The ceremony of a traditional Hindu wedding is conducted in Sanskrit. The wedding ceremony takes place over several days. The wedding ceremony is supposed to take place in open space and the bride’s family usually set up a tent or canopy in their backyard and filled with flowers, colorful personal decorations, and jewelry. The "bright half" of the northern course is when most weddings are held. The wedding is a happy affair and most objects contain many vibrant colors. The bride wears a sari and the groom wears a turban on his head. The wedding signifies a bond between the bride and groom and also the two families.
Many regional rituals have evolved over time. The couple has both an oral agreement (vagdana) and a written contract (lagna-patra). The ceremony is basically a fire-sacrifice (Vedic yajña).
The priest or Brahmin officiates at the wedding ceremony. The wedding begins when the curtain is removed and garlands of sandalwood chips are placed around the necks of the bride and groom. .During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom give each other garlands signifying respect for each other as partners. Yogurt is offered by the father of the bride to the groom as a symbol of respect and welcoming the groom to the family. Then the bride’s father places his daughters hand in the groom’s hand asking him to accept his daughter as an equal partner.
The bride places both her hands into the groom's. Her brother gives her rice. The bride and groom offer the rice as a sacrifice into the fire. To symbolize the couples eternal love, their pledge to love each other and remain faithful, scarves are placed around the bride and groom and then ties together. Appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice and service
Signifying four goals in life, religious and moral, prosperity, earthly pleasures and salvation, the bride and groom walk around the fire four times. Led by a priest or a Brahmin, the happy couple then takes seven steps together signifying
Respect and honor
Sharing joys and sorrow
Trust and loyalty to the other one
Appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice and service
Confirm their vow of purity, love family duties and spiritual growth
Follow the path of righteousness
Encourage an everlasting bond of love and friendship
The couple is blessed by their parents by dipping a rose in water and sprinkling the water on the couple. The groom applies a small dot of vermilion (powdered red lead) to the bride's forehead and welcomes her as his partner for life. Then the bride and groom touch the feet of their parents as a sign of respect.
Today’s Hindu weddings have been commercialized like many old traditions, but many of the ancient rituals still remain.
Wedding Cultural Differences