Indian Weddings
in CA

photos, images, ideas, traditions
Indian Weddings: Traditions and New Beginnings!

Traditional Indian weddings are truly a sight to behold! Blurs of color, lots of motion, ethnic cuisine passed down from generation to generation, and so much more can all be expected. Whether the ceremony is one day, three, or some combination thereof, there is so much to see it may seem impossible to witness it all. Traditional weddings are multi-day events in which friends, family, and extended family are all invited to share in the joy and celebration. This means that an Indian wedding is typically very large by Western standards. A good videographer or photographer will be able to help you relive every second of the ceremony as if it was the first time, you'll see things you didn't when you were in the moment and be able to savor all the memories of your day.

What to Expect from a Traditional Three-Day Ceremony

The first day of a traditional ceremony is usually a smaller event with only the bridal party and family in attendance. Taking place in the home, the Ganesh Poojais performed in the home of the bride and represents the start of the festivities to follow. This ceremony is intended to honor Lord Ganesh, the destroyer of evil and obstacles, clearing the way to a new beginning for the bride and groom.

The second day of the wedding commonly sees the bride and all her female friends and family taking part in the Mehndiceremony. During the Mehndi, the women decorate themselves with intricate Henna patterns. Throughout the process of decorating themselves, the women dance and sing, creating new memories, celebrating old, and preparing the bride for her new family. This pre-ceremony party is just for women and typically involves both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom and their invitees.

The groom does not get quite the same fanfare. The Tilak ceremony is the groom's pre-wedding ceremony and is symbolic of the acceptance of the groom by the bride's family. The ceremony varies depending on the groom's family and friends, typically varying due to where they are from. The ritual is typically preformed in the home of the groom with all of the male members of the family in attendance.

On the evening of the second day, all guests are invited to come and celebrate with the new couple. The couple's families are introduced, and the evening is filled with dancing, mingling, and a shared meal. Additionally, the second day of the ceremony is where you will find the Agni, a small ritual fire around which the Mangal Phera will take place. The Mangal Phera is the point where vows are exchanged, during this exchange the bride and groom take seven steps around the fire while reciting a pledge of marriage together.

The third day of the traditional ceremony is when the traditional reception and cocktail hour is held. Over the course of these three days guests celebrate with food, dancing, laughter, and a sharing of new and old memories.

Traditional Indian food may have more spice than what locals have commonly come to expect, but the reality is that the spices differ from dish to dish as much as Western cuisine and, while many Americans assume the food to be spicy, the food is just filled with spice and flavor. The family's homeland will determine the food served at each stage of the ceremony, as the tradition and recipes are something that is passed down from generation to generation. Food, in every culture, is used as a chance to come together and share with one another. This is a great time for photos and video, so guests can capture the moment or share their love with the newlyweds.

While some aspects of the days are private, family-only events, the bulk of the days are a whirlwind of activity for everyone. The constant activity and ceremony makes hiring a professional and disciplined photographer a very important decision for their couple and their parents. A professional can make the event come alive again and again, so make sure you take the time to get to know your photographer/videographer on a personal level so she/he can bring your vision to life in the years to come!

What Else to Expect?

There is no traditional style of venue. City, beach, or mountains are all acceptable for a traditional ceremony. While location is not prescribed, there are many aspects of the ceremony that should be taken into consideration when choosing a venue, such as the desire for private spaces and multiple ceremonies and meals.

For Western audiences, the traditional ceremonies may be a bit surprising, simply because of the how unique they are compared to what is considered "traditional" in the United States. First, the procession of the groom, known as the Baraat, has the groom arriving on a white horse with the guests dancing around him to the beat of a drum. The groom's procession is met by the bride and her family, at which point the couple exchanges garlands, which are symbolic representations of each their acceptance of one-another.

Another notable difference is the color. Red is the principal color for the bride's Sarior wedding dress, on most occasions as it is symbolic of commitment, spirituality, and fertility in Indian culture. White is considered a funeral color and is steered away from in all instances. Additionally, the bride is usually adorned with gold accents including jewelry and stitching along their wedding clothes.

Every ceremony is different with one exception, no matter how long each portion of the event is, the days will fly by. With all of the activities, dancing, eating, and celebrating, it is important to have a photographer and videographer who can keep up and knows what will happen next. Choose a professional who understand the symbolism and importance of each piece of your wedding. Choose HD Studio for all of your still photo and video needs for your special day, we know who you are and what is important to you and can capture it for years to come.

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