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The Inside Scoop on Indian Weddings

Rachel Moore

If you've ever seen, heard of, or been to an Indian wedding, you probably know they're extravagant, multi-day celebrations with many moving parts. Below are some of the traditions celebrated:

Day 1: The Mehndi Ceremony

Typically, both families hold the first day’s celebrations separately. It’s a day for the women to apply henna, a symbol of a special occasion. Henna, also called Mehndi, is a design that is drawn on the hands and feet with a paste created from henna leaves. The beautiful designs are temporary and generally last up to two weeks.

Day 2: The Pithi Ceremony

The bride and groom also hold the second day of the wedding separately, although it is becoming more common for younger couples to hold them as one single event. In the ceremony that takes place on this day, a yellow paste called Pithi is rubbed on the skin of the bride and groom, followed by throwing raw, colored rice over their heads to wish them good fortune.

Day 3: The Nikkah Ceremony and Reception

On this day of the wedding, two events occur: the official signing of the marriage contract at the families’ place of worship and the evening reception. Something the younger generation has started is to hold a reception where the bride wears a gown instead of traditional Indian attire. The mix of traditional and modern elements is a great addition to this three-day event. and it definitely portrays the personalities of the newly married couple!