Seven Steps: What Do They Mean?

Step 1 is for the married couple. They take this step together to promise that they will care for one another, including providing for one another and supporting one another. In a Hindu wedding, it is important to remember that this means caring for one another’s families, as well – whether that means taking in parents as they age or letting your spouse’s little sibling crash on the couch for the weekend.

Step 2 is a prayer for strength. The couple takes this step together to wish for mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. Marriage is a long journey, and it requires commitment and hard work. This step is recognition of that fact and a promise to each other that the couple will work together to get through the hard times.

Step 3 is a promise that the couple will share their lives together, including by sharing their home and wealth with one another.

Step 4 signifies the couple’s plan to grow together in their knowledge, their hope for happiness in marriage and life, and their desire for a peaceful life together.

Step 5 is every parent’s dream: the couple takes this step together to promise their friends and family that they will care for children. This traditionally meant that the couple would birth and raise children of their own, but more modern interpretations expand the definition: this could mean that the couple plans to adopt or foster children, or simply promises to support children in their community through volunteer efforts.

Step 6 celebrates the happiness that will be in the couples’ lives together. With this step, they promise to spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Step 7 is the couple’s final step together. This step represents the couple’s friendship and love for one another; the couple promises to love one another for eternity, to remain friends through the good and the bad times, and to appreciate one another.