5 Cruelty-Free Alternatives for Your Baraat

2014 Jul 31 - by dulhan
I wrote an article a while ago on how using animals in your Baraat could be sometimes harmful and cruel.  I also made reference to a few cool ideas that people have come up with as alternatives to using the traditional horse or elephant.  But now it's time for the definitive list on all the fantastic and wonderful Baraat ideas that you can use to make your wedding unique!

1. Palanquin/Chariot

A palanquin, carried by some of the more strapping relatives or a chariot rolled along behind a car would be a fantastically royal entrance.  You would get to decorate the box to fit your wedding's theme (I envision lots of hearts and the couple's initials and lots and lots of glitter) and have your best men (or women) hoist you up.  If it was good enough for the Mughal princes, it's good enough for you.

{via Exotic India}

2. Party Bus/Cable Car/Punjabi Truck/Double-Decker Bus

Baraats are supposed to be loud (and a little kitsch) so may I suggest arriving in a party bus or truck? Bhangra music blaring, horns honking, relatives dancing all around, I think it's the way to go.  OR consider what this couple (below) did at their wedding - a cable car, native to San Francisco but can be found almost anywhere.

Here in the UK, it's extremely common for couples to rent a vintage double-decker bus to ferry their guests around the city - why not make that part of your wedding procession? There are so many ways to adopt quirky automobiles to fit in with the celebration and it's a very easy way to put your personal stamp on the traditional Baraat.

{Photo courtesy of Thor Swift Photography}

3. Buggy/Rickshaw

Is there any better way to pay homage to the heritage than with a rickshaw? These are EVERYWHERE in Asia and definitely a staple form of transport in Desi land.  I would love love love to see a groom arrive in one of these ridiculous little things.  They're so much fun and they remind me of all the summers I spent in New Delhi.  Try adding a little bit of the Motherland to your wedding with one of these in the Baraat - your guests will adore it.

{Photo courtesy of Rammal Mehmud Photography}

4. Vintage Car/Limo

For the classier groom, consider renting a vintage car or a stretch limo and sunroofing it into the wedding.  A whole army of fancy cars with relatives pouring out of the windows and Bollywood music screaming out of the stereos sounds glorious.  Or, I mean, if you're more refined, one handsome car and one handsome groom is incredibly romantic.

{Photo courtesy of IQPhoto Studio, via Preeya & Pramod's Wedding}

5. On Foot

This may seem like a bit of a cop out but hear me out - when the groom is high up on his horse, he's not really a part of the dancing and singing going on around him.  He can only watch.  But when he's on the ground, he can dance along with his aunties and cousins.  One of the best baraats I've ever seen was at a North Indian-South Indian fusion wedding where the South Indian groom (bless him, he probably didn't realize how untraditional it was) arrived dancing at the front of the party with his best man.  He was grinning so wide and hugging all his relatives, it started us all off - we were clapping along with him and cheering.  The rest of the wedding was a little more subdued, but that was a fantastic entrance.

{Photo courtesy of Tara Sharma Photography, via Kriti & Sandeep's Wedding}

With some of these alternatives, your groom can still look like your knight in shining armor even without the noble steed.  Every bit of your wedding is chosen and planned keeping tradition in mind, but there's no law saying you absolutely need a horse or elephant in your Baraat.  Consider something unique that fits your personality and will keep your guests guessing about what else you have in store for them.