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Holy water is poured onto the palm of the groom's hands, allowing it to flow through his fingers onto the bride's hand and later into the groom's hand.

Kanyadaan which translates to a donation of a daughter (Kanya meaning daughter and daan meaning donation) is a ceremony performed at Hindu weddings by a senior male figure from the bride's side symbolizing him giving away their daughter to the groom's family. Unlike today's perception of kanyadaan as trading a daughter from one family to another, originally kanyadaan was a moral concept revolving around acceptance, a ceremony performed to represent that the parent is asking the groom to promise to accept, respect and treat their daughter as their equal in all manners while the audience bears witness to the promise.

Story and Origin of Kanydaan

In a Hindu wedding, the groom is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Narayana whereas the bride is considered to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and the parents are assisting in the union of the two 'Gods'. This belief is the reason behind another ritual of welcoming the bride to her in-laws with the plate of Alta (a liquid mixture of water and vermillion powder) where she is asked to step on the plate and then enter the house. The red footprint of the bride signifies the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.

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In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment.

By Prerana Agarwal Saxena

In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:

Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.

sustainable sand art Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash

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Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

Statement florals will be everywhere in 2021.

Wedding decor can be fun if you love to design. Interior designers are often involved in wedding themes these days and Aatika Manzar, Founder Director at Aatika Manzar Designs share some simple ideas to help them plan a beautiful wedding:

Start with a theme wedding

All the designs get aligned in accordance with the theme you choose. Once you have a theme, everything can be worked according to that. A vintage/opulent theme is the most common in India because it comes with a traditional touch. The glamorous theme is popular too with shiny crystals, beautiful lights, and flowers. The colour scheme which usually is rich purple accompanied by a neutral beige carpet. It feels like the wedding took place in a castle amidst huge chandeliers, deep maroon furniture with gold polish, and lots of candles.

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Photo by Yohann Libot on Unsplash

The groom traditionally adorns the bride's finger with a ring as a token of love

During the days of slave trade in the ancient Roman Empire, it was a common practice to place a ring on the slave's finger as a sign of possession. Sometimes, they were even made to wear a ring on the septum of their nose. The slave ring was traditionally made of iron, with a ring attached to it on top.

Over the years, the idea of possession grew into a symbolism that needed expression. Men began to mark everything that belonged to them with a symbol allocated to their family name. they wore a signet ring which bore this mark, and every object in the household, from the cattle, to the vase, was marked. The Romans looked upon their wives as property too, and made them wear rings as a sign of being taken. To differentiate between the slaves and the mistress of the house, different metals were used. The slaves wore iron rings, and the master's wife, wore a golden band. Back then, the rings also symbolized social status.

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