According to Hindu Sastra there are four stages of life, of which Grahastha Ashram or married life signifies the second stage. It begins, when a man and a woman come together and marry. In India, marriage is treated as an institution, which teaches the actual values of life. Every stage in life has its own charm and a married life is no exception. In India, a marriage is usually arranged by the respective parents of the bride and the groom and follows various steps. Marriage among Hindus is not only considered a union of two souls, but of two families.
Hindu Marriage Rituals & Customs
A Hindu wedding not only involves the bride and groom but the entire community, friends, family and relatives as everybody participates in their coming together of the to-be couple. The first and the foremost step is the selection of the bride and the bridegroom. While in love marriages, a boy and a girl themselves select their life partner, it is crucial when it comes to arranged marriages. Talking about arranged marriages in the Hindu custom, the parents select the prospective bride/groom for their son/daughter.
After the selection procedure is over, the family members of both the girl and boy ask the priest to suggest an auspicious date for the engagement of the two also known as misri or ring ceremony. Since India boasts of diverse cultures and traditions, the engagement ceremony rituals differ from region to region and community to community. However, the basic of all the rituals, mentioned here, form an indispensable part of Hindu wedding. In the betrothal ceremony, the to-be bride and the groom exchange wedding rings among each other. Sweets and garlands are also exchanged among the couple.