Pre-wedding rituals usually give goosebump and a lot of anxiety as they signify that the main wedding day is about to come. The first function of every Hindu wedding is Rokna or Roka, a Hindu word meaning 'stop,' It symbolizes that both the bride and groom have decided to be the soulmates for life, and it's now time for families to stop the further search and start the preparation for the wedding. On the Roka ceremony, a tilak ceremony takes place during which a paste made of roli (sacred thread) and rice is put on the forehead of the girl and boy. The girl is adorned with a red chunni (long scarf). Exchanging of gifts also takes place. After roka, comes the engagement, which marks the beginning of the wedding accord. Some people plan engagements so lavishly that they hire wedding planners for the theme are various other arrangements. Known as Mangni in North India and Nischitartham in South India, on this occasion bride and groom exchange ring to solidify engagement. Once the bride and groom are united for life, the next ceremony is Haldi; a kind of a spa day during which a mixture of turmeric and oil is applied on skin and clothes of the bride and groom. In the evening, Mehendi, also known as Ladies Sangeet takes place on which Mehendi (henna art) is adorned on bride's hand. The colour of the "Mehndi" denotes the essence of love to strengthen the bond of love between the couple.
Finally the wedding day! The length of the wedding day depends upon the family to family. Some are quick in completing the entire wedding rituals while for others it's a whole day affair. The wedding day commences with Baraat, a customary procession carried out by a groom to the wedding venue (often the bride's house) on a mare. It is primary a tradition for the people of North India. At the venue, the groom is welcomed by the bride's parents, and a tilak (a paste made of roli (sacred thread) and rice) is applied on groom’s forehead. A 'milni' ceremony is also performed by the male members of both the marriage at the entrance gate during which exchange of garland and gifts takes place, symbolizing the bond of two families. This portion of the Milni Ceremony is also an introduction for guests to see how each key person is related to the Bride and Groom respectively. Once the groom and bride settles, Jaymala (Varamala) ceremony follows. During this ceremony, the bride and groom exchange flower garlands and sometimes deliver a sort of vow in which they promise to be united forever. People say that whosoever put the garland on their partner first will have the upper hand in the marriage. After the Jaymala festival, the groom and bride are brought to mandap, an altar made of sparkles, sprinkles, and flowers. At the mandap, firstly the Gau Dan is performed during which exchange of gifts takes place. Following the Gau Dan is Kanya Pratigrahan (Kanyadaan); the groom applies sindoor (Vermillion) on brides forehead and adorns her neck with a mangala sutra, a long necklace made of gold and black beads. After the Kanyadaan, bride and groom take seven laps (saptapadi) around the sacred havan while reciting a vow for each. After the seventh step, the couple legally becomes husband and wife.
Finally, after completing all the important wedding rituals, it's time for some fun activities. During the wedding, a Joota Chupai or shoes stealing ceremony is performed during which unmarried sisters and cousin-sisters of the bride steal the groom's shoes and ransom them back for money or gifts. Further, a Bidaai ceremony takes place, the bride is taken to her home after the pheras & kanyadaan. After the Bidaai, a couple of wedding takes place at the groom's house. It might be combined with the mooh-dekhai (unveiling of the bride). In some households, a reception takes place where all the guests are invited to eat, drink, and celebrate with the couple. It is not a ritual but something done just for fun. With so many rituals to follows and things to do, planning a Hindu wedding can be quite a daunting task. And that's when Tour My India, a leading wedding planning service provider in India, comes to the rescue. Right from arranging the decorators to getting the makeup artist right on time, the wedding organizers at Tour My India will arrange everything that makes the wedding a memorable affair. Whether on a small scale, huge or contemporary, in a city or countryside setting, Tour My India will arrange the best.
Electrifying sangeet against the background of hills; Mehendi in a squeaky clean