More and more people are choosing to have a traditional Vedic wedding ceremony at the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple. Our ceremonies differ from typical western weddings. They follow the teachings and rituals of the Vedic tradition. You don’t have to be a member of Hare Krishna Melbourne to have your wedding at the temple. Many couples choose to spend their big day here. They value the fine quality and culturally rich wedding services we offer.
If it is your first time at a Vedic wedding, you may have questions about the ceremony, and how it is different (or similar) to other weddings you have attended. We are going to share some of the common features of a Vedic wedding ceremony and what you can expect from weddings held at the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple.
What is a Vedic Wedding Ceremony
Just like with Western wedding ceremonies, each Vedic wedding is going to have slightly different rituals and customs depending on various factors. Traditionally, the location of the wedding and the culture of the people involved contributes to what happens during the ceremony. Many of the parts of a Vedic marriage have been handed down over the centuries and still feature in modern Hare Krishna weddings.
In common with other traditions, a Vedic wedding celebrates the union of two people; a sacred union and one promised for life, making it the most important of the ten vedic samskaras performed at the various important occasions of life.
What to Expect from a Vedic Wedding Ceremony
Here are some of the traditional customs and rituals that you will find at most Vedic wedding ceremonies, including the traditional ones held at the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple. (Please note that slight variations may occur due to family traditions and respective priests.)
- Milāni – The groom and his family are welcomed as they arrive. Once the groom has taken his place, the bride (usually accompanied by her maternal uncle) is invited to take her place.
- Darśana – A cloth is placed between the couple. The priest will recite the mantras and the cloth will then be removed. Traditionally this is the first time the couple will have seen each other.
- Introduction – This is a brief explanation of the meaning of a Vedic marriage.
- Ācamana – Holy water from the Ganges is used to cleanse and purify.
- Kumbha Sthāpana – The priest invites Lord Viṣṇu to join the ceremony. He then explains the ‘definition’ of the marriage and its commitments as outlined in the Vedic Scriptures.
- Saṅkalpa – The priest announces where, when, and between whom the marriage is taking place.
- Kanyadāna – This is the most important part of the ceremony. The bride’s father gives her away to the groom’s family. This is considered the greatest gift. The act is confirmed by the exchange of garlands between the bride and groom.
- Mangala Sutra – Like the concept of the Western wedding ring – a golden necklace is presented on a coconut by the groom’s mother to the bride.
- Kum Kum – The husband puts red coloured Kumkum on the parting in the hair of the bride.
- Havan – A fire sacrifice is performed by the priest in which the bride and groom and their families offer items to the fire.
- Purnahuti – Final offerings are made to the sacramental fire.
- Mangala Pradaksina – The fire is the witness to the whole ceremony. The couple walk around the fire four times, which represents the four aspects of life.
- Dharma – Religious Duties
- Artha – Economic Development
- Kama – Fruitive Work
- Moksa – Liberation
- Sapta-Padi Gamana – The final seven steps. The bride is led through seven blessings by the groom. The bridal couple, receive blessings from the priest and everyone present. This is the conclusion of the Vedic ceremony. The couple are considered husband and wife.
- Civil Marriage – Signing of the certificates and official registration of the marriage.
What to Expect from Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Vedic Wedding Ceremonies
Hare Krishna Melbourne offers high quality wedding packages for couples looking for an unforgettable wedding in the Vedic tradition. Complete with a delicious vegetarian feast, a sacred atmosphere, and gorgeous flower decorations, our ceremonies are guaranteed to make every couple’s big day one they will never forget.
We can cater up to 100 guests with our mouth-watering vegetarian food, and our highly trained staff will ensure that everything goes smoothly. If you are interested in a traditional Vedic wedding at the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple or if you have any questions about our wedding packages, contact our friendly team today!