A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.
We will see the three Major Weddings in India
- Traditional Hindu wedding
- Traditional Christian wedding
- Traditional Muslim wedding
In general, an invitation or notification sent out on the occasion of a marriage.
Tamil marriages are not very showy and extravagant as Tamilians believe in simple living. Tamil people are very particular about their customs and traditions. However, Tamil weddings are attended by distant relatives and friends and hence are held on a large scale. There are many wedding rituals which are observed by them, without which the marriage is deemed incomplete.
It is one of the first ceremonies that takes place between the two families and the would-be bride and groom. The engagement ceremony is basically a brief ritual wherein the couple exchanged gold rings. This ensures both the parties that the girl and the boy are now hooked. This is why it is also called the ring ceremony. This is followed by exchange,of gifts between the families like sweets, dry fruits etc. this is followed by either a lunch or dinner party.In some families, the sagai ceremony is clubbed with the engagement itself. This is another pre-wedding ceremony, which strengthens the bond between the both families. In sagai, the bride is given jewelry, clothes, make-up kit and baby toys, by the mother of the groom. On the other hand, the groom has put tilak and given gifts by the family of the bride. A havan is also performed at times. Here also a lot of gifts such as fruits, sweets, clothes are exchanged between the two.
Here the married women of both the bride and the groom’s sides of the family take turns rubbing a mixture of turmeric, oil, and water into the skin and clothes of the bride and groom. This usually devolves into a bit of a food fight as others are allowed to take part – the kids, if they’re allowed to participate, seem to really like squishing it all over the bride and groom’s faces.It used to be that only the bride underwent the Haldi Ceremony and it acted as a sort of spa day before she got ready for the wedding ceremony. Nowadays, grooms are also invited to take part.The special concoction that is used in the Haldi Ceremony is supposed to simultaneously bless the couple and moisturize their skin. I’m not sure exactly how this works, but my mother swears by it.
Some Important Things For Wedding
When you step foot into a Tamil wedding ceremony, you’ll feel like you’re walking into a royal affair. Tamil weddings (Hindu ones, at least), embrace the use of gold, red hues and pay attention to all the small details.”One of the unique features of a Tamil wedding is the use of red and saffron colours to empower richness in the décor — these colours are symbolic of purity and sensuality,” says Shawn Bala of wedding planning services Elegant Affairs based in Toronto.Tamil weddings are based on the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism (the Vedas), but also incorporate a modern touch for both the bride and groom. Typically, a priest determines the date or month the couple should be married by looking at auspicious dates within the Hindu calendar. The priest is also needed throughout the ceremony, Bala adds, as he is the one who officiates the couple.
With a guest list of over 250 people, you can expect a large family gathering at Tamil weddings. During the wedding, the parents of the bride and groom are considered just important as the couple.”Prior to conducting the main ritual, the priest seeks approval of both sets of parents to allow their respective children in the marriage,” Bala says. “The extended families also are highly involved with tasks like welcoming guests, cracking a coconut (which is an auspicious ritual offering), and walking around the venue requesting the guests to bless a tray containing the thali (the golden necklace a bride receives on her wedding day).”
After the wedding, both the families exchange gifts with each other. This is called Sammandhi Mariyathai. After all the wedding ceremonies are over, the bride leaves with her husband for her marital home. Here, she is welcomed by her new family with the traditional aarti. This is known as Grihapravesham. In the evening, the Reception party takes place, which is an informal event. The guests meet the newly wed couple and give them blessings
Most Christian authorities and bodies view marriage (also called Holy Matrimony) as a state instituted and ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man as husband and one woman as wife. They consider it the most intimate of human relationships, a gift from God, and a sacred institution. Protestants consider it to be sacred, holy, and even central to the community of faith, while Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians consider it a Sacrament. Biblically, it is to be “held in honour among all….”[Heb. 13:4] Jesus Christ maintained the importance and sacredness of lifelong marriage in his own teachings. He quoted from both Genesis 1 and 2, stating in Matthew 19:3-6 that God had created humanity as male and female,[Genesis 1:27] and that in marriage “‘the two will become one flesh’.[Genesis 2:24] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate”.
In Christianity, marriages are considered the union between man and woman predestined by God. The sanctity of the institution can be made clear from Jesus’ message, which lays down that wedding is a relationship, a union so real and intimate that ‘the two become one flesh’. Husband and wife are treated one in a Christian marriage. Being so significant to the religious mentor, Christian wedding rituals are conducted in church, amidst all friends and family members. Different sects of Christianity hold different opinions regarding marriage and have diverse ways of conducting it. Like all other marriages, Christian weddings also have and post wedding rituals
Wedding Symbols in God’s Covenant
Before we were married, the minister who officiated at our wedding sat down with us and explained the significance of several wedding ceremony traditions associated with the Old Testament blood covenant. As a couple, this knowledge deepened our appreciation for each wedding tradition, intensified the experience of worship in our wedding ceremony, and gave us a clearer understanding of our physical and spiritual union.
In the Bible, there were three steps the Jewish people had to take when getting married. The families first had to agree to the union, and then a public announcement was made. At this point, the couple was betrothed, or engaged. Finally, they were officially married and began to live together. Betrothal, then, was somewhat similar to what we call engagement now, except that our society does not honor the seriousness of engagement as they did then. When a Jewish couple was betrothed during Bible times, they were already bound together by a contract that could only be broken through death or divorce.Any Christian who is considering marriage needs to realize the depth of this kind of commitment and not jump into it lightly. God intends marriage to be a lifelong commitment, not a temporary arrangement. The Bible says this about marriage: “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together” (Mark 10:7-9, NLT).
Christians need to make sure they have a clear understanding of the person they may marry before becoming engaged. The Bible says that Christians cannot team up with and live in harmony with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). A Christian teaming up with an unbeliever almost guarantees that the Christian will be pulled away from Christ because, as the Bible says, “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The only way to have a God-honoring, stable foundation for a marriage is to be firmly grounded in one’s faith and make sure that the potential partner is equally dedicated to God.Christians should live their lives with God in the driver’s seat, so to speak. He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives, including whom we marry. Having a clear understanding of God’s Word and developing a personal relationship with Him through prayer and yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit is the first and most important step in determining His will for us. The world’s advice on dating and engagement should only be considered in light of God’s truths in Scripture. If we seek His will in all we do, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The white wedding dress has a two-fold significance. It is a symbol of the wife’s purity in heart and life, and in reverence to God. It’s also a picture of the righteousness of Christ described in Revelation 19:7-8. Christ clothes his bride, the church, in his own righteousness as a garment of “fine linen, bright and clean.”
The essence of marriage is the mutual agreement between a man and a woman for a lifelong union, voluntarily assumed, and publicly acknowledged. The Church, in providing a fitting setting and a beautiful ceremony for its announcement and public ratification, does all in its power to safeguard the union and to make of it what a marriage ought to be.The mutual contract between bride and groom can be acknowledged and publicly ratified before a Justice of the Peace or other officer of the State; but such a marriage, though legal, lacks a very definite “something” which a religious service gives it. That “something” is the blessing of the Church, and it gives the newly married couple a deeper understanding of God’s wish for them.The civil ceremony lacks religious reference but like the church, still asks for similar consents. The “Mutual Consent” consists of questions to both bride and groom and may seem like a needless formality, “do you take this man” and so on, but this is necessary to fulfill the nature of the civil contract. The State is strict on determining consent of each party just as it would in any other signed civil contract. The civil ceremony, by design, simply lacks any reference of prayers to the Trinity, or in seeking any blessings from a creator.
Muslim wedding is supposed to be conservative. But today things have changed. When the rituals are done in the right ways, they can surely take some liberties. Thus, even in Muslim wedding you will see that the dulha would wear sehra and would come to wed the bride. The bride would be in the authentic wedding dress. They both would say kubool hai and then they are married.
The first wedding ritual is the Istikhara, wherein the religious head takes consent form Allah to perform the wedding. After it is done, the grrom’s mather visits the bride’s house with sweets and Imam-Zamin, a silver or gold coin wrapped in silken cloth. It is tied by her onto the upper portion of the girl’s hand.
This is called Imam-Zamin ceremony. The next is Magni, wherein the groom’s family members visit the brie’s house with sweets and fruits. This is reciprocated by the bride’s family as well. Nowadays, the couple even exchanges rings.
After this the Manjha ceremony takes place, in which the bride is dressed in yellow clothes and turmeric paste is applied on her body. After this, the bride is not supposed to step out of the house. Mehndi Ceremony is the next ceremony, which is held just before the marriage. During this ceremony, the hands and feet of the bride are adorned with henna designs.
Subsequently, the Sanchaq ritual takes place, wherein the groom’s family sends clothes and jewelries for the bride, to be worn at Nikah and Chauthi.
Wedding Dress And Jewelries
On the main wedding day, the Baraat leaves for the bride’s house. On the wedding venue, they are given a hearty welcome and the groom enjoys a glass of sherbet with his brother-in-law. Soon after this, the Nikah is commenced. There are two religious heads present at the place, representing the two parties. The amount of Mehar, a compulsory amount of money to be given to the bride by the groom’s family is also decided. After this, the Maulavi asks the bride three times, whether she accepts the concerned person as her husband, with settled the amount of the Mehar.
After her consent, the groom is asked three times, whether he accepts the concerned woman as his wife, with the decided amount of Mehar. After his consent, the Nikahnama is signed by the couple. This is followed by the recital of Khutba, a religious discourse. Blessings are showered upon the bride and the groom for a prosperous married life. Following a lavish dinner, the couple is seated fact to face each other, with their heads covered by a dupatta. The Holy Quran and a mirror placed are placed between them, through which they are allowed to see each other for the first time. This is known as Aarsi Mushaf.
- Muslim weddings can be held at mosques, a place of worship for Islam followers. However, many couples also decide to hold the wedding and reception at banquet halls for space and cost
- The nikkah/nikah is arguably the most important ritual during a Muslim wedding. Here, the bride and groom sign a legal contract that symbolizes an Islamic marriage. “The nikkah is a very intimate ceremony and is very short in nature,” says Devya R. Pillai, wedding coordinator of Breathtaking Moments: Wedding And Events in Toronto.
- Sometimes, the couples may choose to do the nikkah in front of a larger audience as well. During this time, the priest or Imam will also recite scriptures from the Qur’an explaining the importance of marriage and the couple’s new roles as husband and wife.
- Couples may also decide to exchange rings at this point, or save it for the reception.
- Muslim weddings can be either small or large, depending on the family. Sometimes, the nikkah is attended by close
- family members, while receptions or dinners can have more than 100 guests.
- Muslim weddings can be quite colourful with tones of reds, greens and whites, depending on the bride’s choice and cultural background. At some South Asians Muslim weddings and receptions, for example, you’ll see the bride wear red or blue tones, and at some Arab Muslim weddings, for example, you may see a bride in a white bridal outfit.
All the Best…….