Baraat has become one of the essential wedding rituals for South Asian Weddings. It’s very festive with great music, and most of all a horse and/or elephant are involved. As with every aspect of a wedding, there is a cost to holding this event. It is important to include the Baraat in your overall wedding budget.
To further enhance your knowledge with this cultural ritual, Baraat is a
bridegroom’s wedding procession in North India and Pakistan. In North Indian communities, it is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue on a horse or horse carriage, accompanied by his family members.
The Baraat can become a large procession, with its own dhol player (drummer) with a mobile music cart for the songs. Most Baraat’s do not, or shall I say should not, exceed a one hour period.The groom and his horse are dressed nicely for the wedding occasion, and do not usually take part in the dancing and singing; that is left to the family & friends (often called the baraaties) accompanying the procession. In some families, the groom may or may not carry a sword. Everybody dances to the tunes of the song and music played by the dhol player accompanying them. The family and friends in the procession are rejoicing because an eligible bachelor in their family will finally start his new life, along with his life partner. Amongst all the celebration, the Baraat eventually reaches the marriage spot, where the family members of the bride, await them.
Photo provided by R.E.M. Photography
Now you must be thinking, “Renting a horse and dhol player, wow, this can get expensive.” Yes, holding a Baraat is not inexpensive, but if you budget the wedding right you can fit this into your wedding activities. The horse rental cost is approximate $375 and if you wish to rent a horse carriage then the price can be as high as $575. This includes the white horse in festive wear. Dhol players usually charge $300 for the hour long service. You will want to verify with the hotel, or venue of your ceremony, that you can have space for the Baraat, and let them know it will be a noisy affair. You will also want to look into any possible restrictions on having a horse or elephant at the property.
As mentioned earlier, Baraat is a very fun and festive moment for the Groom’s Family. Whether you are from North India, South India, or Pakistan, I have seen many families hosting a Baraat for their son, to enhance the wedding activities a notch.
Oliveaire - South Asian Events
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