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Hindu Wedding Malaysia – Checklist and Traditional Process

Many different wedding rituals and traditions are practiced in India. In Malaysia, the Hindus carry out the wedding ceremony according to their respective subcontinent in India. However some of these cultures have overlapped through time. Indian weddings are very vibrant, with extensive use of accessories, bright colors, and specific details in place.

Hindu Wedding Ceremony

Usually the priest would officiate the Hindu wedding ceremony. He holds a curtain between the bride and the groom and chants songs. The guests shower rice and other grains over the couple to bless them with a prosperous married life. As rice is thought to ward off demons, it is poured into the wedding fire. After the curtain is removed the bride’s father would give her to the groom. He takes his daughter’s hand and places it on the groom’s. The bride applies sandalwood paste to the grooms forehead, the groom then applies a red mark on the bride’s forehead. 

indian marriage ceremony sandalwood Malaysia
The groom applies a red mark on the bride’s forehead

Seven Step Ritual

As a sign on union, the groom takes the bride’s hand – often this occurs in the presence of fire, the flame is a sign of a new household. The two exchange vows during this ritual, sometimes referred to as the Seven Step ritual. Sometimes the vows are read as the bride and groom walk around a fire with pieces of each other’s clothing tied together or the groom holding his bride’s hand. 

exchange vows seven step walk around fire
The couple walk around the fire

Tying of Thali Necklace

The groom places a floral garland around his bride’s neck… this represents love. Finally the tying of the Thali necklace which signifies the inseparable union of the married couple. The Thali (also known as Mangala sutram) is a sacred necklace the Hindu groom ties around the bride’s neck, often bought by the groom’s family and the custom originated from the South of India.

tyling of thali sacred necklace wedding Malaysia
Highlight of the ceremony; The groom ties the Thali necklace around the bride’s neck to signify that they are married

Hindu Wedding Ceremony Checklist

  • Set the date and Book the Venue – temple, resort, hotel, hall, etc. What does the venue provide?
  • Book your marriage officiant (priest)
  • Verify wedding ceremony details and the items to bring – Pooja thali, flowers, rice, grains, sweets, fruits, coconut, etc.
  • Hire Decorator, planner – Kolam, statue, mandap, flowers, theme, funiture overlay/ Sashes

Wedding Set-up

Kolam is a form of auspicious painting that is drawn by using colorful rice, fresh flowers or polystyrene. Wedding kolam is elaborate and befitting for an auspicious occasion. Usually done at the doorsteps, courtyards, pooja/ prayer room for Hindus, Kolam together with the classical Indian entrance art work can be a visual treat for incoming wedding guests. Mandap is a temporary porch or platform setup for a wedding ceremony which is part of the decoration.

visual treat for guests
Mandap- a temporary porch for the wedding ceremony
metal tray wtih red rice grains for prayer
Pooja thali – a tray containing items for prayer. Verify with the priest.

  • Inform your family and bridal team (bride’s maids, coordinators…). Send out invitations.
  • Hire Photographer and Videographer – Brief them about the particular photos or scenes you want to be captured

For the Bride

  • Reserve Makeup and Mehndi artist, hair stylist
complicated paterns drawn on hands feet of bride
Mehndi or Henna – Designs or patterns are drawn on the hands and feet of the bride as decoration

  • Rent or buy wedding garments- saree/lehengha, shawl, shoes (for the bride)
pink fabric full ankle length skirt with bling
Left: Lehenga (full ankle length skirt). Right: Saree or Sari

  • Pick the accessories/ jewellery color and type that complements your wedding gown
  • Headpieces, Necklace, Earrings, brooches, armlets, bangles, hip chain / saree belts, anklets, rings
fan shape head piece plait
Left: Jhoomer – a fan shape hair-piece usually worn on the left side of the head.
Right: Choti – hair jewellery along the plait
white big flowers veil chain Hindu wedding Malaysia
Left: Gajra- floral hair garland
Right: Matha patti – head jewellery with a central chain and attached chains that flow along the hair line

For the Groom

Get matching sherwani, dhoti. Dhoti (also known as veshti, pancha, mardani) is a traditional Indian men garment. It is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Sherwani suits which more formal is a long coat-like garment with high neckline. Purchase Chappal (sandals)/ shoes, accessories such as headdress, brooches, studs, shawl.

long drape with scarf groom
Left: Sherwani. Right: Dhoti


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