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Hindu Wedding Traditions: What to Expect at a Hindu Wedding

12/06/20

If you’ve been invited to your first Hindu wedding, then you might be feeling curious about what’s going to happen. I’m sure you have lots of questions on your mind about what to expect at a Hindu wedding and also are probably eager to learn about Hindu wedding traditions. Here we have answered all the most common Hindu wedding questions and explained the most popular Hindu wedding traditions and rituals.

What to Expect at a Hindu Wedding

At our Asian wedding venue in Kettering, we have been host to many different Hindi and Indian weddings. Our Northamptonshire venue is ideal as we can hold up to 2000 guests for your party. We also allow external caterers and offer all-inclusive packages. Our wedding planners have an abundance of successful Hindu weddings under their belts so they can help answer all of your questions in regard to what to expect at a Hindu wedding and Hindu wedding traditions.

What are Hindu weddings like?

Hindu weddings are traditionally big, bright, and colourful! They are a celebration of love and commitment and can also be a celebration of the couple’s religion and culture. Marriages, according to Hindu beliefs, are made in heaven and once you are married, the bond is supposed to last for seven lifetimes. Hindu weddings are a long process with various rituals, which we will discuss a bit later on. These may take place over several days and each tradition and ritual has a deep philosophical and spiritual significance.

Once the ceremony is over the wedding reception will begin. This has a very different feel to the ceremony itself and like any wedding reception, is a fun party where people can relax, laugh, and dance.

hindu wedding traditions : what are hindu weddings like

Where does a Hindu wedding take place?

As with all weddings, the ceremony usually takes place in a venue chosen by the bride’s family. This can be a town hall, community hall or a hotel dependant on budget. Here at Kettering Asian wedding venue, we offer all-inclusive packages, so you can get everything you need in one exclusive offer.

Download our brochure for more information.

How long is Hindu wedding?

Traditionally, a Hindu wedding will take place over three days, however, some will be extended to five. A brief overview of the three days is:

  • 1st Day – The Ganesh Puja is otherwise known as the Mandap Muhurat & Pithi. This is often followed by a Mendhi night/Sangeet night. This is an intimate family gathering that begins the festivities
  • 2nd Day – Grah Shanti which is also called a Sathak/Mandvo or Mamoru ceremony. Most guests will be invited to this
  • 3rd Day – Wedding celebration and usually an evening reception. This is the main ceremony and all guests will be involved

You may be invited to any of these three days or just the last day.

What to wear to a Hindu wedding

IN our opinion, the brighter the better! Don’t be afraid to go bold. There will be a lot of vibrant colours and eye-catching jewellery so don’t be scared to go all out and make a real effort. You don’t need to wear a traditional sari, a jewel-tone dress with a shawl will be appropriate too. It is accepted to wear western formal wear to a Hindu wedding, although it is encouraged to buy traditional attire.

For men, a suit is acceptable however if you want to wear something more traditional then the main two outfits are Kurta Pajamas and Sherwanis.

If you’re still wondering what to expect at a hind wedding, then you can always get in touch with our team and they will be happy to help.

hindu wedding traditions : what to wear to a hindu wedding

Hindu Wedding Traditions: What are Hindu Wedding Traditions?

Now onto the next stage of our blog. Hindu wedding traditions. As discussed above, there are many different rituals at a Hindu wedding that will take place over three days. The precise details vary from region to region and often take several hours to complete. What to expect at a Hindu wedding and Hindu wedding traditions are as follows:

  1. The Baraat / The Jaan
  2. Pokwanu – Welcoming of The Groom
  3. Ganesh Puja
  4. Vaarpooja
  5. Kanya Aagman – The Arrival of the Bride
  6. Granthibandan and Varmala
  7. Kanyadan
  8. Havan
  9. Mangal Fera
  10. Saptapadi – The Seven Steps
  11. Sindur & Mangal Sutra
  12. Akhand Saubhagyavati – Blessings From Married Women
  13. Aashirwad
  14. Vidaai
  15. End of the Ceremony
hindu wedding rituals : what are the hindu wedding traditions

What are the Hindu Wedding Rituals?

Briefly mentioned above were the 15 Hindu wedding rituals that usually take place at a Hindu wedding. However, don’t be alarmed if you’re reading the titles still have no idea what they mean! We have given a brief description of what each Hindu wedding tradition consists of, so you can be fully prepared when arriving as a guest at a Hindu wedding.

The Baraat / The Jaan

The Baraat is where the festivities begin. In Hindu and Sikh weddings, the Groom is led to the marriage venue in a procession known as the Baraat. Usually, the Groom will be accompanied by family, groomsmen and friends are known as barratis. The Groom will usually be led on a horse or elephant with fantastic music which sets the mood for the rest of the marriage celebrations. These are often upbeat and exciting songs.

Pokwanu – Welcoming of The Groom

The Pokwanu is where the bride’s family formally welcomes the Groom and his guests. The Bride’s mother will apply a tilak on the Groom’s forehead and will then escort him and his family into the venue. Once inside, the priest will perform a brief ceremony. After this, the Groom will then be asked to smash a clay pot with his foot breaking it into pieces. This demonstrates his ability to overcome all obstacles the couple may face in married life. The Groom is then escorted into the Mandap.

Ganesh Puja

Lord Ganesh is the Hindu elephant God that removes all obstacles and during the Ganesh Puja the priest will invoke the God. This is a Hindu wedding ritual performed for good luck. The Ganesh Puja involves both the bride and groom’s primary family and is usually sitting on stage with them at the Mandap.

Vaarpooja

The Vaarpooja is where the bride’s parents perform a ceremony where they wash the groom’s feet, offer flowers and Madhuparka. At the end of the ceremony, a veil of cloth is held in front of the groom to prevent him from seeing the bride as she enters.

Kanya Aagman – The Arrival of the Bride

The bride will be escorted to the Mandap by her uncles. Once inside, verses are chanted as the veil is lowered and the couple exchange flower garlands. To declare that the bride has chosen the groom of her own free will, she will offer the flower first. To return the compliment, the groom will then offer his flower garland.

Granthibandan and Varmala

The bride and groom will chant prayers to Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Narayan and Goddess Laxmi Devi, asking for marriage as strong as theirs. The groom’s scarf will be tied to the bride’s shawl and the knot symbolises two souls joined together.

Kanyadan

This is where the bride’s parents give away their daughter to the groom.

Havan

The Havan is a sacrificial fire ritual. It is performed in a square-shaped Kunda, which combines the vertical element of fire with the horizontal elements of fire and earth. Often ghee, rice and flowers will be put into the flame.

Mangal Fera

This is where the couple circles the holy fire four times as the priest chants Mantras. The first three of the circles are led by the groom, whilst the fourth is led by the bride. This is to signify balance within the marriage. Once complete, the bride and groom race back to their seats. As part of the Hindu wedding tradition, it is said whoever sits in their seat first will be the ruler of the household.

Saptapadi – The Seven Steps

The Saptapadi (the seven steps) is the most important Hindu wedding tradition. After tying the Mangalsutra, the newlywed couple takes seven steps around the holy fire. Once completed, the couple legally becomes husband and wife.

Sindur & Mangal Sutra

The Sindur and Mangal Sutra is where the ceremonies begin where both the bride and groom are identified as married. The Sindhoor is placed at the parting of the bride’s hair to signify she is now a married woman, whilst the Mangal Sutra is a golden necklace placed around the bride’s neck to show love, respect and integrity.

Akhand Saubhagyavati – Blessings From Married Women

The already married women are now invited to greet the couple and whisper blessing into the bride’s ear.

Aashirwad

The newlyweds then seek blessings from the priest, relatives and friends.

Vidaai

One of the most recognisable moments of a Hindu wedding ceremony is the Vidaai. This is where the bride’s family bid farewell to their daughter as she rides away with her new husband. This is one of the most emotional Hindu wedding traditions. As the bride walks out of the wedding venue she is given a handful of rice and sometimes coins, which she will throw over her head as she leaves. This symbolises a repayment to her parents for all they have given her throughout the years.

End of the Ceremony

This may be the end of the ceremony, but it is in no way the end of the party! It is now time to go onto the Hindu wedding reception which is where you will enjoy great food, drinks and dancing.

hindu wedding traditions : what are the hindu wedding rituals

Hindu Wedding Traditions: What to Expect at a Hindu Wedding

We hope that you now have a much better understanding of what to expect at a Hindu wedding and are now prepared and knowledgeable about Hindu wedding traditions and rituals.

To recap on what are Hindu wedding traditions, they are:

  1. The Baraat / The Jaan
  2. Pokwanu – Welcoming of The Groom
  3. Ganesh Puja
  4. Vaarpooja
  5. Kanya Aagman – The Arrival of the Bride
  6. Granthibandan and Varmala
  7. Kanyadan
  8. Havan
  9. Mangal Fera
  10. Saptapadi – The Seven Steps
  11. Sindur & Mangal Sutra
  12. Akhand Saubhagyavati – Blessings From Married Women
  13. Aashirwad
  14. Vidaai
  15. End of the Ceremony

We hope that this has been helpful and if you have any advice, then feel free to leave a comment!