Saat Vachan, Kanyadaan & Phere
7 Vows or Saat Vachan are significant elements of any Indian Hindu Wedding. These are spoken while performing rituals like Kanyadaan and Phere, which is when the bride’s father performs the ceremony of giving away his daughter to the groom by pouring sacred water on to his daughter’s hand and then placing her hand in the groom’s hand. Then the groom’s sister or cousin sister steps in to tie the end of the bride’s dupatta with the groom’s scarf to initiate the Phere and Saat Vachan, also known as the Saptapadi. The knot is symbolic of the union between the bride and groom in holy matrimony.
In the Punjabi culture, the bride and groom usually wear attires that have bright hues such as pinks and reds. The Marathi brides wear the customary yellow sari and green bangles, whereas the Bengali and Gujarati brides sport attire comprising of white and red colors. The South Indian brides traditionally dress in their traditional Silk Sarees, be it a Kanjeevaram or a Pattu.
Origin & History
The origin of the Hindu wedding ceremony is based on the marriage of the Sun God or Surya with Savita and this has been described in length inside the oldest Hindu Scriptures – the Rig Veda. Traditionally, the hosts for the ceremony are the parents of the bride and the marriage is indicative of the bride and groom entering the second phase of their lives- the Grahasthashram.
Hindu marriage ceremonies vary from region to region, with different rituals and traditions, however, the key rituals that are common to all Hindu weddings is the Kanyadaan, Mangal Phere and Saat Vachan.
Present Day Scenario & Global Presence
On a lighter note, Kanyadaan and Saptapadi ceremonies form important melodramatic scenes in Bollywood films. In fact, these ceremonies have been dramatized to an extent that most of the Indian people are well aware of its significance. In fact, a lot of emotional songs have been penned for the entire wedding ceremonies, starting from Kanyadaan to the Bidaai.
Bollywood has been instrumental in glamorizing and sensationalizing the wedding rituals. The wedding day has now become a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the bride, groom and their respective families to splurge on the latest trendy outfits and even invest in some expensive designer wear and jewelry. The bridal couture in itself has become a booming industry which is witnessing immense profits, and this is because of enthusiastic young brides and grooms who do not want to look any less than a Bollywood star on the most important day of their life! The jewelry industry is also thriving, as chunky gold jewelry has been revamped with the old age touch of polka, Kundan and precious gemstones that give a regal appeal.
A lot of hard work is put in by both the guests and the bridal couple in putting together their outfits and accessories for the ceremony. Brides and grooms like to go in for traditional juttis, kohlapuris or nagras which have fine zari work. Likewise, an appropriate and matching potli bag or clutch are zeroed in as well which matches the ornate beauty of the wedding attire.
Sources of Inspiration
A lot of the bridal attire is inspired by the latest movie trends, real life Bollywood weddings or by the Bridal Couture fashion trends. The latest trend to have caught on is the traditional bridal look, which brings old world charm back on the fashion map. Aishwarya Rai’s golden Kanjeevaram sari and gold ornaments, Shilpa Shetty’s red and gold lehenga and Esha Deol’s ‘South meets North’ wedding look have inspired modern brides who emulate their idols in their own weddings.
The same is the case with the groom’s attire which is inspired by Bollywood real-life weddings. For instance, Riteish Deshmukh’s bandh gala, Saif Ali Khan’s Jodhpuris and Abhishek Bachchan’s Achkan and floral Sehra have all been inspirations for the modern day, Indian grooms.
Even guests present during these wedding ceremonies ensure that they are dressed according to the latest trends.