Hindu wedding ceremony:
Usually the priest would officiate the ceremony, offering prayer, and coconut. The guests shower rice and other grains over the couple to bless them with a prosperous married life. The bride’s father would take his daughter’s hand and place 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. As a sign on union, the groom takes the bride’s hand, walk around a fire as the wedding vows are read. Finally the groom ties the Thali necklace around the bride’s neck, to signify the inseparable union of the married couple.
Dress modestly for the religious ceremony. It is very common for guests to wear saree or lehengha with a shawl (for the ladies) and the sherwani (for men), but other decent attire is fine too.
|The offering and breaking of coconut in Hindu wedding ceremony – signify “I offer myself at your feet”. Photo by RC Studio.
|Tying of Thali necklace signifies the inseparable union of the married couple. Photo by RC Studio.
|After the ceremony, the newly-weds play games, their rings are thrown into a pot containing milk and rose petals. They have to retrieve their own ring. Whoever gets it first is said to be the boss in the marriage. Photo by RC Studio.
Indian wedding receptions are very colorful, full of music, dancing and performances. The color Red has great significance in Hinduism, it symbolizes purity and love. It is ok to wear any formal/ semi-formal, evening gown (strapless, bare shoulder, etc.) to an Indian wedding reception held in halls, hotels, not temples. Avoid racy cuts as you don’t want to out-shine the bride.
|Wedding reception. photo by: Emotion in Pictures
What to Give: From what I read online and the common practice these days, guests bring monetary gifts in envelopes, embroidered pouches or the colorful packets that are used during the festive seasons. Do take note that the amount you give to the couple should end with ‘1’. For example, RM51, RM71 as ‘1’ is the beginning of a new cycle, assuring continuity while ‘0’ signifies the end, and not so auspicious. I am sure if you don’t know about these info, it is perfectly alright as well.
Generally, the amount to give depends on how close you are to the bride & groom and the wedding venue, for example 5-star hotel in KL: Mandarin Oriental KL wedding packages 2018: from RM2736 nett per table | Sunway Putra KL Indian (Maharaja) wedding packages: from RM1688 nett per table. Others: Tasty Touch Fusion Catering Indian Set packages 2018: from RM17 per pax. DFC Cater Indian Wedding Package 2018: RM12.60 per pax. It is not about being calculative but things have become a social norm for a reason; it is practical and you don’t have to crack your head on what to give. Of course you can bring a wedding gift too.