The Vidai; Background of An Indian Wedding Tradition

During the vidai the bride is accompanied by her parents/guardians, siblings and relatives to the front of the venue where her new husband and his family await to take her to her new home – his home.

{Venue Catering Sales Managers: keep reading to see details that you and your banquets team should know about the vidai portion of Indian weddings}

The vidai is a ceremony to bid adieu to the bride as she’s officially leaving her parent’s home. It signifies that now her husband’s family is her family as she transitions from her role as daughter to wife.

Traditionally, Indian people lived in nuclear families where the parents, sons, their wives and all of their kids all lived together. Nuclear families are not common in the USA and increasingly so in India too, but this tradition in Indian weddings has not changed.

The vidai can get pretty emotional, as goodbye’s can be. Below you can see photos of brides hugging their family members. Now, this ceremony is more symbolic than truly distancing as most young people often move out of their parent’s home right after high school.

Note for the super curious: In one photo below you see the bride throwing rice behind her. Rice is food – a symbol of prosperity. In Hinduism girls are considered embodiments of the Hindu Goddess Laxmi, who is the Goddess of prosperity and fortune. Throwing the rice behind her symbolizes that even though she is leaving her parental home, she hopes that prosperity and fortune remain in her childhood home.

The bride and groom leave by car or horse-and-carriage. Most couples might drive around the area for a few minutes and head back as they have to get ready for the reception!

{Vidai Pointers for Venue Catering Sales Managers}

The post-ceremony photos in the mandap can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes. The vidai is usually around 15-20 minutes and takes place outside the ceremony venue or in front of the venue where the couple can ride off.

Note that there will be a crowd of people huddled together during this time (as you can see in the photos below), often in a hotel lobby or porte cochere, so you’ll want to talk with the client as well as the valet team about how to manage this so as not to disrupt normal hotel operations.

PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography
PC: Christina Chico Photography

After the vidai the ceremony is complete and now it’s time to get ready for the cocktail hour and reception!

The bride and groom driving away after the baraat. PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography
Indian bride hugging her cousins during the vidai after her Hindu wedding ceremony
The bride saying goodbye to her cousins; PC: Greycard Photography
Photo: Aaron Eye Photography
The bride throwing the rice during her vidai
The Laxmi of the house leaving behind blessing her family for fortune and prosperity while her brother holds the rice basket during the vidai. PC: Global Photography


{Take Aways}

The vidai at Indian weddings is a very emotional post-ceremony tradition whereby the family members bid adieu to their daughter, sister, cousin. Brides leave their parents’ home as their husband’s home is now their home.

Here’s a quick list of other Indian wedding traditions.

  • sehra bandi
  • ghodi sajaana & chadna
  • baraat
  • agwanni & milan

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If it has, please let me know in the comments; and you might like to follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help make  planning an Indian wedding just a little bit easier.

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