Christian Weddings are usually conducted in a Church with much joy and celebrations. Just as in weddings conducted around the world, rituals and traditions of a Christian wedding too can be divided in terms of pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding rituals. Participation of friends and family members of the bride and the bridegroom helps to add joy to the wedding celebrations. Though the basic set of rituals of a Christian wedding generally remains the same, regional variations can be observed as communities tend to be influenced by the tradition of land they may be living in.
Traditionally, a Christian bride wears a white gown in western style and the groom wears a suit. The bride's head is covered with a white veil and a crown - a tiara or a bunch of white flowers, and she holds a flower bouquet in her hand. Though the Indian bride too might wear white, she might be clad in a saree with a small veil covering her face.
Find out about some of the most well known and much enjoyed pre-wedding customs of a Christian Wedding.
- Bridal Shower : Bridal Shower is one of the major pre-wedding customs of a Christian Wedding. This is basically a fun-filled and entertaining informal hen party, which is hosted by the bride's female friends. It is mainly a female get-together that is enlivened by songs, dance and joyful game sessions. Friends and relatives present gifts to the bride-to-be and give blessings for a blissful married life. Following the tradition, the bride serves a pink cake to all present. Uniqueness of the cake is that there is a thimble hidden inside this cake. It is believed that a girl who receives the piece of cake with a thimble will be the next to get married.
- Bachelor's Party : Bachelor's Party is the parallel version of the Bridal Shower and is hosted by the groom for his friends. It is essentially a stag party organized on the eve of the wedding or a couple of days before the wedding where a groom is expected to enjoy his last evening as a bachelor. A Bachelor's Party typically begins by raising a toast before the drinking begins in earnest. It is mostly celebrated to have fun and enjoyment with close friends.
Christian Wedding rituals and customs are simple and easy to follow. Please read on to know about the basic traditions and customs of a Christian marriage ceremony.
- Welcoming the Bride : The ceremony of welcoming the bride is conducted on the day of a Christian wedding. Groom sends a car to pick up the bride and waits for her outside the church. Following the tradition, when the bride arrives, the Best Man welcomes her with a kiss on either cheek and hands her a bouquet of flowers. Following this ritual, the couple walks down the aisle slowly and gracefully accompanied by the wedding procession. Inside the church, the couple walks up to the place where the priest stands for the wedding mass. The priest then welcomes them and offers his best wishes.
- The Wedding Mass : When everyone has taken place, the priest begins the wedding mass with hymns and selected reading from the bible. The priest then delivers the homily, with an emphasis on the sanctity of marriage. The next most important ritual is the blessings and the exchange of wedding rings and marriage vows by the couple. The wedding rings are first blessed by the priest in a belief that it will instill in the bearers an everlasting love and an earnest faith. A Christian Wedding ceremony comes to an end with the final blessings of the priest. Then towards the end, the guests shower their blessings on the newly wed couple. Finally, the newly wed couple signs the register and walk down the aisle arm in arm.
Reception is the most vibrant and sought after occasion organized after a Christian Wedding. As the newly wed couple enters a grand reception ceremony they are welcomed by all with a shower of confetti. Following the tradition, the happy couple also cut a wedding cake and feed each other a bite of the first slice. The Toastmaster proposes a toast in honor of the couple. The reception is mostly celebrated with dance and dinner party. Some people also arrange for a live band performance where everybody dances to the tune of the band.