Getting married in a Hindu wedding ceremony? You may well find yourself trying to choose between a baffling array of traditional customs and rituals that have been historically used to celebrate marriages. So whether you want a full traditional Hindu wedding or just to incorporate elements into your special day, check out our quick guide to Hindu wedding traditions.
A Hindu wedding is called a vivaha, with the wedding ceremony itself being known as vivaah sanskar. The rituals and traditions observed during the wedding vary a lot between different communities, but there are a few key customs that almost all Hindu weddings will observe. Common to most ceremonies is the Kanyadaan ritual, during which the bride's father gives the bride away, the Panigrahana ritual symbolising union and the Saptadadi – a process of seven steps towards a fire, with each step accompanied by a vow or promise between the bride and groom.
In addition to these rituals, there are also several other Hindu wedding traditions which brides and grooms may choose to incorporate into their wedding. For example, they may choose to invite guests to a Swagatam welcome ceremony at the bride's home featuring food, drinks and dancing in the run up to the wedding, or to welcome them into their new home in a Grihapravesa homecoming ritual.
Hindu weddings are renowned for being colourful, vibrant occasions filled with music, dancing, feasting and laughter, and however you decide to celebrate your big day you're sure to enjoy memories that will last a life time.