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Note that this is a compilation of photos from three different weddings – but they are all Hindu Oriya (from the Indian state of Orissa) weddings. There were better photos but I chose these photos to preserve the privacy of the brides and grooms in the best way possible.

Excuse the first photo – it was too bright and sunny and I know it’s overexposed.

As for the weddings – you have to be really patient if one of your family members is getting married. There are too many rituals and customs that I am unaware of. But they make for very interesting reading all the same. I’ll try and explain very very simple details (blame my ignorance on that matter – I’ve only attended four Oriya weddings in my life).

Traditionally weddings last more than nine days. However, no one has the time for such elaborate weddings nowadays and some major customs are spread over a few days. These customs include, but are not limited to, a ceremony where turmeric is applied to the groom and bride (separately though, before the actual wedding). There is another ceremony before the wedding where the bride’s brother goes to invite the groom officially. Then of course there’s the wedding itself, where there’s an interesting ritual.

This ritual is basically where the priest symbolically binds the hands of the couple. This temporary ‘binding of the hands’ can only end if the bride’s sister comes forward. To release the bonds, the bride’s sister asks the groom for a sum of money, or for a gift. If he doesn’t agree, the hands are still bound. It is only when they reach a consensus that the sister allows the hands to be unbound and the rest of the wedding rituals continue.

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