When it comes to Indian weddings and brides, words like stunning, vibrant, and eye-catching spring to mind. Vibrant and colourful garments are worn by Indian brides, and the look is completed with some of the most spectacular Indian wedding jewellery.
The significance of the bride's jewellery extends far beyond its aesthetic value and each jewellery piece has cultural and spiritual importance. Indian jewellery is an essential component of an Indian bride's wedding trousseau. It's a treasured possession that can be passed down through generations.
Traditional Cleansing ceremony
The traditional cleansing ceremony or Nallunge is usually performed a few days or a day before the wedding ceremony. Before the ritual starts, a series of prayers called Graha Shanti is conducted at the respective homes of the bride and groom. The prayers are conducted to seek blessings for the couple and to hope for an uninterrupted wedding ceremony.
Oro Italia 916 HABIB
Once the prayers come to an end, the cleansing ceremony begins. During the ceremony, turmeric, sandalwood paste and oil are applied on the bride and groom before they take a purifying bath and this ceremony is usually conducted only by the married women in the family.
Customarily, favours like sweets, betel leaves, betel nuts, fruits, colourful jewellery and bangles are arranged on trays and presented before the bride. The next practice may be superstitious, but usually the bride and groom are not allowed to see one another until the day of the wedding. However in modern times, you can find many Indian couples that don’t practise this.
The Wedding Ceremony
What do the bride and groom wear?
Traditionally the bride will wear a red bridal saree. The saree consists of unstitched drape that is wrapped around the waist. The blouse piece comes together with the drape cloth that is later on cut and sewn separately. Indian brides typically wear a saree that is made of silk material with gold bordered lining.
According to Indian astrology, the colour red represents the planet Mars and Mars is the planet incharge of marriages, representing prosperity and fertility.
Meanwhile, the groom may wear a matching Sherwani or Dhoti. Dhoti also known as Veshti is a traditional Indian garment for men. It is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. On the other hand, the Sherwani is a type of suit which is a more formal long coat-like garment with a high neckline.
Traditionally, gold has long been the most extensively used metal for Indian wedding jewellery. However, today’s brides prefer gold jewellery studded with precious gemstones and diamonds to match their wardrobe.
HABIB Exclusive Diamond and Gemstone Collection
The main pieces of jewellery worn by Indian brides are Maang Tikka (headpiece jewellery), Jhimki (earrings), layered necklaces, heavy bangles, rings and Ottiyanam (saree belt). For the groom, common jewellery accessories worn are gold chains/necklaces and rings. Over the years, traditions and cultures have evolved but bridal jewellery still plays a vital role in Indian weddings.
The bridal ornament has an individual representation for each accessory. For instance, necklaces are an indication of protection and prosperity. Earrings represent the bride's health and serve to protect her from harmful spirits. Rings are meant to be the first symbol of the never-ending love between both souls, and they signify the beginning of a magnificent journey.
It is seen as a symbol of eternal love and the peace of the sacred tie between the two souls. Furthermore, bangles are meant to bring prosperity and happiness to a bride's life, as well as symbolise her husband's long life. The tinkling sound of anklets is meant to announce the entrance of the new bride to her husband's house.
What happens during a Traditional Indian Wedding?
Usually an Indian priest is hired to officiate the Hindu wedding ceremony. The ceremony usually lasts between one-and-a-half to two hours. At the height of the ceremony, the attending guests will be given a handful of yellow rice and other grains to be thrown or showered over the couple to bless them with a prosperous married life. Rice is thought to ward off demons. The bride’s father will then proceed to give her to the groom. He takes his daughter’s hand and places it on the groom’s. The bride will apply sandalwood paste to the groom's forehead, the groom will in turn apply a red mark on the bride’s forehead.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/dhivager/
Tying of Thali Necklace
The tying of the Thaali or Mangala Sutra is the highlight of an Indian Wedding Ceremony. The tying of the Thaali necklace signifies the inseparable union of the married couple. The Thaali is a sacred necklace the Hindu groom ties around the bride’s neck and once the groom ties the Thaali necklace around the bride’s neck, it’s official that they are now married.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/image.hunter/
HABIB Oro Italia 916 Mangala Sutra
Seven Step Ritual
As a sign of union, after tying the Thaali, the groom takes the bride’s hand. This occurs in the presence of fire, where the flame usually represents a new household. The couple then exchange vows during this ritual, sometimes referred to as the Seven Step ritual. Sometimes the vows are read as the bride and groom walk around the fire seven times with pieces of each other’s clothing tied together or the groom holding his bride’s hand. The Seven Step ritual outlines the lifelong commitment, devotion and mutual respect of the happy couple.
Jewellery plays an important and symbolic role in Indian weddings as each of it has its significance in both culture and ethnicity. At HABIB, you can find unique jewelleries, whether gold, diamonds or gemstones, as well as elegant pieces to compliment your outfit on your special day. Visit your nearest showroom or contact your personal jewel consultant today.