Do Hindu Weddings Have Bridesmaids? What’s Their Role?

Hindu bridesmaids sat outside dressed in ink saris

Hindu weddings are known to be beautiful, fantastic, and full of life and colors. However, one must wonder if these weddings have bridesmaids or not? Moreover, if Hindu weddings do have bridesmaids, what are their duties and roles during the function? Are they similar to American bridesmaid, or are there any differences?

Traditionally, Hindu weddings do not have the concept of bridesmaids or best men. However, Hindu weddings have modernized over the years, and these weddings now have bridesmaids who assist with wedding rituals from start to end. Their roles include, but are not limited to:

  • Catering to guests and their questions
  • Bringing emergency make-up kits for the bride
  • Spearheading Dance rehearsals
  • Offering emotional support for the bride

Today, you will learn how bridesmaids play a vital role in modern Hindu weddings. Moreover, you will also learn about the different duties that are expected from Hindu bridesmaids. These duties sound similar to American bridesmaids’ responsibilities, but are a little different and demand more out of Hindu bridesmaids. Let’s take a look.

Do Hindu Weddings Have Bridesmaids? What’s Their role?

Yes, modern Hindu weddings have bridesmaid, and all the bridesmaids have to participate in wedding rituals and help the bride enjoy her amazing and special day. Bridesmaids not only have to look stunning in their gorgeous sari but also have to perform duties and roles. Let’s take a look.

Hindu Bridesmaids Should Be Ready to Deal with A Ton of Guests

First of all, Hindu weddings last for more than a day. You cannot just expect a simple reception and get done with everything in one day. These weddings often continue an entire week before the final day. Therefore, you will have to deal with a lot of people on a daily basis. Moreover, Hindu weddings are filled with guests. An average guest list can reach up to 300 or even 500 people at times.

Therefore, you need to be well-prepared with an entire army of guests who will want to ask you hundreds of questions about:

  • Rituals
  • Ceremonies
  • Timings
  • Other guests
  • Catering
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • Seating arrangements

You need to rehearse all the answers beforehand, and you need to able to manage hundreds of different people and their queries at the same time. This is why a Hindu bridesmaid is expected to be level-headed and calm minded since she will have to deal with tons of guests.

Not only this, but you will also have to make sure that all the guests are well-rested and well-fed. This is why Hindu bridesmaids are also expected to play hostess throughout the ceremonies and make sure that every single guest has had something to eat.

Since food is an integral part of Hindu culture and Hindu weddings, you will have to make sure that all the guests have had something to eat before and after the ceremonies. You will also need to make sure that all the guests and their kids are well-hydrated, and they have something to snack on during the ceremony. Since these weddings last for days, you will also have to ensure that the food is ready to be served at all times, and all the guests have had proper:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hindu Bridesmaids Are Expected to Spearhead Dance Rehearsals.

When you think of Hindu weddings, you think of colorful dance routines. All the Hindu bridesmaids are expected to not only spearhead different dance routines and rehearsals. Still, they are also expected to participate in more than one dance routine throughout the different ceremonies.

Hindu bridesmaids start preparing for different dance routines at least 2 or 3 weeks before the ceremonies begin. Moreover, they spend more than three to four hours every day rehearsing the different routines and perfecting every single move to Bollywood show tunes. This is one of the most important and widely exercised roles of a Hindu bridesmaid in Hindu weddings.

Hindu Bridesmaids Offer Emotional Support to The Bride.

This is true for all bridesmaids all over the world and not just for Hindu bridesmaids. However, the only difference is that Hindu weddings can last for more than five days. The bride and groom can be exhausted after attending each and every ceremony with enthusiasm. This is where Hindu bridesmaids step in and save the day by offering emotional support to the bride.

Traditional Beautiful Indian young girls in saree posing on white background
Indian bridesmaids

Hindu bridesmaids keep an eye on the bride throughout the different ceremonies and keep her well-hydrated and well-fed with the help of:

  • Water
  • Light snacks
  • Protein bars

Moreover, Hindu bridesmaids also keep an emergency bridal touch-up kit in their purse and make sure that the bride looks amazing and stunning in every single ceremony and in every single picture. Hindu bridesmaids take care of everything related to the bride, and make sure that the bride only has to:

  • Smile during the ceremonies
  • Sit with everyone
  • Take pictures
  • Enjoy the big day

Hindu Bridesmaids Carry a Bridal Touch-Up Kit

All the Hindu bridesmaids are expected to carry an emergency bridal touch-up kit for the entirety of the ceremonies. These bridesmaids make sure that the bride looks amazing and stunning throughout every single minute of the wedding. Let’s take a look at some of the important things that are included in this emergency bridal touch up kit.

Since most girls in Hindu weddings wear a sari, heavy-duty safety pins are a must for every Hindu wedding. This is why all the emergency kits are prepared with heavy-duty safety pins to ensure that the bride’s sari fabric stays in place throughout the different ceremonies. Hindu bridesmaids keep on checking the fabric and making sure the bride looks amazing.

Every wedding involves a lot of photography, and a stain remover pen helps ensure that the make-up is perfect before every photo shoot. This is why all the bridesmaid carries a stain remover pen in their emergency bridal touch-up kit. This stain remover pen can eliminate any unnecessary spots on brides face and make sure that she looks gorgeous for the photoshoot.

If you have ever seen a Hindu wedding, you must have seen the bride and other girls wear a lot of jewelry. This is a very common thing in Hindu weddings, and eyelash glue can help keep eyelashes and jewelry in place without harming the integrity of the material. All the bridesmaids carry an eyelash glue in their bridal touch-up kit.

Lastly, make-up is the most important element in a bridal touch-up kit, and all the bridesmaids carry different kits with different items in it. These make-up kits contain:

  • Blotting sheets
  • Mascara
  • Concealer
  • Hair spray
  • Mirror

Hindu Bridesmaids Limit Bride’s Social Media Use.

Modern brides use a lot of Snapchat and Instagram, but this can become a huge problem during wedding ceremonies. This is why Hindu bridesmaids ensure that the bride does not use too much social media during the ceremonies.

Moreover, it is considered a bad gesture if the bride uses her cellphone during a Hindu wedding. This is why Hindu bridesmaids take over the cellphone and make sure to reply to all the different comments on the bride’s social media platforms. They are also responsible for taking different pictures using the bride’s smartphone to capture memorable moments.

Hindu Bridesmaids Also Help with Shopping

One of the biggest responsibilities that Hindu bridesmaids have is shopping for bridesmaid dresses and bridal dresses. This specific ritual begins months before the wedding ceremony, and the bride spends weeks and months going over different bridal dress options and bridesmaid dresses.

Therefore, taking care of the attire and overall dress during the ceremony is one of the biggest responsibilities that Hindu bridesmaids currently have. They not only have to go along with the bride to different shops in order to purchase the perfect bridal dress, but also have to make sure that bridesmaid dresses are in coordination with the bride.

Moreover, they also have to make sure that the bride’s dresses do not fall apart or crumble during the wedding ceremony, and they make sure that bridal dresses are ironed and ready for the wedding rituals.

What Are Some Other Hindu Wedding Traditions?

Hindu weddings are marvelous social gatherings that bring the entire family together for an entire week at times. There are some Hindu wedding traditions that the majority of the world does not know about. Let’s take a look.

Hindu Wedding Dates Are Decided According to The Stars.

The first thing that you need to know about a Hindu wedding is that the wedding date is determined in the stars. This means that the bride and groom cannot randomly select a wedding date, but they have to talk to a religious scholar and consult with him to find the perfect date for the wedding according to the stars. 

These astrologers and religious scholars use the couple’s dates of birth and other important elements in order to come up with the perfect wedding date, also known as muhurta.

Once this date is decided, the next step is to decide the actual time of the day for the marriage. Yes, even the time, down to the last minute, is decided according to the stars.

Hindu Weddings Have a Musical Bachelorette Party.

If you think Bachelorette parties are cool, then you will absolutely love the Hindu-styled bachelorette party. It is actually referred to as “the Sangeet,” and it is held at least a few days before the wedding.

It is also known as a Garba, and it is the musical version of an American bachelor or bachelorette party that the majority of the world knows about. The entire family comes together to sing and enjoy the upcoming union of bride and groom.

Kids and other interested family members even get up to dance to Bollywood tunes, and all elders also participate in this ceremony. This sangeet kicks off the beautiful mehndi ceremony with lively performances.

Hindu Weddings Also Have a Mehndi Ceremony.

If you have ever seen a Muslim or a Hindu wedding photo shoot, then you must have noticed a lot of Heena on a lot of girls. This takes place during the brilliant and colorful Mehndi ceremony where the bride applies a lot of Heena in beautiful styles on her:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Arms

Some families also believe that the color of Heena during the mehndi ceremony also dictates the future of the couple. A wildly popular belief is that if the Heena is of a darker color, then the mother-in-law will absolutely love the new bride.

Mehndi ceremony

On the other hand, if the color comes out to be a lighter tone, then people start believing that the marriage will not last long. Regardless of the superstitions, the overall mehndi ceremony is quite a beautiful ritual, and everybody takes part in decorating the bride with Heena.

The Groom’s Arrival Is Called a Barat

In traditional Hindu weddings, the arrival of the groom in itself is a celebration and is called a Barat. This is the equivalent of an American reception, and it takes a lot of time for the groom to complete the journey from his home to the actual wedding destination.

Everybody from the groom’s side gets into cars and drives all the way to the wedding destination while blasting Bollywood tunes to the loudest. In some cases, the groom rides on a horse and leads the entire Barat towards the wedding destination. 

Moreover, Hindu drummers and musicians are hired to walk in front of the Barat and announce the groom’s arrival with loud music. This is another beautiful tradition in Hindu weddings that has become a pillar of Hindu weddings for over a few centuries now.

The bride’s parents finally greet the Barat, and the bridesmaid and the groom are finally led to the wedding destination, where he sits by the bride and announces his vows to his bride. Finally, bride and groom go back to his home with the barat after all the marriage rituals are performed.

The Groom Adorns the Bride with A Necklace.

This is one of the important elements of a Hindu wedding. The groom places a beautiful necklace, made out of gold beads, on the bride, and it is called a “mangal sutra.”

Mangal Sutra

The basic purpose behind this mangal sutra is to invoke the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune in order to bless the wedding and make this a beautiful union for the bride and groom. This necklace is supposed to bring prosperity for the couple.

Hindu Weddings Take Place Around Fire.

If you have ever seen a Hindu wedding, you must have wondered about the fire burning in the middle of the stage. Well, this fire is also referred to as a “Mandap,” and it is among the most important elements of a Hindu wedding. A Hindu wedding is not considered a contract, but a sacrament, and the fire is considered a witness of the blissful union.

The bride and groom’s garments are tied together as they circle around the fire to complete their wedding rituals. This ritual is also known as Saptapadi. The couple has to take seven rounds around the fire, and each round represents a different promise and blessing for the couple. In the first 4 rounds, the groom leads the couple. However, in the last 3 rounds, the bride leads the couple around the fire.

The Bride Has to Wear Sindoor at The End of the Wedding.

You must have seen a lot of Hindu married ladies wear a red powder in their hair. This red powder is called Sindoor, and it symbolizes the completion of marriage rituals.

Sindoor being applied to bride’s hair

At the end of the wedding, the groom places this red powder in between the bride’s hair and announces that they are now married. Some of the modern brides do not like to wear this Sindoor on a daily basis, but this is one of the important elements of a traditional Hindu wedding.

Hindu Weddings End with A Vidaai Ceremony

The majority of American weddings always end on a happy note. However, traditional Hindu weddings end with an emotional Vidaai ceremony where the bride, her friends, and her parents cry to their heart’s extent. This is because the final departure is a sad event as their beloved daughter is finally leaving their home.

What Do We Have to Say?

Hindu weddings are known to be quite colorful and amazing. Moreover, these wedding ceremonies can also last somewhere between 4 days to an entire week where every single member of the family participates in every single ritual. 

In the past, there were no bridesmaids in traditional Hindu weddings, but the more modernized Hindu weddings now employ the help of bridesmaids for different wedding rituals. These bridesmaids are expected to not only do everything that American bridesmaids have to do but also must take on additional roles because the wedding takes more than a few days.

They have to cater to guests and their questions and also ensure that the bride is ready before every single ritual. They not only take care of the bride but also the guests participating in the wedding ceremonies.

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