“Big Fat Indian” Weddings for Dummies

For those who are curious as to what happens over the course of a “Big Fat Indian” Wedding, here is the basic breakdown of the events. Granted these can vary from wedding to wedding – the bigger the wedding the more functions (weddings can go 3 – 20+days)

…Mind that this is all from the perspective of being on the groom’s side of the events

Day 1: Party

– The family throws a big “bachelor/family” party, inviting friends and relatives to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the person to be married. Both families throw the parties, but if they are on the same night then they are separate events. During this time there is food, dancing, Dhol guys (“drummer men”), Mehndi (aka henna), and more dancing.

Day 2: Ceremonies

am part 1: Blessings by the Holy man

am part 1a: Tying of the spiritual strings (the bride/groom will later have to get the knots off and remove the bracelets)- Blessings by family members with money and gifts

am part 2: Two women from the family fetch water to be used to wash the groom before he can leave the family house

am part 2b: The groom is smeared in a yellow substance (turmeric paste) by all members of the family – this is to beautify the groom… The water gathered is used to clean paste of the groom (in modern times the groom will go bathe and get all the paste off himself)

am part 3: All people go get ready for wedding

pm part 1: Groom is blessed by holy man while in wedding attire

pm part 2: Groom departs from house on horse/elephant/etc – with band, Dhol guys, flame throwers, etc (and dont forget the food and party in all that)

Leave for the wedding venue if it is a significant distance away – otherwise the procession goes from groom’s house to wedding venue

Late night part 1: Arrive at a venue and the procession goes up to the wedding entrance

part 2: Arrive at the entrance – pictures by the families and the bridal party tries to steal the groom’s shoes to get money out of the groom before he can enter the ceremony ground

part 3: Procession of groom to stage – procession of bride to stage

“Wedding” – Bride and Groom approach – put flowers over each other’s heads..wham bam “married”

part 4: Blessings and congratulations are given by all persons at wedding (while all this happens everyone mingles, eats, feasts, and is merry)

Evening Ceremonies: After the couple has been blessed by the guests, dinner for the families is around a big table – then the families head off to perform the final ceremonies

part 1: these are done around a fire and is where the bride and groom receive their blessings and make their vows (walk 7 times around the fire as a sign of vows to each other)

the Bride then says farewell to her family and leaves for her husbands home

…Leave Wedding venue…But wait it isn’t over!!!

Upon arrival at the groom’s home – there is a blessing and welcoming of the bride to the home by the family – with games, etc

….Go to sleep and recover…

Day 3:

…For the wedding reception where everyone parties like rock stars!!!

 

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