An Indian wedding is almost like a festival, the festivities and celebrations all around, create an aura of joy and excitement. In such an environment, one’s happiness knows no bounds. Exchange of gifts, greetings is a common sight at an Indian wedding, elaborate preparations are made in the terms food, fun, floral decoration etc.
The bride and bridegroom are adorned with the most precious jewels and attire. The expenditure, pomp and show make it an extravagant affair. Not only the pomp and show but the whole environment at an Indian wedding is bright, colorful and grand.
It is a custom for the bridegroom’s family, relatives and friends to reach the bride’s house in a procession, accompanied by a band, with the groom, riding a mare, dressed like a prince, wearing a garland of Indian currency.
The friends and relatives dance in front of the procession. Along with this, firecrackers are also burst, in frequent succession, adding to the festivities and announcing the arrival of the groom. When the procession reaches the bride’s house, the bride’s family comes forward to welcome the procession with Tilak, garlands and a token gift, usually in the form of money.
Sometimes, it is only the close family members, who are welcomed with money, it is also customary to throw money in the air which is collected by the poor people and men playing the band.
The bride is then brought forward, surrounded by her friends and relatives, for exchanging garlands with the groom. After this, the bride and the groom are seated on a raised platform, on throne like chairs.
All the guests then come turn wise to give their good wishes and wedding gifts. The most important part of the wedding is the taking of vows by the bride and the groom, who go around the fire seven times, amidst chanting of mantras by the priests, in the presence of the guests who are witnesses of this union. When the religious ceremony is over, the bride and the groom are pronounced husband and wife.
The festivities do not end here they continue for another two to three days. The ‘Bidaai’, entry of the bride into the new family, reception, all are occasions to celebrate. In short, an Indian wedding is a rich bonanza, replete with rituals and ceremonies.
The rituals and ceremonies are religious in nature and they bind not only two people but also two families together in a strong bond.
However, they vary from religion to religion, place to place and are inextricably linked with heavy expenditure. Sometimes, people spend their entire fortunes on an Indian wedding and this can decide their fate because many a family becomes bankrupt and the worst part is that even after spending their life’s earnings, on the pomp and show, the couple’s happiness, after marriage, is not ensured.