Today I will share some wonderful facts about traditional Indian weddings. Of course, India is a huge country, with a lot of regions that includes various languages (nearly 500!), cuisine, traditions and even faiths. However, one is for sure. Indian wedding is always colorful, sumptuous and full of meanings and… dating back over 4000 years.

Personally, I have to say that Indian culture has always inspired me, mainly due to its vivid colors and amazing outfits. But what about the details of typical traditional Indian weddings? Here I have to say that it is quite unimaginable for the European that somewhere in the world the arranged marriages still occur. It can happen that the wedding is the worst day of the bride’s life. On the other hand, there are also some Indians, who are even happy about such a turn of events. Because you don’t have to bother looking for a spouse, because your parents love you, so they won’t choose anyone bad for you.

A Hindu wedding is full of symbols and hidden meanings. I will try to quote the most important ones:

  • Hasta Milap – joining the spouses’ hands with a sash as a sign of unity.
  • Husband’s painting of a tilaka on his wife’s forehead as a sign that she is under his protection.
  • Washing of the hands and feet of the spouses by the parents of the bride.
  • Putting on the rings – the husband puts the ring on his wife’s toe and she repays the same.
  • Saptapadi – the most important moment of the wedding ceremony. The spouses go around the holy fire lit 7 times, praying that God will let them go through life together.
  • Vastra Ganthi – tying the bride’s chunni (sash) with a piece of the groom’s attire. The spouses remain united throughout the wedding.
  • Breaking a coconut as a symbol of the end of a certain stage in life and a new beginning.
  • Vidaai – farewell to the bride with her family.

It is time now for a short interview. My today guest, who comes from the south of India, has answered my below questions.

  1. What are the tendencies of getting married in India? Do people get married more often than in the past?

    Everyone gets married in india and it will be the only relationship they will have. Maybe there is some increase following the western culture with relationships. But still the normal view for marraiges remain the same.

  2. Generally, how much earlier do the couples start the preparation?

    18 months for marraige preparation, because marriage halls are booked for 2 years in advance. So to get a marraige hall will be challenging and we invite at least 1000 members for a marriage… Then costumes and other elements will be planned over 18 months as per the auspicious days.

  3. How big are traditional weddings? Who is invited?

    Every known relatives and friends are invited for marriage and then reception where the bride and groom host…for sure 500 members would be invited at least…it depends on your budget as well.

  4. What are the most common traditions?

    There is no common tradition, because we have language, religion and caste system (stupid thing), but most of the south indian marriages will resemble the same. North indian is different. We have at least 2 days marriage event. And we tie a yellow rope which will be changed into a gold chain.

  5. What kind of meals/drinks are always served?

    There is no drink culture in India. But nowadays the rich host a cocktail party.