The Hindu Wedding Ceremony Explained

Photo taken by Eternal Photography

Var Aagaman & Ponkhana (Welcoming of the Groom)

The groom along with his family and friends (Jaan), are greeted at the main entrance by the bride’s family.

The bride’s family welcome the groom by offering him Tilak (red sandalwood powder) on his forehead and perform Ponkhana (welcoming ceremony). This symbolises the happiness and joy that will follow from the joining of both families.
As a symbol of his commitment, the groom is asked to break a small earthen pot. This signifies that the groom has the power to overcome any obstacles in his married life. Led by the bride’s family, the groom is escorted to the Mandap.

The Mandap represents a home supported by four pillars, each signifying the fundamental elements of Hinduism:

Dharma – religion and ethics
Arth – wealth and prosperity
Kama – love, fertility and family
Moksh – salvation

Var Pooja

(Paying Respect to the Groom)
With the priest presiding, the bride’s parents pay respect to the groom by washing his feet with milk, honey, sugar, ghee and yoghurt.


(Request of Blessing)
The priest requests all the planets, Gods and Goddesses to bless the couple with a happy and healthy life together.

Kanya Aagaman & Mala Arpan

(Arrival of the Bride
& exchange of Garlands)
The bride is led to the mandap by her brother, Vivek. The antarpat (curtain) that separates the bride from the groom is removed. The bride and groom then exchange flower garlands. This gesture symbolises the unification of their hearts.

Hasta Melap

(Joining of the Hands)
The priest joins the bride’s hand to the groom’s. The bride and groom make a lifelong commitment to support and help each other in their journey. The ends of the scarves worn by the bride and groom are tied together, symbolising a lifelong bond of marriage.

Kanya Daan

(Giving the Bride Away)
The bride is given away by her parents. Her hand is placed over the groom’s and they ask him to cherish and protect their daughter hereafter.

Mangal Phera

(Circling the Divine, Fire)
The bride and groom circle the sacred fire four times, signifying the four basic goals of Dharma (religion), Arth (wealth), Kama (love), Moksh (salvation). They take seven vows and seven life steps together. Seven signifies wholeness and completeness.

Sapta Padi

(Seven Vows)
1. We’ll respect each other
2. We’ll care for each other
3. We’ll be patient with each other
4. We’ll be honest and faithful
to each other
5. We’ll be together in happiness
and sorrow
6. We’ll travel this journey of life with
love and harmony
7. We’ll keep our family happy,
healthy and strong.

Photo taken by Jai Shah Photography

Kansar Bhojan

(Pledge of Love)
The bride and groom offer each other sweets to express their nurturing affection for one another.

Sindoor and Mangalsutra

(Sacred Necklace)
The groom promises lifelong protection by offering a Mangalsutra (black and silver sacred necklace) to the bride. He places Sindoor (red powder) in her hair parting. These two offerings represent the mark of a married woman and serves as a symbol of the husband’s love, integrity and devotion.


(Blessing from the Elders)
Before the newlyweds leave the mandap, the priest blesses them on behalf of the Gods and Goddesses with everlasting happiness. The couple also receive blessing from family members and friends.

Contact Soham Acharya Hindu Priest by calling 02038794642 or email on