Traditional Rituals in an Indian Wedding with Hindu Ceremony
Traditional Indian Wedding at Renaissance Il Ciocco in Tuscany
In an Indian wedding, there are various religious rituals full of culture, history and tradition. We are always fascinated by every little gesture and detail that characterizes every moment of these weddings which are often celebrated for many days together with friends and relatives. This beautiful Hindu wedding in Tuscany had many beautiful moments during the four days in which we accompanied the bride and groom.
We started with a pre-wedding photo shoot of the couple around the village of Barga and inside the historic theatre, a little gem.
On the evening of the first day the Bridal Mehndi took place in which the bride’s body is decorated with tattoos made with henna. This rite is auspicious.
The second day started with the Pithi ceremony, also known as Haldi. During this ceremony the Haldi paste, made according to the ritual believed by the family, is applied to both the bride and groom. This ceremony is very important in Indian culture because the Haldi or Pithi is said to have a purifying action for the soul and body before ushering in adult married life for both the bride and groom. In fact, the yellow color, due to turmeric, indicates spring and is synonymous with a new beginning. Marriage, being a lifelong bond, must start with good vibes.
Soon after this ceremony another important rite was held, the Grah Shanti. This ritual is performed before the actual wedding ceremony takes place to receive the blessings of the Grah, also known as the nine planets. Indians believe that the nine planets control people’s lives and destinies. Therefore, before two people get married, recognizing the planets or Navagraha becomes essential to bring happiness and prosperity into the life of the couple. For Hindus this rite is also a way to invite God and ancestors to the wedding. Lord Ganesha is invoked at the beginning of the ceremony to remove all obstacles from both the wedding ceremony and married life of the bride and groom.
On the evening of the second day, before the welcome dinner, all the women of the family were involved in the Mehndi ritual.
On the third day, before the wedding ceremony, there were various rituals. As per tradition, at the end of the preparations, the maternal uncle gave the bride a set of red and ivory bracelets that she herself will have to wear for 40 days or even a year. While for the groom we have the Baraat. This rite is a wedding procession to the place of the ceremony. During this procession the groom’s family members dance and sing accompanied by fireworks to the rhythm of the dhol, the typical Indian drum, until they meet with the bride’s family and the elders of the two families greet each other, the Milni.
Before the ceremony, the shoes of the groom, Jutti Chupai, were stolen. Traditionally, the groom has to pay the bride’s family to get them back before the wedding.
Soon after there is the traditional ceremony with various rituals, such as the one in which the groom assists the bride in touching seven betel nuts, considered a sacred plant in India, with the toe, while reciting the seven vows. These seven vows, called Saptha Padhi, are marriage vows made by the couple for a happy and prosperous life together. The vows are made in front of a priest while the bride and groom circle a sacred flame in honor of the god of fire, Agni.
After the ceremony there was the Koda Kodi. The aim of this game is to find the ring first, using one hand. It’s fun to watch and can get quite intense as it is said that the winner of the various rounds will be the breadwinner.
A moment for the classic family photos under the mandap, the traditional stage where the ceremony takes place and finally the couple’s photos inside the location.
After the wedding dinner, the guests gathered again for the Vidaai ritual. This is one of the rites that we love most and that excites us the most. At this moment the bride’s family says goodbye to their daughter as she departs with her new husband. Before leaving the bride is given a handful of rice which she throws over her head behind her. This symbolizes her gratitude to her parents for all the love they have given her over the years.
The evening of the third day concluded with a pizza party and various games as well as the traditional Sangeet dance performance.
The fourth and last day was entirely dedicated to the wedding reception. With an elegant and dramatic setting, the spouses thanked all the guests for having attended their wedding. The cutting of the cake immediately after the entrance of the bride and groom was spectacular and the speeches during dinner were exciting, but also amusing. And finally, to round off these four enchanting days, an extraordinary and enthralling party.
This is a selection of shots from the beautiful wedding of Pujaa and Vishal.