Is It Necessary For The Bride To Cry During The Wedding?

In our culture, especially Hindu culture, marriage and all of the rituals associated with it are taken quite seriously, but sometimes it can be too serious for comfort. One thing that immediately springs to mind is the shedding of tears by the bride during her bidai, or even sooner, as she is married off to her prospective groom. Ritual or not, you might remember attending various weddings where the bride is weeping and her relatives, especially her parents, are crying inconsolably as their daughter bids adieu to them and starts a new phase of her life. So what to make of it?

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Marriage Through The Ages: A Changed Affair

The concept of “the ritual,” if we can call it that, makes sense when we glance briefly at history. Even a century ago, it was believed that the once the girl has left her parents’ house after marriage, it is her ‘sasural’ that is her home and hearth, and that she has no place in the dear home of her parents anymore. Even the visits from parents after marriage were restricted and in short, marriage was, at least initially, not a very happy prospect for the bride, and yet, it happened to women much younger than what we see today.

The Present Paints A Different Picture

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But what about now? Is the ritual of bidai still relevant? Why does the bride cry? Is it because of the emotional aspect, as she will be leaving her parent’s house, or could it have to do with the fear of settling down in a new and unknown family? She might also be afraid of being judged for who she is, and fear not being good enough for her new home and surroundings. Maybe still, it is the fear of a future life, and just how it will turn out.

Certainly many of these things were running through my mind when it was my turn, so to speak. And there was one more thing that I was concerned about, that certainly deserves to be asked:

What If The Bride Does Not Feel Like Crying?

Will she be attacked and criticized for that? Is there going to be a stigma attached to it if she does not cry on her bidai? I can only answer in the context of my own wedding, and I hope it will give you some clarity on the matter.

Well, I have always been very independent, whether the decisions were about my life, career, interests or life partner. My parents gave me the opportunity to decide on my own even for the life altering decisions like marriage. I was going for a love marriage, obviously with the blessings of my parents and would-be in-laws. In such a case where the emotions have settled a bit, and the fear of going into the unknown is lessened, and that considering the times that we live in, I would never be truly separated from my parents… the question remains…

Did I Cry At My Wedding?

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Yes, I did, surprisingly! Because even I was least prepared for it. I was confident that I would be balanced and my emotions would be in check. After all, it’s the 21st century, and we’re always connected with our loved ones. I never felt that I would be separated from my parents. It was not even that I was leaving them and moving away forever. In fact, I was not even shifting abroad or to another state… I would be just an hour’s drive away!

So Why Did I Cry?

I still cannot figure out completely, to be honest. Maybe it was the whole ambiance, the exhausting rituals that were followed for the past three days, the conditioning though the years that marriage is a huge life altering event of any girl’s life (and it is, isn’t it), the mantras that were being chanted, or simply my anxiety and fears for the future!

It could have been anything or all of these that I ended up crying on my wedding day. It wasn’t corny, it wasn’t forced, it wasn’t even your typical ‘bidai’ moment, but it happened. I burst out crying all of a sudden in front of everyone and the episode lasted half an hour. All of the pent-up emotion was released, and I felt much better for it!

Will You Cry? Should You?

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You may absolutely not shed a single tear during the entire wedding! You may weep inconsolably, the kind which concerns your husband-to-be and takes reassuring hugs and kisses from your parents for you to calm down!

Any of the two, and everything in between is absolutely alright. You are you, your story is your story, and how you react to it shouldn’t be premeditated. It would be doing a disservice to the wonderful milestone and occasion that is your wedding. So if you’re planning to force a tear or trying to hold back from a fit of sobbing, don’t even entertain that thought! Just be you. In my case I was, and I feel much better for it.

The Experience Of A Lifetime

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In my experience, being married and thinking of all the new changes that are going to take place in your life, makes you a bit vulnerable, and crying just happens. It did with me, even though I was confident, that I would not cry, as I had no reason to. But, it cannot be said that a girl must cry at her wedding or else it is inauspicious. That is simply not right. My mother did not cry at her wedding! She was too engrossed with the happenings to think of crying!

At the end of the day it is totally a personal thing. And don’t entertain anyone that judges you for that fact.

Images Source: Shutterstock

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