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What is a Roka ceremony in an Indian Wedding?

Indian weddings are not just an event of one or two days, from engagement to the wedding date we celebrate several ceremonies in between.

 

Roka ceremony is one of them, “Roka” word relates with a Hindi word called “Rokna” which means “to stop”. 

 

The whole ceremony quite revolves around the same meaning, it basically marks the start of a relationship not just between the couple but the two families.

 

It’s an official announcement of the wedding in which both the families, close friends gather together and celebrate the ceremony. 

 

Exchanging gifts, sweets, etc is a part of this ceremony, everyone blesses the to-be couple with happiness and joy.

 

So, let’s jump right in and know what exactly happens in this ceremony and how this ceremony is so important. 

 

 

Roka Ceremony Rituals

This ceremony takes place in the presence of holy fire. The couple does “puja” with all the family members and friends present there.

“Puja” takes place under the guidance of “Pandit Ji”, which starts with Tilak, in which tilak (a paste made of sandalwood), rice, turmeric is applied to the forehead of the boy and the girl.

Tilak is basically a “tika” a small mark applied to the forehead with the finger.

(Like we have Father in Church, in India we have Pandit Ji’s in Temples)

After Tilak, the couple receives blessings from all the elders present there followed by exchanging gifts and presents.

Now in the next step, the Groom’s mother places red “chunni” over the head of the bride and gives her clothes, jewellery, etc.

After this, the parents of the bride give blessings to the groom and gift clothes, cash, etc to him.

Now the ceremony is complete and everyone moves toward the feast.

Roka ceremony venue

Usually, it takes place at the home of the bride but if you’re planning to celebrate it on a large scale Hotels, Banquet halls, etc are prefered.

Talking about the budget required for booking a banquet hall depends on the number of persons invited and hence the size of the banquet hall.

On an average Banquet hall would cost in the range of Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

 For more info on Banquet hall cost: 

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Banquet Hall?

I would suggest inviting only close ones and the venue to be your home.

What to wear at the Roka ceremony?

Well, people love to wear new dresses whenever it comes to wedding ceremonies in India.

Interesting thing is that you’ve got a ton of options in Indian ethnic wear and trust me all of them are so different and so pretty.

So, without wasting any time let’s jump right in and explore all the choices…

Saree

Well, this is an option but you got tons of options in this option. When it comes to sarees we have got a huge variety of sarees to choose from.

Check out these varieties of sarees: 

Top 15 saree designs for any wedding ceremony

Kurta

Designer kurtas are always in trend when it comes to ethnic wear. It can be paired with “palazzo” pants to make it a perfect look. 

You can play around with colours as well, choose bright colours to stand out among all.

Lehenga

Simple ethnic floral lehenga with a blouse on top is a great idea for a perfect look for a Roka ceremony.

Tip: Try different Blouses for unique styles.

Anarkali Suits

Beautiful and historical, Anarkali suits are in fashion. An Anaarkali suit symbolizes royalty and is a perfect choice for your Roka ceremony.

Sharara

A sharara is inspired by Mughal and Arabic communities. It can be paired with long A-line kurtas or Anaarkali as well. Be it plain and pastel, or highly embellished with zari, Sharara is definitely worth a pick.

Ethnic gowns

Inspired from the gowns of the west, Indian ethnic gowns are bright, highly embellished with pearls, embroidery and other artworks. 

They are sufficient in themselves and do not need any kurta or top to be paired with.

Crop top and long skirt

Now, this lies in the category of fusion wear. If you are looking for something that’s ethnic and comfortable as well, try choosing a medium embellished tailored crop top and pair it with a bright or shining long skirt.

Salwar suit 

This choice would look very plain or normal but it can create magic if chosen wisely. Heavy and bright suits with proper work of zari, paired with Patiala salwar or other designer pieces will do wonders. 

After all, we should not forget Priyanka Chopra’s overall embroidered yellow suit that she wore on her Roka and looked stunning.

Printed maxi dress 

A maxi dress is similar to a gown but is less embellished. A plain printed dress paired with heavy jewellery can be a good choice if you are looking for something for the summer season. 

Also, we all know that elegance lies in simplicity.

Plain suits with heavy dupattas and shawls

A plain and pastel suit paired with heavily embellished and colourful dupatta is worth a try. Also, if you are from North India, a special category called ‘Phulkari’ dupatta originally from Punjab are a perfect pic for events like these.

Gift ideas for a Roka ceremony

Sweets

Sweets box is a very basic gift for any function in India, as we all know-how diversified is India when it comes to sweets. 

From North Indian “jalebi” to South Indian “Holige” you’ll find a ton of varieties all over India.

Not just because sweets are so popular but at the same time Indian’s love sweets, so it’s a great idea to give a sweets box.

Tip: Indian people love sweets but make sure you get it fresh because if it isn’t it can turn around to the worst gift.

Clothes

Like sweets, you can find tons of variety of clothes in India as well.

From “Kurta-Pyjama” to simple “jeans t-shirt”; “Salwar-Suit” to “Saree” or “Lehenga”, you can find a huge number of different dresses as gifts.

Tip: Try to gift dresses like Lehenga, Saree, etc

Jewellery

Trust me, women in India love jewellery, by jewellery, I’m not just referring to expensive gold or diamond jewellery only.

The whole niche of jewellery includes 

  1. Pendants 
  2. Bracelets
  3. Necklace 
  4. Rings
  5. Earrings
  6. Payal

Tip: If you can’t afford gold/diamond jewellery, try to gift some casual jewellery, give jewellery which can be worn on casual events.

Cash

Cash is also a gift option but I don’t consider it as a good one, you can use it if you’re not a very close relative.

I would suggest avoiding it if possible.

Tip: Put the cash in a packet called “Shagun ka lifafa” and then gift it, don’t give direct cash in hand.

Planning a wedding gift for the couple?

I’m sure this one could help you: 

What is a wedding registry

Roka Ceremony Decoration Ideas

The decoration is a major part of any ceremony, no matter, if you’re planning to book a hotel/banquet hall or your home is your venue.

If you want to customize the decorations these ideas are really gonna help you.

  • Flower Crust

As the name suggests, the whole decoration revolves around the flowers. 

From floral decor with flowers to flower chains hanging all around the place will make it magnificent.

The sofas placed at the centre surrounded by the flower decor would highlight the couple and make them the centre of attraction.

I think visuals would be more helpful for this, so check out these 7 beautiful decors 

7 DIY decoration ideas for Roka ceremony

 

How much does an average Roka ceremony cost?

Calculation the Budget for any ceremony is a really hard task because budget depends on several factors like 

  1. Number of Invitations
  2. Cost per plate (Food)
  3. Venue
  4. Decorations

and many other things, but since we are calculating the average we’ll take everything on an average scale.

Venue: Rs 35,000 to Rs 1 lakh

Food: Rs 5000 to Rs 40,000

Decorations: Rs 5000 to Rs 50,000

Pandit Ji: Rs 2000 to Rs 5000

Clothes: Rs 5000 to Rs 30,000

Make-up: Rs 1000 to Rs 10,000

Gifts and Sweets: Rs 10,000 to 40,000

Other stuff: Rs 5000 to Rs 30,000

Total Budget: Rs 10,000 to Rs 3 lakh

This is just an approximate calculated by observing different factors.

How many days before the wedding Roka ceremony is celebrated?

So, the Roka ceremony represents the start of the relationship between the couple officially.

It is celebrated at the very beginning, there is no specific number of days for it. It is celebrated when both the partners agree to tie the knot and be a part of each other’s lives.

Which time is better, Day or Night?

The time depends on the “muhurat” suggested by Pandit Ji, muhurat is basically a holy time suggested by Pandit Ji with all the calculations.

Muhurat is important for “puja”, Puja is performed only when the “muhurat” is right.

What did Bollywood celebrity Priyanka Chopra wear at her Roka ceremony?

Not to forget, our very own Miss World Priyanka Chopra wore a yellow sherwani kurta set by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla.

She paired the outfit with palazzo pants and silver juttis by Needledust.
The elegant plus ethnic look was completed by gold chaandbali earrings.

Her yellow outfit was carefully embroidered and she also took a embroidered yellow dupatta with silver border embellished with pearls to accompany the look.

Conclusion:

  • The Roka ceremony is basically the first official announcement that the couple is getting married.
  • The venue can be home or Hotel/Banquet hall.
  • Only closed ones are invited
  • Gifts and sweets are exchanged
  • Puja is performed
  • Average Cost: Rs 10,000 to Rs 3 lakh

prithal bhardwaj

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