Traditional Indian Wedding Customs

Written by tamiya king
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Traditional Indian Wedding Customs
(Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

If you want to incorporate Indian traditions into your wedding ceremony, there are several rituals that will make the day especially memorable. Many of these customs serve as methods for preparing the bride and groom for this joyous yet solemn occasion.


Wedding customs are taken very seriously in India, as Indians believe that the bride and groom will be joined together for seven birthing cycles, according to the Hindu religion. Indians also place great faith in marriage and believe that it is a family event, as shown by the Mandap ceremony, which honours the bride and groom's parents.


Indian wedding customs allow loved ones to spend significant time with one another before the marriage. At the Sangeet celebration, female family members gather to celebrate the bride's engagement with song and dance, but this is also the time the bride and her mother "mourn" their pending separation from one another and express their love for each other.


A number of Indian ceremonies take place before the couple actually exchange vows, but are still an important part of the wedding celebration. The Tilak ceremony, for example, is a ritual that involves the groom and father of the bride. Male family members are invited to watch the father place a Tilak, or symbolic mark, on the groom's head to signify that he is ready for marriage.

Modern Interpretations

Modern brides may add a creative spin to some customary Indian marriage rituals, such as the Mehndi ceremony. During this ritual, the bride is adorned with Mehndi, or elaborate tattoos, made from dried henna leaves. Present-day brides may choose body crystals or permanent tattoos to create the Mehndi designs.

Personal History

The bride is especially encouraged to reflect on her life's history during Indian wedding rituals. The last of these traditions is the Vidai, where the bride is escorted from her childhood home by her parents and loved ones after the wedding. She throws handfuls of rice and coins into the home as she leaves to signify that she is repaying her parents for all that they have blessed her with.

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