Christian weddings are not very elaborate. They are fairly simple but a lot of fun.
Pre Wedding Rituals
Attending Preparatory course: This is a counseling course which prepares the couple as they are about to enter a new phase in their life. It is important as it helps both partners to understand each other better guides them as to how to tackle difficult situations which may come their way in the course of their married life together. The couple is made to take an oath stating that they are aware of all the marital duties.
Bridal Shower: This is an informal and fun party hosted by the bride’s female friends. The bride’s friends plan a surprise party for her and shower her with lots of gifts. A lot of girly games are played during this party and the bride also gifts lovely presents to all her friends.
Bachelor and Bachelorette Party: This is a party hosted by the best man and friends for the groom before his wedding. The party signifies his last night as a bachelor. There is a lot of entertainment and the groom celebrates with his friends. In the case of the bride, it is hosted by her bridesmaids and friends.
His and Her’s Pre-Wedding Party: Sometimes when the bride and the groom share a lot of common friends, they do not host separate bachelor and bridal shower party; instead they plan a combined party.
The Rehearsal Dinner: This is a dinner, which brings both the families together before the wedding. This is usually hosted by the groom’s parents if the wedding expenses are borne by the bride’s family. The dinner can be really informal and be hosted at home or else at any restaurant.
Welcoming the Bride: The bride arrives at the church in a car sent by the groom to pick her up. She is received by the Best Man outside the church who kisses her on her cheek and hands her the bridal bouquet.
Wedding Mass: The priest welcomes the couple and offers them good wishes. Most often, the bride walks down the aisle with her father or maybe even her mother too. This is usually the first time they see each other that day and is a special moment! The priest starts the ceremony and the mass begins with hymns and selected readings from the Bible. The priest talks about the sanctity of marriage and asks a few questions to the couple. The priest then tells them to join their right hands and declare their consent before god. The couple then takes their wedding vows and the priest blesses the couple. This is followed by the exchange of rings.
Prayer of the Faithful: The priest prays to the God to bless the couple so that their bond strengthens with time.
Offertory Procession: The couple is supposed to bring offerings such as The Bible, miniature thermocol house, candles and flowers. Each of these items has significance. Post this, the priest offers the couple consecrated bread and wine which represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Communion Rite: All the people attending the wedding receive the Holy Communion.
Nuptial Blessing: The bride and groom pray to God and thank him for his kindness. The priest concludes the ceremony with a final blessing followed by a prayer. All the guests present, bless the couple and the couple and the priest, along with their witnesses sign the register. This serves as a valid legal document for marriage.
The Recessional: The bridal party walks down the aisle and is led by the bride and the groom. The musicians play the recessional hymn as they walk.
Post Wedding Rituals
Reception: The reception is fun and lively. The newly wedded couple enters along with the bridal party and is welcomed with a confetti shower by the guests. Then the wedding cake is cut and champagne is popped to raise a toast. The cake is served to all guests and the compere raises a toast in honour of the couple. Then the bridal party sits at the head table and a few toasts are raised by close friends. Post this, the couple moves towards the dance floor for their first dance. They are joined by their parents and the bridal party mid-way through their dance. The dance floor is then open to the guests. This continues as the night unfolds. When the couple is ready to leave, the bride tosses her bridal bouquet and according to an old belief, the girl who gets hold of the bouquet, will marry next. The same is usually done by the groom and his friends with the garter! Stay tuned for more wedding styles from Marry Me – Wedding Planners in India.