In India, a Hindu marriage is not only a life-long union between a boy and a girl but also a union of the two families. Most of the marriages are arranged and solemnized as per the Hindu rituals and customs. The society is seeing a surge in the concept of love-cum-arranged marriages where a boy and a girl themselves select a partner and parents take charge of getting them married as per the traditions.

A typical Hindu wedding begins with the meeting between the families of both the sides. If the families are able to strike a chord and the boy and the girl like each other, then a decision to get those married is taken. It is considered a happy moment and involves exchange of sweets and gifts between the families. Some people arrange for an engagement ceremony where both the boy and the girl exchange rings followed by a grand lunch or dinner for the guests.

Rituals of a Hindu Wedding

The ceremonies start 3-4 days before the wedding. Mehndi ceremony is an important ritual. Mehndi or henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride. Mehndi is considered to be auspicious and powerful to keep evil spirits away from the prospective couple. The ceremony generally starts late at night. Friends and family members dance and sing songs the whole night. The female guests are also invited to apply mehndi on their hands. Food and snacks are served to the guests.

There is an upcoming trend of organizing cocktail parties, bachelor parties, or DJ nights before the marriage. Their purpose is to celebrate the ending of bachelorhood and the beginning of a new life with fun and frolic. Generally, very close associates are invited to grace such occasions.

Sangeet ceremony is another common ritual celebrated differently across different Hindu cultures. It is mainly popular among North Indians. Here, a sangeet samiti (party) that specializes in singing folk songs, movie numbers, and hymns is invited. However, in some houses, the senior women of the house themselves sing for everyone and young children dance and enjoy the mood. Ghari puja is also performed on the eve of the wedding day in both the families.

Sagan is another popular custom. On this day, the boy’s family visits the girl’s house takes a basket of fruits, sweets, and a set of clothes and essential things ( bindi, cosmetics, jewellery, etc. ) that every married woman needs to the girl’s house.