In Part 2 of the Indian Wedding feature, we take a closer look at the bride (and groom’s) traditional wedding wear. We’ll also continue to look at some of the traditions, as well as the meaning of natural components that are selected for presentation at the marriage ceremony.
Bride and Groom Outfits
Indian Bridal gowns are some of the most beautiful and detailed garments you’ll ever have a chance to see. In Indian and Hindu culture, white symbolizes life’s passing – therefore, traditionally there are no white gowns. This is more of a Western bridal tradition. In India, red is the most popular color as it symbolizes love, strength, and success. The bride will opt to wear a saree or a lehenga (a type of dress) and will be decked out with large amounts of gold jewelry and gems. Her bridal party will also wear bright colors, likely not as bright as to not outshine the bride.
Thr groom will tend to wear a few key components in his outfit. The Sherwani, long-sleeved, dress-like top traditional to the Hindu groom. It’s worn with a pair of skinny pants and typically comes in pale gold, maroon, or brown, but other colors are seen as well, including red. In his safa (wedding turban) the groom will wear a sarpech – which is a peacock feather or something that closely resembles one, and is often adorned with jewels as well.
Indian Wedding Service
At the wedding service, the parents and close relatives of the couple participate. Mantras from the Vedas are chanted, originally written in Sanskrit – with the presence of the below natural elements:
- Fresh flowers – signifies beauty.
- Coconut – signifies fertility.
- Grains (rice) – signifies food necessary for the sustenance of life.
- Ghee (purified butter) – or purified butter – for the sacred fire.
- Vermillion – red powder used for marking the forehead to signify good luck and represents the Third Eye (wisdom).
The wedding ceremony takes place under a mandap, which is an ornate altar-like structure, covered over with beautiful fabrics and flowers. It is an ancient custom to be married under the mandap and is described in Sanskrit texts.
After the ceremony, a final reception will be held to celebrate the bride and groom’s new life and commitment to one another. Feasting, drinking, dancing, and mingling will go into the early hours of the morning. It is a fitting finale to such a colorful and ritual-filled marriage party.
Don’t be afraid to boast bright colors, gold jewelry and put on your best for an Indian Wedding celebration. Everyone makes sure to look their sparkling best, so have fun and be ready to eat incredible food, and dance the night away!