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Celebrating Haldi a South Asian Wedding Ceremony

Colorful Haldi Wedding Ceremony Full of Love and Tradition in Chapel Hill, NC

Preet and Mike met during orientation week for medical school at UNC in 2010. After months of secret language learning with family, Mike proposed to Preet in Punjabi, her native language. Like language, colorful symbols and traditional rituals play an important role in South Asian weddings. Preet and Mike performed the ‘Haldi’ ceremony, a pre-wedding ritual held the day before the wedding where a turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom, at their respective homes. The Haldi ceremony is an intimate affair celebrated during the day, with close family members and friends. The main color for the ceremony was yellow and the bride’s family incorporated delicate ‘phulkari’ embroidery into the decor and bridal outfit. Phulkari is a traditional embroidery technique from the Punjab region, in both Pakistan and India, and has been passed down for generations. The photos for this beautiful family tradition were captured by Java Rose Photography. Bride Preet loved working with Java Rose to capture her special day,

“Apsari was absolutely wonderful to work with. She is so patient, kind, and encouraging. She did an amazing job and I highly recommend her!”

Close up photo of Henna Tattoo Artist Preparing Bride for Haldi Ceremony Java Rose Photography
Henna Artist Prepares Bride for Haldi Ceremony a South Asian Cultural Tradition Java Rose Photography
Gorgeous Intricate Henna Tattoo Bridal Hands for Haldi Indian Wedding Ceremony Java Rose Photography
Bride and Groom Laughing and Smiling for Wedding Portraits with Henna Tattoo Hands Java Rose Photography
Bride and Mother Smile at Each Other While Holding up Henna Tattoo Hands in Pink Blush Wedding Attire
Intimate Groom and Bride Moment Before Haldi Wedding Ceremony Java Rose Photography
Bridal Hair and Makeup in Traditional South Asian Style with Floral Braid Henna Yellow Bridal Gown Java Rose Photography
Bridal Portraits with Floral Braid and Makeup in Yellow Pink Red Blue Green Haldi Wedding Attire

First Step of Performing Haldi Wedding Ceremony, Painting the Rangoli

The first ritual of Haldi involves family members making a ‘rangoli’ design at the wedding home. This elegant design incorporates rangoli (colored powder), flour and rice. One of Preet’s best friends and bridesmaid, Lisa, along with her mom, sister, and cousin worked on the rangoli design together.

Once this was done, Preet was brought out to where the rangoli design had been made and sat down on a red wooden plank with embroidery called a ‘patri’. A ‘dupatta’, scarf, is held above the bride’s head by four family members.

Friends and Family Paint the Rangoli on the Floor with Colorful Flowers for Haldi Wedding Tradition Java Rose Photography
Bridesmaids Paint the Rangoli for Haldi Wedding Ceremony South Asian Cultural Tradition Java Rose Photography
Family Member in Colorful Pink and Yellow South Asian Attire Pre Wedding Ceremony Haldi Painting Java Rose Photography
Henna Tattoo Feet with Colorful Beads for Haldi Wedding Ceremony a South Asian Cultural Tradition Java Rose Photography
Henna Artist in Orange Black Blue South Asian Traditional Attire Designs Special Bridal Feet Java Rose Photography
Little Girls in Traditional South Asian Attire Bright Gold Colors Smiling for Haldi Wedding Ceremony Java Rose Photography

Second Step of Performing the Haldi Wedding Ceremony, Vatna Facial for the Bride

Family and friends then start rubbing the ‘vatna’ (consists of turmeric, rosewater, mustard oil, and flour) on the bride’s exposed skin. The turmeric paste ensures that the bride has radiant and glowing skin for the wedding day! The color yellow is considered auspicious in Indian culture, ushering in prosperity and happiness for the soon-to-be married couple.

Ladies traditionally sing cheerful songs to add to the joyful atmosphere. All of the guests present are given a ‘gaana’ (lucky red thread), which they tie around their wrist, in exchange for their well wishes.

Bride Recieving Haldi Facial Scrub from Bridesmaids and Family for South Asian Wedding Ceremony Java Rose Photography
Bride Receiving Haldi Ceremony Wedding Tradition South Asian Culture Java Rose Photography
Smiling Bride at Haldi Wedding Ceremony in Yellow Floral Arch Java Rose Photography
Bride Smiling with Haldi Facial Mask on and Surrounded Friends and Family Java Rose Photography

Today you can find Mike and Preet living happily in Chapel Hill. Mike is a Cardiology fellow at UNC and Preet is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellow at Duke. Preet has some amazing wedding advice to share with brides and grooms,

“Enjoy every moment of it and surround yourself with positive people!”

Mike and Preet said ‘I do’ at the lovely Carolina Inn wedding venue in Chapel Hill, NC. Many Southern Bride and Groom vendors were involved in there special day and are mentioned below!

Looking for more Indian wedding inspo? Check out this gorgeous real wedding at the Washington Duke Inn.

Merrimon-Wynne-House-Raleigh-NCSanderling Resort Southern Destination wedding venue in Outer Banks NCWashington Duke InnGreat-Room-at-Top-of-The-Hill
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