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Indian weddings are big, bright, colorful and full of sound—a feast for the senses. These are our absolute favorite weddings to document! We have gone ahead and provided a bunch of information covering the nuances to an Indian wedding - we hope his context helps as you plan yours!

Indian weddings typically go on for several days and include several events such as the sangeet, the mehndi, the baraat, the ceremony itself and the reception. In olden times, these events used to be spread out over several months but nowadays, due to time constraints, they're back to back.

Here is the brief overview of events with more detailed information below.

The word sangeet means music. And as the name suggests, the sangeet is a musical event. Previously, this just used to be a simple event, with people singing extemporaneously to the accompaniment of a "harmonium" or a small keyboard. But nowadays, the sangeet is very elaborate, with groups of people singing and dancing to Bollywood songs which they've choreographed to a T.

The word mehndi refers to intricate henna tattoos done on the hands and feet. These henna tattoos are works of art which include patterns of flowers, leaves, keris (young mangoes), curlicues and even birds and animals. During the mehndi event, the bride and all the other women in the wedding party get henna tattoos done on their hands and, if they want, their feet. 

On the actual day of the wedding is the baraat—a procession from the groom's side to go pick up the bride. Traditionally, the groom sits on a horse and is surrounded by people singing and dancing. A band marches along with the baraat.

Finally, the ceremony takes place. Depending on where you're from in India, this can involve seven rounds of the ceremonial fire or saat phere which take place after tying a knot between the married couple's garments. There may also be an exchange of flower garlands. Sometimes, a curtain is set up to ritually separate the bride and groom before marriage and this curtain is ceremonially lowered. Since India is a country with a rich and varied heritage and several different religions, the types of wedding ceremonies are endless.

Eventually, the wedding reception takes place which consists of dinner, singing, dancing and congratulating the married couple.

Given the intricacy and colorful nature of these events, there's a lot of opportunity for striking wedding photography which can focus on capturing rituals as well as emotions, not to mention the amazing wedding outfits.

We understand that planning your Indian Wedding can feel very overwhelming. We highly recommend connecting with Priscah at Joie de Vivre Events to help you plan the occasion!  As much as we value capturing every little detail, Priscah makes sure that every little detail is executed to perfection!