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Punjabi Wedding Ceremony

Punjabi Wedding Ceremony is basically a very simple and lively function and is celebrated with lots of zest and fan fare. The wedding ceremony consists of many rituals, which have a distinct significance and charm.

Pre Wedding Ceremony


Roka ceremony is performed on a mutually convenient date backed by 'shubh muhurat'. This is a simple function, which is attended by family members and close friends. There is normally an exchange of gifts and cash. After this roka ceremony, the girl and the boy are considered engaged to each other and are also allowed to court. The wedding date is fixed after roka.


The ceremony usually takes at the groom's house or it may be at a banquet hall, hotel or club, if the number of guests is large. During the ceremony, the pandit performs "havan". The girl's father applies the "tikka" (made of kesar, rice grains and flower petals) on the boy's forehead who takes the blessing from the girl's family members. Each of the relatives and friends present from the girl's side then offers mithai to the boy and gives cash.

Chunni Chadana
On this occasion, the boy's parents and relatives visit the girl's house. The boy's sister or sister in law meets the girl first and traditionally presents her a red "chunni" or a red sari. After dressing the girl in clothes brought by the boy's family, they then lead her to the venue of the ceremony where her future mother gives her gifts and adorns her with jewellery. The boy and the girl exchange rings and the girl is then given gifts, in cash and kind, by all those present from the boy's side.

On of the attractive and interesting part of the marriage ceremony is "sangeet". After sagan on every night till the wedding day, the relatives and friends get together for singing sessions both at the boy's as well as the girl's house. One day is fixed for special sangeet session which is attended and celebrated by both the sides together.

Mehendi is applied on the bride's hands and feet either by a family member or by a professional but the important factor is that the Mehendi is sent by the boy's side as part of the kwar dhoti, sent by the boy's family on the wedding day.

Wedding Ceremony
This is done in two parts. Ceremonies are performed separately at the bride's house as well as the groom's house.

Ceremonies at the girl's house

The "chuda" ceremony begins with a "havan" or "puja" performed by the pandit. The oldest mama and mami (or those performing this ceremony) keep a fast till chuda. The chuda, i.e., the set of cream and red ivory bangles, is not shown to the girl just before the ceremony. After the puja everybody present is supposed to touch the chuda, in a manner of offering their good wishes to the girl. The chuda preceded by a mauli which is tied by the pandit on the girl's wrist. Four lamps are lit and the bride-to-be is made to sit in front of them. Oil is constantly added to the diyas so that the glow will be reflected on her face and she will look more beautiful on the wedding eve. A paste of turmeric powder and mustard oil is applied to her body and then the bride is given a bath with holy water. The bride then wears her bridal attire, which is as per tradition given by the maternal uncle.

Ceremonies at the Boy's house

The bridegroom is applied a paste of turmeric and mustard oil and is bathed by water brought by his sister in law from the temple. His maternal uncle presents his attire. Thus maternal uncles play an important role in Punjabi marriages. After he has bathed and changed into his new clothes, puja is performed. The boy's father or an elderly relative is given the honour of tying the "sehra" on his head. A pink colour turban is first touched by all the relatives present before it is tied on the boy's head. The groom then leaves for the venue.

As the time of the mahurat approaches, the boy is led to the "vedi" where the pundit performs puja for the boy. The first few mantras are recited by the boy only. This is the time for the mischievous pranksters from the girl's side to make a grab for the boy's shoes, which they later exchange for money. Thereafter the girl is led to the "vedi". Then the ritual of "kanya daan" takes place where the girl's father puts a ring on the boy's finger before placing his daughter's hand in his. Thereafter the couple take the seven phera's round the holy fire.

Post Wedding Ceremony
As per tradition on her first day in her new home, the bride is made to cook something, preferably a sweet dish like halwa or kheer. The parents and relatives of the groom give gifts and presents to the bride. The first day after the wedding is also an occasion when the newly weds visit the girl's parents. Both the girl and the boy are given gifts of clothes and jewellery by the girl's parents and relatives.

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