When it comes to the Hindu wedding ceremony, there are a lot of terms that will be flying around during your meetings with your planner, priest and even your decor team, which can make the planning process a little overwhelming. So here’s my very own small wedding planning glossary for the Hindu ceremony, which highlights some essential keywords you’re likely to hear.
Aarti A Hindu prayer in which incense and lamps are lighted as an offering to the Gods.
Aeki-Beki (Koda Kodi) A game traditionally played at the groom’s family home following the wedding to determine who will be the dominant partner in the marriage.
Agni The Hindu God of fire. During the ceremony, evoking the holy fire as a witness and seeking his blessing.
Antarpaat A white cloth that is held in front of the groom prior to the bride’s entrance.
Ashirwad The family give their blessings to the newly wed couple.
Bajot A decorative style of a low table.
Haar Floral garlands.
Hasta Milap When the groom’s scarf is tied to the bride’s sari during the wedding ceremony to symbolise the union of their two souls.
Havankund A vessel, usually square or pyramid-shaped in which the sacred fire is lit.
Kansar A sweet made from crushed wheat. The couple offer kansar to each other at the end of the ceremony as their first meal together.
Kanyadaan When the bride is given away by her parents, by placing their hand over the groom’s during the ceremony.
Mahurat The specific time within which the marriage has to begin.
Mangal Pheras The bride and groom will circle the fire four times. Each round represents one of the four goals of life, dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), karma (desire) and moksha (salvation).
Mangalsutra A special necklace with black beads.
Milni A ceremony prior to the wedding where the men of both families meet to exchange garland flowers.
Piti Is a paste make of turmeric, chickpea flour and rose water. Family members of the couple will apply the paste to the bride and groom. This paste is meant to brighten and even the skin tone, so the couple have glowing skin on the wedding day.
Pokvanu A brief ritual performed by the bride’s mother welcoming the groom at the entrance gate of the mandap.
Sagaai The engagement ceremony.
Samayu The bride’s younger sister will preform a short ceremony on arrival of the groom at the wedding venue.
Saptapadi Meaning ‘seven steps’, with each step representing the promises/vows the couple make to each other during the ceremony.
Sindoor The sacred red powder that the groom places at the middle parting of the bride’s hair during the ceremony.
Vidaai The departure of the newly married couple.