indian weddingIf you’ve been invited to your first Indian wedding, you may not know what to expect. Indian weddings are full of rich cultural traditions and often have multiple small ceremonies over the span of a few days. To help you get ready for being a guest at an Indian wedding, let’s take a look at a few things you can expect to see and experience.

How long do Indian weddings last?
Traditional Indian weddings last on average for three days. On the first night, a priest will perform the ganesh pooja. This is a ceremony that typically happens at home with the couple, bridal party, and close family members. The second day starts off with a mehndi ceremony. The bride and her female friends will have detailed henna patterns on their hands and feet. That evening will be the sangeet, which involved an introduction of the couple’s families and a meal or dances. The third day is the main ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. While not everyone is invited to each part of the three-day celebration, your invitation should clearly state which events you’re welcome to attend.

What happens during an Indian wedding ceremony?
The groom’s procession, or baraat, involves the groom arriving at the ceremony on a decorated white horse. After the guests dance around the groom, the bride and her family greet him. The couple will exchange floral garlands to represent their acceptance of each other. The ceremony begins with the bride’s parents giving her away. Then the couple joins hands around a small fire called the agni. The couple will take the saptapadi as they vow to live happily together. And at the end of the ceremony, the groom applies a red powder to the bride’s forehead and ties a black beaded necklace around her neck. This shows she is now a married woman.

What kind of reception do Indian weddings have?
Like most wedding receptions, Indian wedding receptions are a fun party. Most receptions feature traditional dances bhangrawhich is easy to pick up on. Additionally, there will be a wide variety of food to choose from. While the food may depend on where the couple’s families are from, the food isn’t all spicy. If you’re a picky eater, don’t worry, there will most likely be something there for everyone.

While the average wedding ceremony and reception cost $28,385, it really depends on the couple’s family on how extravagant a wedding is. But no matter the amount of money spent, Indian weddings are truly a great experience and you can look forward to a large party while celebrating your friend’s marriage.

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