Indian Wedding Traditions You Didn’t Know About

We’ve seen it in the movies—bouquet tossing, the white dress, the bridesmaids—wedding traditions are a big part of most cultures. In some cultures, the history of wedding traditions are forgotten but the customs remain prevalent, while in others, the root is as important as the tradition. There are so many cool wedding customs found around the world and each has it’s own distnict attributes. Indian weddings are known for their notable and unique characteristics from the colorful attire to Mehendi (also known as henna). The following are some of the traditional wedding customs that make Indian weddings so special.

Misri

Indian weddings traditionally last three days—all ceremonies considered. The first of these ceremonies is Misri, which takes place several days before the actual wedding day. In this ceremony, the marrying couple exchanges prayers, flower garlands and gold rings. Traditionally, the groom’s parents present the bride with a basket of gifts and misri (rock sugar), representative of sweetness in the future.

Indian Wedding Traditions

Photo Credit: Sankara Matrimony

Sangeet Party

The Sangeet party can be held separately or combined with the Mehendi ceremony. The celebration consists of the families of the bride and groom (or just the women) getting together for song and dance.

Hindu Wedding Traditions

Photo Credit: Maloman Photography

Mehendi

The Mehendi ceremony takes place just one day before the actual wedding. Only women attend this event in which intricate patters are drawn on their hands and feet with mehendi (also known as henna). The designs signify a deep bond between the husband and wife. Often times, the Mehendi ceremony is combined with Sagri, in which the groom’s female family members bring gifts and flowers to the bride.

Beautiful Indian Wedding Tradtitions

Photo Credit: Lumino

Haldi Ceremony

On the morning of the wedding, the Haldi ceremony is held. In this tradition, both sides of the family spread a mixture of oil, water and turmeric over the skin and clothes of the bride and groom. The mixture is believed to play a role in blessing the couple and in moisturizing and calming their skin before the wedding.

Indian Wedding Customs

Photo Credit: Studio Viscom Photography

Mandap

In traditional Indian weddings, the ceremony takes place under a Mandap, which is a four-pillared canopy. It is customary for the Mandap to be decorated with bright colors.

Hindu Wedding Customs

Photo Credit: Yash Raj

Laja Homa

During the wedding ceremony, the brother of the bride pours rice into her hands, some of which slips into the groom’s hands cupped below hers, and then into the sacred fire (which is lit in traditional ceremonies and is referred to as Agni).

Special Indian Wedding Traditions

Photo Credit: Mehndi NYC

Mangalsultra

In the Hindu tradition, rather than exchanging wedding rings, the groom ties a mangalsultra around the bride’s neck. The Mangalsultra is a necklace with two gold pendants. The groom ties the necklace with three knots to signify a strong bonding for 100 years.

Tradition Indian Wedding

Photo Credit: Wedd Art Photography

Colors

One of the most significant parts of Indian weddings is the vibrant colors found throughout the celebration. From the attire to the flowers and decoration, colors such as red, gold, orange and burgundy generally fill the room.

Traditional Hindu Wedding Customs

Photo Credit: Modern Rani

Attire

Traditionally, the bride will wear a 16-piece attire called Solah Shringar which includes make up, jewelry, and clothes. Each item is meant to bring out the natural beauty of the bride. One notable piece of the Solah Shringar is the Mangtikka, which is the giant jewel the bride wears on her forehead and through the part of her hair. The actual garment the bride wears will vary depending on what region she is from. The type of jewelry may also vary. The groom’s attire is not as elaborate… at a traditional Hindu wedding, the groom will wear a Sherwani and Mojari, which is a type of shoe that is seen often in Mughal art. As for the guests, most women at the wedding will be wearing a Sari or a Lengha. The guests, as well as the bride and groom, generally dress in loud color. Most attendees will wear Bindis and Bangles as part of their custom wedding attire as well. Some women also wear payals (anklets).

Indian Wedding Attire

Photo Credit: Maharni Weddings

Every culture contributes it’s own characteristics to wedding traditions. Learning about different wedding customs from around the world is a great way to understand the lifestyles and special traditions of other cultures and even to better understand your own. Indian weddings have many unique customs so especially if you plan on attending one or throwing your own, it’s a great idea to gain a good understanding of what to expect.

Wedding Traditions Indian

Photo Credit: Maharian Weddings

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Indian Wedding Traditions You Didn't Know About
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Indian Wedding Traditions You Didn't Know About
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Indian weddings are known for their unique characteristics from colorful attire to Mehendi. The following are some of the traditional customs that make this culture's celebration so special.
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9 Responses

  1. You have shared some insights that other have missed !! Misri and Laja Homa were new to me..
    Post Wedding games and the Gruhu pravesh of the bride is equally celebrated in an Indian wedding

    I love reading Wedding Blogs specially the Indian wedding blogs..
    Thanks for sharing !! keep sharing

  2. selina says:

    Hi please can some one tell me what a swarg patari is aparently its a old old school tradition placeing feather type jewlery in the girls hair. Could some please send me a picture. I really need to have a look as ive not seen one and the grooms sisters are coming a few weeks before the wedding to place one in my hair aswel as bringing gifts etc

  3. Indian traditional wedding is all about rituals, colors, fun and excitement. The article provided an insight on various ceremonies that lead to the wedding.

  4. you are so creative! I love all of these ideas!

  5. Nparekh says:

    Great!! I loved the post as it represents all the Indian wedding traditions and cultures very nicely. The images are also lovely and by reading this post we came to know about our ritual and customs a lot more. Thank you for such an informative post! keep updating with more such details.

  6. john D'souza says:

    Thanks for sharing

  7. Carol says:

    Hello, we are western but my son is marrying an Indian girl. She is not religious but has agreed to some of the Hindu Traditions. I believe we are exchanging gifts with the bride’s parents. Can anyone tell me what would be acceptable gifts to be presented during the ceremony?

  8. PParekh says:

    Hey, great post!! I loved the way that you have mentioned each and every Indian wedding traditions. Thank you for posting this information. Keep updating with more such posts!

  9. Jane B says:

    I would love to hear what you found out about exchanging gifts with bride’s parents as we are in the same situation.