All You Need To Know About Christian Wedding Rituals in India
Contrary to Hindu weddings, Christian weddings are short and sweet; but just as beautiful. The pristine white gown, the lovely bouquet, adorable little flower girls… and maybe the cute best man, too! You can’t deny that there is a special charm to it all. 😀
Let us take you through its rituals and functions:
PRE – WEDDING RITUALS
This is when the couple’s parents host a party to announce the wedding of their son and daughter. Family and friends are invited. It is also announced in their respective churches.
It is an event held for the bride and just female guests are invited. The bride is showered with gifts and motivation to help her start her new life as a married woman. She cuts a pink cake with a thimble hidden in it. Traditionally, it is said that whoever gets the slice of cake with the thimble will be the next to marry.
Bachelor / Bachelorette Party:
This is an event thrown for the groom by his male friends, celebrating his last days as a bachelor. It is a wild party with alcohol, naughty antics and merriment.
The bride also has a bachelorette with her female friends. It’s the wild version of the bridal shower. (The event can be a combination of both.)
The Roce Ceremony:
This usually just happens in India. Similar to the Hindu haldi ceremony, a haldaat takes place among north-indian Christians where turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom.
Among south-indian Christians, coconut paste is applied instead.
On the day of the wedding, the bride arrives at the venue in a car sent by the groom. She is received by the best man. Once inside, her father escorts her down the aisle and hands her over to the groom.
Exchange of Vows:
The bride and groom can either read out the standard set of wedding vows or write their own vows. These are recited as a promise to each other.
The ‘I do’:
The priest then asks “Do you *groom * take *bride*, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to share your life openly, standing with her in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and love forever more?”
He replies by saying “I do”.
The same question is asked to the bride, to which she replies saying “I do”.
The priest then pronounces them husband and wife and they share a kiss.
After the ceremony, the bride tosses her bouquet backwards at a crowd of unmarried women. It is said that whoever catches the bouquet will be the one to get married next.
After the wedding, a reception is held at a venue. The bride and groom perform their ‘first dance’ as husband and wife. They then cut a wedding cake. Toasts are raised and dinner follows. It is an occasion of fun, dancing and celebrating.
The Garter Toss:
This takes place during the reception. The groom removes the bride’s garter from her leg with his hands or with his teeth while the wedding crowd watches. Just like the bouquet toss of the bride, the groom tosses the garter at all eligible bachelors at the wedding.