Muslim Wedding vs. Ismaili Wedding

Islam is one of the noble religions in the world with billions of zealous followers of the religion. By the holy Quran, wedding is one of the primary duties of a Muslim and an integral part of Islamic culture.

Sunni Muslims and Ismailis are the two Islamic communities having different faiths and beliefs. Sunni Muslims follow the teachings of the last prophet while Ismailis believe in the seven Imams, and therefore is called the “Seveners”. Though the practices of both communities are technically a sect of Muslim, many Muslims don’t consider Ismaili as Muslims. And because of differences in their beliefs, their weddings are also a little bit different.

Muslim Wedding

Like most weddings, Muslim wedding has two aspects, one is religious and the other is social. The wedding ceremonies are usually short and sweet. Nikah which is the significant ceremony of the wedding takes less than an hour.

In this ceremony, the bride does not present herself rather sends her two witnesses to the drawn-up agreement. The ceremony is officiated by a Muslim cleric and involves reading from the Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad. The vows are exchanged in front of witnesses for both bride and groom.

Since the marriage is declared publically, a large feast is served to guests.

 

Ismaili Wedding

Similar to a Muslim wedding, the Nikah ceremony is an important part of every Ismaili wedding. Islamic custom has the bride and groom sitting in separate spaces, not together. They are approached by the person who recites the Nikkah, who is known as the Qazi. The bride is approached first and is asked if she accepts the marriage. If she says “Kabul” no less than three times, then this indicates she has accepted the marriage. This ritual is then repeated for the groom in exactly the same way.

Witnesses aren’t as important in an Ismaili wedding as they are in an American one. However, alimony is! Part of the Qazi’s duties is to inform the groom that, in the case of divorce, he must pay the bride a sum of money called the “Mehar.”

Both weddings are the same to some extent, however, the major differences are between their religious beliefs.

What is a Langar Meal During an Indian Wedding?

Marriages are a grand event in India. They are held in different ways, depending on religions, traditions, and cultures. Every religion in Indian has a set of rituals and traditions when it comes to marriage. For example, a langar meal is an important part of a Sikh wedding.

Langar, also known as Maha Prasada, is a ceremony in a Sikh wedding that takes place after the main wedding ceremony called Anand Karaj.

The Karah Prasad is given to everyone and then the couple seeks the blessings of the elders. Before the doli and after the shagun ceremony, the wedding guests are served with a simple food called Langar meal. The meal is completely vegetarian as there is no alcohol or non-veg food is allowed in Gurdwara. Usually, the meal is served at Gurdwara’s congregation hall.

After removing shoes outside, guests sit on the floor and eat the langar meal together. Seating is open, once guests are served their food they can sit anywhere they like in the hall. Lunch is served in buffet style comprises roti, daal (lentil), sabji (vegetable), yoghurt, salad, and other traditional Indian dishes. Nowadays, some families organize langar meal at a commercial place too.

6 Essential Vendors Every Indian Couple Must Hire

Indian weddings are -multi-day affairs. It requires a lot of planning and the need for different vendors. From wedding planner, caterer to mehndi artist and DJ, each one of them has their own significance.

Therefore, the best way to navigate all the important tasks for your big day is creating a checklist that includes all the bookings you have to make. In order to help you get prepared, below we have mapped out a list of essential vendors you will need to hire.

 

  1. The Wedding Planner

If you are planning to hire a wedding planner, the sooner you can do is better. Similar to venues, in wedding season, wedding planners are also booked far in advance. If possible book them at least 8 to 10 months before your wedding celebrations begin.

 

  1. The Caterer

Food is a prime factor of South Asian Weddings – also the most challenging one.  After all, everyone wants to be sure that the food is phenomenal and its presentation is flawless. Your wedding planner may help you point out some potential caterers, it is advisable you read their reviews by yourself.

 

  1. The Mehndi/Heena Artist

One of the most exciting parts of the wedding is the appearance of the bride. Along with gorgeous outfit, eye-pleasing jewels and awesome makeups, she needs to get a beautiful bridal mehndi as well. Always consider professional henna artists who have years of experience. As each artist has a different style of applying henna do your research to find the style suits you most. Also, don’t forget to check with the quality of Mehndi. Ensure it is chemical free.

 

  1. The Florist

Wedding flowers are important elements of an Indian wedding. Not only do they provide beautiful decoration, but also they express so many feelings such as love, happiness, emotions and trust. Go for a decor rental company that specializes in South Asian weddings.

Although the availability of florists depends on the time of year, it is recommended to get them booked 4 to 6 months before. Share your thoughts on floral arrangements with the florist. You can tell them your likes and dislikes.

  1. Photographers

Your photographer must make the list of vendors to book in advance. Do your homework before finalizing a photographer. You may start your search by reading reviews and checking out the portfolio of some potential photographers.

Set up interviews and see a few full wedding albums they recently captured. When interviewing, check out if you are on the same page about what you want – so there is no issue during the process. Do share your views if you have any specific style of wedding photos in your mind.

 

  1. The Band/DJ

To make the wedding day special and memorable for you and your guests, pick the right band or DJ that can get the guests out on the dance floor. Hire your DJ or band in advance.

Before making any big decision, listen to their music ahead of time and discuss what type of music you want them to play at your wedding. You may create a list of specific songs. It is okay to hand over a list of songs, but do not become the DJ at your own wedding – let the professional handle it.

Hopefully, this list helps you plan your nuptials with ease. If your wedding day is around the corner, book all of these important vendors as soon as possible.

How to Go All-In At An Indian Wedding…When You’re Not Indian

Is it your first time to attend an Indian wedding as a non-native to India?

Well, the best things about a traditional Indian wedding is – vibrantly rich colors, decor, symbolic rituals, traditional music, dance, and overall opulence. Becoming a part of this official ceremony can be the most exceptional cultural experience you could ever have as a non-native Indian. Be it a Hindu or Sikh wedding, regardless of the wedding you’re going to attend, it is quite obvious that you will have a gala time.

If you or your family isn’t from India, but you want to go all-in on an Indian wedding you’re invited to, here are a few ways to indulge yourself in the Indian tradition.

Let’s take a look:

1. Dress Traditionally

Indian weddings are traditional affairs. If you have been invited to an Indian wedding, you should look for some traditional Indian attire that complements the event. Indian traditional clothes are colorful, alluring, fascinating, and detailed. Attending an Indian wedding is the best opportunity to wear embroidered Indian attire and blend yourself completely in this beautiful culture.

As you might know, Indian weddings consist of several occasions from religious ceremony to Mehndi to Sangeet to the wedding ceremony, etc. You need to dress up according to the occasion. Traditional Indian outfits such as lehenga, saree, kurta, and others are big in, you may choose your attire depending on your gender.

Though it is not compulsory to wear Indian clothes, try to avoid short skirts and revealing pieces. As bright colors are highly appreciated at Indian weddings, ensure to final a bright colored dress for each ceremony.

2. Jewelry Selection

Jewelry is another essential asset of an Indian wedding. It will not just enhance your overall look but also complements your attire. If you’re not willing to wearing jewelry, let it be, nobody is gonna mind it. But, if you have decided to go with jewelry, keep a few things into your consideration.

• Match your jewelry to your attire
• Do not overdo
• Make sure you’re not allergic to jewelry metal

3. Wear Easy To Take Off And Put On Shoes

Indian weddings are all about several religious ceremonies. Most religious functions require you to be barefooted before entering the sanctified place. Make sure the shoes you are finalizing are comfortable and are easy to take off and put on.

4. Holy Reminders

Several Indian weddings, for example, Sikh weddings, need you to cover your head during the wedding rituals inside a Gurdwara (Sikh Temple). If you are wearing a dress without a dupatta, do carry a stole or scarf. Men can carry a handkerchief to put over their head. Though there is an arrangement for head coverings in some temples, it would be great and definite to carry your own.

5. Respect The Food

If you are a foodie then your days at a traditional Indian wedding are going to be spent in real food heaven. Indian weddings give you a great opportunity to taste a wide array of delicious and lavish dishes. Moreover, an Indian wedding is the second name of excitement, which is extremely rich in mouthwatering wedding feasts, cuisines, and a variety of refreshing beverages. Make sure not to waste food, and for that, try a small serving of all dishes, and enjoy the experience of being a part of an Indian wedding.

6. Get Ready For A Grand Welcome

Indians are friendly, social, and lively people, and you’re going to see it after arriving at the wedding location. A traditional Indian wedding is a get-together of at least 200-500 guests on the actual wedding day, and it is quite reasonable. Since you will be a non-Indian guest, lots of people throughout the ceremony will love to meet and talk to you. Prepare your mind that a flood of guests will be waiting to greet you and welcome you to their culture. It might be a new experience for you, but one thing is guaranteed that you are going to love it.

If you are a non-Indian, attending an Indian wedding can be fun. Just keep the above aspects in mind and get ready for a lifetime experience. Attend an Indian wedding and experience the fun, food, colors, and enjoyment.

A Typical Indian Wedding Timeline

indian wedding

An Indian wedding is known for its vibrant traditions, customs, and cultural events celebrated over a few days. From Haldi to Mehndi to Sangeet there are various significant customs take place in a typical Indian wedding. The wedding day itself has different exciting moments that make the day happening and memorable.
Here is an Indian wedding timeline covering all the significant events.

Pre-Wedding Ceremonies

Haldi (2-3 hrs)

Haldi is one of the pre-wedding ceremonies of an Indian wedding. A mixture of turmeric, water, and oil is applied to both bride and groom. This holy ritual happens in the morning also known as the Pithi ceremony. A sangeet ceremony at night follows the ceremony.

Mehndi (2 hrs)

This traditional yet exciting pre-wedding ceremony is celebrated at the bride’s place.
A beautiful mehndi is applied on the bride’s hands, arms, feet, and legs by professional henna artists.

Wedding-day Ceremonies

Barat (1-3 hrs)

Barat is the most celebratory time in the Indian wedding. The groom makes his way to the bride’s house accompanied by his family and friends. The event involves a lot of singing and dancing throughout the journey.

At the bride’s place, the groom is received by Pooja and Aarti. Depending on the distance between the groom and the bride’s house, this event may take 1 to 3 hours.

Varmala (15 to 30 minutes)

Sometimes, referred to as Jaimala, this wedding ceremony holds a significant position in the Vedas. Bride and groom put fresh flowers garlands into each other’s necks. The event includes some funny tricks as well played by family and friends.

Kanyadaan (1 hour)

The bride’s father accepts the union and places her daughter’s hand in the groom’s.

Phere (1 hour)

Phere or Saat phere is the sacred union of bride and groom. It is the most important event of the Indian Wedding in which the bride’s dupatta (a long scarf) is tied to another scarf worn by the groom. After that, the couple takes seven round against the havan kund (sacred fire) and takes the oath of their relationship.

Sindoor (5 to 10 minutes)

Groom applies sindoor or vermilion in the parting of the bride’s hair. Following which he makes her wear a wedding necklace (Mangalsutra). Couples also play some interesting games after this event like one is finding the ring.

Bidai (30 minutes to 45 minutes)

Bidai is ritual of bride’s farewell to her family, usually accompanied by the emotional atmosphere as bride parts from her family. Traditionally, the bride was taken to a home in a palanquin (Doli) which today has been transformed into a car.

Post-Wedding Ceremonies

Graha Pravesh (12 minutes to 30 minutes)

This event takes place when the bride reaches her new home. Aarti is performed to welcome the new bride.

Reception (3 to 5 hours)

This event marks the end of the Indian wedding. All near and dear ones are invited to this grand party. As the name indicates, in this event, the newlywed couple receives society for the first time after marriage. Usually, a reception party includes a cocktail hour, wedding party introduction, group pictures, cake cutting, special dances and finally dinner hour.

All in all an Indian wedding is a colorful carnival where you witness various interesting rituals and traditions, enjoy a lot of music and dance, and satisfy your taste buds with mouthwatering food.