrant, elaborate as well as dynamic on the planet. Unlike in the West, where it is the bride and the bridegroom that are the prominent characters, in an Indian wedding the bride and the groom are the star players however close family relations on both sides are major players too! A Hindu, Sikh wedding is a social affair, and also proclaims the collaborating of not simply the couple however of their families too. It ought to come as no surprise that a majority of the young people abide with their family desires even today and end up having big grand weddings.
A normal Indian wedding comprises of 3 broad events – the pre-wedding events which are practically as elaborate as the real wedding itself, the actual wedding and for some a post-wedding celebration which generally a wedding reception party.
India is a huge and varied country, with the North, South, East and West each having its very own unique languages, customs, cuisine, traditions and wedding rituals.
Traditionally a standard North Indian wedding celebration would take place at the new brides’ residence, however now in the current era special wedding venues, forts and grand palaces in Jaipur (the “Pink City”), Rajasthan, New Delhi or a dream beach wedding come true in Goa a luxury hotels such as Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, Grand Hyatt Goa 5-star hotel, Vivanta by Taj‑ Panaji, Leela Goa, Alila Diwa, Zuri White Sands are the norm for well to do families or even for Indian couples looking to get married at special unique wedding venues in typical Indian style with a destination wedding.
North Indian nuptials are identified by a number of pre-wedding and post-wedding events.
The most important pre-wedding ritual is that of the Mangni or Sagai – the engagement ceremony. The boy and the girl exchange rings in the presence of an Indian priest, both sets of families and many many friends.
On the day of the wedding, the groom’s family members sets off for the brides’ residence in the evening with a great deal of cheering, dancing and general good will. A North Indian bridegroom will generally ride a brightly decorated horse, usually with the youngest boy of the family next to him. He is preceded by other family members and friends, wearing their finest wedding dresses and outfits. His face is covered with the ‘sehra’ a curtain of flowers tied by his sister before they leave the house. A music band belting out the songs of the most recent Bollywood chartbusters accompanying the procession all the way to the wedding venue which in the olden times was the bride’s parents house.
The groom, his family members and guests are received by the girl’s family, the elders greet each other by exchanging garlands usually made of flowers.
The Bride will walk down the aisle with her maternal uncle or uncles (Mama’s) unlike in the West where show will make her grand entrance with her father.
One of the 1st ceremony is the bride and groom will exchange garlands in the Jaimala ceremony, one the most crucial of North Indian wedding customs.
The following part is the most symbolic one – the Saat Pheras (or the seven steps) that the couple take around the ceremonial fire. This generally occurs really late, typically after midnight, much after the guests have actually indulged and departed, with only the extremely close family on either side are left as witness. Both of them circle the scared fire, making vows to love and honour each other throughout their lives.
The bridegroom applies a streak of vermilion (Sindoor) to the bride’s head, after which they end up being lawfully wedded couple according to Indian traditions.
A tearful send-off by brides family follows as she leaves to start a new life.
Bipin Dattani, a professional natural Indian Wedding photographer loves capturing these events.