Traditional Indian weddings are lavish, vibrant affairs. They may last several days or even a week and involve a great deal of expense and preparation.
Flowers figure largely in the decorating motif of most Indian weddings. Indian brides use flowers as take-home gifts. A bride may tuck flowers in her hair in lieu of a veil, or wrap a nosegay around her wrist. In a Punjabi wedding, the bride’s brothers hold a sheet of flowers, which the bride walks under to approach her groom. Sindhi brides wear jewelry and adornments made of flowers. The in-laws give these accessories to the bride in a separate ceremony, known as ‘Sagri.’ Flowers also decorate the Mandap, a canopy erected in the center of the wedding. Here sacred prayers are offered for the bride and groom. The Shamianas, or tents for the guests, are also decorated with flowers. Varmalla are traditional Indian flower garlands. They are worn around the neck and typically made from roses, jasmine, or carnations.
While many brides opt for delicate flowers in subdued shades, Indian brides love brightly colored, extravagant flowers. Red and gold are traditional colors for an Indian wedding, although other colors are becoming more common. Flowers are often highly fragrant and bring a festive exuberance to the wedding occasion.
Some popular choices for flowers are: