Indian Weddings

What happens at an Indian Wedding?

Here is an overview of all the Indian wedding ceremonies for those of you that have never been to one before and want to know what they encompass.

Unlike Western weddings, Indian weddings can often last for a few days because each of the pre-wedding ceremonies are spread out. Below you will find some information about each individual part of the wedding ritual and celebration.


The sangeet ceremony is usually celebrated a few days before the wedding. Sangeet is a joyful occasion where the bride and groom’s family and friends can come together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials with lots of singing, dancing and food.

For those of you who are invited to Sangeet – make sure you bring your dancing shoes!


Mehendi is normally celebrated on the day before or on the morning of the wedding. It takes place at the bride’s house and is when henna is applied to the bride. Henna is applied using dried leaves and if applied to the brides hands and feet. It is thought that the darker the henna, the better the marriage. So you will find that some brides go all out!

If you go to this one, it is a fun one as you get to watch very intricate and beautiful henna being applied, while you also have a good old chinwag.


Be warned – a Haldi ceremony WILL get very messy. It involves ubtan paste being applied to the bride and her single girl friends and family. It can often get pretty wild and can turn into a play fight as those present try and get as much bright yellow haldi paste on each other as possible. If that doesn’t conjure up a picture – think food fight!


The main event of the wedding ceremony is the swapping of the garlands, which represents the joining of the bride’s and groom’s families.

Once the bride’s parents give her away, the couple join hands and circle round a small fire and they then take seven steps towards each other as they promise to love and support each other.

The ceremony culminates in the bride donning the mangalsutra, which symbolises the new marriage.

Post-Wedding Celebration

The post wedding ceremony is all fun and games, and involves a huge wedding feast, music and lots of dancing. Don’t be surprised if at some point a choreographed Bollywood dance breaks out!

Stay tuned to find out How to prepare for an Indian Wedding