Buddhist Wedding Ceremony India

#1 Aug 12th, 2011, 06:16
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  • bridd is offline
#1
I recently got engaged to a lovely man and we have decided that we would really love to get married in India - it's a dream destination for both of us and we would like to combine the trip of a lifetime with our wedding day. My fiancee is Buddhist and hence it's very important to him that we have a Buddhist ceremony. Me, I am vegetarian and hence it's very important to me that we have a big meat free feast afterwards I have a few questions - I'm just starting to think about planning and would like to be well informed...

Where in India would be a good place to arrange a Buddhist ceremony?

What about the legalities of getting married in India? I believe it is quite complex - would we be better off getting married legally at home in Ireland and arranging the spiritual blessing for India?

Would you recommend engaging the services of a wedding planner? I am planning a small, simple ceremony, with just 8 guests - essentially my plan would be to have the ceremony and then a celebratory dinner afterwards. Would we need a wedding planner for something so simple?

Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can give me!!
#2 Aug 15th, 2011, 13:42
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  • atala is offline
#2
In one of the four places recommended by the Buddha to visit in commemoration of the origin of the Dhamma (Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Kushinara), you should be able to get the attention of a monk to attend a simple ceremony.

Details suggested here (first part):
http://www.buddhanet.net/funeral.htm

Legal side of getting married discussed in many threads elsewhere on IM. Please do your own research first. Use the search function top right on this page and punch in marriage in India to read many answers.

I'd think it a good idea to do your legal marriage at home, and only the symbolical one in India.
#3 Aug 17th, 2011, 19:36
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  • Aupmanyav is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post http://www.buddhanet.net/funeral.htm
Nice advice by Atala. But for just 8 people, why should you need some one to arrange things for you. You can do it yourself. Then '(i) Before a shrine specially erected, complete with a Buddha image, candles and flowers,..'. Why a specially erected shrine costing you a lot of money. You could as well go to the main/historic temple in any of the four places, perhaps that would be more interesting. Now the question is which of the four places can offer you better facilities. I will make a search.
#4 Aug 17th, 2011, 19:56
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  • Nick-H is offline
#4
Quote:
would we be better off getting married legally at home in Ireland and arranging the spiritual blessing for India?
Yes, you would be 100% better off doing this. You can forget about the legal hurdles, and you will have a certificate readily recognisable by authorities in your own country.
#5 Aug 17th, 2011, 22:18
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  • atala is offline
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Generally functions for lay-people are held under and around a bodhi tree, that is in Buddhist countries.

The obvious place to go to is Bodh Gaya or Sarnath; I just mentioned the 4 places the Buddha recommended to give it added significance. Bodh Gaya as a whole has the nicest atmosphere. Sarnath is more archeological, with a less symbolic presence, except at the deer-park (now a temple) where the Buddha spoke the first discourse, and set the Dhamma-wheel roling. That place would indeed be a very nice option.
#6 Aug 17th, 2011, 23:53
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#6
In most Buddhist cultures, weddings are generally secular. Traditionally, because marriage is not a Buddhist sacrament, Buddhist clergy don't perform weddings; this has changed among Western Buddhists, who, like your fiancee, often want to have a Buddhist officiant at the wedding, as an analogue to the priest at a Catholic wedding. Still, I think if you're looking for a Buddhist monk/nun/priest who performs weddings, it will be much easier to find one in Ireland than in India.

I'd suggest having your Buddhist wedding at home, and your honeymoon at the Buddhist sites of India. (Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Sarnath, Vaishali, for instance.) Or, if all eight of your wedding guests are eager to go to India, have a bachelor/ette party trip there and come home for the wedding.

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