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India / Wedding Traditions in Asia

North Indian Hindu Wedding

“Smell of Flowers with Exchange of rings, scented envelopes filled with Blessings

Traditional attires on the queen and the king, is perfect and defines the Big Fat Indian Wedding”

Indian weddings are filled with charm and charisma and are extremely popular across the globe.

North Indian weddings are known to be loyal to their customs and traditions and bring loads of energy and exuberance to all the people present around.

No matter from where you belong, you will become a part of the sing and song. 

chinese tea


This ceremony is performed at the groom’s house and is the first step towards the wedlock, which symbolizes the new relation between the two families. On this auspicious day, pundit performs the havan (sacred fire) around which the bride’s family sits with the groom. The bride’s father performs the Pooja (prayers) applies Tilak/Teeka on the groom’s forehead as a mark of blessing. He offers him with expensive gifts like gold, clothes, accessories and feeds him with sweets.

This is followed by Chunni Sadan/Chadhana, which is performed by the groom’s family and the bride. The mother in law of the bride offers her with saris, expensive gold/diamond jewelry, and feeds her with sweets. Relatives of the groom’s family feed the bride with dry-fruits and sweets and adorn her with the jewelry.

Once the above ceremonies are over, the bride and the groom exchange their rings and receive the blessings of all the elders and love from their family and friends.

“Sweets and gifts is what we receive

Performed by the pundit during sacred fire

Family and friends are all around us

Spreading love is all what we desire”


Mehndi is another pre-wedding ritual performed in a north Indian wedding. Mehndi is a paste made from the powdered, dried leaves of the henna plant It is a form of body art where decorative designs are applied to the women’s palms and feet. This is also applied to the groom’s palms as a mark of Shagun. It is a common belief that the darker the color of the mehndi, the stronger will be the bond with her husband and mother in law. The groom’s name is hidden in the mehndi of the bride, and it is a common ritual for the groom to find his name on the bride’s palms. It is a belief that if he fails to do so, the bride will dominate the household after wedding.

“Smell of the green leaf on her palms

Turning from green to red and red to brown                                      

Mixed are the feelings of anxiety and excitement

Waiting for the day to come down”


Sangeet ceremony usually follows the Mehndi ceremony and is held at the bride’s home. The womenfolk of the household gather around the bride and engage themselves in dancing, singing and having fun. In the modern way of doing things, families hire DJ to play the music wherein all guests and families have their dance performances. The trend these days, involves Cocktail to be combined with Sangeet ceremony.

“Laughter and chatter is spread in the air

With family and friends all around

Dancing and singing on their favorite numbers

It’s amazing with all the lights and sound”


Haldi ceremony is held separately at the respective houses of the bride and the groom. It takes place on the same day morning of the wedding D Day. In this ceremony, the bride and the groom are applied with thick coats of haldi (turmeric paste) on their faces, arms and legs by their families and friends. It also includes the relatives of the groom performing Pooja and touching the groom’s feet and shoulders with mango leaf that is dipped in haldi. It is traditionally believed that the antiseptic qualities of the haldi protects the couple from any cuts or bruises and keeps them healthy. It also infuses a natural glow to the skin.

“Bright and sunny as the day is here

Yellow is the color in the room

Fun and frolic is the theme today

Glowing are the bride and the groom”


On the day of the wedding, the groom’s family takes the transport to the wedding venue arranged by the bride’s family. Usually it is either a fancy car, decorated with flowers which is used as transport or a female white horse called Ghodi on which the groom will sit and ride in the Baraat. The Ghodi is fed with Chana as part of the ritual before the groom rides it. Friends, family members and relatives dance to their fullest on the dhol while reaching the venue of the wedding.

The bride, dressed in a beautiful lehenga or sari wearing heavy jewelry walks towards the Mandap. She is escorted by all her brothers holding chunni far above her head. This symbolizes, brothers handing over their sister to the groom, so that he takes care of her throughout his life. The bride and the groom exchange their garlands and sit next to each other. This ceremony is called Jai Mala.

The pundit performs the havan (sacred fire) around which the bride’s father will formally give his daughter’s hand to the husband-to-be. This ritual is called Kanyadaan.

The pundit will chant the 7 Vachan (7 promises/vows) that the couple must chant and agree to. This is followed by tying the couple together with a red chunni to take 7 rounds of the sacred fire. This ceremony is called Pheras. The pundit chants the sholkas and gives his blessings to the newly wed. The husband now puts red sindoor (vermillion) on the wife’s forehead and mangalsutra (holy necklace) around her neck as a sign of their marriage.

The bride now must leave her home officially and go to her new husband’s home (Sasusral). There is extreme pain and emotion, felt by the bride’s family as they are getting separated from their daughter. She walks away from the house by throwing rice to her parent’s home (Maika). This symbolizes that this home remains prosperous even after she leaves, as the daughter in Indian family is considered Goddess Lakshmi. This ceremony is the last one and is called Vidai.

With a pink of romance and blush of red

Deeper and stronger is my LOVE

Forever yours and always with you

Are the vows that have taken us high above

This day, this moment is what I have longed for

Waited and waited all my life

Tied the knot to be with each other

Together as Husband and Wife

About Author

I'm a passionate writer with degree in Indian Literature. In the past, I've worked for multiple Indian consulates worldwide and today I'm a happy wife and mother of 2 sons.

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