Indian Wedding Highlights and Insight to Terminology and

 
indian wedding highlights from David on Vimeo.

I love Indian weddings!  I just love all the color and pageantry.  I was trying to explain all the cool things that happen during a Indian weddings and I just couldn't. The ceremony and the days leading up to it are full of details.  I am going to share some the Terminology and different part of the ceremony.

This is a great resource for the different ceremonies  http://www.culturalindia.net/weddings/wedding-rituals/


Tilak Ceremony
One of initial wedding ceremonies in India is the Tilak ceremony. It was initially held one month before the actual wedding day, but with changing times people have become quite flexible.

Engagement Ceremony
Indian weddings are known for their elaborate ceremonies and opulent celebrations. Besides, they are held in a very traditional manner, commemorating numerous rituals as per the ancient Vedic era.

Sangeet Ceremony
Sangeet ceremony as the name suggests is all about dance and music. It is one of the most enjoyable ceremonies before the wedding and is exclusively for women.

Mehndi Ceremony
Mehndi is yet another traditional yet exciting pre wedding ceremony. In India, a lot of emphasis is given on customs and rituals. Indian people are ardent lovers of beauty and elegance.

Var Mala Ceremony
Var Mala ceremony is an important main wedding day ceremony. It is also known as Jaimala and basically involves exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom.

Mandap Ceremony
Mandap ceremony holds utmost importance on the day of the wedding. This is because all the significant rituals are performed during the mandap ceremony.

Vidai Ceremony
Practically everyone dreams of getting married someday to someone. After an individual attains maturity the wait for that perfect individual starts. Some people are lucky to be blessed by the feeling of love.

Reception Ceremony
Indian weddings have a charm of their own. As per the tradition the wedding is primarily organized by the bride's family, however, the reception might be an exception. 





Below are some the terms I got from http://weddingdetails.com/lore-tradition/hindu/

 Jaimala (Exchange of Garlands)
The couple exchanges garlands as a gesture of acceptance of one another and a pledge to respect one another as partners.

Madhupak (Offering of Yogurt and Honey)
The bride’s father offers the groom yogurt and honey as the expression of welcome and respect.

Kanyadan (Giving Away of the Bride)
The father of the bride places her hand in the groom’s hand requesting him to accept her as an equal partner. The concept behind Kanyadan is that the bride is a form of the goddess Lamxi and the groom is Lord Narayana. The parents are facilitating their union.

Havan (Lighting of the Sacred Fire)
The couple invokes Agni, the god of Fire, to witness their commitment to each other. Crushed sandalwood, herbs, sugar rice and oil are offered to the ceremonial fire.

Rajaham (Sacrifice to the Sacred Fire)
The bride places both her hands into the groom’s and her brother then places rice into her hands. Together the bride and groom offer the rice as a sacrifice into the fire.

Gath Bandhan (Tying of the Nuptial Knot)
The scarves placed around the bride and groom are tied together symbolizing their eternal bond. This signifies their pledge before God to love each other and remain faithful.

Mangalphera (Walk Around the Fire)
The couple makes four Mangalpheras around the fire in a clockwise direction representing four goals in life: Dharma, religious and moral duties; Artha, prosperity; Kama, earthly pleasures; Moksha, spiritual salvation and liberation. The bride leads the Pheras first, signifying her determination to stand first beside her husband in all happiness and sorrow.

Saptapardi (Seven Steps Together)
The bride and groom walk seven steps togehr to signify the beginning of their journey through life together. Each step represents a marital vow:

First step: To respect and honor each other
Second step: To share each other’s joy and sorrow
Third step: To trust and be loyal to each other
Fourth step: To cultivate appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice and service
Fifth step: To reconfirm their vow of purity, love family duties and spiritual growth
Sixth step: To follow principles of Dharma (righteousness) Seventh step: To nurture an eternal bond of friendship and love

Jalastnchana (Blessing of the Couple)
The parents of the bride and groom bless the wedded couple by dipping a rose in water and sprinking it over the couple.

Sindhoor (Red Powder)
The groom applies a small dot of vermilion, a powdered red lead, to the bride’s forehead and welcomes her as his partner for life. It is applied for the first time to a woman during the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom himself adorns her with it.

Aashirvad (Parental Blessing)
The parents of the bride and groom give their blessings to the couple. The couple touches the feet of their parents as a sign of respect.

Menhdi (Henna Ceremony)
The traditional art of adorning the hands and feet with a paste made from the finely ground leaves of the Henna plant. The term refers to the material, the design, and the ceremony. It is tradition for the names of the bride and groom to be hidden in the design, and the wedding night is not to commence until the groom has found both names. After the wedding, the bride is not expected to perform any housework until her Menhdi has faded away.

Mangalasutra (Thread of Goodwill)
A necklace worn specifically by married women as a symbol of their marriage.
Welcome the Baraat – the arrival of the groom and his family. Traditionally, the groom arrives at the wedding on a horse, accompanied by his closest friends and family members. The large procession includes lots of singing and dancing. This signifies the groom’s and his family’s happiness in accepting the new bride.

    Certain, more unconventional and modern, weddings will have the groom arrive in a cavalcade of cars.[1]

1
Spruce yourself up for the Haldi ceremony. This ceremony takes place two or three days before the wedding. During Haldi, a paste made of turmeric, gram flour, curd, sandalwood and rose water are applied on the hands, feet and face of the bride and the groom. The yellow color of the paste is believed to brighten the skin color before the wedding ceremony and bring good luck to the bride and the groom.

    Hindu weddings are full of color and vibrancy. A canopy of flowers will go up during this time in the house where the wedding will be and color will seem to pop up everywhere.


2
Get your hands ready for the Mehndi Ceremony. The bride and all of her close family members get the palms of their hands and feet decorated by a professional henna artist. The henna is believed to enhance the bride’s beauty. This ceremony usually takes place a day before the wedding.

    This is similar to a bachelorette party, but without the antics and alcohol. It’s more about a celebration of the journey to marriage than the decoration or getting crazy.


3  Welcome the Baraat – the arrival of the groom and his family. Traditionally, the groom arrives at the wedding on a horse, accompanied by his closest friends and family members. The large procession includes lots of singing and dancing. This signifies the groom’s and his family’s happiness in accepting the new bride.

    Certain, more unconventional and modern, weddings will have the groom arrive in a cavalcade of cars.[1]

4
Have Milni – the meeting of the bride and grooms' families. The bride’s family, armed with garlands and traditional Indian sweets, then welcomes the groom and his family. Milni is an important tradition where the groom’s family is honored by the bride’s family.

    This is generally done at the house where the wedding is taking place. A red kum-kum (a powder) mark is applied to everyone’s foreheads. The members of each family are introduced to one another, encouraging peace and acceptance.


5
Welcome the bride through Graha Pravesh. With her right leg, the bride kicks the kalash (a pot) usually filled with rice. This kalash is kept at the door of the groom’s house. After the kicking takes place the bride walks her first steps in the house of the groom.

    This is believed to bring about an abundance of food, wisdom, and wealth and be a "source of life." In old tales, it was viewed to contain the elixir of immortality.[6]





 I hope you find this information helpful.

I hope that you enjoy photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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and I will be happy to help you in any way that I can.

David Diener
www.AtlantaArtisticWeddings.com