14 Hindu Wedding Ceremony Traditions You Need to Know


The Bride's Hands and Feet Are Adorned With Henna

The mehndi ceremony, a big party traditionally only attended by the bride's close female friends and family members, kicks off the wedding itself. The event usually takes place one day before the nuptials (on the same day as the sangeet), as the process can take hours. During the festivities, henna paste is used to apply intricate designs of temporary decorative art to the bride's hands and feet. While the designs usually reflect floral motifs, it's also common to hide her partner's name within the artwork and watch as they try to find it later—a process believed to reflect the amount of patience that will be present in their marriage.

In fact, many Hindu beliefs focus on the meaning revealed by the color of the wedding henna. "The first one, which is what I learned from my family, is that the darker the henna, the more a mother-in-law will be fond of her daughter-in-law," says Patel. "Others that I have come to learn through working with Hindus from different regions state that the darker the henna, the stronger the marriage or the more the husband will love the wife."

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