The Main Elements of an Indian Wedding Celebration

The Mehndi

The bride’s family and friends gather to kick-off the wedding celebrations and bless the bride. The bride and guests have henna designs applied to their arms and hands.

The Sangeet

Typically hosted by the bride’s family and attended by a smaller group of guests, this festive celebration includes musical and dance performances, along with a hearty dinner, to get everyone into the celebratory mood! Couples today are adding unique elements to the sangeet night including a “milni battle,” flash mobs, photo booths, professional mixologists, and more!

The Baraat

The baraat is the symbolic arrival of the groom from his hometown to the site of the wedding. It occurs on wedding day just prior to the wedding ceremony itself. The groom traditionally arrives on horseback, but grooms today are choosing different modes of transportation more in line with their personal style. We’ve seen grooms arrive on elephants, bicycles, by helicopter, by pedicab, and even by boat!

The Ceremony

The wedding ceremony is presided over by an officiant or officiants of the couple’s choosing based on their faith(s) and their preferences. Traditionally, Indian wedding ceremonies could last from a few hours to a few days–not counting the pre- and post-wedding events! These days, however, many couples want to keep the ceremony shorter to keep their guests happy and maintain their own sanity during the hectic weekend.

The Reception

This is the big party! The reception is the second most important event of the weekend (behind the ceremony). Typically, guests are treated to an entertainment program, speeches, dinner, and lots of drinks and dancing. The reception also affords the couple the biggest opportunity to show off their personal style and creativity.

Other Events

More and more, couples are adding unique events to their wedding celebrations to highlight personal interests or to make sure out-of-town guests have a great time. Examples of unique events include visits to local breweries, meals prepared by celebrity chefs, private musical performances, and more!