India, Republic of India (Bharat) is the seventh largest country by and the biggest democracy in the world. India is an energetic country with varied cultures living together in unity and concord.
In India, traditional Indian family values are highly valued, and patriarchal joint families have been the norm, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. A vast majority of Indian boys and girls (with their approval) have their marriages arranged by their parents or other kinfolk. Even in case of love marriage, there is usually parental consent and/or parent’s involvement.
Indians believe that "Marriages are for forever". Marriage is understood to be a unique relationship of utmost purity that unites the bride and the groom for the lifetime making couple to learn the true meaning of togetherness. Consequently, the divorce rate is very low.
Wedding traditions vary across religion, caste, ethnicity, language, region, etc. Each community has its own unique culture, traditions, rituals, dressing style and cuisine. Similarly, Indian weddings are diverse and very colorful. Every community celebrates their weddings with traditional rituals with a lot of fun, over many days.Traditional matrimonies typically have three phases - pre-wedding ceremonies, marriage day ceremonies and the post-wedding ceremonies. Marriage day ceremonies consist of - Baraat, the Varmala, Saat phere and the Vidaai. Beautiful and decorated venues host the weddings. These venues are typically farmhouses or hotel halls or halls build specifically for purpose of hosting marriages.
Brides embellish themselves by putting Indian gold (kundan) and diamond jewelry, apply henna/ mehndi to color hands and feet, and undergo various bridal makeups. The bride typically wears a bridal lehenga or sari. The groom typically wears a sherwani dress, a designer suit or a dress as per the community customs.
In a Hindu marriage, to complete the marriage, the bride and groom move in circles around the sacrificial fire seven times, called phera. Vidaai is final ritual of the day; this is when the bride is formally sent to the groom’s household. It can get quite emotive even for the most hard-hearted.