Decoding the Indian Christian Wedding: Fun Rituals You Should Know
When you think of a Christian wedding – you instantly picture a gorgeous white gown, floral decoration at the church, and cute little girls walking down the aisle with a basket full of flowers. But just like any other culture in India, Christian weddings have many more rituals.
Christian weddings are a beautiful culmination of Indian and western customs. Here are some things that you must know about Indian Christian Weddings and their rituals.
Before we start with rituals, here are some vital elements in a Christian wedding:
Choosing bridesmaids/groomsmen – Choosing bridesmaids/groomsmen is a way to honor the people who are important to you and share your special day with them
Flowergirl – She is a key part of a traditional Christian wedding, usually aged between 4 to 9. Her role is the sweetest and the most charming. The flower girl usually follows the bridesmaids and paves the way for the bride!
Ring bearer – A ring bearer is usually a boy aged between 4 to 9 and walks down the aisle right before the flower girl carrying a pillow with the bride and groom’s wedding rings!
Something for the bride –
Something blue: At the wedding, the bride must wear or carry something blue which is believed to ward off the evil spirits.
Something old: The bride can carry or wear something that belongs to her mother to carry forward as her blessings.
Something borrowed: You can borrow something from a happy and beautiful couple around you to ensure their good fortune rubs off on you.
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Engagement is the first of all the wedding ceremonies. It is usually hosted by the bride’s parents inviting only close friends and family members. The engagement is then announced in the church.
2. The Bridal Shower and Bachelor’s Party
It is an informal custom where the bride’s girlfriends organize a bachelorette party for her including fun games, dancing, food, and drinks. The bride is presented with a beautiful cake with a thimble hidden in it. Whoever gets the thimble in their piece of cake are believed to be the next in line to get married.
While the girls enjoy their bachelorette party, a bachelor’s party is hosted by the guy friends of the groom to celebrate his last night as a single man.
3. The Roce Ceremony
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Also known as Haldaat among the North Indian Christians, this ceremony takes place a day before the wedding. The haldaat ceremony is known as the Roce ceremony among the Christians in Southern and Western part of India where coconut paste is applied to the bride and groom instead of turmeric.
1. Welcome the bride
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On the wedding day, the bride arrives at the wedding venue in a car sent by the groom. His best man receives the bride with the bouquet and escorts her inside. The bride’s father walks her down the aisle before he hands over his precious daughter to her to-be-husband.
2. Wedding Mass
Wedding mass is an important ritual where the priest recites the holy verses and hymns. Then he recites homily to the guests and the couple, conveying the importance of the bond of matrimony.
3. Exchanging Vows
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The couple writes down their own wedding vows which they read out at the time of the wedding. These vows are the messages of love, affection, and respect that the bride and groom have for each other. Also, they are usually seasoned with a bit of humor and wit, with a personalized touch of each couple, which is then followed by the “I Do”.
4. Throwing of the wedding bouquet
I love this part of Christian weddings, it’s super fun! Post-wedding, the bride tosses her wedding bouquet and all the girls try to catch it. Whoever gets it, is the one next in line to get married.
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After the wedding, a reception is held where the bride and the groom perform their first dance as a married couple, which is followed by a grand feast.
2. The Toast
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Good food, wine and amazing music with a less formal surrounding! After dinner, a toast is raised to the newlyweds by their maid of honor and best man for their happy life.
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Christian weddings are fun as they are elegant. If you have attended any Christian wedding, do share your experience in the comment section below.