Weddings

How to Plan a Buddhist Wedding

Have a spiritual ceremony that emphasizes the harmony between you and your partner

By Sabah Karimi

Buddhist Wedding Ceremony
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Buddhist wedding ceremonies are based on spiritual rituals rather than religious traditions. The typical Buddhist wedding is very simple in format, and is undertaken by a couple of the Buddhist faith. Since there are no complex rituals to follow, the event is often more of a social gathering of friends and family members at the temple.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Recitations throughout the Buddhist weddings are typically done in the Pali language.
  • Most Buddhist weddings are completed in the couple's family homes.
  • The most common Buddhist wedding ceremony blessings for newlyweds are the Jayamangala Gatha and the Magnal Sutta.
  • Gather candles, incense sticks, flowers to decorate the Buddha shrine.
  • Monks are not always present at the Buddhist wedding.

Step 1:

Arrange for the Chessian Betrothal ceremony. The betrothal ceremony involves the recitation of a special prayer by a priest, and the drinking of the "madyan," a religious drink. In this pre-wedding ritual, the maternal uncle of one of the bride's parents is seated on a raised platform at the ceremony and the group prepares to meet with the astrologer.

Step 2:

Contact an astrologer and priest for the horoscope matching session. Horoscope matching is a common pre-wedding ritual undertaken by the Buddhist couple. This process involves matching the horoscopes of the bride and groom by the lama (priest) and astrologer. After this is done, the groom is permitted to put forward a marriage proposal.

Step 3:

Contact the temple for the wedding day ceremony. On the wedding day, the bride and groom must be dressed in traditional outfits and ask for the Buddha's blessings at the local temple. When planning the Buddhist wedding, secure the temple for a few hours so that the bride and groom can receive their blessings.

Step 4:

Prepare the items for the wedding shrine. The shrine room at the wedding temple must be decorated with flowers, incense, candles and a statue of the Buddha. In some Buddhist wedding ceremonies, there is an offering of flowers to the Buddha, burning of incense and lighting of the candles.

Step 5:

Prepare the Buddhist wedding vows. The specific wedding vows for the Buddhist wedding vary by sect, but will include information on how the wife and husband will take care of each other and preserve their faith. The priest may help to write these wedding vows, but some Buddhist couples also write their own.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Different sects of Buddhism may celebrate the wedding ceremony in different ways, so the process may vary significantly.
  • If your guests are unfamiliar with Buddhist culture, inform them of your expectations in terms of behavior and attire.

About the Author

Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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Planning Reminder:

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Select or write vows

Your officiant will probably offer you and your groom vows to choose from, or if you're feeling creative, personalize your vows and make them just about you and your spouse-to-be. Consult with your officiant beforehand to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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Wedding Glossary

TRADITIONAL VOWS

Vows from the Book of Common Prayer that a bride and groom repeat out loud to each other to express their love and commitment during the wedding ceremony.

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