I have recently photographed a traditional Muslim wedding in Miami. As a Miami wedding photographer, I have always been interested in different cultures and was very pleased to participate in a real Muslim wedding. The wedding pictures will follow soon. First let me share with you what I have found out about Muslim wedding traditions.
While Islamic weddings have been known to be multi-day festivities, the actual wedding ceremony is simple and to the point. The wedding is not restricted to just the ceremony and is instead divided into three ritual stages: pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding.
Prior to the wedding, the pre-wedding stage, sweets and fruits are exchanged and family and friends visit the bride and groom’s homes. This pre-wedding time increases the excitement among the families. Traditionally, the bride is not seen for forty days. Only family is allowed to see her as she rests at home in preparation for the wedding day. Best Miami wedding Photographers love taking wedding photos at a wedding where the bride and the groom doesn't see each other before the ceremony
Recently we photographed a wedding in Key West, Sunset Key. The cottages on Sunset Key belong to the Westin hotel. It is on a little island and you have to take a lovely boat ride from the shore of Key West. As a Key West Wedding photographer it is always a pleasure to shoot a wedding in the Keys on the beach facing the ocean with the warm breeze floating over the bride and groom. Key West is a close drive for us, so think about us as you look for the best of the Key West wedding photographers!
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The bride and groom may also choose to hold a “dhoki” (meaning drum) a few weeks before the wedding. This party is a time for singing, dancing and beating on a drum in anticipation of the big day.
Recently I have photographed an orthodox Greek wedding in Miami. Greek weddings are Miami wedding photographers favorite. If you think that the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is what a Greek Orthodox wedding is really like, then think again.
The Greek Orthodox is an ancient religion and their wedding ceremonies are rich with faith. On the wedding day, the bride and groom are treated like they are the king and queen for the day. In ancient Greece, a bride was taken to the wedding with torches. Fire used to be regarded as a legitimate witness to a marriage in the country. Without fire, it was not a fully sanctified wedding. The torches served both as an elemental and spiritual function because it split the darkness and made demons disappear which purified the air.
Today, brides wear a veil that is either yellow or red to represent the ancient fire tradition. The veil is meant to protect the bride from any evil spirits that she encountered. A bride may also carry a lump of sugar on the day of the wedding to make sure that she has a sweet life with her husband.
On the day of the wedding is when the groom will ask the bride’s father for her hand in marriage as opposed to prior to the engagement. The best man will then accompany the bride and groom to the church for the marriage ceremony. The wedding ceremony has two parts. One is the Services of the Betrothal and the other is the sacrament of marriage. The Betrothal service is when the rings are exchanged. The priest blesses the rings as well as the couple before placing them on their fingers. Then, a ritual of swapping the rings three times between the couple by a Koumbaro (their religious sponsor) is done. Many rituals during the ceremony are done three times. This is to represent the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
When it comes time for the sacrament of marriage, prayers are recited and the priest performs blessings. Then he joins the couple’s hands together to signify their union. The couple does not make vows to each other like other religions do. The couple’s presence together in the church means that they are serious about being in love and getting married, Miami Engagement photographer.
Following the traditional marriage ceremony, there is a crowning. The bride and groom are crowned with a stefna, which is a thin crown that is joined together by a white ribbon. The crown symbolizes the glory bestowed upon them by God and the ribbon shows the union between them. Again, the Koumbaro exchanged the crown three times between the couple’s heads. In addition to a ribbon being on the crown, a ribbon is also tied between the wedding candles that the couple uses throughout the ceremony as well. After the wedding day, the crown is kept in a special box called a stefanothike to preserve the beauty of the crown and serve as a reminder of the special day.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests at the wedding are given a martyrika, which is witness pin. This is a small lapel ribbon that guests wear as proof of being a witness at the wedding. The pin is traditionally white, pink or blue ribbon and has a cross in the center of it.
Other traditions that occur during the wedding are the drinking from the Common Cup three times after the Gospel is read. The story that is read is the marriage of Cana at Galilee because it was at this wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine. There is also a ceremonial walk that the priest leads the couple on, walking three times around the altar. After the walk, the crowns are removed and the couple’s hands are broken by the Bible, which symbolizes that only God can break their union. ?
There are some older traditions in a Greek Orthodox wedding that couples will incorporate sometimes into the ceremony. One is rolling a baby on the marital bed to encourage fertility; another is pinning money to the bride at the reception. Although these are seen as traditional, fewer young people are following them because they are seen as old fashioned. Typically, Greeks who live in remote parts of the country believe in them and encourage couples to use them still. Although we are a Miami wedding photography company, I would love to go to Greece to photograph an ortodox wedding in Greece!
When planning a Greek wedding, timing is important. The wedding cannot be held during at holiday that requires fasting because food is a large part of the reception. One food that is important is sourdough bread. Traditionally, the bride’s mother and bridesmaids bake the cakes and breads and have coins in them as they are mixed. The bread can be decorated and may also have coins or rings baked into them. The menu will also include traditional foods such as lamb kabobs, orzo, and stuffed grape leaves. The wedding cake traditionally has honey in it also. This is done on the Wednesday before the wedding and they should kalrizika (which means good luck) and then the couple’s face is smothered in flour.
The reception for a Greek wedding is a large party and can last all night. There is a lot of food, drinking and dancing, and the famous Greek circle dance. Dishes are also smashed onto the floor for good luck, happiness and a permanent marriage.
Another popular wedding tradition for the Greek Orthodox is to give away favors called bombonieres filed with Koufetta, which are fresh almonds that can be coated in sugar. Almonds symbolize both the good and bad in marriage and the sugar represents life because of its bittersweet taste. There is always an odd number of almonds in the bomboniere which symbolizes their union as well as their indivisibility as a married couple.
Although the Greek Orthodox religion is moving more towards a modern wedding, many of the ancient traditions have not been lost. Instead, they are being incorporate in a new way. But, by having these modernized ancient traditions, it will help the people to remember the rich history in their culture.
I have recently photographed a Jewish wedding in Miami. It was an amazing experience! Probably the most enjoyable part of being the best wedding photographer in Miami is that I learn so much about wedding cultures and traditions.
A Jewish wedding is full of rich tradition, including rituals that honor not only the bride and groom but also their obligations to the Jewish people. The wedding day is regarded as the happiest and holiest days of their lives, when all of the couple’s past mistakes are forgiven and they merge into a new and complete soul.
Prior to the wedding, it’s customary for the bride and groom to not see each other for the entire week prior to the ceremony. This helps to build the excitement of the big day. Fasting is also a large part of many Jewish holidays and a wedding ceremony is no different. The bride and groom fast for the day of the ceremony until the reception.
The actual wedding ceremony is relatively short, only lasting 20-30 minutes. Both the bride and groom walk down the aisle with both of their parents. The ceremony takes place under a Chuppah, a canopy on four poles that can decorated with flowers or draping. The Chuppah symbolizes that the bride and groom are starting a home together that will always be open to guests, which is a biblical tradition of the wedding of Abraham and Sarah.
Once the procession is complete, the couple signs the Ketubah, the wedding contract. This is an ornate and beautiful document that outlines the expectations and duties of the couple once they are married. After the wedding day the Ketubah is displayed in their new home.
Then the bride circles the groom seven times. The Sheva Berachot, or seven blessings, are recited over a glass of wine that both the bride and groom drink. The father of the groom will wrap the couple in a Tallit or prayer shall. This is when I can take the best wedding pictures. The couple may invite seven friends or family members to recite each one of the blessings or have the blessings sung in traditional Hebrew. This is to recognize the intimacy and significance of the moment. The Sheva Berachot is the real heart of a traditional Jewish wedding. This liturgical part of the ceremony celebrates the themes of joy and celebration and the ongoing power of love. It’s not an accident that there are seven blessings as they relate to the seven days of creation. Also under the Chuppah, is the giving of the rings. The rings are simple bands with no details, no stones, and no engraving on them so there is nothing to distinguish the beginning from the end.
After the wedding vows have been exchanged, the groom steps on a wine glass as family and friends yell “Mazel Tov” (literally meaning “good luck has occurred” and is used as a way of saying congratulations). It is customary to break the glass as a remembrance of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem. The breaking of the glass has a few different interpretations. One symbolizes that human happiness is fragile, which is a staple of Jewish history. Another is that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken. A third is that people need to remember those who are suffering even in this joyous moment. The bride and groom are left alone together in a private room called the Yichud room for a few moments right after the ceremony.
The Sheva Berachot is also recited again at the wedding reception following the Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals). This second time of the seven blessings gives the couples another time to honor their family and friends. At this time, the wine is divided into two cups, which represent the couple. After the bride and groom have taken a sip, the rest is poured into a third cup, which is shared by the community. This tradition shows how the couple is connected together as one and how their new life is intertwined and shared with the community.
The wedding reception is a joyful and fun event filled with singing and traditional dances. One such dance is called the Hora. This is when good miami wedding photographers perform the best! This lively Israeli dance is when their guests lift the bride and groom into the air on chairs while they hold onto either end of a handkerchief. This dance allows the couple to be celebrated as king and queen of the night.
Another tradition celebrated at the reception is the Krenzl, which means crowning. This ritual honors the bride’s mother when her last daughter is wed. The mother is crowned with a wreath of flowers as all of her daughters dance around her. When parents whose last son has been married, they do the dance called Mizinke when the guests circle the parents and give them flowers and kisses.
In keeping with the Sheva Berachot, the bride and groom are treated like royalty for the seven days following their wedding. While most couples are anxious to get away to a tropical spot for their honeymoon, Jewish couples spend time with the community to start their marriage on the right foot. For each of the seven nights, they are invited to dine at the home of a different friend or relative. Following the meal and the Birkat Hamazon the seven blessings are recited again. Back in the times when marriages were arranged, these meals served as a way for the couple to get support from the community and to get to know each other.
The Jewish people have a true passion for their religion, which is evident throughout all of their holidays. These traditions and rituals reign most true when a wedding ceremony occurs because it’s the joining of two hearts who become one within the community. To the people of Jerusalem, a marriage is considered to be the ideal state of existence because a man who doesn’t have a wife, or vice versa, is considered a life that is not complete.
I have recently photographed an Indian wedding in Miami. Being a Miami wedding photographer has several advantages. One of them is that you are exposed a huge variety of different wedding cultures. Guys, I will tell you a secret. If you want to have real fun you have to go to an Indian wedding. Get invited, crash one, marry an Indian woman/man, do anything to get in! You won’t regret it!
Indian weddings are colorful and joyous events, which can last for several days depending on the bride and groom’s religious and cultural beliefs. Wedding photographers in Miami are usually booked for several days. With a traditional Indian wedding, it is not purely about uniting two people, but about bringing together two families, as well as rituals, which emphasize the day in a stunning array of dance, music, food and celebrations.
First of all, India is a gigantic country with many religions, including; Hinduism, Sikhism, Muslim, and also Buddhism. With each of these religions there are different festivals that take place during the wedding ceremony.
The venue of each wedding depends on the religious beliefs of the families. A Hindu wedding takes place in a temple which can be a preferred temple of the bride’s family. A Sikh wedding takes place either at the groom’s home or in a Gurudwara, which is a religious Sikh building. A Muslim wedding is a grand affair and can either take place in the bride or groom’s family home or in a large banquet hall. A Buddhist wedding is focused more on the social binding of two people, and can therefore take place in a licensed Buddhist temple or a court. Each of these venues are selected for their own religious significance.
Indian Wedding Costumes
In India the predominant traditional wedding dress among Hindu brides is called a Sari. A sari is an uncut and unsown piece of cloth that is wrapped around the bride’s body, and is worn over a choli (tight-fitting blouse) and a chania (skirt petticoat).
Brides also wear a lahanga suit, or a salwar kameez. The lahanga suit is a full skirt, which is worn with a choli and odhani. Salwar kameez is a complete outfit which consists of trousers gathered at the ankle, and a three-quarter-length embroidered tunic with a dupatta shawl of red and gold.
Relatives of the bride will spend several hours dressing her so that she will look her best, thus ensuring her good luck and future prosperity. Wedding garments are generally made of materials such as silk and velvet, and are often embroidered and trimmed in gold thread, which is also believed to bring good fortune and prosperity.
Probably the most preferred color for the traditional wedding dress is red. The reason is that red symbolizes abundance, joy, life, energy and fertility. While red is considered the most auspicious color for weddings, it is totally up to the bride and groom to decide which colors they are going to wear. Most colors can be worn at an Indian wedding, however both black and white are considered inappropriate colors for a wedding. Pink, and maroon are popular colors for garments as well.
Hindu Wedding Dress
A Hindu wedding is a bright and joyful event; the bride’s sari is traditionally made from silk and decorated with crystals. The color of the sari is often red and white, as it is believed that this symbolizes fertility and purity. The overall effect of the bride’s sari is to make her look beautiful and elegant.
The groom traditionally wears a sherwani, which is knee length and looks like a coat with buttons up the front. This is the paired with churidars, these are baggy around the legs but tight around the waist and ankles.
Sikh Wedding Costume
After the engagement party, the groom’s mother presents the bride with a chunni or veil. This veil is embroidered with a picture of Punjab to bless the wedding and marriage. They believe that this blessing will bring them prosperity along with a successful union. The Sikh grooms outfit is quite similar to the Hindu groom, as he also wears a sherwani and a pair of churidars.
Muslim Wedding Outfit
The Muslim Indian bride traditionally wears a ghunghat, which is a veil that completely covers her face as well as a ghagra cholli and a chanlya choli. The outfit is normally red in color and is decorated with gold thread, mirrors and pearls or crystals. In addition to this, the bride wears gold jewelry and a garland. Some Muslim brides wear a lahanga suit or salwar kameez. An Indian Muslim groom wears the traditionally Indian wedding attire; this as with Hindu’s and Sikh’s consists of, a sherwani and a pair of churidars. Often, the wedding sherwani is decorated with crystals.
Buddhist Wedding Attire
A Buddhist wedding is a primarily a simple affair. Nevertheless, the bride is always dressed beautifully by wearing a Bhaku, which is often made from silk.
The Buddhist bride is the decorated with jewelry which is made from precious and semi precious stones, this jewelry is often worn around neck or her forehead. To complete the outfit, the bride wears gold bangles on her arms. The groom also wears a Bhaku, but it is made with sleeves. Along with that, he wears a waistcoat and a sash around his waist.
The Wedding Ceremony
The rituals leading up to a traditional Indian wedding can often last for several days or even weeks. With each of the religions, there is a different timescale of events. However, keep in mind that each event is jubilant, filled with bright colors, and has plenty of music, dancing, and feasting. Then when the wedding day arrives, it is time to mark the event with more rituals and celebrations.
Hindu Wedding Ceremony
The first part of a traditional Hindu wedding is called madhupaka, this is when the groom receives a gift from the bride’s father. The groom then makes his way to an altar, where a holy fire burns in its centre. Once his bride is next to him, the bride takes his hand and leads him around the fire four times to symbolize Hinduisms four goals, whilst they are walking they recite their vows to each other. To finalize the marriage the priest offers blessings to the newlyweds.
Sikh Wedding Ceremony
When the bride and groom are next to each other in the Guru Granth Sahib Kirtan, the groom holds a sword in one hand and his bride’s hand in the other. The groom must then lead his bride around the temple whilst the bhaiji recites hymns, these are then sung by the bride and groom. Once the final hymns have been sung the ceremony is complete and they are united.
Muslim Marriage Service
The procession of the venue is one of fun and frivolity, with bands playing and minor pranks being played on guests. The service is presided over by the Maulvi who reads selected verses from the Quran. The marriage is then completed after the proposal and acceptance from the bride and groom. The marriage contract is then signed and the ceremony is complete.
Buddhist Marriage Ceremony
A Buddhist wedding is one of the simplest wedding ceremonies in India, there is very little in the way of rituals, as it is intended to be seen as a social event to unite two people in common faith as one. During the ceremony the bride and groom recite their vows and then light candles and incense sticks. They are then asked to offer flowers to Buddha.
As you can see, each religious belief in India has their own unique way in celebrating marriages. These traditional Indian weddings are deeply rooted in their culture and are given uttermost importance. In these events, you will also see a display of the richness of their culture in terms of their rituals, clothing, and even the venue.
If you are familiar with Indian wedding traditions, please feel free to send me an email with any comments or details regarding this exciting and colorful cultural event!
Recently, I was the wedding photographer in Miami of a beautiful Pakistani couple. Pakistan is an Islamic country filled with a rich history and culture. The customs followed for Pakistani weddings have no foundation in Islam but they have adopted their ceremonies and traditions from the Hindu culture.
In Pakistan, a wedding is a fun celebration for all and involves many pre-wedding customs and rituals including numerous different ceremonies that make up the entire Pakistani wedding tradition.
It all begins with an engagement ceremony called the Mangni, which takes place in front of guests. Prior to the wedding, the bride stays in seclusion for eight to fifteen days and this is called Mayum. Then there is the Uptan part of the ceremony, which is a paste, applied to the bride. It’s made of wood that the groom’s mother puts together and is used to make the bride even more beautiful. It is blessed and applied to the bride’s hands and face. The groom’s sister (if he has one) also takes part in this part and applies a thick string called a “gana” to the bride’s arm. The Uptan is then applied to the bride’s skin each day proceeding up to the day of the wedding.
A Pakistani wedding is four days long. The first day consists of family members dressing in yellow and performing wedding rituals separately at the bride and groom’s houses. The bride and groom are not allowed to see each other until the day of the wedding.
The Mehndi ceremony takes place on the second day and this is where Henna, which is a major part of Pakistani weddings, is applied onto the hands and feet of the bride. This ceremony is lively and joyous, filled with music and dancing. The bride also does Sadka at the Mehndi ceremony that wards off evil; Sadka is when family members donate money to the bride after circling it around her head three times. The Henna is applied in beautiful, floral designs and sometimes the groom’s name is written in as well. After this ceremony, the family gathers for dinner but the bride is required to wear a veil, as she cannot reveal her face until the wedding to the entire family.
The third day is when the main wedding rites and traditions happen. There is a Baraat, which is the procession of the family, and friends that walk with the groom to the bride’s home. The groom makes his appearance on a decorated horse or in a car with the Baraat following him. Once arrived, the groom is welcome by the bride’s family with flowers and guests exchange glasses of juice along with money before the ceremony. The bride and groom both wear red with the bride wearing a veil and the groom and his groomsmen wear turbans. The Dolki is the part of the wedding ceremony where the songs are sung with many percussion instruments but the Dolki is the main instrument.
The ceremony, Nikah, is like a traditional wedding, where vows and rings are exchanged at the bride’s home. A Koran is also placed onto the head of the bride as she prepares to join a new family. It’s called the Nikah because the name of the marriage contract is the Nikah-naama. It contains several terms and conditions including the bride’s right to divorce her husband. This marriage contract also includes two amounts of money called the Meher that is given to the bride from the groom. One is due before the marriage is consummated and the other is a deferred amount given at another time. The Meher acts a safety net for the bride and gives her freedom within the marriage.
During the ceremony, the fathers of the bride and groom (Walis) act as witnesses. Selected verses are also read from the Quran. After the vows and ring are exchanged, dishes of the dates and misri (unrefined sugar) are served to the groom’s family.
Following this ceremony, there is the Mooh Dikhai, which is when the bride shows her face for the first time after the Nikah. After her face is revealed, the couple shares a piece of fruit and the families congratulate them and shower them with gifts.
The last day is the wedding reception which is when the couple hosts the first dinner with family and friends to celebrate their first day as husband and wife. Dinner is then served along with a very popular custom in which the sisters, friends and female cousins of the bride steal the groom’s shoes and demand a sum of money for them. Once he pays for the shoes, the women divide the money amongst themselves.
At the end of the evening is the Ruksati ceremony to say farewell to the bride before departing with the groom. The Quran is held over their head for a blessing. The day after the wedding is the Chauthi. This is the tradition of bringing the bride back to her parent’s home the next day, and this is the fourth and final day of the celebration. And finally, is the Walima. which announces the marriage to the community. This is another reception that is very large and is hosted by the groom’s parents.
A Pakistan wedding has similar traditions to that of an Islamic wedding, but has its differences also. But just like any other wedding, this day is not only about sharing in the love and joy of two people, but also bringing together family and friends for a celebration.
I have been the wedding photographer in real Brazilian wedding in Miami! It was amazing! People from Brazil are great and they know how to dance! I love being a wedding photographer in Florida because of the proximity of Latin America. I truly love the variety of the South American wedding cultures.
Typically in Brazil, a wedding is a grand event celebrated with samba dancing, lots of color, loud music and delicious food. Because the nation is a lively mix of many different cultures, there is a vast array of wedding traditions, some of which are the same that we may see here in the United States. Not seeing each other before the wedding, wearing something new and something blue are some of the common features but weddings in this tropical country certainly have their own flavor and spice.
In the United States, the pre-wedding begins with a proposal. The groom to be gets on his knee and opens a box containing an engagement ring signifying he wants to spend the rest of his life with his fiancé. In Brazil, there’s a pre-wedding tradition that the man must accomplish in order to show his value and responsibility as a husband. The man has to tame an unruly donkey (called “Bumba-Meu-Boi) and after that, he is allowed to make a proposal to the daughter of the donkey owner. Newly engaged couples in Brazil also have large parties to celebrate the engagement.
During the engagement in most countries, the bride to be wears a diamond ring on her left hand to signify that she is in a relationship. At the wedding ceremony, a bride will traditionally add a wedding band to this finger as well. In Brazil, things are a bit different. The bride and groom both wear a gold band on her right hand that is inscribed with the wedding date. At the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchange their wedding bands that they will now wear on their left hand with their names inscribed in them. But be sure that you don’t drop the rings. It’s believed that if your rings drop, your marriage will not last.
Then comes the wedding planning. While an American bride can take months finding that perfect dress, it’s the opposite in Brazil. Tuxedos and dresses are difficult to find in the country, so you won’t be seeing a bride in a traditional white gown but rather anything formal goes for the big day. Most brides tend to rent their wedding dress but all brides wear gold shoes on the big day. In addition, you won’t find the groom wearing a boutonniere on his lapel rather he wears a small Brazilian flag pin.
When it comes time for the big day, a bride gets dressed with her something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. While a Brazilian bride will also take part in this tradition, she also has another custom to adhere to as well. We’ve seen it in the United States during the reception where the bride throws the bouquet and it’s said that whoever catches it is the next to get married. In Brazil, there’s a similar tradition that has a new twist. The bride will write the names of unmarried friends onto scraps of paper and pin them to the inside hem of her dress. It’s believed that this will bring her pals good luck in the marriage department.
At the ceremony, there are no bridesmaids and groomsmen. Rather guests in attendance that are married gather at the altar instead. Brides in Brazil must also be at least 10 minutes late to the ceremony. This tradition might have grooms in other countries getting a bit nervous when they don’t immediately see their bride walking down the aisle. But in Brazil, this is done simply because the bride cannot show up before the groom because, like other cultures, it’s bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. And in addition to any wedding music used, the national anthem is also played to commemorate a true Brazilian marriage.
After the wedding comes everyone’s favorite part, the reception. Just as you would bring a gift for the bride and groom, it’s customary in Brazil to also bring a gift for both sets of parents to congratulate them on this momentous occasion for them as well. In addition, the reception tables are not numbered rather they are named after other cities in the country. Dancing is always a huge part of the reception. In Brazil you will see lots of samba dancing going on.
Wine is an integral part of a Brazilian wedding reception. There must be plenty of wine to go around because if it runs out, then the parents of the newlyweds will cause shame and embarrassment among family and friends. The end of the reception is signified by when all of the food is gone…no doggy bags here for leftovers. Once the food is gone, guests leave. And at each wedding, the favor is the same. Guests receive cookies called “casadinhos” which stand for “marry well.” In addition to this favor, throughout the reception the bride can also choose to walk from table to table carrying a basket full of lembrancinchas” which are little objects that also serve as a souvenir of the event.
I have recently photographed a traditional Japanese wedding in Miami. Priscilla has made some research to find out more about this beautifully rich wedding culture. I hope you enjoy it.
There is an ancient Japanese myth that claims that all things were created by the marriage of the female and male gods, named Izanami and Izanagi which are the Japanese equivalent of Adam & Eve. Legend has it that these two gods came down from the heavens to the earth on a bridge that looked like a rainbow. Out their union (a marriage) became what was known as the world; the sun, moon, mountains, trees and wind.
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The traditional Hindu wedding ceremony dates back over three thousand years. It is performed in the ancient language of Sanskrit and in accordance with the rituals prescribed in the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas. The wedding takes place in the ‘Kalyana Mandapam’ or wedding pavilion. During the ceremony, the priest offers, into the fire, gifts of nature and fruits of human labor as he chants ancient hymns of praise, worship, and invocation. Like the speech of God Himself, these hymns are said to bring forth the truths of which they speak, and therefore, the marriage is blessed not only by the loving pledge of the bride and groom and by the good wishes of family and friends, but also by the divine power that resides inside the hymns.
Each phase of the ceremony has a symbolic, philosophical, and spiritual meaning. Essentially, the Hindu philosophy of marriage holds that the husband and wife compliment each other forming a single unit.
Swagatam (Welcoming of the Groom) The bride’s family and friends greet Groom and his family as he arrives on a white horse. Bride’