Enchanting Hindu Ceremony at The Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois
photographer: Sapan Ahuja | planner: JD Events | décor: Siblana Events | venue: Chicago Marriott Schaumburg
The Best of | Weddings

Hindu Wedding Traditions, Plus Real Weddings That Wow

Enchanting Hindu Ceremony at The Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois

Hindu weddings are known for their celebratory atmosphere, beautiful rituals, and epic décor. PartySlate reached out to Rehana Bhaiji, Founder and Chief Creative Director of Siblana Events, a full-service event and floral production company, for insight into Hindu wedding traditions.

Bhaiji tells us, “Hindu weddings are an incredibly soulful and joyous occasion. There are about 2.5 million Hindus living in the United States today. Most are immigrants with children who are coming of marrying age. Each year we are getting more and more inquiries for décor design from Hindu clients, and we always are thrilled to have the opportunity to come up with event designs to suit our clients’ style.”

Keep reading to discover how to incorporate Hindu wedding traditions into your celebration — with a nod to your own personal style. You’ll also learn how Hindu weddings continue to evolve over the years, sparking new South Asian wedding trends, décor styles, and more.

See Meaningful Moments From a Real Hindu Wedding on PartySlate

videographer: Joseph Kang Photography | video courtesy of: Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine

1. What are Some Common Hindu Wedding Traditions?

Enchanting Hindu Ceremony at The Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois
photographer: Sapan Ahuja | Siblana Events See More
Outdoor Hindu South Asian Wedding Ceremony- BAPS Temple
photo courtesy of & design: Elegance Decor See More
photographer: Eli Meyer Studio | Eventrics Weddings | Canvas Event Venue | Occasions by Shangri-la See More

Hindu weddings are culturally-rich celebrations with deep spiritual significance. The specific traditions will vary depending on where your family originates. Every community has their own cultural influences.

Bhaiji tells us, “The ceremony includes many rituals and customs that can vary among different Hindu cultures. What they all share in common, however, is a respect and deep desire to adhere to traditions that each finds dear to them. Most involve their extended families and friends who take an active role in the ceremony.”

Unlike most Western weddings, Hindu weddings often stretch over several days. Bhaiji says, “There are also many separate events that comprise a Hindu wedding experience, including an engagement party; a puja, an event with both families where they pray to remove all obstacles from the couple’s life path,” as well as other pre-wedding events.

The ceremony follows next. “The couple will have their wedding ceremony where the couple and their respective families partake in many spiritual rituals with a Hindu priest under a beautiful canopy called a mandap,” Bhaiji says. “Finally, there is the wedding reception where the couple meets their friends and family, and they dine together.” You can, of course, expect epic décor in all different styles. 

See some common Hindu wedding traditions below from real weddings found on PartySlate. Traditions may vary depending on region and culture:

Sangeet

Shivani and Nick's Colorful Hindu-Christian Wedding Sangeet
photographer: The Youngrens | planner: Nahid’s Global Events| floral: Square Root Designs | venue: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

For many Hindu couples, their wedding weekend kicks off with a lively Sangeet. Family and friends gather to celebrate the future couple with choreographed dances, delicious cuisine, and stunning décor. Expect vibrant color palettes, epic photo ops, creative themes, and more.

RELATED: How to Plan a Sangeet, From Two Top Wedding Planners 

Mehndi Ceremony

Hindu Mehndi Ceremony at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, California
photographer: Vivian Chen Photography | planner: Limelight Productions | décor: BYG Events | venue: Slide Ranch | henna artist: Henna

Today, many couples choose to combine their Mehndi party with their Sangeet. According to Bhaiji, “Mehndi is a pre-wedding celebration with dancing and a ceremony when the bride and her female relatives and friends paint beautiful, intricate designs on their hands with henna paste.” 

Haldi Ceremony

Whimsical and Classic Hindu Haldi Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida
photographer: Infinite Loop Photography | planner: Eventrics Weddings | design: Nikun Events | venue: Hyatt Regency Orlando

“Then, oftentimes, families will have a Haldi event,” Bhaiji says, “where the bride and groom are covered with a tumeric paste by the elders in the families as a ritual believed to rid the couple from jealousy, or the evil eye of others.” 

Baraat

Multi-Cultural Baraat Procession on Horse at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco
photographer: Arrowood Photography & Cinema | Floramor Studios | venue: The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The groom’s arrival, known as the Baraat, is an elaborate and lively event. The groom, along with his family and friends, parades to the venue with music and dancing. Baraat entrances can include everything from horses and elephants to colorful smoke bombs. 

​​Milni Ceremony

Milni Ceremony at Romantic and Traditional Wedding at The Hindu Temple Society of North America in Queens, New York
photographer: Leandro Da Silva Photography | planner: JENNIEVENTI | floral: House of Dipali | venue: The Hindu Temple Society of North America

During the Milni ceremony, the bride’s mother welcomes the groom with a prayer. The bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family, as well. He is blessed with rose water and given a Shagun, a good luck token. This beautiful ceremony represents the two families joining as one.

Ganesh Pooja or Ganesh Puja

Charming Wedding at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, California
photographer: Vivian Chen Photography | planner: Limelight Productions | décor: BYG Events | venue: Slide Ranch

Before the bride enters, the ceremony begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh, the provider of good luck.

Kanya Aagaman

Bride is escorted to Mandap under red and white canopy during Kanya Aagaman | PartySlate
photographer: Dybala Studio | planner: JD Eventz | décor: Yanni Design Studio | venue: Loews Chicago Hotel

The Kanya Aagaman signals the arrival of the bride. Who escorts her will often depend on where her family originates from. Some brides will arrive on a doli, an ornate carriage, whereas others will walk down the aisle under a beautiful canopy.

Mandap

Vibrant and Colorful Indian Wedding Mandap at The Palmer House
photographer: Z Molu Photography | design: Yanni Design Studio | venue: The Palmer House Hilton

A mandap is the traditional ceremonial structure for a Hindu wedding ceremony. Traditional mandaps are built from wood, but more modern mandaps will feature everything from lucite and metal to lavish florals and billowing drapery.

RELATED: 33 Best Wedding Mandap Ideas

Jai Mala

Joyful Hindu-Muslim Interfaith Wedding
photographer: Xiaoqi Li Photography | décor: Royal Occasions by Shivam | ceremony venue: Historic Polegreen Church

During the Jai Mala, the couple exchange floral garlands. This ritual marks their first union as a couple and signifies their acceptance of each other.

Kanya Daan

Kanya Daan at Beach Wedding at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in Hilton Head, South Carolina
photographer: Oak and Gold Studios | planner: Wera Events | décor: The Flower Shop Bluffton | venue: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa

The Kanya Daan is one of the most emotional moments of a Hindu wedding ceremony. The bride’s father or parents give their daughter away by putting her hand into her spouse’s hand, joining them as one.

Mangal Pheras or Mangalpheras

Mangal Pheras at Multi-Cultural wedding | PartySlate
photographer: Arrowood Photography & Cinema | Floramor Studios | venue: The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Mangal Pheras means circling the sacred fire. The couple completes four rounds around the sacred fire. Each round represents the following promises: Dharma (righteousness), Artha (prosperity), Kama (love, fertility, and family), and Moksha (spiritual liberation).

Saptapadi

During the Saptapadi in South India, the couple take 7 steps together to signify their 7 vows.
photographer: Sapan Ahuja | planner: JD Events | décor: Siblana Events | venue: Chicago Marriott Schaumburg

During the Saptapadi in South India, the couple takes 7 steps together to signify their 7 vows. In North India, the couple’s garments are tied together. Next, they make seven circles around the ceremonial fire. Each round represents a blessing they request of the gods. 

Mangalsutra or Mangala Sutra

Outdoor Wedding at B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, California
photographer: Jasmine Wang Photography | planner & design: Anaïs Event Planning & Design | venue: B.R. Cohn Winery

The groom ties the Mangala Sutra, a sacred necklace, around the bride’s neck to symbolize their union. The color of the beads will vary from region to region. 

Vidaai

Vidaai During Romantic and Traditional Wedding at The Hindu Temple Society of North America in Queens, New York
photographer: Leandro Da Silva Photography | planner: JENNIEVENTI | floral: House of Dipali | venue: The Hindu Temple Society of North America

During the Vidaii, the bride says goodbye to her family. As she leaves with her spouse, she throws a handful of rice over her shoulder. This is another deeply-emotional moment of a Hindu wedding ceremony.

Hindu Wedding Reception

Elegant Hindu Catholic Wedding Reception with Purple Uplighting at Willard Intercontinental in Washington, DC
photographer: Erum Rizvi Photographer | planner: Events by C | décor: Sarah Khan Event Styling | venue: Willard Intercontinental, Washington D.C.

After the beautiful ceremony, it’s time to celebrate with an epic reception. You’ll often find lavish centerpieces, creative lighting, and a royal throne for the couple. Of course, you can expect lots of song and dance, as well.

Pro Tip: Find wedding décor inspiration on PartySlate. Make sure to save your favorite photos to an Idea Slate (just click the heart in the top right corner), so you can share your top inspiration with your wedding design team. 

Need to find the right design & floral company? Use PartySlate’s curated venue directory to find a design & floral team near you. You can also filter for South Asian-owned companies right from the directory.

2. How Have Hindu-American Weddings Evolved Over the Years? 

Charming Wedding at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, California
photographer: Vivian Chen Photography | Limelight Productions
Charming Wedding at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, California
See More

In the United States, many couples are choosing to marry outside their faith and/or culture. As such, cultural celebrations evolve and take on new traditions. South Asian wedding trends, in particular, vary from year to year. 

“As cross-cultural weddings become more popular,” Bhaiji says, “we have found couples shortening their ceremonies to allow time for both faiths to be celebrated.” The look of the celebrations are evolving, as well. “Typically, in the past, couples stuck to more traditional décor for their mandaps. Now, we are finding couples who want to create trendier, modern structures that can easily transition to a reception backdrop.”

For couples looking to combine tradition with their own personal style, it’s especially important to find the right vendor team. “At Siblana Events, we love guiding couples on how to best represent their personalities and design tastes while still being mindful of the cultural and religious needs for their events,” Bhaiji says.

See some how some multicultural couples on PartySlate celebrated with two ceremonies below:

Outdoor Hindu-Muslim Wedding

Joyful Hindu-Muslim Interfaith Wedding
photographer: Xiaoqi Li Photography | Royal Occasions by Shivam
Joyful Hindu-Muslim Interfaith Wedding
See More

We adore how this Hindu-Muslim wedding brings the beauty of the outdoors to their celebration. Click the link to see how both ceremonies featured a unique geometric structure with marquis tenting, so the beautiful greenery was always in view.

Romantic Hindu-Fusion Wedding

An Incredible Multicultural Wedding at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL
photographer: Robert Swiderski Weddings | Michigan Avenue Events
An Incredible Multicultural Wedding at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL
See More

We love how this Fusion Hindu wedding featured a mandap with dreamy pink drapery and delicate white blooms with a subtle pop of color. The Western wedding ceremony maintained a similar romantic vibe with a backdrop of dramatic mauve drapery and the illusion of floating floras.

Elegant Multicultural Hindu Wedding

Multi-Cultural Wedding at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco
photographer: Arrowood Photography & Cinema | The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Multi-Cultural Wedding at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco
See More

We love how this elegant multicultural Hindu wedding used ethereal white tenting for both wedding ceremonies. Each ceremony featured the same white and red florals for a seamless transition from one ceremony to the next.

Elegant Chinese-Hindu Wedding

Rooftop Traditional Hindu Wedding at City View in San Francisco, CA
photo courtesy of: Denise Lillie Engagements
Rooftop Traditional Hindu Wedding at City View in San Francisco, CA
See More

We love how this Chinese-Hindu wedding featured a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony before transitioning into a vibrant reception with symbolic Lion Dancers to to celebrate the bride’s Chinese heritage.

RELATED: Must-Know Multicultural Wedding Tips, From a Top Planner & Real Couples

People Also Ask…

Where can I find a venue for my Hindu wedding?

A lot goes into choosing the perfect wedding venue. Luckily, it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Head to PartySlate’s curated venue directory to find the ideal match. Look for “featured” venues that have been vetted by PartySlate.

Use the filters to narrow your search by location, guest capacity, amenities, and more. If you see a venue you like, make sure to click into their PartySlate profile to see real wedding albums and videos from their event space. You’ll also be able to explore the venue’s different event spaces and browse important FAQs. 

Where can I find South Asian-owned wedding companies?

Unlike other wedding directories, PartySlate’s curated vendor directory allows you to specially search for South Asian-owned wedding companies. This way, you are more likely to connect with a wedding vendor that is familiar with your family’s traditions and cultural expectations.

Make sure to use the filters to further narrow your search. Find the right vendor by vendor type, services, location, and more. Lastly, don’t forget to click into their PartySlate profile to see real examples of their work.