Hindu Wedding Ceremony Traditions: What to Expect


A Hindu wedding ceremony is one of the most colourful and extravagant weddings in the world. Although some people consider the ceremony very old and traditional, Indians around the world still prefer to follow the time-honoured ritual that beautifully signifies the couples love for each other and the beginning of their new life together. The ceremony is usually a display of the Indian culture, with the bride and the groom fully adorned with traditional clothing and the venue filled with many designs and colours, and with both sides of the families present. What also makes the Hindu wedding unique is the ceremony itself, from the father of the bride giving her away to the groom, to the age-old reading of Sanskrit verses, which even though may take very long, but the promise on each verse solidifies the couples union. So without further ado, here is a more detailed guide to a Hindu wedding.

Preparation for the Big Day


Brightening up with the Haldi

The whole event usually lasts for almost 2-3 days, which is the first one dedicated for the preparation of the bride and groom for the ceremony. The bride and the groom are prepared by the means of putting Haldi in their face, hands and feet. Haldi is a special paste that will make the couple’s skin brighter and will also bring good luck.


The intricate and beautiful art of Mendi

The day before the Hindu Wedding ceremony, the bride along with her family and closest friends prepares for the Mehndi ceremony, where her hands and feet are adorned with intricate henna designs done by a professional artist.

The Beautiful and Symbolic Event


Welcoming the groom and his family

Finally the groom arrives traditionally in a horse, which is called a Baraat, where he is joined with his family and friends. The bride’s family will welcome the groom’s group with festivities, garlands and sweets. And then the two families officially meet, which is called Milni. After the introduction, everyone then is marked with a red kumkum powder in their foreheads.


Praying to Ganesh

Before the official ceremony, the couple and their main family gather together to pray before Ganesh Puja, considered to be the destroyer of obstacles to prepare the future of the bride and groom.


Arrival of the bride and Jai Mala

Once done the ceremony begins the arrival of the bride brought by her father and bridesmaids, to join the groom at the altar. The couple begins the Jai Mala in which the couple exchanges garlands as a symbol of the acceptance of each other, and then separated with a cloth.


The flowing symbol of Kanyadaan

One of the most symbolic processes of the Hindu Wedding ceremony is the Kanyadaan, where the bride’s father pours water into her daughter’s hand that then flows to the groom’s hands, officially symbolizing giving his daughter away.


Through the fire of Vivaha Homa and holding hands

Vivaha Homa is the worship of fire while reciting a prayer that symbolizes their new life together. It is then followed by the Panigharani or the holding of the hand ritual where the groom formally accepts the responsibility of taking care of his bride.


Overcoming obstacles through Shilarohan

The couple proceeds to the Shilarohan in which the bride climbs over a stone to symbolize her strength to conquer any hardships on their marriage. It is then followed by the bride walking around the fire three times and then joined by her groom the fourth time to burn barley as a sign of their life working together for society.


Step around the fire for Saptapadi

Saptadi is the marriage vows of the couple represented in the seven fires that they are going to step around. The seven vows include the vow for food, strength, prosperity, wisdom, children, health, and friendship.

The sample vows are as below:


Finally the Mangalsutra Dharanam

The end of the wedding ceremony is marked by the groom putting a necklace around his bride’s neck. It officially makes the bride the groom’s wife and she is expected to wear it for the rest of her life.

Let the Party Begin


Blessings and wishes through Aarshivad

A Hindu Wedding ceremony is followed by Arashivad in which the guests give their blessings and best wishes to the newly wed couples as they start their new life together. The guests and the family shower them with petals as they leave the ceremony and head on to the party.


Graha Pravesh and the wife’s new home

After the farewell to the bride, she is then directed to her groom’s home in which she is required to kick a small jar of grains with her right foot before she enters her new home. This ritual is called Graha Pravesh that signifies abundance of blessing to the new couple.


Party the night away

To wrap up the whole event, the Hindu Wedding ceremony is topped off with a party. No traditions or rules are there to restrict. All the guests need to do is to have fun and celebrate the union of the newlyweds.


Satyaranarayan Puja and the promise to be truthful

A couple of days after the ceremony, the now husband and wife perform Satyaranarayan Puja to please the Lord Vishnu in which they take a vow of truthfulness.