Music is very important and plays a special significance at Indian weddings as it denotes the union of two people for a lifetime. Wedding music and rituals vary from state to state and each region has folk songs unique to the region. There are different songs for each of the rituals and wedding functions. Like there are dedicated songs for pre-wedding functions such as mehendi, haldi and sangeet and there are other songs for the wedding ceremonies like songs for entry of the bride, garlanding ceremony and bidaai.
Depending on the ritual the wedding songs and the lyrics change. The wedding begins with offering prayers to lord Ganesha. The bride is considered to be an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi and therefore, when the bride is entering the lyrics signify that she would take along good luck and wealth to her new family. The lyrics and music during the garlanding ceremony would be more auspicious and cheerful and would signify the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of the newly wedded couple. During the bidaai the lyrics would be a mixture of happy and sad notes as, on one hand the newly wedded bride would be leaving her loved ones behind and entering a new phase in her life while on the other in-laws assure her family to give her equal amount of love and affection and welcome her to her new house.
The music at Indian weddings is usually live and pleasing. The most common music at Indian weddings is the Shehnai. This is widely used for North Indian marriages and processions while South Indian weddings have Carnatic music. Other options include Jaltarang or Santoor. Though there are professional artists who play at weddings, some families still follow the old rituals where the women of the family sing. Especially in Bengalis, when the bride enters and during the garlanding the family members whistle and blow the shell.
The trend is changing and recorded music is being widely played at weddings these days. Also brides are entering to Bollywood numbers and Sangeet nights have more of fusion music along with Bollywood. This is catching up among couples who do not want a very traditional ceremony. A balance of both is nice. However, think about your personality and you and your fiancé as a couple and then decide on which route you would like to take – traditional, modern or a blend of the two? Do let us know the wedding entertainment you choose for your Indian wedding functions.