Are weddings the same all across India?
India is known for its diversity in cultures. It’s authentic nature, the detail and meaning every ritual and every culture has. The land of festivals and cultures has its own wide range of different wedding cultures too.
Each state has their own wedding style and rituals, as diverse and as unique as the people and the state itself. Ranging from flashy north Indian big fat weddings to the tradition filled South Indian weddings and all the different cultures in between; like the sterling Tamil Nadu and Kerala weddings, the sentimental Bengali, Gujarati and Punjabi weddings, the style filled destination weddings of goa to the ritual filled east Indian weddings, each ceremony had its own value and its own tradition. Let’s take a view on some of the famous wedding cultures of India.
Let’s look at some famous regional wedding cultures of India.
The over the top North Indian wedding
When I say north I’m just generalising the term. We have a lot of states and their different cultures that fall under north India. But the common north Indian, Mumbai or Delhi wedding would include traditional rituals like the magni, haldi, mehendi, Sangeet, rokha, phere, vidaai and muh dikhai in that order. From setting off their wedding with the conventional engagement to the heavy celebrations that follow, the ritual filled wedding to the bride showing her face to her in laws, the traditional North Indian wedding is filled with glamour and pomp. The brides in their heavy lehengas and grooms in their sherwanis? A perfect picture for the eye.
The ritual filled Bengali wedding
You must’ve seen the pictures of the bride being carried in a jute basket covering her face with leaves? Yes, that is your traditional Bengali wedding. Did you know that the Bengali weddings have a ritual dedicated to the bride and the groom having their last meals as unmarried? It’s called the ‘Aiburo-bhaat’. The Bengali people also have a tradition where they scatter flowers into the river Ganges in a way of inviting the Ganga River to the wedding. Sounds interesting and sacred right? Such is the Bengali wedding. Filled with meaningful rituals and steps.
The aesthetic Guajarati wedding
The rituals might be the same as any other north Indian wedding but their outfits and looks will stun you. The bride with her half moon shaped bindi and the grooms with their traditional turbans. Brides wear colourful silk sarees with huge gold borders. The sarees that drape around them gracefully are almost 9 feet long. The way they drape is also different from the basic style. Grooms traditionally have to stick to the dhoti but some grooms are also seen sporting kurtas. The traditional dhaagas that hang from the bride and groom’s forehead, on either side of their faces are what distinguishes a Marathi wedding couple.
The loud Telugu wedding
South Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have their own wedding cultures. They spend extensive rituals on preparing the bride and the groom. While preparing the bride or the pellikuthuru, they make a younger girl from the family sit beside the bride as a companion or the ‘thodu pellikuthuru’. The bride has to carry the traditional coconut with her and her fiancé’s initials throughout the wedding. Though both cultures have both these rituals, South Indian weddings give comparatively more importance to the mangalsutra or ‘taali’ where North Indians give more importance to the ‘sindhoor’. One fun ritual is where the bride and the groom have to take turns and press hard on each other’s feet by their own feet. It is said to signify the equality both carry in their marriage. The heavy instrumental music or the ‘sannai melam’ is a characteristic feature.
The pleasant Kerala wedding
We all know that Kerala is famous for its backwaters and its pretty white and gold ambience. Then obviously the wedding will be equally beautiful right. Traditional Kerala weddings include the bride and the groom dressed in neat white clothes while their garlands are characteristically filled with leaves instead of flowers. Since Kerala is the home for many Christians, they too have noteworthy traditional weddings.
The sentimental east Indian weddings
Obviously we are not forgetting the Indian states that have enough allure to compete with the whole world. Assamese, manipuri, mizo and more. Did you know that there is a tradition in Assamese weddings where the bride, her mother and the female relatives of the family go to a nearby water body and have a formal bath? Sounds interesting right. In mizoram the wedding looks more like a formal foreign Christian wedding. Also, did you have any idea that in some Meghalaya weddings, instead of women, the men leave their maternal homes and go live with the bride and her family? Yes, our vast culture has many such interesting facts.