Traditions and rituals play a central role in most Asian weddings. In some cultures, celebrations continue for several days and attendance can count to more than a hundred or the entire village. Wedding customs vary across caste, ethnicity, language, region, religion, etc. Unique customs combine local, religious, cultural, and family traditions.
Asian weddings are considered big events marked in the social calendar of the whole community. Many wedding traditions that originated in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan aren’t likely to disappear soon since they are carried over by the next generation into immigrant populations. What’s different is the modern twist—Western features of wedding celebrations such as wedding speeches, toasts, the first dance, and the wedding cake are gradually incorporated and adapted in Asian weddings. Most Asian-style weddings are lavish. The estimated average cost of an Asian-themed wedding in the UK is £30,000 compared to an average conventional wedding at £14,441.
Traditional Indian marriages are arranged marriages. What this means is, the marriage is about bringing together the families of the bride and the groom socially as much as it is about the bride and the groom themselves. More often than not, greater emphasis is placed on the two families of the married couple becoming bound together. Couples in more urbanized, modern areas consummate “love marriages”. This means both individuals decide to marry each other without the behest or intervention of their families. Or simply put, the couple have come to the decision to marry each other on their own.
Traditional Indian weddings are divided into three parts: the pre-wedding ceremony, the wedding day ceremony (consisting of three parts: the Baraat, Varmala, and Satphere), and the Vidaai. The Vidaai is when the bride is formally sent into the groom’s house.
Other Asian wedding customs still in practice are:
Kanyadaan – This is an Indian custom when the parents of the bride give her away in marriage. During this ritual, the groom makes three promises: to be just (dharma), to earn enough to support his family (artha), and to love his wife (kama). The groom repeats these vows three times in front of Agni (the sacred fire) and everyone present.
Bariksha – This is when the bride’s parents make their intentions known on a particular groom, and the groom and his family have agreed. Although this is an informal stage, breaking your word is frowned upon, but still acceptable.
Badcheka – When both sides are in full agreement, the bride’s father and brothers go to the side of the groom and offers sweets, a coconut, and pooja items like rice and turmeric. This practice is considered an important gesture that confirms the alliance and also signifies that the groom is already taken and can no longer look for other prospective brides.
Byaha Haath – This is a daytime ritual preparing the bride and groom for their nuptials. It symbolises purification of the mind, body, and soul for the bride and groom. Ubtan, a paste made with rose water, sandalwood, and turmeric is applied onto the faces, feet, and hands of the bride and groom by seven unmarried female members of their family.
Flower Bed Ceremony – This is the night of consummation. The bride wears floral ornaments and the groom’s family decorates the marriage bed with flowers. This takes place on the night of the wedding for Muslim marriages, and on the night of the reception for Hindu marriages.
The Clay Oven respects traditions and customs you want to uphold on your wedding day. We use a one-on-one approach to provide you with a personalised wedding planning that takes your individual needs into consideration. The combined efforts of our dedicated professional event planners and award-winning chefs are centred on creating a truly unique and memorable wedding day that remains true to your traditions.