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.

How to Host Your Indian Wedding Welcome Dinner On A Boat Cruise

If you have decided to take a plunge and tie a knot on a boat cruise, you must be looking for the right destination and cruise options to choose from. Boat Cruise destination weddings are the perfect way to celebrate your wedding in a different way. Imagine tying a knot on an extravagant ship with the blue sea around.

There are several dinner cruises across the world where you can host your Indian wedding reception on a grand note. You can get a plethora of choices among a private yacht and a large cruise ship. Surprisingly, hosting a welcome dinner on a chartered yacht can be affordable. As it has a small space that is a delicate balance of subtlety and grandeur.

If you are wondering how to host your Indian wedding welcome dinner on a boat cruise then follow the steps.

Decide a Location

Boat Cruises aren’t available everywhere, so you need to pick a location where this type of excursion is offered. If you’re planning an exotic destination Indian wedding, then consider a location like Mikonos Greece for your Indian wedding welcome dinner. If you’re staying local and you live near a body of water, reach out to your local Travel Bureau to see if dinner cruises are available locally. Waterfront cities like Chicago and Boston offer these types of activities.

Create a Guest List

Indian weddings are big affairs which involve extended families from both sides. But there are a few boat occupancy rules so make sure to invite the important guests in your wedding. Limit the guest list without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Send Invites

After creating a guest list, it’s time to send invite to your guests. Add crucial information on your wedding invitations like time, date and venue

Choose the Right Boat Cruise

Usually, a boat wedding venue doesn’t travel far, but around your wedding city. So, choose a boat cruise that understands your wedding culture. Picking the right cruise line depends on your wedding style.

Book a Cruise

After finalizing a boat cruise for your wedding dinner, it’s time to make a booking. To book your desired cruise, here are the options you can consider:

  • Book online from the cruise line website
  • Call the cruise line’s reservation center
  • Use an online travel booking platform
  • Use a travel agent

Formal or Casual – The Way You Want

You can make your welcome dinner like the way you want. When you pick a boat as a reception dinner venue, you can have a full-fledged formal dinner or make it a colorful affair for your guests.

Music and Decor

These are the basic needs of an Indian wedding. Exotic, vibrant and intriguing. Some cruise offers decor and music services as well. However, if you are throwing an Indian wedding overseas, make sure the cruise you hire offers decor and music according to Indian traditions.

What to Serve for Dinner?

As you are planning a wedding welcome dinner on a boat cruise, so obviously food is one of the top priorities. A dinner cruise often offers gourmet dining with menus created by celebrity chefs. Some cruise even offers traditional dining plan where the food of a specific culture is included.

Hosting an Indian wedding welcome dinner is fun. If you are planning your dream destination wedding on a cruise ship, make sure to include these steps in your planning.

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.”