For a typical Hindu wedding, the wedding celebration lasts a few days. Ultimately, it depends on the traditions of the family. One of the pre-wedding events is called Pitthi, where the bride-to-be gets covered in a yellowish mixture typically made of turmeric, chickpea flour, and rose water. It’s an incredibly fun event involving family and friends. The idea behind the pitthi ritual is to beautify the bride-to-be and to wish her good luck. All of your close ones puts the pitthi mixture onto your face, arms, legs, hands, and feet. It’s incredibly fun, but quite messy so it’s important to dress accordingly!
My pitthi ceremony. The mixture used was a bit more red in color; usually it’s yellow/orange.
Because this was a light-hearted, budget friendly event, we decided to incorporate it into our wedding celebrations. Keep in mind that during the wedding planning process, I thought long and hard about what was important to me, my family, and my new family. We had people traveling from out of country so it was even more important to include as many festivities as we could, without breaking the bank.
Tied into the same event, we had a ganesh puja, which is a religious ceremony where prayers are given to Lord Ganesh, requesting for the ceremony to go smoothly and to release any obstacles in the way.
And while we were at it, we decided to have the wedding garba that same night as well. Garba is a style of dance, circling around a center (typically a religious statue and/or offerings). It is an incredibly upbeat, fun filled event.
These events were all in one evening – the night before our wedding. Typically a bride will also have a mehndi party. Mehndi aka henna, a paste that is decoratively drawn onto the bride’s hands, arms, and feet. It is a way to “beautify” the bride-to-be. Because of the gorgeous-ness of it, I couldn’t pass the opportunity of doing henna for our wedding, but I didn’t want to make it a giant celebration. Instead, I invited some of my closest family and friends to my home and had a henna artist come over. It was so much fun, fit well into my budget, and it was really relaxing. It reminded me of having a spa day with your closest girlfriends.
Do what follows your heart, but always be on the same page as your fiancee. It will all work out. Decide what is important to you and your family, and run with it. Traditions are great, but there’s nothing wrong with putting your own twist on it.
Coming Soon: Blending Customs and Traditions