Just when you think that you are all done with your printer, you have to get your programs made! Here is a simple, Indian Wedding ceremony program that can help you with your wedding planning.
The Hindu Wedding Ceremony
The traditional Hindu wedding ceremony follows Indian religious rites whereby two souls come together in a spiritual, mental, and physical bond. This bond also creates a tie between two families for generations to come. The wedding is performed in a mandap (the wedding canopy) which symbolizes purity and love.
Arjun is escorted to the mandap by his parents, Bhavna and Arun, where he awaits his bride.
Kanya Agamana – Arrival of the Bride
The bridal procession consists of Arya’s family and friends. The procession starts with Arya’s bridesmaids (Mary, Jane, Nina,) and her maid of honor (Sima) who create a floral path for the bride. The bride is escorted by her brother (Ankit), and her maternal Uncle (Premal).
Jai Mala – Exchange of Garlands
The bride and groom welcome each other by exchanging floral garlands. This exchange signifies the unification of their hearts and souls and the formal acceptance of each other in marriage.
Ganesh Puja – Worship for the Lord of Prosperity and Remover of Obstacles
Blessing to the Lord Ganesh are offered at the mandap for peace and harmony to prevail during the ceremony. His blessings are sought for an auspicious beginning for the newlyweds.
Kanya Daan – Giving the Bride Away
The offering of a daughter’s hand in marriage is considered the greatest of all gifts a father and mother may give. The bride’s parents, Benarsi and Mena, place Arya’s hands in Arjun’s, requesting him to accept their daughter as his wife and to make her his equal partner. By joining hands, Arya and Arjun make a lifelong commitment to support each other in their journey through life.
Agni Puja – Lighting the Sacred Fire
The ceremonial fire (Agni) is one of the essential elements and manifestations of God and represents purity. The sacred flame is lit and rekindled throughout the ceremony along with Vedic hymns and prayers to witness and bless the proceedings.
Granthi Bandhanam – Tying the Sacred Knot
Arya and Arjun are joined by the bride’s brother who ties a knot with the scarves worn by the bride and groom. The knot signifies Arya and Arjun’s eternal love and commitment to each other.
Mangal Fera – Circling the Holy Fire
The bride and groom circle the fire seven times making their vows in the presence of Agni, the God of Fire. The circles represent the aspects of the couple’s life together: The groom leads the first three rounds; the bride leads the next four. As the couple circles, they repeat seven vows of love, marriage, health, and knowledge. At the end of the circling, the bride moves to the groom's left, taking her place closest to his heart
Sapta Padi – The Seven Oaths of Marriage
The bride and groom take seven steps together, each step directed by a mound of rice made by the bride’s brother. It is said in Hindu philosophy that two people who walk seven steps together will remain lifelong friends. The seven promises are:
1. Let us provide for our household, keeping a pure diet and avoiding those things that may harm us
2. Let us develop our physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
3. Let us increase our wealth by righteous and proper means.
4. Let us acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love, respect, and trust
5. Let us be blessed with strong, virtuous and healthy children
6. Let us practice self- restraint and longevity
7. Let us be true companions and remain life-long partners
Mangal Sutra/Sindoor – Symbol of Matrimony
Arjun applies sindoor, the red vermillion powder, onto the parting of Arya’s hair as an auspicious symbol of her married status. Arjun adorns Arya with a mangla sutra, a sacred black beaded necklace symbolizing his love and devotion.
Exchange of Rings
As a symbol of wholeness and unending commitment, the bride and groom exchange rings.
Ashirwad – Blessings
The pundit blesses the couple on behalf of the Gods with wishes for everlasting happiness. The family and friends of the newlywed couple then bestow their blessing by showering them with flowers.