Traditional Bengali Hindu South Asian Wedding at Sanatan Mandir, Queens, NY (About Hindu Weddings)
Amanda and Prashant were married on April 12th, 2013 at Santan Mandir in East Elmhurst, NY, a stone's throw from LaGuardia Airport. It was my first South Asian wedding, and it was amazingly complex and stunning. The colors were bright and rich, and their traditions were extremely moving and beautiful. I've included descriptions of those traditions under the respective picture sets below. It was an experience I will never forget. It was a such a pleasure working with Amanda and Prashant and their friends and families, and I wish them all the happiness in the world!
Baraat Swaagat: The bride's party welcomes the groom's party in front of the mandir.
Parichhan: The bride's mother and other respected married women shower the groom with grains and perform aarti.
Janwaas: The groom is taken to a comfortable area in the mandir and offered refreshments.
Bride's Emli Ghotaaway: (photo set above and the next 9 photo sets) The bride's mother and uncle perform a ceremony under the mandap (wedding shrine) where the bride acknowledges that she is ready to leave home.
Kanyaadaan - Giving the Bride Away: Bride returns to the mandap and sits on the right side of the groom. The bride's parents place her right hand into the right hand of the groom. The groom promises to cherish her forever.
Angihotra: The priest invites the bride and groom to kindle the sacramental fire and make offerings of ghee and mixed herbs.
Bhaawar: The bride and groom circulate the fire seven times making offerings to Agni Dev, the fire god, and asking for the following:
Bride - May the Devas bless me as I enter into a new family. May the Devas bless the groom. May the Devas bless both of us with health, wealth and love for each other. May the Devas grant us true love for each other and fulfill all of our desires.
Groom - May the Devas shower an abundance of blessings on both of us. I am thankful of being given such a beautiful bride. May the Devas less us with wealth, health and prosperity.
Septa-Padi (7 Steps): They now take seven steps together to the northeast. There is a sentiment each time a step is taken.
Saat-Vachan: The bride and groom exchange vows.
Jaimaal & Rings: The bride and groom garland each other. The chant "May all the cosmic power unite our hearts, and as particles of water, once mixed, can never pe separated, even though are hearts may be inseparable." Bride and groom exchange marriage rings - the circular aspect of the ring signifying an un-ending love for each other. (The bride now sits on the left of the groom.)
Bridal Sparsh: They touch each other's heart saying, "I take your heart into your vows. May your mind follow my mind. May you listen to my voice attentively and lovingly, because God has given you to me and me to you to love together in married life"
Sindoor Daan: The goom now applies sindoor to the bride's head. The bride and groom perform this most sacred act in privacy, because this act is only for the two of them to share and cherish.
Assirvaad (Blessing): The priest, parents and other guests join in showering blessings on the bride and groom. (In the top right photo, they are being showered with flower blossoms.)
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