Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Hindu Wedding Ceremony Traditions You Need to Know

Hindu weddings are vibrant, intricately planned, culture-rich festivities full of celebration and tradition. While the very essence of a Hindu wedding ceremony is the physical, spiritual, and emotional union of two people; it’s also about the coming together of two families through prayer and celebration.

“A Hindu wedding lies somewhere between the couple’s expectations while blending their family traditions,” explains South Asian wedding expert Himanshu Patel. “With many rituals and mini ceremonies leading to the main ceremony day, it binds the couple and both families for eternity.”

What should I wear to a Hindu wedding?

It’s common for guests to wear traditional Indian clothes, such as saris or lenghas for women and long-sleeved tunics and pants for men. “Build each event outfit as if you were outdoing yourself from the last event, saving your most glamorous outfit for the day of the wedding ceremony and reception,” says Patel. If you decide to go with a more Western option, remember that women should have their shoulders, legs, and occasionally arms covered. Men should wear long sleeves and long pants. Both men and women need to bring something to cover their heads during the ceremony. Bold, vibrant colors are heavily encouraged, but be sure to stay away from white (associated with funerals), black (considered unlucky), and red (the color the bride wears).

How long is a Hindu wedding?

The events of a Hindu wedding normally take place over the span of three days with different events taking place each day. The main ceremony and reception on the third day as well as the sangeet during the second day are attended by most of the guests. The Ganesh Pooja ceremony that commences the wedding events on the first day is usually an intimate event with only close family in attendance. “Be prepared for early morning events,” advises Patel. “Hindu wedding celebrations are based on auspicious times predetermined and provided by the priest.”

How big is a Hindu wedding?

Bigger than most Western weddings. “An intimate Hindu wedding can consist of an average of 150 to 200 guests,” “You don’t only invite friends and family but, at times, the entire community from your hometown. This number can lead into the thousands, even in the U.K”

Will the newlyweds kiss?

Traditionally, there is no kiss at the end of a Hindu wedding ceremony as a result of the predominantly conservative culture. However, this varies greatly on the couples themselves as well as their families.

Should I bring a gift?

Gifts are usually not brought to a ceremony, though this can vary. If you intend to gift something to the couple, have it shipped to their home.

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