Indian weddings are a colourful and vibrant mélange of a number of customs and events. If you take into consideration the various different cultures and religions in the country, you will find a variety of pre-weddings functions and celebrations that span over days, apart from the more serious ring exchange ceremony and the exchanging of vows. A couple of the most popular and commonly celebrated functions are the Sangeet and the Mehendi. The Sangeet is one of the more vibrant and fun celebrations in Indian weddings, replete with enthusiastic live music and dance performances and food and drinks galore. Today, the Sangeet is often celebrated on a grand scale with choreographed dances and skits by family and friends on film and wedding music and sometimes professional performers are hired too.
A ceremony common to Hindu and Muslim weddings is the Haldi ceremony. During the Haldi ceremony, the bride is made to sit on a small stool and family members apply a turmeric paste on the bride’s face and body. This fun ceremony usually takes place a day before the wedding and most people add their own spin on it. The paste made with turmeric, sandalwood and rose water is meant to beautify the skin and get the bride ready for her big day. Female family members normally sing traditional Haldi songs.
The Roce ceremony is a pre-wedding ritual that is followed by some Christian communities. Also held on the day before the wedding, the bride or groom to be is given a bath with hot water and coconut milk or juice; oil is also applied on the forehead or in the ears. Nowadays family and friends also have a little fun by putting all kinds of weird things like eggs on them. The Roce is then followed by a dinner for all guests present and marks the start of the celebrations to come and signifies the last bath as an unmarried individual.