A-Z Glossary For All Things Wedding

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A is for Aathgath

After a Kashmiri wedding, it is traditional for the newlyweds to visit the bride’s home for dinner, which is known as ‘Satraat’. The couple is given garments by the bride’s family, and traditionally the groom will receive a pashmina shawl and the bride will be given ‘aathgath’, a gift of cash and salt.

B is for Bachelorette Party

A party hosted by the friends of the bride to celebrate the end of her unmarried days.

C is for Choli

A saree blouse – one of the most important parts of a bride’s wedding outfit. A badly fitted blouse would be disastrous!

D is for Dhoti

A dhoti is a long, sarong-like garment that is worn by men at most Hindu ceremonies. This loosely fitted garment is considered one of the most comfortable Indian wedding outfits!

E is for Engagement

Regardless of what religion you practise, it’s common to have an engagement before your wedding. This ceremony earmarks the start of a couple’s journey together and their commitment towards building a life together.


G is for Gae Halud Tattava

Nobody does gifting quite like the Bengalis! The morning of the wedding is made even more festive by a series of wedding gifts that are sent to the bride’s house from the groom’s. This practise is called ‘Gae Halud Tattava’.

H is for Haldi Ceremony

Haldi or turmeric plays a big role in Hindu pre-wedding rituals. The bride and groom are both covered in haldi by their respective families and friends. The reason behind this is two-fold – haldi is considered purifying and it is also used to keep the bad spirits or luck away from the couple.

J is for Jaathakam

‘Jaathakam’ or horoscope is an important part of Indian weddings – regardless of religion. Each faith has it’s own set of special dates which are considered auspicious for marriages. That’s why so many people share wedding anniversaries!

K is for Kalayana Mandapam

The venue for your big day! Mandapam’s are huge marriage halls where the marital rites take place. They can accommodate all your wedding guests and always have a smaller hall where food will be served.

L is for Lava Chidakna

‘Lava Chidakna’ are the seven sacred steps that the couple takes around the fire during the marriage ceremony – the first steps that they take together!

M is for Mangalsutra

The Mangalsutra or Thaali is an intrinsic part of most Indian wedding ceremonies. Both Christians and Hindus have been known to use them in their marital rites. ‘Mangalsutra’ means sacred thread and it’s worn by the bride to signify the long life and prosperity of her husband.

N is for Nalangu

The Nalangu ceremony is held before the wedding and is a lighthearted one. Friends and family gather together to bless the couple and play games. Turmeric paste is applied on the couple as a kind of purification ritual. This is the south Indian counterpart to the haldi ceremony.

O is for Oonjal

This is a feature exclusive to Brahmin weddings, and is a fun aspect of the wedding. The bride and groom have to garland each other thrice. Traditionally the bride tries to evade the groom, and he in turn is determined to garland her. The women of the family surround them and sing songs to encourage them. After this, the couple sit on a swing or ‘oonjal’ and are fed – the first time they’re allowed to eat that day!

P is for Pandit

The pandit or poojari is the priest who officiates Hindu wedding ceremonies.

Q is for Quwwali

Quwwali music is the distinct sound that is associated with Sufism. This soul stirring music is often played at Muslim weddings. A mixture of Persian, Turkish, Arabic and Indian musical influences, it’s often called one of the most beautiful genres in the world.

R is for Reception

It’s a common practise to have a wedding reception after the ceremony itself. This is a great way for the bride and groom to actually see and interact with all their guests. After all, they were quite busy during the wedding itself!

S is for Sangeet

The sangeet is a night of dance and music which precedes the wedding. Originally a north Indian custom, it has been embraced by the whole country over the years. We desis like to party!

T is for Tattava

More gifts! Bengalis definitely know how to treat newlyweds. This ritual brings in the families of the newlyweds. Elaborate and impressive gifts are exchanged by the families of the bride and groom.

U is for Uroos

The word ‘Urs’ means wedding, and because of that both the bride and bridegroom are called ‘Uroos’ at Islamic weddings.

V is for Vadava Vanu

A small ceremony that is held at Gujarati weddings, designed to send the bride off with the blessings of parents and other family members. The pujari will bless the car that they leave in, and they are accompanied to the groom’s house by members of the bride’s family to ensure their safety.

W is for Wachuns

Wachuns are Kashmiri folk songs that are commonly sung during weddings. They are accompanied by ‘Tumbaknari’, a special kind of drum.

Y is Yedur Kansani

This is a ceremony that is characteristic of Brahmin wedding rituals. This is an opportunity of the womenfolk of both families to meet each other. The bride’s female relatives welcome the groom’s with rose water, kumkum, flowers, and manjal (turmeric).

Z is for Zang

Zang is a traditional gift that is given to the couple as a symbol of good fortune or as a good omen. ‘Z’ could also signify zero regrets – our biggest hope for newlyweds on their wedding day!

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