The Essential Guide to Hindu Weddings: Shopping List

January 17, 2014 - by Nadya

Now that you're totally an expert on everything it takes to put on a Hindu wedding, you're reading to go shopping!

Hindu Wedding: Introduction

Hindu Wedding Engagement

Hindu Pre-Wedding Traditions

Hindu Wedding Traditions

Hindu Post-Wedding Traditions

Hindu Bridal Attire and Jewelry

Hindu Groom’s Attire

Hindu Wedding Food and Desserts

Hindu Wedding Shopping List – You’re here!

For the Engagement, the Pre-Wedding poojas, and the Wedding Ceremony, you'll need all the usual things for a pooja. It's best to ask your priest what he wants at the ceremony.  Otherwise here's a short list of the things often used for a pooja:

  1. A metal plate to hold the rice, deep with flame (small oil lamp), and small icons of the gods (usually tiny statues or engraved images)
  2. Rice to throw into the fire
  3. Ghee
  4. Deep with wick and oil (also have matches to light it)
  5. Kum kum to apply tikka
  6. dhoop (cone incense)
  7. Flowers
  8. Mithai (usually barfi or ladoo)
  9. Coconuts
  10. Images of the gods (Ganesh and Laxmi for sure)
  11. Rose water
  12. Sindoor
  13. Painted nuts/stones for the wedding ceremony (in some traditions)
  14. Rings to be exchanged
  15. A priest

Note: For the wedding ceremony only make sure the groom wears a scarf because it will be tied to the bride's dupatta.

Decorations-wise, make sure you have tons of marigolds and flowers generally (roses, carnations, and jasmines are the favorites).

candace photography - decoration width=

{photo by Candace Jeffery via Debika and Taki's Wedding}

For the Haldi Ceremony:  Remember this is that yellow mud bath thing.  This stuff gets everywhere so don't forget to tie up your hair.

  1. Plain salwar kameez and kurta pajame (This is a messy affair so I recommend clothes you can get dirty but still look nice)
  2. A pooja thali (pooja plate)
  3. Ubtan (the turmeric mix that's applied to the skin) (recipe below)
  4. Small stool for the bride and groom to sit on

Recipe for Ubtan: Combine the following ingredients in a bowl.

  • 3 tsp flour
  • 3 tsp turmeric (haldi)
  •  3 tsp milk
  • Optional: sandalwood powder or rose water for scent (it gonna get up your nose too, so maybe it's a good idea to make it smell nice

SONY DSC width=

{photo by Jason Hales via Lauren and Sanjay's Wedding}

For the Mehndi Night: It's like a super safe bachelorette party where the bride can't get up or run away.

  1. Tubes of mehndi or henna (optional: a mehndi artist to apply it)
  2. A super pretty dress for the bride
  3. Upbeat music
  4. Cushions and seats for everyone to sit on
  5. Food and snacks for guests
  6. The house is usually decorated to the nines, so do what you gotta do to make it look all Yash Raj

Hawaii Indian Wedding IQPhoto Studio 3 width=

{photo by IQ Photo Studio via Preeya and Pramod's Wedding}

For the Sangeet: Usually this is attached to the Mehndi Night, but not always.

  1. Another super pretty dress for the bride
  2. A dhol
  3. Spoons for someone to tap along to the music with
  4. Cushions and seats for everyone to sit on
  5. Food and snacks for guests
  6. Again the house is usually super decorated

Singing at the Sangeet width=

{photo by Jihan Abdella via Kavita and Tejas' Wedding}

For the Baraat: This is the groom's procession up to the door.  It's supposed to be loud and theatrical, so the bigger the better.

  1. A noble steed (tradition dictates a white horse, but grooms have used anything from limos to palanquins to elephants)
  2. Something playing loud music (like a truck, a stereo, or a family of singers)

Baraat - Riding on a Horse width=

{photo by Jihan Abdella via Kavita and Tejas' Wedding}

For the Jaymala: This is  simply a garland and vow exchange between the bride and groom.

  1. 2 Flower garlands

Indian Gujarati Wedding - EBM Photo 16 width=

{photo by EBM Photography via Tina and Raj's Wedding}

For the Gau Daan and Kanya Pratigrahan: This is where the families exchange gifts and the groom's mother gives the bride a mangal sutra.

  1. Gifts (requests from the family, usually jewelry, appliances, etc.)
  2. Mangal Sutra

Diana_Andrew_Hindu_Wedding179 width=

{R&L Photography via Diana and Andrew's Wedding}

For the Post-Wedding Traditions: What you need for this largely depends on the traditions in your own family.  Some will play games and some won't and everyone plays their own, so I recommend you ask around before going shopping.

  1. Saris for the married women
  2. Rings for the girls on the bride's side (depending on tradition)
  3. Money in cash or cheque in a festive envelope for the girls who steal the groom's shoes
  4. Pot filled with milk and food coloring (and rings to throw in)
  5. Items for games

Punam & Amit Hindu East Indian Wedding Photography Calgary 38 width=

{via Cosmin Danila

For the Grihapravesh: This is where the bride formally enters her new home.  Again, traditions differ on this.

  1. Kalash with rice
  2. OR plate with vermilion

{via Easy Day}

For the Reception: The food you choose for your wedding will probably reflect your heritage and personal tastes.  Besides the region-specific stuff, you'll usually see halva, ladoos, and barfi at all Hindu weddings.

  1. DJ or band (usually DJ since you're probably gonna play a ton of Bollywood/Tollywood music)
  2. Lots of food
  3. Lots of mithai
  4. Another dress for the bride

Pink & Silver Reception Ballroom width=

{photo by Jihan Abdella via Kavita and Tejas' Wedding}

For the Bride: We're basically just going to run through the Solah Shringar.

  1. Sindoor
  2. Flowers or jewelry for the bride's hair
  3. Mangtikka
  4. Bindi
  5. Kohl (or kajal, eyeliner)
  6. Karn phool (earrings)
  7. Nath (nosering)
  8. Haar (necklace)
  9. Baajuband
  10. Bangles (choodiyan) (optional: kalire) - our tips on buying bangles
  11. Aarsi (rings)
  12. Kamarband (gold belt)
  13. Paayal
  14. Bichus (toe rings)
  15. Perfume (itar)
  16. Shaadi ka joda (wedding dress)

Remember you'll also need a dress for every event you throw.  No outfit repeats.

For the Groom: Grooms have a lot less room for cherry-picking than brides, but again, everything is up to the taste of the groom.

  1. Safa (turban) (optional: sarpech and sehra)
  2. Sherwani (fancy kurta pajame)
  3. Mojari (the shoes with the curled toes) (for North Indian Hindu weddings)

Hawaii Indian Wedding IQPhoto Studio 45 width=

 {photo by IQ Photography via Alok and Venu's Wedding}

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