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Indian Weddings

Indian weddings are full of color. The bride wears a red sari with gold embroidery, symbolizing commitment, spirituality, and fertility. Indian weddings usually last for several days, and the date and place are chosen according to Hindu astrology. On the first day, the priest will perform the Ganesh Pooja, which happens at home with the couple, the bridal party, and close relatives in attendance. The second day starts with the mehndi ceremony, where the bride and female relatives will have henna patterns drawn of their hands and feet, often acting as a sort of bachelorette party. As tradition goes, darker henna symbolizes a better marriage. In the evening, the sangeet takes place where all wedding guests are invited, and it involves an introduction of the couple’s families, a meal, and dancing. Haldi ceremony will then take place where the couple puts yellow turmeric paste on themselves to ward off evil spirits. The third day includes the main ceremony, cocktail hour, and the reception. Before the ceremony, the wedding game Jutti Chupai will be played amongst the bridesmaids and the groom. The bridesmaids will steal and hide the groom’s shoes, and then ask for money in exchange for his shoes. At the ceremony, the groom will sometimes arrive on a decorated white horse as guests dance around him. Then the bride processes and they exchange vows to a sacred fire, agni, which acts as a witness to the ceremony, and then they take seven steps around the fire, each step representing their vows. The groom ties a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck, which is a floral necklace, symbolizing their marriage status. After the wedding, the couple is sprayed with salt water before entering the groom’s home. Bride then steps in a mix of milk and vermillion, leaving red footprints on the floor to represent the manifestation of Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of love, beauty, and fortune), then she kicks a pot of rice to ensure fertility and posterity.