As the seventh largest country in the world, India is spotted with potential wedding destinations. The only barrier is your limitation. Whether simple or luxurious, India has it all and it has the manpower to deliver as over 1.2 million people live in this country. For many, language may appear to be a barrier; but even in India, English is used extensively, especially in business and administration, so have no fear.
Many choose India for the excitement, the exotic feel that such a faraway place possesses. Others enjoy the natural landscape of beaches, jungles and mountains. Still others appreciate the man-made beauty of palaces, mansions and heritage sites. Wherever you choose to get married within India, it is important that you plan well in advance, ideally giving yourself a year’s time to coordinate everything needed so that it goes smoothly.
Weddings in India are governed by the following 5 marriage laws. The main factor in selecting which marriage law applies to the couple is the religion to which they belong.
- Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889: For marriage among Christians
- Hindu Marriage Act 1955: For marriage among Hindus, Jains, Buddhist and Sikhs
- Muslim Marriage Acts: For marriage among Muslims
- Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act, 1936 (amended in 1988): For marriage among Parsees (Zorastians)
- Special Marriage Act, 1954: For those belonging to different communities or religions and for those who do not want to marry in a religious ceremony
For further information regarding a specific Indian marriage law, you can visit the office of the Registrar of Marriages of your place of residence. As always, please be prepared to provide proof that you are free to marry ie passports, birth certificates, and proof of dissolution of marriage whether divorce papers or death certificates. Also if you are planning to marry under the Special Marriage Act, be aware that there is a residency requirement of 30-days so plan ahead to ensure you fulfill this legal requirement. Other requirements may be enforced depending on which state you choose to be married in.
Indian weddings, to the outsider, appear to be a show filled with flashy colours and loud music with lots of food and people. You may not necessarily be Indian but when in India, what should you do? Think of your audience as this will greatly determine what you include. For example, you wouldn’t have belly-dancing if it was mostly seniors attending or folk dance if it was a younger crowd. Find the perfect fit between the audience and the entertainment while choosing something you and your future mate love as well. Some entertainment ideas include Bollywood dancers/ singers, live instrumental or contemporary music, Sufi music, DJs, rap shows, elephants. One thing is sure: no wedding is complete without fireworks!
The weather is the biggest factor in determining when it would be the best time to get married in India. It is dry and sunny from October to February, which are ideal months to get married. The next determinant will be cost, how much are you willing to pay. If cost is not a factor, anytime is a good time; but for those with a budget, December and January will not be an option for you as those are the peak months when prices sky-rocket due to the huge demand and lack of availability.
Cook, S. (2013). A foreigner’s guide to getting married in India. Retrieved from http://goindia.about.com/od/planningyourtrip/a/indiawedding.htm
Government of Canada (2013). Marriage and divorce. Retrieved from
Tamarind Weddings (2013) Fun at weddings – Wedding entertainment. Retrieved from http://tamarindweddings.com/blog/fun-at-weddings-wedding-entertainment/