18th November, 2022
A ceremony held before the wedding, the Mehendi event is held for the decoration of hands and feet with henna (mehendi) designs. Mehendi artists are called to the bride's house to apply the henna on the bride and other members of the family. The designs for the family and friends are made on the palms, while the intricate and elaborate mehendi designs are made on the hands and feet of the bride.
In addition, varieties of colourful bangles will be available for family and friends to wear at the event, and to choose as accessories with the outfit they plan to wear to the wedding.
While the Mehendi ceremony is part of the process of getting dressed and ready for the wedding ceremony, the Sangeet is a musical event. Literally translated, Sangeet means song(s) with music, sometimes also referred to as Ladies’ Sangeet as it was traditionally organized and attended by female members of the bride's family. They would play the dholak (a percussion instrument) and sing traditional songs.
Nowadays, Sangeet ceremony involves a dance party with music, DJ, dance performances, followed by cocktails and dinner with close members of the family and friends.
The Chunni ceremony is an event where the couple are blessed and recognised by both families as to-be-weds. Traditionally, the groom’s family brings gifts comprising of fruit, Indian sweets, meva (dry fruits and nuts) and a chunni (long scarf worn by women around their head and shoulders). The chunni is traditionally part of the bridal outfit (to be worn during the wedding ceremony) and is placed on the bride's head by the groom’s mother to symbolize the initiation of the process of getting dressed for the wedding. Parents give sagan (other gifts) to the bride and groom, and offer them laddoos and meva to eat as a symbolic token of welcoming them to the family.
19th November, 2022
On the wedding day, the rituals for the bride begin with the chuda ceremony.
A pooja (small religious ceremony) is performed, at which point the bride's mama (maternal uncle) and mami (his wife) present the bride with a chuda set (traditional, red-coloured bangles). Members of the family and close friends touch the bride's chuda after she has worn them (to signify their heartiest wishes to the girl for her future married life) and shower her with flower petals.
Finally, the bride's mama, mami, close friends and cousins tie kaliras (silver or gold ornaments) to the chuda worn by the bride.
Held on the morning of the wedding day, the Haldi (turmeric) ceremony involves a ritual holy bath during which a paste made from turmeric powder, sandalwood powder, and oil, milk or rose water is applied on the bride's (and groom's) body by their friends and relatives. This serves a dual purpose: the mixture is traditionally applied to the bride to make her look more beautiful on the most special day of her life (the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory provide a glow to the skin), and the mixture is believed to be auspicious and is considered to bless and protect the couple before the wedding. This ceremony is also accompanied by traditional songs and dances, and in some customs, the bride and groom apply this sacred paste on their unmarried siblings and friends for luck (it is said that whoever gets touched by this paste will find a partner of their choice soon).
While the ceremony is traditionally held for the bride and groom separately in their homes, we will be hosting the event together. All guests are requested to wear traditional yellow for the haldi ceremony.
The baraat refers to the rituals and ceremonies that take place before the groom arrives to the bride's house with the wedding procession accompanied by his family and friends. The rituals involved include:
Sehra bandi ceremony: After the groom is dressed up in his wedding attire, a pooja is performed, after which the sehra (the groom's decorative veil typically made of flowers) is tied to his headdress.
Ghodi Chadna: In this final ceremony, traditionally, the groom's sisters and cousins feed and adorn the ghodi (mare) that he rides to the wedding venue in the baraat.
The wedding rituals begin when the baraat reaches the wedding venue. These include:
The bride and groom place jaimala (garlands made of flowers, also known as varmala) around each other’s neck in token of acceptance of the wedding ceremony and to symbolize their love for each other.
This is equivalent to exchanging the rings in Western ceremonies.
The phere are the final wedding rituals that take place after a pooja ceremony.
In this ritual, the bride and groom hold their hands and take seven rounds (phere) around the agni (sacred fire) and make seven vows with each round.
After this the groom applies sindoor (vermilion) to the girl's hair partition and ties the traditional mangalsutra (beaded necklace) around the girl's neck. When all these rituals are over, the couple gets up seek their blessings from elders in the family for a happily married life.
The groom's shoes may be hidden during this time by the bride's sisters (Joota chupai), and they would then negotiate a fee to return them to the groom.
The vidai ceremony takes place before dawn after the poojas, rituals and other wedding ceremonies have taken place.
Vidaai marks the departure of the bride from her parents' house. As a custom, the bride throws phulian (puffed rice) over her head as she leaves the wedding venue, symbolizing her good wishes for her parents.
Traditionally a sad ritual, here the bride says goodbye to her parents, siblings and rest of her family. Her brothers/male cousins then lead her to her husband, who waits to take her to his family home in her doli.
As the new day breaks, the newly married couple visit a gurudwara to seek divince blessing for their future.