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Hindu Wedding Ceremony
Chanted by the priest in Sanskrit verse, the prayers that compose the Hindu wedding ceremony are derived from Vedic scriptures that are more than four thousand years old.
The ceremony takes place inside a four pillared canopy structure called a Mandap.
1. Baraat (Groom's Procession)
The groom arrives on a decorated horse accompanied by his family and friends in the form of a parade.
2. Milni (Greeting the Party)
The bride's family receives the groom and his family. Family members embrace and garland one another.
3. Var Puja (Welcoming of the Groom)
The groom arrives at the site of the ceremony and is greeted by the bride’s family. The sister of the bride welcomes the groom with an aarti, or prayer, and welcomes him to the ceremony
4. Ganesh Puja (Worship of Lord Ganesh)
The ceremony starts with a prayer to Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles.
His blessings are requested for peace and harmony to prevail during the ceremony and for an auspicious beginning for the couple.
5. Kanya Aagman (Entrance of the Bride)
The bride arrives, escorted by her sisters and bridesmaids, to the site of the ceremony.
6. Jai-Mala (Exchange of Garlands)
The bride and groom exchange garlands symbolising their willingness to accept each other.
7. Kanya Daan (Giving Away Their Daughter)
The bride is given away by her father through the joining of his daughter and the groom’s hands. The bride’s parents pray for the happiness of the bride and groom.
8. Gath Bandhan & Phere (Circling the Sacred Fire)
The bride and groom are joined by tying their scarves together, symbolising the bond of marriage. Agni, the Fire God, is invited as witness to the union, and the couple circle an open fire.
9. Saptapadi (Taking Seven Steps)
The Bride and Groom take seven steps to represent seven marriage vows, providing for:
1. Substantial Food
2. Good Health
3. Wealth and Prosperity
5. Family and children
6. Self-restraint and longevity
7. A close union between the couple
10. Mangalsutra & Sindoor Dharan (Necklace and Vermillion)
The groom places sindoor, or vermillion powder, along the parting of the bride’s hair, and welcomes her into his life. He then places a Mangalsutra (necklace) around her neck.
These are both symbols of a married woman.
11. Aashirwaad (Prayer and Blessings)
Once the wedding rituals have been completed, the couple touches the feet of their parents and the priest, asking for their Aashirwaad, or blessings.
12. Vidaai (Departure of Bride and Groom)
This moment marks the departure of the bride from her parental house. She throws rice over her head, conveying gratitude and blessings to her parents and family.
The bride and groom leave as a married couple.