When you’re planning your wedding, you need to consider many things, including the type of wedding you want to have. The decision of what kind of wedding to hold really comes down to the personal preferences of both the bride and groom and their families. Of course, there are many different types of weddings held in India, as well as around the world, depending on the culture and traditions of the region where you live. Here are nine types of weddings held in India that might be good inspiration if you’re planning your own ceremony with an Indian-themed twist.
1) Arya Samaj
The Aryasamaj, also known as samaj, is a Hindu reform movement that promotes equality, education and religious harmony. Founded by Dayanand Saraswati in 1875, it was initially formed to eradicate some ancient practices he felt were inconsistent with Vedic teachings. The term samaj is Sanskrit for society. In Hindi, it's pronounced sah-mahj. In 2013, there were an estimated 1 million members of the Aryasamaj worldwide. It's most popular in Northern India and Nepal. This sect does not have priests or temples. Its marriage ceremonies are simple and take place at home. Marriages are typically arranged by parents when both partners are still children. Women wear red or pink saris; men wear white kurtas (long shirts) and dhotis (loose pants). The bride's hands and feet may be decorated with henna tattoos. The ceremony takes place under a canopy called a mandap. Guests sit on chairs or floor mats, usually in rows facing each other across a center aisle. Family members give speeches praising the couple. There are no prayers or rituals in Aryasamaj weddings. Instead, guests make donations to charity after exchanging gifts with one another. [Source: Wedding Customs and Traditions Around the World By Katherine Amato, About]
നായർ (nāyar) - Nair weddings are a special ritual performed by a member of Nair community. Nairs live all over Kerala, with heavy concentration in and around Kochi city and nearby towns like Edappally, Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam etc. This is most probably one of the oldest matrimonial customs still existing on earth. It is basically a marriage between two members of the Nair community only. The bridegroom has to go through many rituals before he can be allowed to marry. But if he doesn't fulfill these rituals, then his marriage won't be recognized by society or his parents as well. The process starts when he reaches puberty and ends when he marries at an age ranging from 20-25 years old or even more than that in some cases.
The traditional Sikh wedding is quite a simple affair and has elements of both Hindu and Muslim customs. There’s an Anand Karaj ceremony, which is similar to Hindu weddings, followed by a Lagna feast, as well as Sehaj Paath (reading from Sikh scripture). An important feature is that men and women sit together at weddings. Usually held on weekends, they can be either elaborate or very simple. A Sikh marriage ceremony must take place under a canopy called a ‘Margh’; it symbolizes protection for couples entering into matrimony. It also serves as shade during hot summer months. Unlike other religions, Sikhs don’t have a priest officiate their ceremonies. Instead, two people are chosen to perform tasks: one leads prayers while another recites them. During these prayers, members of the congregation come forward with gifts for the bride and groom. Then there’s an exchange of vows between the couple, who hold hands and walk around holy book Guru Granth Sahib four times. This ritual represents union and commitment to each other. Then comes mithai (sweets) distribution among guests before feasting commences!
4) Roman Catholic
The Catholic wedding is when both partners take their vows before a priest, but unlike Hindu weddings and other religious ceremonies, there is no caste system for marriage. Instead, you can opt to either hold your ceremony at a church or have it in another location like a resort or private home. In Catholicism, there are also two types of marriages – sacramental and non-sacramental – depending on whether your partner has been previously married or not.
5) Christian Orthodox
These weddings have many different customs, depending on which part of India they are held in. The bride may wear a crown and carry a veil, or there might be no ceremony at all. The type of music varies as well as
whether alcohol is served at receptions and who will conduct it; it may be done by family members or local pastors, for example. Christian Orthodox weddings can last anywhere from a few hours to more than a week.
Muslim weddings are slightly different from Hindu or Christian wedding ceremonies. Traditionally, marriages are arranged and must be approved by both families. The bride’s family pays a dowry to her husband, who is expected to pay for all wedding expenses. During an Islamic ceremony, the bride wears a burqa (head-to-toe veil) while walking down an aisle with her father and close family members; she then removes it once she reaches her groom. The couple says their vows before an imam (religious leader), who then declares them married.
7) Hindu Punjabi
Some Hindus prefer to register their marriage and then hold a religious ceremony afterward. This can be held anywhere from a few days to several months after you get married, but it’s always important to set a date as soon as possible so that your guests have plenty of time to make arrangements. There are also different kinds of Hindu Punjabi weddings—some involve four separate ceremonies, while others are condensed into one day. Many couples choose to have an engagement party before they tie the knot, which is often called a shagun or rasm-e-haldi. The most common wedding ceremony is called a vidai, which 8) means farewell; send off; send away. It usually takes place at night and involves an elaborate dinner with lots of family members and friends in attendance.
It is a traditional wedding ritual practiced by people belonging to communities and castes that are based in hilly regions of India. The word pahadi means ‘hill’ or ‘mountain’, so it is named after its geography. It is also sometimes called a Malli or ‘Mali’ wedding. This type of wedding is still common among many communities in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Haryana. In addition to these states, some parts of Jammu & Kashmir to have similar traditions.
An Indian wedding is considered to be one of the most important events of a person’s life. It is not merely a function or ceremony, but rather it reflects and embodies cultural traditions as well as social and personal values. An average Indian wedding is quite elaborate and expensive, taking around 6–7 days to complete from Mehendi, Jai mala, and sangeet to kanyadaan. After reading about all these types of weddings held in India, are you ready for yours?