Indian Wedding vs. American Wedding – What’s The Difference?

Tying a knot in any culture has its own significance, traditions and rituals. Be it Mehndi ceremony of an Indian bride, the bouquet tossing by an American bride, every culture has its own customs and traditions when it comes to the wedding.

 

Differences Between Indian Weddings and American Weddings

Indian and American weddings can sometimes appear as polar opposites. From traditions to customs and rituals, everything is different. From the ceremony length, wedding rituals to number of guests, all are different between the weddings of these two cultures. However, they both unite two families and offer well wishes for a happy life for the newlywed couple.

 

Guest List

Indian weddings are grand receptions. They follow the rule ‘the more, the merrier.’ The guest list involves all relatives, friends and acquaintances. The gathering ranges from 200 to 1,000 guests.

On the other hand, American weddings typically reserve invitations to close family and friends. Although it really depends upon the family. Some families choose to include coworkers and acquaintances, if the budget allows. American weddings can be as small as a 25 person gathering and as large as 500 guests. According to The Knot, the average American wedding guest was 136 in 2018.

 

Duration

A typical Hindu wedding lasts about a week as there are so many different traditions to be done. From pre-wedding dinners, Sangeet, Mehndi to reception, the whole week is filled with fun, music, dance and emotions. Destination Indian weddings are at least 3 days long.

But the typical American wedding lasts only one day. Elopements can be as short as 30 minutes, but most traditional American weddings are an all-day affair with morning getting-ready rituals through to the reception and even an after-party. Most Americans will also host a Rehearsal Dinner a few days or a week before the formal wedding and others will also include a Farewell Brunch the day after the wedding.

Rituals

Hindu marriages have so many rituals that it can leave anyone flabbergasted. Starting from praying to Lord Ganesha, Mehndi, seven sacred steps around the holy fire while saying a vow to tying a black beaded necklace around the bride’s neck and put red sindoor on her forehead to symbolize their wedding. Each ritual has its own significance.

American weddings have numerous rituals as well, based most often on Christian traditions and modern secular traditions, such as walking down the aisle, lifting of the veil, ring exchange, broom jumping, blended wine pouring, sand ceremony, rice tossing or bubbles, tossing of the bouquet and garter, the money dance, the first dance, the father-bride dance and the mother-son dance, among others. The wedding is officiated by either a government official, priest, pastor or secular officiant who leads the couple through their ceremonial vows. During these vows, the couple promise to support and love each other.

 

Clothing

In India, the wedding is a multi-day occasion and, for each day, everyone wishes to wear heavy and bright colored attire. From Indian ethnic sarees to lehenga choli for women and kurta pyjama, blazer pants and sherwani for men, everyone is dressed up elegantly and beautifully. On the wedding day, the bride usually wears Red. As in Hindu tradition, this color stands for fertility and prosperity.

In America, brides frequently wear a white or ivorybridal gown and the groom wears a suit or tuxedo in black, navy, ivory, white or another neutral color. These aren’t hard and fast rules. Some couples choose to wear more colorful and bold attire, others opt for a more conservative look. Either way, most couples will include at least one upscale accessory into their outfit, such as special cufflinks, luxury brand name shoes or high end jewelry.

 

Decorations

The main focus of Indian weddings is to decorate their indoors and outdoors. A special canopy erected and decorated for the ceremonies. As lighting also plays a vital role, so the venue where ceremonies will be accomplished are decorated with flowers, lights, and other decor items. Colors are usually bold and bright.

American weddings can be held anywhere from a banquet hall to an outdoor garde and décor is a big part of the planning. American couples care a lot about the styling of their event space and want it to reflect their personal taste and aesthetic.

Undoubtedly, American and Indian weddings are different from each other, but they each have their own unique elements that make them both enjoyable.

South Asian vs. Indian Wedding – What’s The Difference?

Many people often get confused between South Asian and Indian wedding. Although, India is a part of Asia yet South Asian weddings are different from Indian weddings. Let’s have a look at the distinctions between these two.

 

South Asian Weddings

South Asian countries like India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, etc. have different cultures, religions and traditions. South Asian weddings are full of colors and festivities. Be it an Indian wedding or a Pakistani wedding, both are considered as South Asian wedding. The only difference between these are religious guidelines and teachings. Whether you belong to a South Asian Muslim, Ismaili, Sikh, Hindu or Interfaith community, all Asian weddings are filled with tradition, religion, ritual and love.

Indian Weddings

India is a land of different cultures and religions. From Hindu, Muslim to Sikh and Interfaith, every religion makes India a secular country. The wedding traditions of each religion are different. They differ in terms of faith and religious ideologies. Every wedding ceremony in India involves ceremonies like engagement, sangeet, mehndi, baraat, vidaai, and reception. Interfaith weddings are also on the rise in India, breaking the barriers of religion. It is not wrong to say that Indian weddings are a vibrant blend of religion, cultural norms, glitz, emotions and celebrations.

South Asian and Indian weddings, both have their own similarities and distinctions. No matter from which faith or religion you belong to, a wedding is an unstolen & treasured moment of life where the smiles turn inevitable.

How to Throw an Interfaith Indian Wedding That Honors Both Religions

Interfaith Indian wedding is a beautiful concept of tying a knot with a person of other religion. It celebrates the togetherness of two individuals who share completely different backgrounds and cultures. Every Indian couple, whether they live in India or overseas wish to celebrate their big day with great enthusiasm, following their traditions and customs.

The destination wedding in the U.S, Canada, and Europe has become quite popular among couples. Even there are several Indian celebrities who break the barriers and followed their heart. Some of the popular names in the list are Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, and more.

 

Indian Wedding One of Its Own Kind

Indian weddings are the perfect blend of fun festivities, vibrant colors, meaningful rituals, and rich accessories. From wedding rituals, fascinating customs like engagement ceremony, sangeet, milni Barat and more, Indian weddings are just epic! And when it accompanied with other religion, it is a wedding one should not miss.

Whether you are combining Islam with Hinduism, Christianity with Hinduism, or Islam with Christianity, many interfaith couples look for the best ways to throw a wedding that honors both religions.

A Candid Discussion

Having two ceremonies is quite popular as it will not upset anyone. But it requires a lot of planning and a bigger budget. However, to make things easier, it is vital to sit down early and have a candid conversation about the factors important for you.

 

Take Time To Explain Each Ritual

This is another key to throwing a great interfaith wedding. When you take the time to explain your rituals, make sure the important members of both families are available. It makes them comfortable and they will enjoy every ritual with excitement and enthusiasm. This also makes them comfortable and they are more willing to get involved. When people understand and appreciate what is going on, they will really embrace it.

 

Patience Is The Key

Interfaith Indian weddings require a lot of patience. The more patience you have, the most memorable wedding you have. From meeting parents of groom and bride till finally declaring “Newly married,” th8ere are several roller coasters that will come on your way. So have patience and go with the flow.

Throwing an interfaith wedding party is not as merrier as throwing a party where people walk away saying ‘It was the best wedding I have ever been to.”