Getting married is as hectic as beautiful and exciting. It has a full list of things to manage and plan. Firstly, it is about finding the perfect partner, the one who matches your interests and ambitions.

Once you find the right match, there is a whole list of things to go through before you finally get the best wedding date fixed. It includes numerous family meetings, with several important discussions. Once the horoscopes are matched and finally a date is selected, then starts the second list of things to be planned.

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The wedding is not only a day’s affair. In most cultures, there are many functions organized before and after the wedding. Each function before the main ceremony has its cultural importance. It helps both the partners to get ready for the big day. Different religions and cultures have different pre and post-wedding ceremonies. But if you compare them all, it’s all somewhat the same, with a bit of difference. This distinction can be about the way it is done, the cultural importance, the story of inheritance or the people who perform it.

Functions of a Traditional Hindu Wedding

Pre-Wedding Functions

Engagement

It is a ceremony where the bride and groom exchange rings with a dance and dining party. Few people like to keep this ceremony personal with a small family event. Some people celebrate it like a big event before the marriage. In a few cultures, it is performed a few months before the wedding while others keep it just a few days before. It is really up to both the families.The exchange of rings is a kind of promise, the start of the new bond.

Mehendi

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Two-three days before the main wedding ceremony, Mehendi function is organized both in the bride and groom’s house, where their hands and feet are painted with designs of henna along with other all other ladies present in the function. Henna is considered auspicious and a good lucky charm for the coming events. It is also an element of shringar for married women. Nowadays with the trend of destination weddings, this ceremony is performed by both families together. It includes singing of traditional songs, dancing, special decorations as well as cocktails.

Sangeet

This ceremony has been really popular since a few years. As the wedding trends are going through a transformation, this event has been popularized. It is all about the fun and cheer of the wedding with relatives and near and dear ones dancing to the beats. Nowadays mostly both the families celebrate it together. It is a big deal with each close relative preparing special performances and a separate stage set for it. There is fun, drama, competition between the bride’s and groom’s side just like an actual face-off. It helps to set everybody in the right mood.

Tilak/Sangan/Chunni

This ceremony is mostly organized a day before the main ceremony. It is performed differently in different religions, with a Pandit who chants some holy sermons, with few things that the groom has to perform after which he is gifted several items along with money as a blessing by each member of the bride’s family. Then the same thing is done with the bride separately, putting a decorative stole over her head, which is mostly red. The red color symbolizes her beginning as a married woman, along with being gifted other items of Shringar.

Haldi

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Celebrated mostly on the morning of the big day, the bride and groom are applied a mixture of turmeric with rose water and few other items according to the tradition. It helps to bring glow and relief before the marriage along with being a symbol of luck and prosperity. Few people consider it to be good for warding off the evil and hence, it holds an important place in the whole wedding ceremony. Like Mehendi, it is celebrated together if it is a destination wedding followed by a Chooda ceremony for the bride. This happens only in few cultures including the Punjabis where the girl’s maternal uncle and aunt gift her a set of white and red bangles, considered as a symbol of prosperity and fertility. It is also an element of Shringar of the married women, believed to strengthen the bond of the couple.

After these set of bangles, all married couples tie long silver and golden umbrella-shaped hangings known as Kalire to the chooda, signifying good wishes. It is also believed to symbolize wealth and prosperity and carries memories of the ones whom the bride will leave behind.

Post Wedding Functions

After the Haldi, it is the turn of the big day, the wedding ceremony. Once it is over, after the bride is welcomed at the groom’s place, there are few more ceremonies. One very common ceremony includes putting their wedding rings in a big bowl of milk and water. The bride and groom then play three rounds trying to find the ring. The one who wins signifies being the head in the relationship.

The next common ceremony is reception. It is an event organized by the groom’s family to welcome the new bride. It is a way to celebrate with her, now being a member of the new family. The event gives her a chance to meet all the important people of the groom’s side and take their blessings. It has now become a very popular function.

Other than all these, there may be a few small events and ceremonies as per your traditions and culture. But they all help to set the right vibe to celebrate, getting together to enjoy and bless the newlyweds.

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