An Indian wedding is not just about getting two people to tie a knot but is a union of two families. It is an amazing time for most Indian parents and grandparents. Like most families, this is what they have been waiting for. Demands for grandchildren will follow shortly!
Let me be honest. I am not exclusively a wedding shopper. I have organized enough weddings including my brother’s and my own and still lived to tell the tale.
Indian Weddings are big – especially in northern India. Families want to organize large weddings with at least 300 guests or more to show how well they have done for themselves. Weddings with over 2000 guests are also common. This may seem like a colossal waste of money in a poor country but families see it as a way to show prosperous they are.
Special effort is made to make guests feel welcome and involved in the wedding. This is why there are rituals for each family member of the bride and groom. Their presence is considered a blessing for the newly-weds and it is these blessings which transform a wedding into a successful marriage. Of course the couple have to work on it as well J
I am listing a few things that I have learned shopping for all the weddings in my family. Please use this as a checklist.
Invitation cards & Invitation gifts- Lot of Indian Families like to give a small token gift, like a box of dry fruits or chocolates, a Ganesha idol, Cardamom with Mishri (sugar cubes) with the invitation card.
I can help you with both the card and the gift. We can choose a design for the card. It will be good if you have the print matter ready so that we can give that directly to the printer. The cards, once done will be couriered to you by the printer. You can also provide the mailing address for each guest the same can be printed on the envelope for you.
· Text for the Invitation card
· Invitation gift to accompany the card
· List of guests with their address
Here is short list people you need to buy clothes for:
- The Bride and Groom ofcourse!
- Both set of parents
- Various family members.
- Children in the family
- Accessories like costume jewelry, bags, clutch and shoes.
- Shawls for the elderly ladies and men in the family or scarves for friends.
- Gold Jewelry
- Henna tattoo stickers.
- Turban or head gear for the Groom and other accessories for the Groom.
- Turban for the ‘Seh Bala’, the little boy accompanying the Groom on the mare.
You will save time if you have the sizes for all the children along with measurements. Know how many sarees and other clothes that you need to get. Have a list of all close family members that you will be gifting these too.
Family Gifts for an Indian Wedding
Here is a list of gifts that are generally given away at the wedding:
- Gift wrapping or bags and baskets for presentation of clothing or food items being gifted at various functions.
- Jewelry organisers
- Small gift items to give away to girls after Joota Chupai. Some people skip this and just give money to the gift who hide the shoes of the groom during the final wedding ceremony.
- Money envelopes for various ceremonies.
- Some families divide the gifts based on how close the relation is. The gift can vary from gold jewelry to a saree or a silver item for home. The gifts can go to each member of the family, ideally it should be for all immediate family members.
- Men are usually given a shirt and trouser length or ready made shirts or a business suit length. You can also give them Kurta pajama set.
- Shawls are given to the elderly in the family.
- Women will be pleased with silver or gold item. We can have something customized for you as well in Silver. If you have something in mind please e-mail me a picture and I can have it made for you.
To save time in the markets please use the above information to get your list together. Most customized items will need time to make so have at least two weeks or be open to the same being couriered to you at additional cost.
Rituals for an Indian Wedding
Items for various rituals can vary from family to family. For example Kangna, sehra, Kalgi etc.
- Bangles for the Mehendi ceremony as well to give away.
- Readymade Mehendi (hena) cones for the ceremony. You can buy boxes of it. You can also buy packets of hena and make your own cones.
- Ring case for the Ring ceremony and of course the ring, if it has not bought already.
- Various things which the Indian priest (Panditji) will need for the many ceremonies.
- Clothes for the Panditji.
- Puja Books for the Satnarayan Katha which happens after the wedding.
- Various vessels like Lota and Puja thali for the ceremonies.
- Roli, Supari,Diya bati etc.
- Artificial garlands for decorations.
Please let me know if there is a particular requirement for the rituals by your Panditji. Delhi markets will cater to most common requirement but I might still have to look for certain things. There is a possibility that we may not find certain specific item if they are from another state of India.
Karol bagh and Shahpur Jat are the best markets to shop for clothes for a wedding. Karol bagh is hard to do on your own. Shahpur jat is often not worth the money but does provide exclusive items.