‘I do’. This solemn vow is conveyed in a myriad of ways across different cultures of India. Weddings are rigorously planned years in advance to ensure the couple steps into their new life in the most regal way possible. In India, a wedding is a dream from a very early age. At Radisson Blu, we help ensure that dream-like feeling is conveyed in every aspect of the big event.
Arranging the venue
In India, marriage celebrations typically span three to four days, with some initial rites like haldi taking place at home. This intimate setting is replaced by iconic and stylish hotel properties as more people are invited to the ensuing functions. Hotels don’t simply offer banquet halls but roll out the red carpet with a bouquet of services. Perfecting the art of weddings is a concentrated effort by hotels to tailor the interiors and food and beverages to complement the uniqueness of every couple. Radisson Blu has a dedicated programme called the ‘Art of Weddings’ that crafts personalized experiences that wow the guests and woo the couple as they translate their every wish into tangible, breath-taking reality.
Where couples in western countries typically invite 50-100 people to their big day, a modest guest list in India can range anywhere from 100 to 1000 people. With 10 million weddings held annually in India, almost every person in the country visits a wedding celebration each year. They buy new clothes and jewelry and practice elaborately choreographed dances, while the wedding venue teams make grand stages with lighting and smoke machines to create a Bollywood-styled mise-en-scene. Some even get Bollywood stars to perform at their weddings!
The Holy Union
India is home to people of several faiths and thus there’s no one blueprint for an Indian wedding. Among the common rituals performed by Hindus are Kanyadaan (gifting of daughter by the father), Panigrahana (holding of hand near the holy fire as a symbol of the approaching union), and Saat Phere where the bride and groom make vows to each other as they make seven circles around the fire. A Sikh marriage is also solemnised by the groom and bride making circles, except they perambulate four times around their holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. An Islamic wedding in India can vary according to sect and region. The ceremony is called Nikah and is performed by a qazi, the marriage officer. Post wedding, guests are treated to an indulgent food spread at the Dawat-e-walima.
While traditions may differ among religions and regions, the custom of mehndi is common among most. Mehndi, henna, is applied on the bride and groom, as well as the family members, in a variety of intricate designs.
A Grandiose Display
Another tradition shared by most cultures is that of a grand, riotous baraat where the groom approaches the wedding venue astride on a white horse. His family dances some more to the beats of the Dhol, causing plenty of traffic jams as random people slow down to view the celebrations. Yet this tradition continues because, frankly, a traffic jam is nothing compared to excitement for weddings in India!
When Indians get married, or even when they get invited to a wedding, the world stops until the bride and groom have said their ‘I Dos’. And then, they do it all over again for the next wedding, and the next…!