Pre Wedding Ceremonies

photo courtesy of Whitmeyer Photography

Indian weddings are typically several days long and consist of lots eating, dancing, and fun with family and friends. There are also several pre wedding ceremonies that take place including the mehndi, vatna, and chuda ceremonies. Here's a few photos from these ceremonies.  


Mehndi signifies the strength of love in a marriage. The darker the mehndi, the stronger the love. 

Rachna's mehndi turned out beautiful (and dark!) and it took about 3 hours to do both her hands and feet. Glitter was placed on top of the henna to make the henna shine and look good in the photos. The rest of the wedding party also had the opportunity to get mehndi. 

My sister Rachna, brother Nishal, and sister in law Hetal 

Vatna Ceremony

The bride sits facing four lamps or diyas and it is considered to be auspicious for all four lamps to remain burning brightly so that the glow on the bride's face remains forever. Female cousins and friends apply vatna (a paste made of turmeric and mustard oil) on the body of the bride. The turmeric acts like a scrub making the bride's body beautiful. 

photo courtesy of Whitmeyer Photography

Aneesh, Rachna, and me 

Chuda/Kalira Ceremony

The ritual involves a havan that is conducted by a priest.  A set of bangles, touched and blessed by all those who are present is put on the bride by the eldest maternal uncle. Flowers are sprinkled on the bride and sweets are distributed to commemorate the beginning of all the rituals to follow. Once the chuda has been worn, all relatives, friends and cousins tie kaliras on the kada or bangle on the bride's wrists. These are essentially gold and silver plated traditional ornaments that hang from the wrist during the wedding. 

And this is just a small gift I got Rachna for her wedding.  I was hoping she would wear this beautiful vintage brooch bracelet I got from LCvintage  but as you can see both her arms were full of wedding bangles and there was no space left on her arms. But I am certain she can add some sparkle with this bracelet on her honeymoon.