Top 5 Difference Between An Indian Wedding and American Wedding
Marriage, it’s a simple 8 letters word but its meaning is very deep. It’s not like two people meet and get together, it is more than that. For different people the meaning of marriage is different but the basic conclusion that we derived from many opinions and views is that marriage is a new relationship between two adults, not only for them it joins their families together as one. In legal terms, it is a contract between two peoples that they will share everything equally among themselves. Today we have elaborated on the differences between an “Indian and American Wedding Ceremony”. In This article, we have dealt with the rituals, traditions, and various arrangements that happen in both marriages. Both the weddings are different but despite the differences in the main theme about the weddings, the main thing remains the same, that is, the connection between two hearts and two families.
We have considered 5 prominent points to define the Difference Between an Indian Wedding and an American wedding:
1- Arrange Marriages in India are very common as compare to Love Marriages but in America, it is vice-versa.
2- The Various Functions that happen Before or After the wedding.
3- The Marriage Day Rituals and Functions are different in Both Weddings.
4- The Outfits of the Bride or Groom or their family members in both weddings are very different.
5- The Venue, Decoration, the Arrangements are different.
1- Arrange Marriage in India is Very Common as compared to Love Marriage but in America Love Marriages are more Common?
In India, we have a very old tradition in which parents themselves find groom or bride for their daughter or son respectively. This tradition has been with us for ages. In more ancient times, there was a tradition in which the groom or the bride weren’t allowed to saw each other before marriage and they have to trust their parent’s choice for the rest of their life. But today 90% families allows boy and girl to sit together to check whether they are compatible with each other or not. In an open-minded family, they even let the boy and girl meet few times. And in the more open-minded family, they allow love marriage as per their son’s or daughter’s choice but in this too some families have conditions that the boy or girl must be of the same caste as them. But ultimately this marriage is a process of connecting two people and also we all know that parents are always right and they always make good decisions for us, but due to the generation gap, we take some time to understand their decisions. But, at the end, it is the feeling of love that should be true and pure. As society is progressing, Love marriages are becoming common in India too.
In America, they have a culture that the boy or girl finds their life partners. First, they come into a relationship as a boyfriend and girlfriend and spend some time together to find out whether they are compatible with each other or not. As their culture is different from Indians their parents are also open to this “boyfriend or girlfriend thing” or “relationship thing”. Once the boy or girl finds them compatible with each other, they decide to get married with the support of their parents. You can see much difference between an Indian wedding and an American wedding but the theme of any wedding is the same the connection between two hearts and two souls together.
2- The Various Functions That Happen Before or After the Wedding:
In India, many traditions and rituals are followed before the wedding. The traditions that happen in an Indian wedding are worth watching if you like colors, gatherings, dance, entertainment, Bollywood songs (with the proper arrangements of special functions, you can have a great experience at the wedding), etc. There are so many traditions that happen in India like mehndi, ladies sangeet(Ladies Get Together), Haldi Ceremony, etc. and each function has its own importance in an Indian wedding. Mehndi function (where bride and women close to her are adorned with patterns of henna), Haldi ceremony (where relatives of bride and groom apply turmeric to them for beautification and blessings), Sangeet (where all the relatives especially the cousins of bride and groom share their love and affection towards the bride and groom with their dance performances). There is one more latest added function that comes in this picture is the bachelorette party (in this bride and groom separately invites their friends to enjoy the night before the wedding as a bachelor), this function is taken from the western culture. Then Indian weddings have some function after the weddings like the reception of bride and groom to welcome them in the new relationship.
In America, the functions before marriage are less as compare to Indian weddings but the theme of the functions are the same, i.e. gatherings, entertainment, etc. All the family members are invited to the pre-wedding dinner. In American culture, they have this pre-wedding practice in which they rehearse everything that will be going to happen on the wedding day exactly in the same manner and time, like the wedding ceremony, rehearsal lunch, etc. At the wedding, they arrange a brunch for both the families and the relatives after the wedding.
3-The Marriage Day Rituals and Functions are Different in Both Weddings:
In India, wedding rituals take more than three or four hours starting from chanting mantras to seven sacred steps roundabout the holy fire, gold beaded jewelry chain around her neck, and sindoor. Everything that is written in the above line has a very deep meaning and importance, like 7 rounds(known as Saat Phere) around the holy fire (called Saptapadi) represents the 7 promises that the bride and groom give each other for the rest of their life in the presence of fire (Agni Dev). The Mangalsutra represents the promises made by the husband to the wife of staying together in any situation and the two black bead strings in a mangal sutra symbolize Shakti and Shiva. The sindoor symbolizes the marital status, it represents that the woman is married. After the wedding, the Vidayi(Leaving) Ceremony takes place in which the bride leaves her house to become the daughter-in-law of her husband’s house. This Vidayi(Leaving) ceremony is a very emotional event for the bride’s family as their daughter is now going to live with her other family. One more important event in any Indian wedding is a photography session. This event is also one of the main events in Indian weddings. One thing that is taken care of in an Indian wedding is photography, which must be great because it will be going to make memories for a lifetime.
In America, the friends of the bride take her down the aisle in the church as her bridesmaid in front of the friends and families, the bride holds her father’s hand walking down the aisle which represents that her father has grown her with love and affection, now he is giving her daughter to the love of her life by saying that take care of her as he did. In front of God, in front of family members and guests, they share their vows (words were written by groom and bride individually for each other to say why they love each other and will love each other for the rest of their life) and say “I do” ( these two are not just words but they represents that they are ready to be a part of each other’s lives and they will keep every promise they have made with each other) once they exchange their rings and seal their hearts with a kiss, the priest would legally confirm their marriage witnessed by the people present in the marriage. This is one of the main differences between an Indian Wedding and Foreign Wedding.
4-The Outfits of the Bride or Groom or their Family Members in Both the Weddings are very Different.
In India, attires are decided based on wedding rituals such as yellow clothes is for the Haldi function, green shades for the Mehandi function, light/ heavy dresses based on sangeet and main marriage occasion. Every girl close to the bride starts shopping for their dresses a week before the wedding. The Indian Wedding Dresses for girls are specially made for weddings. Twining culture on wedding days is also popular these days as either in form of cousins twinning, bride-side twinning, and bridegroom-side twinning to symbolize richness in the culture and celebrations among them. Talking about the wedding day, the bride is mostly dressed in red or shades of red that symbolize the color of married women same as the color of sindoor (suhag) and also the red color symbolizes prosperity, strength, power and passion. The bride is enriched with every possible piece of jewelry and makeup that makes her the perfect bride for her perfect main day. And on the other side, the groom mostly wears the sherwani of different colors as per his choice. The families close to the bride and groom also wear traditional clothes like girls wear lehengas, boys wear sherwanis, etc. In the end, these clothes symbolize their love, happiness, and affection on this beautiful and auspicious day.
In America, the bride wears a white gown or ivory one (white is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity). It is considered to be the color of perfection and the groom wears a Coatpant Suit of his choice. The families and relatives generally all wear western clothes at the wedding. In this culture, if there is more than one bridesmaid (bride’s sisters or friends) they wear the same clothes like a pink gown, red gown, or so on. Also, the groom’s friends wear the same outfit. Both the marriages have their kind of dresses but both Indian Wedding and American wedding dress represent one thing i.e. Pure Love.
5-The Venue, Decoration, the Arrangements are different.
In India, wedding mostly takes place in a temple or a marriage hall. The venue in any Indian wedding is designed with flowers, lighting, and decorative items to make that place look like heaven. This much arrangement is done to make the day a memorable one for the bride as well as the groom. The venue is divided into various sections like there is a section for food, staging area, the dance area, and so on. The places where Indian weddings took place are generally very large for huge gatherings.
In America, weddings generally take place in the church or sometimes at some venue, and in most cases, the venue is sometimes the house of the bride or groom and the venue is decorated with the help of flowers. There are not many gatherings that happened in American weddings as compare to an Indian wedding. They arrange the sitting in such a way that they left a space for the bride for walking down the aisle. Their venue is also divided into sections like the staging area, dance floor or catering area, and so on.
As we have seen above the difference between an Indian Wedding and American weddings but ultimately whether you are going to attend an Indian wedding or an American wedding you will be going to find happiness, love, affection, and joy in both weddings. Now a question arises “how to combine Indian wedding and American wedding” the answer is that the main aim of any of the wedding event is the connection of love between two peoples and their families. Despite being the difference between an Indian wedding and American wedding culture, this is a very loving and a very important event for the families and relatives of the bride and groom. This day is very memorable for a bride and her groom. It’s the beginning of a new family or new generation in the world.
Note: The above description is just a general overview between the two different cultures. There are different rituals followed by different families in both the countries. We will love to hear more from you. We are open to your comments for any suggestions; ideas, etc, feel free to share with us.