Indian weddings, also called 'Vivaah', are best known for the opulence, traditions, colours and almost carnival-type celebration associated with this event.
A couple days before a Hindu wedding, the bride and groom each organize a haldi ceremony (sometimes called pithi ceremony) at their respected homes. The haldi paste is made from turmeric, rose water (or water), and sandalwood powder. The paste serves as a cleanser for the body and soul and signifies the bride's preparation and welcoming into married life. The haldi also signifies protection.
The bride enters the wedding hall and is escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle and aunt, signifying that the bride's maternal side approves of the union. In other parts of India, the bride is escorted by her sisters, cousins and close female friends.
A typical Indian bride applies henna to her hands and feet before the wedding. The belief is that the deeper the final colour the more she will be loved by her husband or some say, her mother-in-law. She is also forbidden from doing any housework as long as the colour of the bridal henna remains on her hands, making the longevity of the henna all the more desirable!
Arrival of the Bride
Ceremonies include engagement (involving vagdana or betrothal and lagna-patra written declaration), and arrival of the groom's party at the bride's residence, often in the form of a formal procession with dancing and music.
The Kanyadaan ceremony is performed by the father. If the father has died, a guardian of bride's choosing performs this ritual. The father brings the daughter, then takes the bride's hand and places it to the groom's.
The 'holding the hand' ritual as a symbol of their impending marital union, and the groom announcing his acceptance of responsibility to four deities: Bhaga signifying wealth, Aryama signifying heavens/milky way, Savita signifying radiance/new beginning, and Purandhi signifying wisdom. The groom faces west, while the bride sits in front of him with her face to the east, he holds her hand whilst a mantra is recited.
The most important ritual of them all of Hindu weddings and represents the legal part of the marriage. Sometimes called Saat Phere (seven rounds) couples conduct seven circuits of the Holy Fire (Agni), which is considered a witness to the vows they make to each other.
While the average British wedding costs £21,000, Asian weddings in the UK top £60,000. Typically an Indian wedding will have 500 to 700 guests.
The bride's outfits
From a designer's perspective, they now have free reign on the most exquisite fabrics, top of the line embellishments and elaborate crystals to take your idea from an acceptable price to sky's the limit pricing. All of a sudden, you're looking at a £15,000 wedding outfit. London brides would typically go to the boutique concept store in London Aashni & Co, which has introduced the most high profile Indian designers to the UK consumer, without the need for them to go to India!
There is no doubt that Indian weddings are by far the most lavish, decadent and fun. No other country in the world can boast of their weddings the way Indians do. Touted to be a business worth 40 billion dollars, growing at an explosive rate of 25-30 percent every year, weddings in India have undergone a sea change in terms of planning, rituals as well as fashion and budgets. While they have moved away from being just intimate family affairs adopting a more modern look, the bright shades of reds, music, heavy jewellery and bling attached to it continue to rule.
The AASHNI + CO Wedding Show has been created by Aashni Anshul Doshi, Founder and Creative Director of AASHNI + CO, a beautiful concept store in the heart of London’s Notting Hill. The high end boutique was established with the purpose of providing access to visionary designers of South Asian origin for the residents of the UK. Aashni extended her retail vision to the bridal arena, to produce an uber-luxe wedding show that captured the design pulse of her clientele.
About AASHNI + CO Wedding Show
- The AASHNI + CO Wedding Show spotlights the latest bridal, occasion wear and couture collections from the top tier of the Indian and Pakistani design spectrum who will descend upon London, an existing melting pot for world culture and design, to present their latest bridal and couture collections.
- Designers who will be showcasing their creations at the show include renowned designers such as Anamika Khanna, Anushree Reddy, Elan, Gaurav Gupta, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Monisha Jaising, Rimple and Harpreet Narula, Jade and ASAL by Abu Sandeep.
- Since its launch in 2015, the AASHNI + CO Wedding Show has earned itself the reputation of introducing discerning wedding buyers to ensembles that are distinct and exquisite in form, whilst providing a unique shopping experience that is reframing the cultural and fashion zeitgeist of brides and grooms to be. It is the ultimate high end bridal event, recognised as an intimate platform for cutting edge, elegant designs that define London’s growing market for South Asian and cross over fashion and accessories.
- The show will include a breath taking exhibition lined with the best national and internationally renowned creative talent from the industry with an elegant showcasing of the latest designs, highlighting the exquisitely constructed pieces and allowing the audience to truly experience the form, fit and detail of each garment.
The AASHNI + CO Wedding Show is proudly supported by Zita Elze, Sony TV, Akshayapatra, and Hello! Pakistan.
Tickets to the event are priced at £30.00. For more information, please visit: www.wslondon.com
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