Traditional Indian Wedding Explained – Audrina and Akshay Paséa Hotel & Spa Wedding

Indian wedding ceremony varmala.

As professional wedding photographers and videographers based in Los Angeles, California, we have the privilege of capturing a diverse array of memorable events. A recent standout was the vibrant, traditional Indian wedding of Audrina and Akshay, which showcased a rich tapestry of Indian cultural customs and Indian wedding traditions.

We’ve helped many brides and grooms orchestrate their wedding films. However, an Indian wedding is much different regarding ceremony size, rituals, and clothing. 

It was an eye-opener to how others worldwide celebrate love, and we want to share it with everybody else. Here are Indian weddings explained. 

Indian wedding groom shoes detail shot.

Traditional Indian weddings 

Indian weddings are prominently marriages in Hinduism. According to beliefs in this religion, this bond isn’t only a lifetime but Seven Lifetimes. In their culture, it’s considered a turning point in somebodies life, as they enter the second phase (or ashram) of their life, the Gṛhastha Ashram.

Traditonal Indian wedding Ceremony.

In Hinduism, marriage is an important duty in a man’s life. When getting married, it’s classified as paying his debt to his forefathers. This debt is paid by procreating children and guaranteeing the continuation of his family’s lineage. 

Something else that surprised us was the length of these celebrations. Usually, ceremonies are finished within a day. However, at an Indian wedding, these can last between three days and sometimes five. 

  • Day 1 – The commencement of the Indian wedding festivities starts with the Mandap Muhurat and Pithi, also known to many as the Ganesh Puja. This sacred ceremony is aimed at invoking Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, to ensure a smooth and blessed journey for the couple’s marital life. It’s a spiritually resonant event marked by rituals performed by close family members, underlining the importance of familial blessings.
    Following the solemnity of the Mandap Muhurat, the atmosphere transitions into one of joyous celebration during the Mendhi/Sangeet night. This event is far from being just a small family gathering; it’s a vibrant fusion of music, dance, and laughter, setting the stage for the days to come. The Mendhi ceremony, where intricate henna designs are applied to the bride’s hands and feet, symbolizes beauty, joy, and offering. The Sangeet, on the other hand, is a festive affair where both families come together to perform dances and songs, celebrating the union of the two hearts and families. This lively evening not only kicks off the wedding celebrations but also allows both families to bond and revel in the happiness of the upcoming nuptials.

  • Day 2 – The second day features the Grah Shanti ceremony, also known as Sathak, Mandvo, or Mamoru, depending on the region’s traditions. This is a significant ritual aimed at harmonizing the planets and stars in favor of the couple. A pundit or priest typically conducts these prayers, invoking peace and prosperity for the bride and groom’s future. Unlike the intimate gatherings of day one, the Grah Shanti invites a broader circle of friends and relatives, making it a large-scale celebration reflective of the couple’s extended community and social bonds. The ceremony is rich in rituals and mantras, designed to cleanse, protect, and bless the couple’s journey ahead. It is a beautiful amalgamation of ancient traditions and communal joy, underscoring the importance of societal and divine blessings in the marital life of the couple.

  • Day 3 – The crescendo of the Indian wedding festivities is the wedding day itself, predominantly held during the evening. This day is the grand culmination of the preceding days’ celebrations, marked by an elaborate and solemn ceremony where the couple exchanges vows under the Mandap—a sacred canopy symbolizing the universe. Every ritual performed is rich in symbolism, from the exchange of garlands (Jaimala) to signify mutual acceptance, to the seven rounds (Saptapadi) around the sacred fire, each step representing a vow and aspect of their shared life ahead.
    This day is a vibrant spectacle of tradition, emotion, and celebration. All guests, dressed in their finest traditional attire, gather to witness and participate in the joyous occasion. The air is filled with music, the scent of flowers, and the radiance of love and blessings. The wedding ceremony is not just an exchange of vows but a sacred rite that binds two souls and their families in an eternal bond of love, duty, and respect. It’s a day when every moment is savored, every ritual is cherished, and the union is celebrated with the grandeur it deserves, leaving lasting memories for everyone involved.

You might also get invited to any of these days or all. But what makes it exciting for Indian wedding videographers like us is the visual appeal of these events. Below we explain this: 

Rituals and ceremonies 

As mentioned, there are three days of celebrations, sometimes five. During these days, several rituals and ceremonies happen during a Hindu wedding. 

All are unique and highly cultural. As Indian wedding photographers and videographers, we loved this. Capturing these strong rituals was excellent; it enabled us to learn about the culture and capture it forever. 

Indian wedding bride hair done.

The procedures and rituals done in a wedding ceremony vary by region and might take numerous hours to complete. However, here’s a basic overview of the types of rituals that might occur at a traditional Indian wedding:

  • Vidaai
  • Havan
  • Pokwanu 
  • Kanyadan 
  • Aashirwad
  • Mangal Fera
  • Ganesh Puja
  • Kanya Aagman
  • The Baraat / The Jaan
  • Sindur & Mangal Sutra

The above is only a basic overview. As mentioned, there are many more rituals and ceremonies that can happen during an Indian wedding, depending on which region the natives are from. 

Indian wedding groom on horse.

Ceremony size 

In this tradition, it’s rare to have a small ceremony. It actually goes against some philosophies of the ceremony. The bridal party includes all family, extended relatives, and close friends. Many of their ceremonies and rituals are major parties and celebrations, so having a large number of people makes sense.

Indian wedding traditions

Clothing & attire  

One area that our team found special to capture was the bright, bold colors that the bride, groom, and Indian wedding guest dresses. Across the celebration, there were a lot of vibrant Indian wedding outfit, Indian wedding dresses, Indian wedding saree, kurta pajamas, sherwanis, and eye-catching jewelry. 

Indian wedding bride jewelry detail shot.

Everybody looked remarkable at the wedding, and all the bright colors and traditional clothing were amazing to capture. This, along with the culture-based decorations, made it an exceptional experience. 

Audrina and Akshay’s Traditional Indian wedding 

Now you understand the concept behind an Indian wedding, we wanted to discuss the recent event we filmed. The wedding was held by Audrina and Akshay, who both have Indian heritage backgrounds. During their wedding, they wanted to hold it at the Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach, while maintaining their tradition. 

Paséa Hotel & Spa indian wedding drone shot.

Our job was to be the best Indian wedding videographers and photographers, capturing the event so they could remember it for a lifetime. Our team achieved this by highlighting the traditional Indian wedding rituals, clothing, and ceremonies. 

Indian wedding groom getting ready.

What made this so unique? 

From beginning to end, the wedding celebration was perfect. The guests were electric, the couple was deeply in love, and the venue showcased that true Indian heritage. Capturing all of this and telling a story through video and pictures made this the best Indian wedding videography. 

We captured the bride’s Indian saree dress to the groom’s kurta pajamas in full light. While including this in the wedding video, we managed to incorporate various Indian wedding traditions such as the henna and the pre & post-party celebrations. 

In addition to the festivities, the dinner featured several impactful speeches that resonated deeply with those in attendance. The atmosphere was truly inspiring, and the sentiments expressed were undeniably poignant. As guests dined, the father of the bride imparted seven words of wisdom: “Yes, dear, you are right, and I’m sorry.” These simple yet profound words carried significant weight and meaning for all present. 

Indian wedding reception speech.

A party erupted as the speech finished, and the sun dropped behind the horizon. During this, there was traditional Indian music, which the bride, groom, and guests loved. Everybody was dancing, from children to elders, making the party a special moment to remember. 

Indian wedding reception dancing.

After capturing this traditional Indian wedding, we felt enlightened about the culture. It’s unlike anything else. The different clothing, rituals, ceremonies, and much more, allowed us to understand this wedding style more. Having this opportunity was excellent, and we’re delighted to be given a chance to film such a fantastic event. 

Here are some additional insights and details that can further enrich the understanding of traditional Indian weddings:

  1. Significance of Colors: In Indian weddings, colors play a significant role. For instance, the color red is considered auspicious and is prominently featured in the bride’s attire, signifying prosperity and fertility. White, on the other hand, is generally avoided as it’s associated with mourning.
  2. Importance of Music and Dance: Indian weddings are incomplete without music and dance. There are specific songs for different rituals, and it’s common for families to prepare dance performances to entertain the guests during the Sangeet or Mehndi ceremonies.
  3. Pre-Wedding Rituals: Before the actual wedding, there are several pre-wedding customs like the ‘Roka’ (a preliminary commitment ritual), ‘Haldi’ (where turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom), and others that hold significant importance.
  4. Symbolism: Many elements in an Indian wedding have symbolic significance. For instance, the ‘Mangalsutra’ worn by the bride is a symbol of her marital status, and the ‘Saat Phere’ or seven rounds around the sacred fire represent the seven vows made by the couple.
  5. Diverse Traditions: India is a land of diversity. While the article does touch upon the regional variations in ceremonies, it’s worth noting that every state, and sometimes even different communities within states, have their unique customs and traditions.
  6. Gift Giving: Gifting is an integral part of Indian weddings. It’s customary for the bride and groom to exchange gifts, and guests also bring gifts for the newlyweds. It’s not just limited to material gifts; blessings and good wishes are an integral part of the gift-giving tradition.
  7. Role of Astrology: Astrology plays a crucial role in Hindu weddings. Before setting a wedding date, families consult astrologers to find an auspicious time and date. Even the compatibility of the bride and groom is often checked using their horoscopes.
  8. Food: Indian weddings are also known for their lavish spreads of traditional delicacies. Each region has its special dishes, and it’s common to have multiple courses, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, served to guests.
  9. Welcoming the Groom: The ‘Baraat’ or the groom’s procession is a lively affair with dancing, music, and revelry. The groom often arrives on a decorated horse, and he’s welcomed by the bride’s family in a ritual called ‘Milni.’
  10. Post-Wedding Rituals: After the wedding, there are rituals like ‘Bidai’ (farewell of the bride), ‘Grihapravesh’ (the bride’s welcome into her new home), and many others that ensure a smooth transition for the bride into her new life.

We can’t wait for the next one! 

Providing our services for this Indian wedding was excellent. We cannot wait until we’re requested to capture another wedding like this. The atmosphere was loving, the environment was traditional, and the people were caring – the perfect combination for a beautiful wedding. 

A special thanks to Audrina and Akshay for giving us this opportunity and providing us with a chance to discover the beauty behind Indian weddings. We truly cannot wait until the next one. 

If you want us to capture your special wedding to cherish the memory forever, contact a helpful member of A Colored Mind team today. 

Planning and event design: SoCal Wedding Consultant
Venue: Paséa Hotel & Spa
Photography: Katie
Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery
DJ: Extreme DJ Service Official
Hair and Makeup: Makeup Artist + Hair Styist LA
Rentals: MTB Event Rentals
Outside Catering: Natraj Restaurants & Catering
Horse: Savannah Rose Carriages
Baraat music: Ocdamia Music Group, LLC