On the day of the wedding, a big tent is pitched outside the house of the bride. Those who can afford, hire a banquet hall or a farm house. It is decorated with coloured lights, flowers and other decorative items. Friends and relatives gather around the bride and help her in dressing up in her wedding dress and jewellery. Her hands and feet are decorated with henna.
Friends and relatives gather at the groom’s place and take part in the sehra-bandi ceremony. In this ceremony, a pink turban is tied around the head of the groom amidst the chanting of religious verses. A beautifully decorated mare or car stands outside his house. He rides the mare, or moves majestically in the car with great fanfare. Ladies sing bridal songs.
The marriage procession starts from the groom’s house. It is preceded by a band which plays all the latest tunes. The bandsmen are all dressed in uniform. A number of petromax carrying men also move along with the procession.
At some places mobile tube-lights, powered by a generator, are used. Young friends and relatives of the groom dance to the beat of the drum and music. Some processions also have fireworks display. In rural areas people fire their rifles in the air.
The procession is received at the residence of the bride by the father, brother and uncles of the bride with much fanfare. The members in the procession are garlanded. The mother of the bride welcomes the groom with a plateful of lighted earthen lamps. She also gives some gifts to the groom.
The wedding party is escorted inside the tent and cordially seated. They are served refreshments. The groom is seated on a raised and decorated platform, looking like a throne. Soon the bride arrives. She is dressed in her shining, wedding clothes.
She shyly walks up to the platform. There the bride and the groom exchange garlands. Everyone claps and cheers. There is a competition amongst the family members to pose for photographs with the bride and the groom.
The father of the bride then invites everyone for the dinner. Some people leave soon after having their food. Some family members and friends remain back to witness the actual wedding ceremony.
The bride and the groom sit in front of a fire under the auspicious arcade of flowers. A pundit helps them perform the rites. They then go seven times around the fire. The pundit makes them repeat some words on oath. They contain a pious promise to remain faithful to each other in life. In this way the marriage is solemnized.
The bride and the groom prepare to depart after seeking blessings of all the elders. This is called the doli ceremony. It is a very solemn occasion. Nearly everybody is in tears. The bride leaves the house of her parents. She sits in a decorated car and moves away to her new home. Everyone wishes the newly-wed a happy, joyous and prosperous future.