11th September 2015

Planning a Punjabi wedding? Whether you're a stickler for tradition or a more modern couple looking to incorporate old customs into a more contemporary celebration, there are plenty of Punjabi wedding traditions that will help you make your big day really special.

Punjabi wedding traditions vary slightly dependent on the specific heritage and religion of the couple getting married, but there are many shared customs and traditions too. Before the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom may choose to hold a Rokka or engagement ceremony where family and friends bring gifts and blessings to the happy couple. They might also choose to celebrate one of the rituals traditionally held in the weeks and days before the wedding, such as the Sagai ceremony at the groom's house or the Sangeet – the Eastern equivalent of a bridal shower which featuring singing and dancing for the bride and her friends.

One of the Punjabi wedding traditions that even the most modern brides often choose to follow is the mehendi, during which beautiful henna designs are painted on the hands and feet of the bride. Traditionally, there are also an array of different rituals to be performed at both the bride's and the groom's family homes, although many modern couples do away with some or all of these.

Most Punjabi wedding ceremonies follow a similar pattern, beginning with the Ardas and Milni introduction ceremony, moving on to the Kanyadaan ritual during which the bride's father hands his daughter over to the care of the groom and finishing with the Mangalsutra Rasam ritual where the groom ties a beaded necklace around the bride's neck.

After a Punjabi wedding ceremony, it is common for the happy couple to join their families and other guests in banqueting, singing and dancing for the rest of the day. Sometimes, these celebrations even stretch over several days!

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