10 Indian Marriage Customs you’ll love to remarry for

I remember wearing my mom’s heels and clumsily wrapping myself in her wedding Saree. I wore her maang tikka and felt like a princess. My mother just smiled. In India parents start preparing for the girl’s trousseau from the day of her birth. Mine was no different, it had everything from blessings, jewellery, clothes and happiness. After 15 years of marriage as I was taking my kids through my wedding album, I fell in love with all the Punjabi Indian wedding traditions, all over again. Here I am sharing with you 10 Indian Marriage customs even you’ll love to remarry for. It includes colourful dresses and to die for Indian jewellery.

1) Roka– Once the couple has decided to tie the knot, the bridegroom-to-be’s family goes to the girl’s house with some gifts for the bride. This is more like an announcement to the world about the relationship-in-making. Well whatever it is, who minds it when the in-laws are playing Santa Claus?

2) Vatna– Now of course we have so many grooming sessions and options – laser treatments, tummy tucks and blah. But a traditional way to get that bride-glow starts with homemade vatna. It is basically Gram flour, Saffron, Honey and Turmeric mixed with Rose Water to make a thin paste. It lightens the tan, removes dark spots and makes your skin shine, naturally. And the best part, well you just need to relax while the female folks from your family apply this on your body and then scrub it off too. Yes, Spa treatment for free and the glow too!

3) Mehendi for beautification and rest: I am not kidding you when I tell you that Mehendi (or Henna) applying ceremony is actually healthy for you. Mehendi has cooling property, so when you apply this on your skin, it brings your body temperature down. During the summers this is better than sitting in front of an AC, which actually will dehydrate you. And of course many of us love the mehendi designs and tattoos on our body, don’t we now? Oh and I found these beautiful design by Jody of Beachcombers Bazaar online, she even has a pre-natal one.

4) Sangeet for a song and dance party: Imagine throwing a party for your girlfriends, getting the best DJ, best dress or rather dresses, food and decor and not having to pay for it. You guessed it, Ladies’ Sangeet it is. You simply need to dig in your heels and dance like there is no tomorrow.

5) Phoolon ki chaaddar for walk in heaven: We all are the queens of our own stories and doubly so on our wedding day. In fact in a traditional Punjabi Wedding, the entry of the bride is under a beautiful chaaddar made of flowers, held by her brothers. It represents how a daughter and a sister has been raised like a precious flower and how the family is giving its most precious thing to the bridegroom. Well I am ready to walk down that aisle again (of course with my current husband) just for that beautiful and warm feeling.

6) Milni brings the two families together: Weddings are not called Big and Fat for nothing. They bring the entire family from both the sides together for one serious fun. Do you remember the last time your families and extended families were together? On your marriage right. And wasn’t that pure bliss? In Indian weddings we have a tradition called ‘Milni’ where the elders and close relatives of each side formally greet each other with gifts. Ahem, Ahem!

7) Varmala accepting each other for a lifetime: A simple exchange of garland between the bride and bridegroom is one of the most significant customs. It seals the acceptance and surrender of the two, to each other. Traditionally the Varmala or the garlands were made of marigold flowers, now of course you can judge the bank balance of the families concerned, by the flowers used.

8) Pheras, the seven promises to live happily together: In Hinduism it is believed that every person has 7 rebirths. And the Saptadi or the seven rounds that the bride and the bridegroom take around the holy fire bind the couple for their seven lives on earth. Any Punjabi wedding is incomplete without this. The fire is the holy witness to this new connection and the 7 promises they make with each phera protects their relationship, forever. If you are heading for the 7 year itch, I suggest you head for an Indian style remarriage, first.

9) Reception, Royal welcome by the mother-in-law: The newly weds are greeted by the bridegroom’s mother with great fervour and happiness. The entire house is decorated with lights and flowers and the bride is treated nothing less than Her Highness. Make sure you have a picture clicked with your mom-in-law and that big wide smile and frame it for ever. Just saying!

10) Suhaag Raat (wedding night) and a glass of turmeric to help you: I am sure this is one super aphrodisiac, because this seems to have been handed down generations. And more than anything else it does help you relax after a super tiring and tradition-filled Indian wedding day. Although traditionally the bridegroom is supposed to consume it, but who says a bride cannot change that?

I hope you are thoroughly convinced to marry if not remarry your spouse in a traditional Indian way. I can tell you from personal experience that the journey is fun. We would love to know about the beautiful marriage traditions around the world, please do share them with us here.

Comments (13)

Ishieta Posted on Feb 01, 2018

lovely post! indeed these are such beautiful traditions, and offcourse apart from the last, it is great fun to attend all other functions for everyone else too!


Clair Kelly Posted on Mar 15, 2016

I loved reading this. I attended an indian wedding but I had no idea of some of these customs. I'd love to read more!

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Riley Reign Posted on Mar 14, 2016

This was so informational!!! Thank you! I personally love the second ritual the most. It is so beautiful and powerful. I have heard some of the designs have spiritual meanings as well which is cool.

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jhanzey Posted on Mar 13, 2016

This is really insightful. I know that Indian marriage is way different than the usual western ones, and it has a lot of marriage customs, but I never really know much. :) Thanks for sharing! jhanzey.net

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Roselle Carlos-Toledo Posted on Mar 11, 2016

The roka is something like a dowry which is also a tradition in certain parts of the Philippines. But the spa.. who wouldn't love that?!

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Dunja Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Great read. It's amazing how different are wedding traditions around the world

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Kylie Posted on Mar 11, 2016

I am so grateful that you shared some of your marriage traditions; it's simply fascinating! Your culture seems so rich in tradition and in culture, I hope one day I can visit and perhaps experience it for myself! I would love to try the homemade vatna, would you be willing to share the ingredients / method? :)

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Klaudia Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Wooowww , I love these colours and the 'pomp' (in the best meaning) , what a splendoury henna tattoo. Love it , would certainly love to be part of this ceremony once ? I'm a fan of indian food anyway , that would work out fantastic , I'm sure ! Brilliant post , thanks for telling us about all this !


Joanna Posted on Mar 11, 2016

I always wanted to take part in an Indian wedding (by the way, if you have any friends that are getting married and want a photographer, I'm in! I would do it for free, just to experience the wonderful traditions and the joy of this event. It's a whole celebration in India!

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Fannie Frankfurter Posted on Mar 11, 2016

What fascinating wedding customs! I never knew that the henna application ceremony could have a cooling effect-I don't think it ever occurred to me actually, never having applied henna.

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Subha natarajan Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Hi Charu Iam a Tam brahm married to a Mallu so i got married in both styles separately so i effectively jad 2 marriages ☺ Both customs are so different yet each has its own beauty and charm

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Subha natarajan Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Hey Charu...being from South India though most rituals are similar we of course have different names for them and just a different way of executing it. Btw i have been married as per 2 Hindu customs- In the Tamilian style as Iam one and in the Malayali style as my husband is a Malayal. They are absolutely different from each other but each has its own charm ☺


ROBERT LEE Posted on Mar 11, 2016

All this time, I thought Chinese marriages have so many customs. I never realized customs in India could also be this elaborate.

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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