The Grandeur of Indian Hindu Weddings: Trendy Indian Wedding Functions

By: Shivam Agarwal, CEO & CO-FOUNDER MR COCONUT | 19 February 2024

Indian Hindu weddings are a symphony of colors, emotions, traditions, and celebrations. Each ceremony, rich in cultural heritage, is a testament to the country's deep-rooted customs and the families' joy. As a professional wedding organizer, I've had the privilege of bringing these magical moments to life. Here's an elaborate guide to the ceremonies and five creative ideas for each, ensuring a wedding that's as unforgettable as it is divine.

Indian Wedding Functions

Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies


Engagement Ceremony (Sagai):


The engagement ceremony, or Sagai, is the formal initiation of the matrimonial alliance between the bride and groom's families. It's a celebration of commitment, where the couple exchanges rings, symbolizing their promise to marry each other. This event often involves the announcement of the wedding date and is marked by the exchange of gifts, sweets, and good wishes among family members. The Sagai can be an intimate affair or a lavish party, setting the tone for the wedding festivities to follow. It's a moment of joy and celebration, where both families come together to bless the couple and look forward to the upcoming nuptials with excitement and anticipation.



  • Customized Coconuts as Refreshment: Celebrate the engagement by serving guests customized coconuts from Mr. Coconut as a refreshing welcome drink. Each coconut can be personalized with the couple's names and the engagement date, making it a memorable part of the celebration.



  • Theme-Based Decor: Choose a theme that resonates with the couple's story. Whether it's a Bollywood romance or a royal Rajasthani theme, let the decor narrate their tale.

  • Customized Rings: Encourage the couple to design their engagement rings, adding personal symbols or inscriptions.

  • Engagement Time Capsule: Have guests write down wishes or advice and seal them in a box to be opened on a future anniversary.

  • Photo Booth with Props: Create a fun photo booth with quirky props related to the couple's interests for memorable snapshots.

  • Live Band or DJ: A live band or DJ can play the couple's favorite tunes, setting the mood for the evening.


Mehendi Ceremony:


The Mehendi ceremony is a vibrant and essential pre-wedding event, celebrated with much fervor, primarily by the bride's family. It involves applying intricate henna designs to the bride's hands and feet, symbolizing beauty, joy, and spiritual awakening. Mehendi is considered auspicious and is said to signify the strength of the couple's marriage. The deeper the color of the henna, the stronger the bond and love in the marriage. This event is accompanied by traditional songs, dances, and a festive atmosphere, making it a memorable part of the wedding celebrations. It's a time for the women in the family to bond, share laughter, and enjoy the anticipation of the upcoming wedding.



  • Themed Coconuts for Guests: During the Mehendi ceremony, offer guests chilled coconuts from Mr. Coconut, customized with Mehendi-inspired designs or the couple's initials. This not only provides a refreshing beverage but also ties in beautifully with the theme of the event.



  • Mehndi Artists for Guests: Hire multiple mehndi artists to ensure guests can also get their hands adorned with beautiful designs.

  • Folk Music and Dance: Organize a folk music and dance performance to add a traditional touch to the evening.

  • Themed Refreshments: Serve snacks and drinks that match the ceremony's theme, like colorful mocktails and traditional sweets.

  • Customized Mehndi Cones: Offer personalized mehndi cones with the couple's initials or wedding date, adding a unique touch to the ceremony.

  • Boho-Chic Seating: Arrange for floor cushions, ottomans, and draped fabrics to create a relaxed, bohemian vibe, encouraging guests to mingle in comfort.


Sangeet Ceremony:


The Sangeet ceremony is a celebration of the union through music and dance, traditionally held a day before the wedding. This event allows both families to mingle and enjoy performances prepared by relatives and friends. The Sangeet can range from informal gatherings with impromptu singing to elaborate, choreographed performances. It's an occasion filled with fun, laughter, and joy, showcasing the cultural heritage of the families through various art forms. The ceremony strengthens the bonds between the two families and serves as a lighthearted respite from the more solemn ceremonies to follow.



  • Personalized Coconuts as Party Drinks: Elevate the Sangeet's festive atmosphere by serving Mr. Coconut's personalized coconuts. Customize them with the sangeet theme or a catchy phrase related to the wedding, adding a fun and unique element to the celebration.



  • Choreographed Performances: Hire a choreographer to prepare special performances by the family and friends, showcasing a mix of traditional and contemporary dances.

  • Celebrity Appearance: Surprise guests with a performance by a popular singer or band, elevating the excitement.

  • Karaoke Booth: Set up a karaoke booth for guests to sing their favorite songs, adding a personal and interactive element to the evening.

  • Flash Mob: Organize a flash mob with the wedding party to surprise the bride and groom, creating a memorable moment.

  • Sangeet Awards: End the night with fun awards for the best performance, best dressed, etc., adding a playful competition element.


Tilak Ceremony:


The Tilak ceremony marks the formal acceptance of the groom into the bride's family. It's a male-centric event where the bride's father, or another elder male relative, applies a tilak (a mark made with vermilion) on the groom's forehead. This ritual signifies the bride's family's approval of the groom and symbolizes their request for the groom to take care of their daughter. Gifts, sweets, and clothes are often exchanged, and the groom's family reciprocates with their own set of gifts. The Tilak ceremony reinforces the bond between the two families, setting a respectful and harmonious tone for the upcoming wedding.


  • Customized Coconuts for the Occasion: Mark the significance of the Tilak ceremony by offering customized coconuts from Mr. Coconut to guests and family members. Engrave them with the groom's name or a symbol representing the union, serving as a symbolic and refreshing gesture.



  • Traditional Attire Code: Encourage guests to wear traditional attire from their regions to celebrate diversity and cultural heritage.

  • Cultural Exchange: Have both families perform a traditional dance or song from their culture, fostering a sense of unity and appreciation.

  • Heritage Venue: Organize the ceremony in a venue that reflects Indian heritage, like a historic palace or fort, adding to the ceremony's authenticity.

  • Customized Gifts for Guests: Provide personalized gifts, such as miniatures of traditional instruments or handcrafted items, as a memento of the occasion.

  • Interactive Ritual Explanation: Have a host explain the significance of the rituals being performed to engage guests and enrich their understanding of the ceremony.


Haldi Ceremony:


The Haldi ceremony involves applying a paste made from turmeric, sandalwood, and rosewater to the bride and groom's skin. This ritual is believed to ward off evil spirits and bestow blessings upon the couple. The antiseptic and beautifying properties of the paste are also thought to give the bride and groom a radiant glow for their wedding day. Conducted separately in their respective homes, the ceremony is a playful event where family members apply the paste to the couple, followed by song and dance. The Haldi marks the beginning of the wedding rituals and symbolizes the couple's preparation for their new life together.


  • Refreshing Coconuts for the Ritual: Amidst the joyous yet messy Haldi ceremony, provide guests and participants with Mr. Coconut's customized coconuts to enjoy. Personalize these coconuts with the wedding date or a simple "Haldi Happiness" message, adding a refreshing touch to the occasion.



  • Outdoor Setup: Arrange the ceremony in an open space like a garden or a beach for a natural, vibrant backdrop, enhancing the aesthetic appeal.

  • Eco-friendly Packaging: Use eco-friendly materials for packaging haldi and other materials used in the ceremony, reflecting a commitment to sustainability.

  • Group Haldi Application: Invite all guests to participate in applying haldi to the couple, symbolizing their collective blessings and good wishes.

  • Folk Performances: Include traditional folk performances to entertain guests during the ceremony, adding a cultural dimension.

  • Customized Attire: Encourage the couple and guests to wear outfits in shades of yellow and white to match the theme, creating a visually cohesive look.


Roka Ceremony:


The Roka ceremony is the very first step towards the formalization of the wedding alliance. It's a simple yet significant event where both families agree to the union of the bride and groom, marking the official start of the wedding preparations. This ceremony is often followed by the exchange of gifts, sweets, and tokens of love between the families, symbolizing their mutual consent and joy for the upcoming union. The Roka solidifies the commitment between the couple and their families, setting the foundation for the wedding planning and celebrations to commence.


  • Engraved Coconuts as Welcome Drinks: As families gather to formalize the wedding agreement during the Roka, welcome them with personalized coconuts from Mr. Coconut. These can be engraved with the couple's names and the ceremony's date, symbolizing the sweet beginning of their journey.



  • Customized Invitations: Send out personalized invitations reflecting the couple's personalities and the significance of the ceremony, setting the tone for the event.

  • Memory Lane Display: Create a display of the couple's journey together with photos and memorabilia, fostering a personal connection with the guests.

  • Cultural Fusion Entertainment: Blend entertainment from both cultures, showcasing the diversity and unity of the families.

  • Signature Family Dish: Each family presents a signature dish at the event, highlighting their culinary traditions and sharing a taste of their heritage.

  • Roka Ritual Kit: Provide guests with a small kit explaining the roka ceremony's significance and including elements like turmeric, rice, and sweets, offering an educational and immersive experience.


Wedding Day Ceremonies:


The wedding day itself is filled with numerous rituals, starting with the Baraat, the groom's wedding procession, followed by the solemn yet beautiful Varmala/Jaimala ceremony where the bride and groom exchange garlands. The core of the wedding ceremony is the Saat Phere or Saptapadi, where the couple takes seven rounds around the sacred fire, each round signifying a vow made to each other.



Hindu Post-Wedding Ceremonies


Vidaai:


The Vidaai is an emotional post-wedding ceremony that marks the bride's departure from her parental home. As she leaves with her husband, the bride throws back handfuls of rice over her head, symbolizing her wishes for prosperity and happiness for her parents and her gratitude for their love and upbringing. The Vidaai is a poignant reminder of the changes and transitions in life, filled with tears and farewells as the bride embarks on a new journey with her partner.


  • Customized Coconuts for a Heartfelt Farewell: Offer personalized coconuts from Mr. Coconut to guests as a parting refreshment during the Vidaai. Customize these with a message of thanks from the bride, making it a thoughtful and hydrating farewell gesture.



  • Vintage Car Exit: Arrange for a beautifully decorated vintage car for the bride's exit, adding a touch of elegance and nostalgia to the vidaai.

  • Flower Petal Rain: Have family members shower the bride with flower petals instead of rice, for a more eco-friendly and visually stunning farewell.

  • Memory Lane Archway: Create an archway made of pictures capturing moments from the bride's life at her parental home, symbolizing her journey as she walks through.

  • Balloon Release: Coordinate a balloon release with messages of love and blessings written by guests, creating a visually impactful moment.

  • Musical Procession: A live band or traditional musicians can accompany the bride to the exit, adding a soundtrack to the emotional farewell.


Reception:


The wedding reception is a grand celebration hosted by the groom's side to welcome the bride into her new home and introduce her to the groom's community. It's a festive event marked by a lavish feast, music, and dance, allowing both families and their guests to celebrate the newlyweds. Unlike traditional ceremonies, the reception is less ritualistic and offers an opportunity for the couple to interact with their guests in a more relaxed and joyous setting.



  • Themed Coconuts as Signature Drinks: At the reception, impress guests with customized coconuts from Mr. Coconut, serving as the event's signature drink. Personalize them with the couple's monogram or a special thank-you message from the newlyweds, adding a personalized touch to the festivities.