Wedding in India vary across religion, caste, ethnicity, language, region, etc. Traditional Indian weddings are generally structured into pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies (consisting of the Baaraat the Varmala and the Saat Phere), and the Vidaai. When the marriage has been agreed upon, the father of the bridegroom visits the father of the bride. The day before the expected arrival of the marriage procession, lavish preparations are done by the family to receive the groom (shaadi ki tayaari) in beautiful and decorated venues, typically farmhouses or hotel halls, where a sacrificial fireplace called Marhwa is built. Brides decorate themselves with gold and diamond jewellery, apply [mehndi] to colour hands and feet, and undergo various bridal rituals, including wearing bridal lehenga or Saree. Bridegrooms typically wear a [Sherwani] dress or a designer suit. To complete the marriage, the bride and groom walk in a circle (phera) around the sacrificial fire.
Vidaai is when the bride is formally sent to the groom’s household. Many songs have immortalized this moment when the bride leaves her ‘babul ka ghar’ or father’s house.According to Hindu religious texts, Brahma created man from the right shoulder and woman from his left shoulder. A woman is referred to as Vamangi or one who is on the left side. Throughout the marriage ceremony the bride sits on the right side of the groom. That is the place for strangers and acquaintances. Only after the Saptpadi, when the bride and groom have exchanged marital vows, is the wife seated on the left side of the man. An example of the complexity of an Indian wedding can be seen from the various phases of a wedding in North, South , East and West India.
The bride and groom are told about their duties and responsibilities in married life by the priest. These vows direct the couple to a positive path of action. They help in promoting marital happiness for a lifetime.
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