The Best Indian Wedding Hairstyles for 2023

If you’re looking to plan a traditional Hindu wedding, you’re likely looking forward to vibrant festivities celebrating not only the union of the lucky couple, but of their families. With many intricate traditions woven together to make the unmistakable ceremony that is recognizable almost anywhere around the world, Hindu weddings make for bright, flavorful, joyful nuptial celebrations.


By exploring the best Indian wedding hairstyles for 2023, you can gather inspiration and ideas to create a look that captures the essence of tradition while embracing modern trends. From traditional to contemporary, these hairstyles are sure to make the bride feel like a queen on her special day.

In this article, we will touch on the most well-known Hindu wedding traditions as well as the most gorgeous Indian wedding hairstyles of 2023. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing celebration!

Hindu Wedding Traditions

Hindu celebrations are colored with traditions passed down for centuries and ancient rituals rooted back thousands and thousands of years. This is part of what makes the celebration so fun and vibrant — though in modern days, a Hindu wedding is considered to be a blend of tradition, the bride and groom’s expectations for their wedding and a focus on joining the two families together as one.

Here are some of the most noteworthy Hindu wedding traditions.

1. Sangeet or garba: 

In ways similar to a traditional American wedding’s rehearsal dinner, the garba (or sangeet, depending on where each party is from) is a celebration during which the two families come together to celebrate their union. During this event, all family members sing, dance and perform regional folk tales until all are sangeet, or “sung together.”

2.. Bride wears red: 

Unlike the typical white dress common in various western cultures, Hindu brides traditionally wear a red sari to symbolize fertility. However, in more modern times, brides are branching out to wearing lenghas or richly colored fabrics — from blue or bright yellow to pastels — often with floral prints and delicate embroideries.

3. Bride is adorned in Henna: 

In what’s known as the mehndi, which might otherwise be called a “bachelorette party,” the bride and her female friends celebrate for several hours on the day before the wedding. During this time, the bride’s feet and hands are dyed with henna in uniquely piped designs typically reminiscent of the embroidery on their wedding sari.

Sometimes, the groom’s name will be etched into the henna so that he may find his name on her skin later as a mark of the patience they will have for each other in their union. According to some, the darker the henna, the more the mother-in-law likes the daughter-in-law — but others say the darker the henna, the stronger the wedding will be.

4. Vara Yatra/Baraat: 

This is sometimes referred to as the procession of the groom, during which the groom’s celebrants and invitees join his “parade” while rice is thrown. A tilak, or red dot, is sometimes placed on the forehead. The groom is also presented with a burning lamp called arati to carry up to his betrothed.

5. Father hands off the bride: 

According to Hindu tradition, a groom cannot “claim” a woman as his wife until the father willingly “gives her away,” which he does by clasping his daughter’s hands onto her partner’s.

6. Mandap with central fire burning: 

Another word for mandap would be a wedding altar, often in the form of a platform decorated with organic material, flowers, branches, leaves and crystals. The lucky couple and their immediate family are usually placed under the mandap, which is where the two families start a fire. The bride is offered three handfuls of puffed rice from her brother as a gesture of goodwill, which the bride must throw into the fire in a ritual known as homam.

7. Prayer to Ganesha: 

God of fresh starts and good fortune, all offer a prayer for the couples’ successful future together, wishing them the removal of obstacles, happiness and good luck in the times ahead. After this prayer, the ancestral lineage of both sides of the nuptials are read back for three generations or more as a nod to their ancestors and to ensure the bride and groom were never in the same clan.

8. Jai Mala: 

The jai mala is a necklace of flowers strung together that the couple places over each others’ heads. This is considered as important a gesture as the ring ceremony in traditional western weddings and if the couple is fusing the two cultures, the rings would also be exchanged at this juncture.

9. Mangala Sutra: 

This is the name for the special necklace that is placed over the shoulders of the bride, typically made from gold and black beads to invoke the spirit of Lakshmi. Lakshmi is a traditional Hindu goddess of prosperity and good fortune — but also a divine source of femininity and a good wife to her husband. 

10. Saptapadi: 

To infuse a little more fun and playfulness into the ceremony, next comes the saptapadi, during which the bride’s and groom’s clothes are tied together (typically the sash and veil) and the couple walks seven steps together. This process is meant to encapsulate the friendship between the bride and groom, which is thought to be foundational to any successful Hindu marriage.

11. Rice shower: 

In a tradition designed to symbolize fertility, happiness and prosperity, family members of the newlyweds and the couple themselves shower each other in rice, saffron, turmeric and sometimes pearls. It is often accompanied by big smiles, cheering and general merriment. 

12. Sindoor: 

The sindoor, a reddish powder applied to the bride’s forehead and along her parted scalp, indicates that she is now a married woman and the celebrations have reached a close. During this portion of the proceedings, all married women may also receive sindoor. 

13. Vidaai ceremony: 

During the vidaai, the bride embraces her family in a gesture of farewell. Usually, this is an emotional moment and tends to be more serious than western weddings. She throws coins and rice behind her as she walks towards her husband as a symbol of gratitude for the years of health, happiness and appreciation for her parents’ care over the years. 

You will also like these other popular wedding traditions:

Indian Wedding Hairstyles for Long Hair

Young Indian lady with bridal wear, jewelry and make-up

Some of the most fun questions a bride can ask themself before getting married are, “What do I want to wear?” “How do I want to look?” and “What am I going to do with my hair and makeup?” Fortunately for the Hindu bride, there is no shortage of gorgeous traditional Indian wedding hairstyles to choose from, so they can celebrate with timeless appeal and any modern touches they may wish to add.

It is all about what makes you feel most authentically yourself while also nodding to your traditions and your past! Here are the five best Indian wedding hairstyles of 2023:

Neat bun at the base of the head: 

This classic look never gets old. With a voluminous bun at the base of the head and parted hair neatly combed back, an Indian bride has endless variations for adorning the bun — whether with gold, jewelry, flowers, fabrics, etc. This is a clean look that can be as straightforward as you want it to be.

Long with curls or natural waves:

If you’ve got long hair, why not flaunt it? In this simple look, a Hindu bride wears their hair down with lightly curled or wavy hair. There’s something to be said about this soft, authentic look that is very feminine; it’s an aesthetic that will likely hold up well into the future should you look back on wedding photos.

A classic French twist behind the head: 

Whether you want to feel like Jackie Onassis or simply like every hair to be tucked into place, a French twist is something of a successful illusion. With the hair pulled back and twisted into a mysterious loop with no visible equipment to hold the hair in place, this stunning look adds elegance and poise to your wedding aesthetic.

Traditional twist braid: 

This gorgeous, full braid layers thick twists of hair in voluminous, wide spirals down the bride’s back. This look is often coupled with jasmine flowers woven in the hair as well, though it looks stunning just as it is. For an extra soft look, pull a few small strands of hair from the front of your head to frame your face.

“Princess” bun with tikka headpiece:

 Part your hair in the middle and comb it back into a tidy bun at the back of your head. Pull two strands of hair on either side to frame your face and give them a gentle curl with a hot iron. Then add an ornate tikka headpiece and matching earrings for a look that truly says “Hindu princess.”

Fishtail braid up front: 

Another option for long hair is to create a bohemian-looking, loose fishtail braid that wraps from behind the bride’s head to over her shoulder and covers her front. Feel free to adorn with flowers, remove wisps of hair to frame the face or top with a tikka or dupatta.

Indian Wedding Hairstyles for Short Hair

While you might think you have to have long hair in order to feel pretty and feminine for your wedding, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many ways to adorn yourself for your wedding if you have shorter hair, including by wearing traditional Hindu garments. Here are some of the most popular Indian wedding hairstyles for short hair:

Close bob: 

A classic close bob is a wonderful way to style your hair for a Hindu wedding. With a strong yet feminine look, this haircut is perfect for adding a simple hair clip or even a flower behind your ear. 

Adorned in flowers: 

Some traditional Indian hairstyles include weaving flowers into the hair. This can make a particular impact on a woman with short hair as well if all is woven into a bun at the back of the head. Elegant and classic, this is a look that would age well in photos as it walks the line between overtly traditional and modern.

Traditional dupatta: 

You can always cover most of your hair wearing a bridal dupatta, the sheer fabric garment that is worn over the head and shoulders, much like a traditional western wedding veil. Spend some time sprucing up your hair beneath the dupatta with a brush, curling iron or straightener and perhaps a little perfumed oil and you’ll be ready to head to the mandap!

Simple and clean: 

If you have short hair, try parting it right down the middle. Brush it to either side and pin the hair just in front of your face behind your ears. Add an optional dupatta, flowers or other adornments.

Best Wedding Hairstyles for Hindu Brides 2023

Even though most Hindu weddings tend to follow the same general steps or traditional expectations, there is almost infinite room for variation with each couple’s celebration — whether just finding ways to customize the ceremony to include both families or to meld together two different cultural influences.

While the families get to exchange folklore, stories, songs and dances from their respective regions of India in the sangeet, the bride will be enjoying time with her close friends celebrating and being adorned in henna — the darker, the better. 

There are plenty of Indian wedding hairstyles to choose from in 2023 that walk the line between traditional and modern — with some looks overtly feminine and soft, like the gently curled hair down at the shoulders and some a little more formal and poised, like the French twist. Now that we’ve provided some more traditional looks for you to think about, it’s really about what you like and what is going to make you feel most beautiful.

If you’re worried about a hairstyle not looking “traditional” enough for some of your more staunch family members, remember, you can always add flowers, embroidered fabrics, ornate clips, jewelry or headdresses to your hair to make a hybrid look that appeals to generations old and new. Now that you know how to dress for a Hindu wedding and what the itinerary looks like, you’re ready to go!


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