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The Rich Culture of the Indian Community in Melbourne
With the diverse culture of Melbourne, it’s not surprising that there were various traditional wedding celebrations in the capital city of the state of Victoria. One of those setups is the Indian wedding celebrations.
However, before we discuss all the details of an Indian wedding, it’s great to look back and trace how and when did the Indian community start migrating to Melbourne.
According to Museums Vitoria, migration started way back in the early 19th century when a group of Indians reached Australia as convicts of the British government in India. Not long after, some groups of Indians also arrived as laborers for hawkers or agricultural workers.
Currently, Indian-born migrants make up 3% of Melbourne’s total population. Additionally, 50% of those are families with children, and 46% already have Australian citizenship.
Now, after all the facts mentioned above, it’s unsurprising that many Indian weddings are happening in Melbourne. In addition to the Indian community, the picturesque wedding venues in Melbourne are perfect for their traditional Indian celebrations.
This article will unfold all the elements, top venues, and tips on adequately executing Indian weddings in Melbourne. Sit back and relax as we bring the culture of India into the aesthetic city of Melbourne.
Key Elements of Indian Weddings in Melbourne
Traditionally, Indian weddings are known to be grand and diverse and have significance in their ancestral roots. They have sophisticated celebrations that often run for multiple days and involve various rituals and ceremonies.
Here are some notable elements you must understand and include if you plan an Indian wedding ceremony.
Let’s start with the pre-wedding ceremonies. These traditional activities create an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement for the soon-to-be-married couples. This series of events brings the families of both parties into unison and agreement before the grand day of the wedding.
In Punjabi tradition, Roka serves as the engagement ceremony. It is known to be a simple and intimate ceremony where families and close friends gather to celebrate with the couple.
This ceremony is the most essential pre-wedding activity that ignites the official start of Indian wedding celebrations. This event occurs in the groom’s house, wherein the bride’s family will come and bring their tikka and wedding gifts. This is also a great time to pray for the couple and wish them blessings.
Another pre-wedding event in the Hindu culture is the Mehndi celebration. This ritual is for the bride together with her closest lady friends. Technically, this event is filled with so much fun, food, and music. Additionally, they will apply red-orange henna on the bride’s palm, back of hands, and feet.
If Sagan ignites the official start of wedding celebrations, Sangeet serves as the beginning of the party. Traditionally, Sangeet is only a gathering for female attendees from both sides of the family. However, in today’s modern setup, they invite male attendees to join the fun.
Another important pre-wedding activity is the Haldi, or tel-baan, or manjha. This is a fun traditional event where family members and close friends playfully apply turmeric paste on the bride and groom’s face and body. Other than that, the celebration is also accompanied by music, dancing, and drum beats.
After understanding various pre-wedding Indian traditions and rituals, it’s time to move to another important aspect of their wedding setup. Let’s check the typical attire of the bride and groom.
Unlike the traditional white attire of every bride in the Western culture, you can’t see this color in an Indian wedding since this symbolizes death to them. Instead, they use touches of gold, brown, orange, and yellow.
Generally, brides wear a Lehenga comprising a skirt, choli, and a drape over the head or shoulders called a dupatta. Another option is to wear a saree or a long drape that wraps around the body and tucks into an underskirt.
Now, the groom usually wears a traditional attire, either sherwani or Bandhgala suit.
Sherwani is a knee-long jacket to cover a collarless shirt called a kurta and trousers called churidars. Meanwhile, Bandhgala is a formal suit typically partnered with fit trousers.
Jewelry and Accessories
Next on our list are the common accessories and jewelry that the soon-to-be-married couples use to make their celebration more meaningful.
Most of the time, brides wear jewelry that has a tinkling sound, such as glass and bangles.
That jewelry consists of anklets, earrings, rings on fingers and nose, and a necklace. In addition, traditionally, all those accessories have a 24-karat gold attached.
Meanwhile, for the groom, they wear a turban with an ornament called Kalgi or Sarpech. Then they also have an edgy necklace to add beauty to his attire. Moreso, a brooch, cufflink, and bracelet can also be seen in the groom’s overall attire.
In Hindu tradition, the groom is usually transported to the wedding venue by a white horse or an elephant. This procession is called the Baraat procession. Aside from those elegant rides, the activity is accompanied by Baraat music to set the mood of the wedding event.
Surprisingly, this tradition doesn’t offer any religious significance but is simply part of wedding customs.
The mandap ceremony is the most important ceremony in the Indian wedding tradition. The reason for that is that this holds all the significant rituals from their ancestral roots. The Mandap term is the main altar of the Indian wedding ceremony.
During this ceremony, the couple will sit on the royal chairs while their parents sit beside them as they perform every ritual. In addition, there’s a sacred fire lit between the couple as the officiant recites hymns from Vedas.
Unlike the traditional free-flow wedding vow guides in Western weddings, Indian weddings in Melbourne consist of a series of promises known as seven vows.
The first vow is the prayer for the groom to provide for his family and for the wife to manage the household.
The second vow is the prayer for protection and blessings for the household.
The third vow is the prayer for prosperity.
The fourth is a prayer for the couple to have obedient children.
The fifth vow talks about the flourishing love of the couple for each other.
The sixth vow is about prayer for health and peace.
The last vow is a prayer for forever friendship.
Since Indian weddings typically invite a vast number of guests, they usually celebrate it in a large reception area. We’ll talk more about the venues in the following pointers.
Regarding food and beverages, you must expect that the dishes were all part of Indian cuisine, such as rice, chicken, and lentil meals.
In terms of decorations, Indian weddings in Melbourne apply any decor with red, orange, or pink palettes. They also put the statue of the goddess Ganesha as a display in relevance to their Hinduism culture.
The final pointers in this article are the post-wedding rituals that newly wedded Indian couples love to celebrate. Check the items below.
Griha Pravesh is a traditional Hindu activity where they offer flowers, foods, or drinks to the divine to bring good fortune to the couple’s new property. In a nutshell, this is the Indian tradition of housewarming or house blessing.
This post-wedding activity starts with the bride throwing five handfuls of grains to their family. This symbolizes the bride’s way of paying off her maternal home. Afterward, the father and brothers push the bride’s vehicle toward their new home.
Dwar Rokai takes place after Vidaai. The bride will come to the groom’s home as a gesture of being together. The sisters then will block the entry and ask for gifts from the groom before they let them in.
If you think the post-wedding activities are over, better think again. After long days of wedding preparations, celebrations, and post-activities, the bride’s brothers will take her back to their maternal home. The bride will stay there for a couple of days before the groom can bring her back home.
Top 5 Melbourne Venues Known for hosting Indian weddings
As a seasoned photography team in Australia, we also want to help you find the best venue for Indian weddings in Melbourne. Check out our top 5 locations below. And you can thank us later.
Located in the southeast suburbs of Burwood East in Melbourne, Vogue Ballroom is a great spacious venue for Indian weddings. For over 30 years, this wedding venue has become an excellent choice for many engaged couples. This is probably why they called it Melbourne’s Best Wedding Venue.
If you prefer this venue, you may pick a full-wedding service since Vogue Ballroom has been connected to various suppliers in Melbourne. In fact, they’re offering an Indian wedding service in their packages. From decor, catering, wedding planning, and to the music, Vogue Ballroom will handle all your traditional wedding needs.
Next on our list is the Manor on High in Epping, Victoria. This stunning venue showcases luxurious settings that could satisfy a vast number of guests for an Indian wedding. Not to mention that this venue is always fully booked by many engaged couples, catering 300 wedding event celebrations every year.
Manor on High offers an Indian wedding package that meticulously caters to every detail of Indian tradition and glamor. The best part of their service is that they have professional chefs and staff who carefully cook and serve Indian delicacies for grand events like weddings.
Now, if you prefer a venue connecting you more to nature, Tatra Receptions is the most suitable one for you. This renowned, historic venue from the 1800s is located in the beautiful landscape of the Dandenong Ranges. You can check all their wedding packages through Tatra Receptions’ official website.
Whether you want an indoor or outdoor Indian wedding setup for your grand day, this reception always has a lot to offer. They have an elegant garden spot, spacious dining room, pre-dinner room, and a whimsical bridal change room. In addition, they already have a built-in iron cupola which you can customize for your Indian wedding setup.
Ultima Function Centre can cater to both intimate and grand receptions. They have a marquee setting suitable for your desired Indian wedding in Melbourne. You can also contact them to customize or request an additional service.
Part of the Indian package of Ultima Function Centre is serving a tasteful traditional cuisine that will spark your ancestral taste. They will also take care of all the decorations highlighting your seamless Indian wedding theme.
The last recommendation we have is the Ballara receptions in Eltham Victoria. This family-operated wedding location boasts its stunning ballroom with sparking chandeliers, a massive dance floor, and windows overlooking the lit garden. If that description is still insufficient for your ideal Indian wedding celebration, you can check all the latest wedding stories on their website.
Ballara Receptions offer three carefully designed and curated packages. You can choose from either Estate, Prestige, or Mid-Year Package. Contact them today to book ahead and avail some special offers.
Traditional Indian Wedding Meets Western Style Setup
Indian weddings in Melbourne usually combine traditional Indian and modern Western styles. Typically this could last from one to four days or sometimes up to five days.
In our experience in covering Indian weddings in Melbourne, the first two days deal with all the pre-wedding activities of the couple. Then, on the third day, the main Indian ceremony will take place. The last day will be the celebration and other post-wedding activities. However, some prefer a day event only, which comprises an Indian ceremony followed by a Western-style reception.
Celebrate the Vibrant Mix of Indian Culture and Melbourne’s Openness
Celebrating your Indian wedding in a traditional or a traditional-western fusion in Melbourne might be a headache. But if you manage to plan ahead and consult an expert wedding planner, every detail will surely fall to pieces.
We hope our tips, explanation, and list of wedding venues will help you plan your Indian wedding in Melbourne. My final advice is to hire a wedding photographer to capture every part of your Indian wedding celebration. That way, you can always reflect and reminisce about this beautiful and glorious day of your life.
Looking to capture the vibrancy of your Indian wedding in Melbourne? Dive into our expertise with Melbourne Wedding Photography Services.