Varieties of Indian Weddings as Per Traditions

Varieties of Indian Weddings as Per Traditions

India is the home of people following different religions since ancient ages. This land has seen the growth of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity. This wide diversity of religious culture in India is also marked by different types of weddings held in this country.

Traditions related to these weddings vary from religion to religion and new couples are keen to observe them. These wedding rituals are the same for love marriages and arranged marriages, which help wedding guests to have great fun. So, all Indian wedding invitations have the necessary information regarding the date, time, and venue of wedding functions.

Hindu Wedding

Hindu wedding

Hindu wedding

A Hindu marriage is always conducted by a priest who has knowledge of the marital rituals mentioned in the Vedas. The main wedding ceremony starts with Jai Mala or the exchange of garlands between the bride and groom. Then the priest presides over the other parts of the wedding ceremony; namely Kanya Daan or the giving away the bride’s hand to her groom, Panigrahana or accepting the bride’s hand for life by the groom, and finally Saptapadi or taking seven vows while circling the holy fire seven times.

However, some pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals in Hindu marriages differ from one region to another in India. In South India, wedding ceremonies start early morning and end by noon. On the other hand, Hindu weddings in North India and Bengal are usually conducted in the evening or even at late night, as per the auspicious timeframe mentioned in a Hindu Almanac. For North Indian Hindu weddings, tying a Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride by the groom is the last phase of the wedding ceremony. In Bengal, Sindoor Daan is the last part of the wedding, and Mangalsutra is not needed here.

Though some social rituals vary for Hindu weddings held in different parts of the country, the basic Vedic wedding rituals are always observed by Hindu priests. All Hindu weddings need to be registered as per the instruction of the Hindu Marriage Act passed in 1955. Indian wedding invitations designed for Hindu couples bear specific marks of their religion.

Muslim Wedding

Muslim wedding

Muslim wedding

Nikah is the Arabic term used for a Muslim wedding ceremony. In India, Muslim marriages are registered as per the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act passed in 1937. The bride and groom need to strictly follow all the rules stated in this act to have a legal marital bond. A Maulavi or Qazi of the local mosque is invited to preside over the wedding ceremony.

The pre-wedding rituals vary according to the regional customs, mixed with some religious rituals of Muslims. The engagement ceremony is called Mangni when the bride and groom exchange rings. All the female family members and friends sing and dance during the Mehendi function held at the bride’s place, decorating their hands and feet with henna paste designs along with the bride. All these rituals are mentioned in the Indian wedding invitations with specific dates and venues.

The bride and groom sit in separate enclosures during a Muslim wedding ceremony. The Maulavi reads some verses from the Holy Quran. The groom offers Meher or dowry to the bride before seeking her consent. Then he asks the bride and groom distinctly whether they agree to accept the other one as the life partner. Each of them needs to answer ‘Qabool Hi’ means ‘Accepted’ thrice to confirm their consent to this marriage. Finally, they sign the marriage contract, also signed by two witnesses from each side.

Sikh Wedding

Sikh Wedding

Sikh Wedding

The grandeur-loving nature of Sikhs is reflected through the rituals related to a Sikh wedding ceremony. Normally, Sikhs prefer to organize their weddings in a local Gurudwara where all religious customs of Sikhism are strictly observed. Previously, Sikh marriages were registered as per the rules of the Hindu Marriage Act. However, Punjab Sikh Anand Karaj Marriage Act was passed in 1909, to formally register Sikh marriages.

A Sikh wedding ceremony is termed Anand Karaj which literally means ‘Blissful Union’. An Amritdhari Khalsa Sikh can conduct the marriage ceremony, by chanting 4 laavaan or hymns written by Guru Ram Das, the 4th Sikh Guru. All the family members and friends of the bride and groom attend this grand wedding ceremony. The bride and groom circle the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhs while the four Lavaan are enchanted by the Sikh priest.

A Sikh bride always wears a bright red salwar-kurta and dupatta filled with intricate embroideries, as well as a lot of shining jewelry. The groom wears a white Achkan or long overcoat or a gorgeous Sherwani paired with a Churidar, along with a pink turban on his head which is tied by his father. He also needs to carry a fake sword, which is a symbol of heroism for Sikhs. The groom’s sister ties a Sehra or a floral curtain around his turban that covers the groom’s face.

Christian Wedding

Christian Wedding

Christian Wedding

Christians in India follow the instructions given in the Indian Christian Marriage Act passed in 1872. Only a priest from a local church can conduct this wedding ceremony. A Christian wedding is a much simpler affair than a Hindu or Sikh wedding. Usually, it occurs in a church where both bride and groom arrive with their families and close friends.

The wedding attire of a Christian bride consists of a white gown and veil while the groom wears a white suit. However, in some parts of India, brides prefer to wear their regional dress, like a sari, sarong, or mekhla, on their wedding day. The grooms may also opt to wear regional attires instead of the traditional wedding suit.

The best man of the groom presents a bouquet to the bride as soon as she enters the church. Then she is led by her father along the aisle to the altar where the groom waits with the priest. After the bride’s father gives away her hand to her groom, the priest reads out some parts of the Holy Bible. Then he asks the bride and groom to utter their marital vows and exchange wedding rings.

There must be two witnesses of this marriage from each side, preferably siblings or close friends of the bride and groom. Finally, the new couple walks down the aisle while holding hands with each other and they seek blessings from their elders together. Wedding guests are invited to attend the reception party by sending them Indian wedding invitations.

Parsi Marriage

Parsi Marriage

Parsi Marriage

A Parsi wedding can be registered according to the rules laid down by Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act passed in 1936. It seems to be much simpler than most of the Indian weddings. The wedding ceremony is called ‘Lagan’ in the Parsi language. The bride wears a heavily ornamented white chiffon or silk sari called Parsi Gara, along with a pair of red bangles gifted by her in-laws and other simple jewelry. The groom wears white kurta pajama, a white overcoat called Dagli, and a traditional black hat called Fetah.

The engagement ceremony is called Rupia Peravanu when nine people from the groom’s family visit the bride’s house and bless her with silver coins and other gifts. The bride’s family members add more silver coins to that bag and gift it to the groom when they visit the groom’s place. Supra Nu Murat is held to apply the paste of betel leaves, betel nuts, turmeric, dates, and coconut to the bride and groom separately by their female family members.

A Parsi wedding is usually conducted in a fire temple. The bride and groom sit facing each other, separated by a curtain hung between them. The temple priest circles them seven times with a thread in hand, called Ara Antar. Finally, the priest lights two lamps on either side of the couple and makes them take marital vows and agree to this marriage, called Payvand-e-Zanshooi.

Buddhist Wedding

Buddhist Wedding

Buddhist Wedding

Buddhist new couples can register their marriages by following the rules of the Special Marriage Act passed in 1954. A Buddhist wedding is conducted in a simple way, just by following the instructions mentioned in Buddhist scriptures. It is conducted in a Buddhist temple and presided by a Buddhist monk called Riponche. Only a few immediate family members and close friends of the bride and groom are invited to attend the wedding ceremony.

The bride usually wears a full-length brocade sarong called Bhaku, along with a long-sleeved blouse called Hanju that is made of Chinese silk. The groom also wears an ankle-length Bhaku, along with a waistcoat called Lajha, a brocade cap, and a matching sash. They can wear wedding attires of any color except black.

During the main wedding ceremony, the groom needs to pay dowry to his bride, arranged in six or nine trays. Both families recite some important Buddhist hymns in the Pali language before the main shrine, which is decorated with flowers and candles. Then the bride and groom take marital vows, after which the priest ties a sacred thread on each of their hands. Then he smears some holy red paste on the foreheads of the new couple. Finally, all guests again recite hymns from various Buddhist scriptures and bless the new couple.

Jain Wedding

Jain Wedding

Jain Wedding

Jain couples can register their weddings under Hindu Marriage Act passed in 1955 or the Special Marriage Act passed in 1954. A Jain wedding is conducted in a Jain temple, presided by a temple priest. Some of the wedding rituals are similar to that of a Hindu wedding, like Kanyadaan, Mangalphera, and Granthi Bandhan. Puja and aarti are also conducted before the main shrine of the temple before and after the wedding ceremony.

Lagana is the pre-wedding ritual when the Lagana Patrika vachan containing wedding details is read at the groom’s place. The engagement of a Jain couple is called Sagai and Vinayakyantra Puja is done at this time. The corners of the bride’s sari and the groom’s shawl are tied together after which they circle around a holy fire called Mangal Pheras and the priest recites Mahaveerashtak Strot. Finally, the new couple is blessed by all elders and they leave for the groom’s house. The bride is welcomed there and they also donate to the local temple for poor people and this ritual is called ‘Jina grahe dhan arpana’.

Court Marriage

Court Marriage

Court Marriage

This type of wedding takes place following all the legal rules related to marriage. It is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act passed in 1954. First of all, a Notice of Intended Marriage should be signed by the new couple before 30 days of the desired wedding date. The birth certificate or educational certificates of the bride and groom need to be submitted with a certain amount of fee at this time.

This notice is published by the Marriage Registrar to check if there is any objection to this marriage. Then the court marriage is conducted at that marriage registration office on a fixed date. The bride and groom arrive with three witnesses and submit their attested passport-sized photographs. All of them sign the marital documents and solemnize the wedding. Usually, relatives and friends are invited to a reception party after the wedding formalities are over, by sending them generalized Indian wedding invitations.

Inter-religion Wedding

When a boy and a girl from different religions want to tie the marital knot, they can marry under the Special Marriage Act of 1954. They can have wedding ceremonies of both religions, following all the religious traditions. Though this type of marriage was difficult in previous times, it has become quite common now. It shows the secular nature of India and is also called mixed marriage.

Civil marriage is conducted in this case to legalize the marital relationship if the families of the bride and groom do not agree on an interfaith wedding. Later, they may visit the local temple, mosque, or temple to undergo the wedding rituals of their respective religions if permitted.

Therefore, well-designed Indian wedding invitations are sent to invite wedding guests to all types of Indian weddings. There are many wedding card-making companies that create the most beautiful cards for their customers belonging to any religion in India. Thus, it is easy to search online for the best wedding cards with suitable designs and wordings.