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The wedding ceremony is performed by the priest in the presence of family and friends. The bride and groom are seated in front of a holy fire and the priest recites various religious sayings from the Holy Scriptures. According to the Hindu religion, fire is considered the sustainer of life. It is believed that the Gods and Goddesses sit around this auspicious fire.

The priest directs various family members to give offerings into the holy fire. The couple walks around the fire four times exchanging vows of duty, love, fidelity, respect and a fruitful union. The groom then places the brides hand on his forehead to denote that he accepts her as his wife for better or for worse, in health or in sickness and that it his destiny to marry her. The couples heads are held together implying that although they are separate individuals, from this day onwards, they are one in body, mind and spirit.

The Significance of Saat Pheras in an Indian Marriage

There are seven phera or steps in an Indian Hindu Marriage.  Each step has its own importance and its own meaning.  These pheras are to be taken around the holy fire called "Agni Devta".  In each step there is a significant vow to be taken both by the bride and the groom. They vow to each other for the rest of their lives.  

Vows to be taken by the groom

1. We will share the responsibilities of the house, food and finance together. May God bless us with children and may they have long lives

2. You are only my beloved wife. I will love you and only you. I give commitment will provide strength and courage to you, my wife, always.

3. The third step is for the growth of prosperity and wealth, and to educate their children

4. In the fourth step he thanks his wife for bringing auspiciousness and sacredness in his life.

5. In the fifth step may the Goddess Mahalaxmi (Deity of Prosperity) make us prosperous and God bless us.

6. In the sixth step the groom promises the bride that he will fill her heart with great joy and peace, time and time again.

7. This is the last and final step. Here the groom tells his bride that as you have walked seven steps with me you have made our love and friendship firm and inseparable. Now you have become mine and I offer my total self to you. May our marriage successfully last forever.

Vows to be taken by the bride

1. In the first step the bride commits to her lord same as the groom that she will share the responsibility of the house, food and finance.  She will discharge her share of responsibilities for the welfare of house and children.

2. With the second step she vows to fill the heart of her husband with courage and strength and to rejoice in his happiness.

3. While taking the third step the bride promises that I will love you with single-minded devotion as my husband. I will treat all other men as my brothers.

4. O my lord, in all acts of righteousness (Dharma), in material prosperity (Artha), in every form of enjoyment, and in those divine acts such as fire sacrifice, worship and charity, I promise you that I shall participate and I will always be with you.

5. From this day of life I will share both your joy and sorrow.  Your love will make me very happy.

6. May the blessings of God always be with you. I will be with you in any stage of life.

7. In the seventh and the final step she says that now that I have been your wife in front of the holy fire. Whatever vows and pledges I have taken, are all taken with pure heart. I shall never deceive you nor shall I let you down. I shall love you forever and ever.


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