My Wedding Photos: The Pageantry of India

Let me make it clear that I’m not married, in fact I’ve never even been in a relationship so when I say my wedding photos, what I mean is photos I’ve taken of weddings. This of course is a continuation of my weird hobby that I picked up in Japan.

In India, weddings are large scale celebrations often involving hundreds of guests. In villages and even some larger cities, it is not uncommon for strangers to be invited to festivities as a sign of courtesy. Often around town you’ll come across wedding processions involving everything from horses, to birds and an occasional elephant or two. When it comes to weddings, India goes big and celebrations  can go on for several days.

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In Hindu weddings there are typically 3 days that mark wedding celebrations, the first day usually is celebrated with friends and family in the home while the second day consists of mehndi (a musical party and social gathering) and sangeet, used to adorn hands and feet with henna ( a dye made from plants used to paint intricate temporary body art). The final day is where all the magic happens, with dancing and of course food being available all-throughout. Punjabi weddings are even more about pageantry with lots of different exchanges of gifts, meetings between the families of the groom and bride, as well as very colorful, ornate decorations and clothing being donned by everyone.

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An Indian wedding procession on the streets

As I walked around New Delhi, I’d often run into different wedding processions that would take up half of the street. Often there would be a groom riding a horse, a symbol of valor and status. The prevailing view is that marriage is an act of courage, requiring valor to go through with it. Bands and musicians accompany the wedding procession, playing lively songs which onlookers and family members alike often dance to.

ALifetimeTrip- Groom on the horse

As a symbol of status and wealth, Indian weddings are often lavish, with guests being treated to the finest meals that India has to offer. India is increasingly gaining the spotlight as the ideal place for weddings with more and more couples from around the globe arriving to have their weddings there. I’ve even tried to get some of my friends to get married, partly because they may as well after dating so long and partly because I want free food. Alas up to now I have not yet had any luck, maybe in the future. In any case India’s deeply traditional weddings vary depending on culture and religion but that just makes them all the more interesting and worthwhile to experience.

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