South Asian weddings are very filled with ritual and celebration that continue for several days. Generally anywhere between 100 to 10,000 people attend. Often, many of the attendees are unknown to the bride and groom themselves. Though most Indian marriages are arranged, some couples in urban areas consummate "love marriages", in which the partners decide to marry each other without family involvement or assistance. The traditional Indian wedding is about two families being brought together socially, with as much emphasis placed on the families coming closer as the married couple. Many wedding customs are common among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and even Muslims. They combine local, religious and family traditions. The period of Hindu marriage ceremonies dates from the application (lagan) of tilak. South Asian weddings are a mainstay in the social calendar of the whole community. Many wedding traditions that originated in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh carried over to immigrant populations. Increasingly, Western features are incorporated, such as speeches, the first dance and the traditional wedding cake. South Asian-style weddings are typically lavish
[3Wedding traditions vary across religion, caste, ethnicity, language, region, etc. Traditional Indian weddings are generally structured into pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies (consisting of the Baraat, the Varmala and the Satphere), and the Vidaai. When the marriage has been agreed upon, the father of the bridegroom visits the father of the bride. The day before the expected arrival of the marriage procession, lavish preparations are done by the family to receive the groom (shaadi ki tayaari) in beautiful and decorated venues, typically farmhouses or hotel halls, where a sacrificial fireplace called marhwa is built. Brides decorate themselves with gold and diamond jewellery, apply [mehndi] to colour hands and feet, and undergo various bridal rituals, including wearing bridal lehenga or saree....
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