Traditional wedding ceremonies in South Asia are designed by the families of
the bride and groom, drawing on a wealth of religious and community
traditions. This page is for people who want to design their own
modified, untraditional, or intercultural weddings, or who want to
understand the symbolism of the traditional ceremonies.
As always, contributions or suggestions
welcome -- our contact address is at the end of the page.
- Tamil Shaivite Brahmin
ceremony, explained in detail by Padma Vaidyanath.
Muslim wedding ceremony -- pictures and short descriptions of
weddings, a summary. Note that some of the traditions described
may be purely regional. From WeddingsIndia.net
wedding -- pictures and description.
Hindu wedding in Hyderabad, from the perspective of a guest
marriage rituals and procedures, by Yashwant K. Malaiya
Marriages in Punjab, and another description of a
- An unusual ritual at a Rajput wedding
- Parsi wedding
marriage ceremony -- a brief description by Dr. Pritam Singh in the
- Pictures of
a Kannadiga wedding.
- Articles and essays about
in Islam, from the zawaj.com
- Christian --
- Jewish wedding
Unitarian wedding ceremonies
The Unitarian church is nondenominational and inclusive of all
traditions. Intercultural couples who want a formal ceremony often
like the flexibility that allows them to draw on their own cultures
Merging and Creating Traditions
- Unions breaking tradition. A "HinJew" wedding in Philadelphia. Gaiutra Bahadur in
the Philly Inquirer.
- Anis and Juditha's
album with a 'Western' wedding in the US and a Bangladeshi wedding
- Vega and Mala meet on Sawnet,
and get married a few years later. (In 2004 they sued to legalize gay
marriage in Washington State -- see the news page
for more info)
- "How we got married" (or "The
Cool-Ass Multicultural Hybrid Wedding-Thingy" :-)), by Melinda and Dorai Iyer.
- A Hindu-Jewish wedding ceremony in
in the time of Kargil. An Indian man talks about his marriage
to a Pakistani woman, in Little India.
- A traditional
South Indian (Bangalore) ceremony in Seattle. Priya Kumar Bradfield describes her wedding to Christopher Bradfield.
- A Sikh/Methodist couple in New York
A Punjabi-American bride and a Methodist groom have a traditional
Sikh wedding in New York.
- A short Hindu wedding
ceremony. Merging the Gujarati Brahmin traditions with Unitarian
and Christian traditions, by Prentiss Riddle.
- A Hindu ceremony followed by a church
An Indian-American Hindu woman marrying an American Christian man.
- The Ideal Wedding Ceremony? --
Arundhati Sankar describes an unusual
ceremony that treats man and woman on an equal basis.
- A feminist Hindu ceremony.
Radha Rangarajan and Santanu Paul, a Tamilian and a Bengali, were
opposed to the traditional Vedic marriage and wrote the script for their
feminist Hindu wedding ceremony.
- A civil marriage. This couple
barely made it to their wedding :-).
- A Unitarian wedding. An Indian
couple from different communities in Houston.
- Raj and Sharon's
wedding. Raj, a Hindu, married Sharon, a Reform Jew, in a pair
of ceremonies. RAM video clips.
Vinesh and Darshani/Amber's wedding in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in Jan 98.
- Are our
sisters and daughters for sale?. Statistics on dowry in India.
The Dowry Pledge.
- Young Wives' Tales
New Adventures in Love and Partnership.
Edited by Jill Corral and Lisa Miya-Jervis,
Seal Press, June 2001.
Gen-X women and marriage, straight and queer perspectives on
transforming the institution. Includes 'A Suitable Union',
a chapter by Bhargavi C. Mandava on her reluctant devision to have a
traditional Indian wedding to placate her traditional parents.
marriage. Sridhar Pappu writes about his arranged marriage
breakdown in Salon.
forced marriages to be outlawed in Britain. Telegraph, 18 Jun 00.
are on the rise. India Abroad, 30 Jul 99.
changing face of Indian Christian weddings. India Abroad, 30 Jul
traditional ceremonies to America. India Abroad, 30 Jul 99.
An Arranged Marriage. Neeta Vallab writes about her brother's
trip to India to find a bride.
- Marriage issues in
Islam. e.g. marriages between first cousins, dowry, arranged
marriages. From the religious columns of Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi
Three-Minute Wedding. The Shri Krishna temple in Guruvayoor,
Kerala, conducts 35 to 100 marriages a day, and is popular
for 'love' or intercaste marriages.
Maharashtrian wedding feast that will have you salivating.
Has pictures and recipes.
a lesbian wedding
weddings are becoming more elaborate, a report from LittleIndia.
- Legal Issues for South Asian women, some
of which relate to marriage and divorce.
The story behind Western wedding traditions, an entertaining look
at how traditions like a white dress, a ring, and a honeymoon developed.
can perform a wedding? Pretty much anyone, though it's best to have
a legal civil wedding as well. Interestingly, your best friend,
favourite aunt, or cousin's daughter can become a ULC minister and
perform your (possibly non-legal) ceremony. See link for more info.
Mixed Marriages -- a three-part series from Hinduism Today.
Part 2, and
- Indo-Canadian Mixed marriages
context and dilemma. By Jacqueline A. Gibbons.
paintings. The art of Mithila is linked to religious ceremonies,
wedding customs. The ones from South Asia are mostly incorrect, or
relate to one community only, but the entire list may give you some
fun ideas. I liked the one from Bermuda...
decent proposal. An article about semi-arranged marriage among
Indian Americans, in Prism.
On a sadder note...
Credits: Priya Bradfield, Champa Bilwakesh, Susan Chacko
Contact us: info-at-sawnet-dot-org