Create a Sensory-Friendly Hindu Wedding

Weddings are often both a merry and a stressful occasion. Hindu weddings are rich in traditions. Celebrations occur over a number of days, with beautiful and fun rituals. The rituals, traditions and customs also come with loud music, hundreds of guests, bright colours, and long days. Consider a sensory-friendly Hindu wedding to help guests who experience sensory sensitivity or sensory overload.

Discover 6 ways to make a Hindu wedding sensory-friendly.

Infographic highlighting 6 ways to make a sensory-friendly Hindu wedding.

Limit the number of guests

Usually, Hindu weddings have over 100 guests. Crowds of guests create overwhelm for the couple getting married, as well as any guests who experience sensory sensitivity or sensory overload. Therefore, consider a limit to the number of guests and reduce the crowd of people and noise levels. Since South Asian families may be large, think about invites to representatives from each branch of the family, instead of the whole family, for example. Guests and the couple getting married will likely enjoy the opportunity to be able to spend more quality time together with a fewer number of celebrants overall.

Have an outdoor wedding

Celebrate outdoors to help guests feel more at ease. Nature often has a calming effect, even when it is sensory-rich. Consider an outdoor setting if the air temperature is comfortable and the weather cooperative. Furthermore, evaluate if the space allows you to spread guests out into different seating areas. That way, you can create quiet zones, for example. As an alternative, have space both indoors and outdoors for the celebrations.

As mentioned earlier, Hindu weddings are celebrated over many days. Remember to create spaces for guests who feel overwhelmed, to take a break.

Get familiar with the location

Importantly, visit the location more than once! This is critical for the couple and ceremony participants. Moreover, give guests as much details as possible about the location and what to expect during the celebrations. For example, provide written descriptions and photos of the venue. Ensure you have guides on hand to help guests navigate the location.

The unexpected often happens during weddings, so ensure the betrothed coupled key participants visit the location and run through the event more than once.

Bride and groom in their traditional outfit applying a red powder on each other's forehead.

Provide sensory tools

Offer sensory tools to guest to reduce sensory overwhelm in a sensory-rich environment.

Here are some ideas of sensory tools that are helpful to hand out during the celebrations.

Avoid loud sounds and flashing lights

Hindu weddings are known for their loud music. A traditional drum, a Thavil, and a clarinet, a Nadaswaram, are played throughout the ceremony. And they start from the groom’s entrance. These instruments are loud, even without the use of a microphone for amplification. Even though it is a tradition to include these instruments, consider alternatives. For instance, try to reduce their volume. Play calm or quieter music instead. Or limit these traditional, loud instruments. Finally, provide earplugs if needed!

Moreover, avoid bright lights and lights that flash. Furthermore, Let the wedding planners know in advance about specific accessibility requests. Include a request to reduce overly bright lights or light with glare. Also, since Hindu weddings tend to have many lamps lit, it is important to let guests know what to expect (especially non-south Asian guests) as part of the invitation. If you are accommodating guests with sensory sensitivities, let them know about sensory-rich portions of the celebration.

Avoid buffet food service

Long ceremonies means hungry guests. Buffet food service if often hectic and contributes to overload. For instance, buffets introduce different smells and sights all at one. Furthermore, lines of people for food are stressful. Consider a sit-down meal service instead. Be sure to offer different food choices. As an alternative, place the buffer is at the far side of the room. Moreover, ensure people are well-organized, with little or no line ups, to get food.

In conclusion, Hindu weddings in particular, are sensory-rich. If you are worried about sensory challenges amongst the couple getting married or the guests, then create a sensory-friendly Hindu wedding!

Check out these blogs to learn more about ways to be sensory-friendly for Hindus:

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