In fact, a true Indian wedding ceremony consists of several elaborate rituals and is a long drawn affair. However, it is a beautiful sight with all these Indian wedding saris and flower garlands. The Indian wedding ceremony is a very complicated event, which many young couples try to avoid or simplify today. Nevertheless, it is interesting to become acquainted with it.
Traditionally, the Indian wedding ceremony consists of twelve stages.
1. Prayer to Lord Ganesh
A prayer is made to Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and salvation, for the removal of all obstacles during the wedding ceremony.
2. Prayer to Lord Varuna
Blessing is made for Lord Vruna, the god of Water. This blessing symbolically purifies a bride and groom.
3. Tying of the sacred thread
Sacred threads, dipped in turmeric water and decorated with leaves and flowers, are tied to the wrists of the bride and groom. These bracelets protect the couple from harm and ensure a successful ceremony.
4. Exchange of garlands
The bride and groom exchange floral garlands, conveying their mutual desire for marriage.
5. Milk & Fruit
A priest offers some milk and a banana to the bride and groom, who accept it with a prayer that they imbibe its purity and sweetness.
6. Giving Away of the Daughter
The bride's parents offer her hand in marriage to the groom. The groom places his right hand over the bride's right hand. The bride's mother pours water, while her father channels the water down onto the clasped palms of the couple. It symbolizes the dissolving of individual identities of the bride and groom and gives them a single identity of a husband and wife, whose life will flow on together from this point.
7. Prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of Prosperity
8. Tying the wedding necklace
The groom ties a sacred necklace, called a 'mangalsutra' around the bride's neck. By placing this necklace, Josh signifies that their lives are eternally bound.
9. Invocation of Lord Agni
The bride and groom pray for their future prosperity as a married couple by offering rice and flower petals to Agni, The Lord of Fire.
10. Seven steps
The bride and groom take seven steps together around the fire, one for each vow:
The first step is for prosperity
The second step is for strength
The third step is for wealth and for a proper use of it
The fourth step is for happiness
The fifth step is for blossoming creativity
The sixth step is for health
The seventh step is for an everlasting friendship.
The priest recites selected hymns from Holy Scriptures, invoking the blessing of God and wishing a prosperity to the newly wed couple.
12. Closure of Ceremony
The Indian wedding ceremony closes with the Mangala Aarti that involves lighting a flame on a silver tray. The circular motions of the flame symbolize the removal of evil from the path of the couple.
The ceremony also has its prior and post stages, such as the acquaintance with parents, a proposal, preliminary preparations, as well as a wedding feast with Indian delicacies and sweets.
A special word should be given to Indian wedding invitations. Indian wedding invitation designs vary from simple, but decorated with taste, to truly royal invitation cards. India is really a country, meticulous to each detail of the best day in the life of a young people. You can even order the cards with initials of bride and groom, printed with golden ink.