Raj Shah Managing Editor Desh-Videsh Media Group

Editorial June 2024

Dear Readers,

Raj Shah Managing Editor Desh-Videsh Media Group

I am thrilled to present the Desh-Videsh Wedding Special Edition. This issue is a tribute to the vibrant and diverse traditions that make Indian weddings so unique and enchanting. From the grandeur of rituals to the intricacy of attire, we delve into every aspect that makes these celebrations extraordinary. We bring you heartwarming stories, expert tips, and breathtaking photography that capture the essence of love and cultural heritage. Join us in celebrating the magic of Indian weddings, where every moment is a blend of tradition, beauty, and joy. 

First, let me talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart: the uniqueness of Hindu weddings. Hindu weddings are a vibrant tapestry of ancient traditions, cultural richness, and spiritual depth, each element woven with symbolic significance. Among the myriad of rituals, the Saptapadi stands out as a cornerstone of Hindu matrimonial ceremonies. Known as the Seven Steps, this tradition involves the bride and groom taking seven symbolic steps around a sacred fire, each step representing a vow they make to each other. These vows encompass aspects of their future lives together, from nourishment and strength to prosperity and mutual respect, grounding their union in shared responsibilities and aspirations.

Another unique tradition is the Kanyadaan, where the bride’s parents “give away” their daughter to the groom. This act is not merely a transfer of responsibility but a deeply spiritual gesture, symbolizing the parents’ trust in the groom to cherish and protect their daughter. People view the bride as a divine gift, and this ritual emphasizes the sacredness of her new role as a wife.

The Mangalsutra ceremony is also pivotal. The groom ties a sacred necklace around the bride’s neck, symbolizing their marital bond. This necklace, often adorned with black beads and gold, is more than an ornament; it is a constant reminder of the marital vows and the couple’s commitment to each other.

These traditions, rich in meaning and reverence, reflect the essence of Hindu philosophy—where marriage is not just a union of two individuals but a sacred bond that involves family, society, and divine blessings. Prayers and mantras imbue each ritual, invoking divine protection and prosperity for the couple, transforming Hindu weddings from a mere celebration of love into a profound spiritual journey.

Now, let’s talk about four real weddings that we are covering in this issue, selected from several that were submitted to us.

Zinkal and Ravindra’s wedding beautifully showcased the significance of Hindu rituals and traditions. The ceremony took place at Florida Rustic Barn Weddings in Plant City, FL, blending nature and tradition. Key Hindu customs included the pre-wedding haldi and mehndi rituals, performed at home with close family and friends, symbolizing purification and beauty.

The outdoor wedding ceremony took place under a mandap, adorned with pink-themed real flowers, symbolizing prosperity and purity. The groom’s arrival on a horse carriage honored traditional Indian practices, emphasizing cultural heritage. These rituals underscored the deep-rooted values of love, respect, and commitment central to Hindu weddings.

Music and dance added vibrancy, with the couple’s first dance medley and a father-daughter dance celebrating familial bonds. This blend of tradition and personal touches created a meaningful and joyous celebration, reflecting the essence of Hindu wedding rituals.

Let me now discuss how the wedding of Aarti and Nir beautifully exemplifies Hindu family values. Their celebration at the Le Meridien Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, was not just a union of two individuals but a testament to the importance of family, tradition, and community in Hindu culture. The grand wedding, with 800 guests, highlighted the significance of involving extended family and friends in life’s major milestones. The pre-wedding events, like Aarti’s Mendhi party, showcased the joy and togetherness that come with such gatherings. Their wedding, filled with heartfelt dances, emphasized respect for family traditions and the blending of diverse cultural elements, as seen in their music choices. Aarti and Nir’s journey, from a picturesque proposal to meticulous wedding planning, underscores the values of love, patience, and mutual support, essential pillars in a Hindu family’s life.

Sureena and Kishan are the next real weddings I want to talk about. This wedding beautifully honored age-old Indian traditions with a modern twist. One unique tradition was the Mehndi ceremony, where intricate henna designs adorned Sureena’s hands, symbolizing joy and love. The Sangeet night brought together both families in a musical celebration, with traditional songs and dances fostering a sense of unity and festivity.

During the wedding ceremony, the couple participated in the Kanyadaan, where Sureena’s parents formally gave her away, a gesture rich in cultural significance. The Mangal Phera, where the couple circled a sacred fire seven times, symbolized their commitment to each other across seven lifetimes. Kishan marked Sureena’s forehead with sindoor, signifying her new status as a married woman, another unique tradition. These cherished rituals, interwoven with modern elements, made their wedding a heartfelt celebration of love and heritage.

Some of you who know me know that I get very emotional when I talk about Indian Americans, especially Indian-American kids and young adults who excel in their fields or apply Indian or Hindu values. Let’s talk about how Ashima and Gautam maintained Indian wedding customs and traditions at their wedding.

Ashima and Gautam’s wedding in St. Petersburg, FL, shows how Indian Americans continue to uphold Indian wedding customs and traditions, even in the U.S. Their journey from meeting on the Dil Mil platform to a grand wedding celebration at The Vinoy reflects the fusion of modern romance and traditional values.

Their festivities began with a vibrant Mehndi at Ashima’s parents’ home, a traditional pre-wedding ceremony where intricate henna designs were applied. A warm welcome party followed this. The Haldi and Sangeet events featured lively music, dancing, and performances, capturing the joyous spirit of Indian celebrations.

The wedding ceremony itself maintained the essence of Punjabi traditions. Pink décor adorned the indoor venue despite the unexpected rain, and Gautam’s arrival on horseback to traditional Punjabi music was a nod to cultural customs.

The reception showcased a blend of cultures with a mix of Bollywood, Bhangra, Spanish, and English music, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the guests. Personalized elements, like cocktail napkins featuring their family dogs and a floral canopy for Ashima’s entrance, added a unique touch.

Their wedding exemplifies how Indian Americans seamlessly integrate traditional customs with modern elements, creating memorable celebrations that honor their heritage.

Let me conclude my column by talking about two MyShadi Bridal Expos. The MyShadi Bridal Expo, hosted by Desh-Videsh Media Group, promises to be an unforgettable experience for all attendees with its vibrant blend of tradition and modernity. Mark your calendars for August 4, 2024, at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Coral Springs Hotel & Convention Center and August 25, 2024, at Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, as these events will showcase the finest in South Asian wedding culture. From exquisite bridal wear and jewelry to stunning decor and delicious cuisine, the expo offers everything needed to make your special day truly magical. Whether you’re a bride-to-be, a groom, or a wedding enthusiast, the MyShadi Bridal Expo is the place to be this August.

Raj Shah Managing Editor Desh-Videsh Media Group

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and richness of South Asian weddings and connect with top industry professionals who can bring your dream wedding to life. 

See you there!

Raj Shah
Managing Editor

Desh-Videsh Media Group


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