Here's What You Need to Know to Plan the Ultimate Baraat for Your Wedding

Prepare to get your dance on!
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Jacqueline Mann
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Jacqueline Mann
The Knot Contributor
  • Jacqueline writes articles for The Knot Worldwide that cover an array of wedding-related topics.
  • She previously worked as a marketing manager for a wedding venue where she learned the intricate details of wedding planning.
  • Jacqueline graduated from Bluefield University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications.
Updated Apr 10, 2024

Planning a baraat for your wedding should be as exciting as the event itself. The Indian wedding tradition is known for festive music, lots of dancing and an upbeat vibe. Taking place before the ceremony, this unique wedding entrance escorts the groom to the ceremony site often on horseback, via sports car or sometimes an elephant. To keep everyone on the same page, include the wedding ceremony order in your guest program so loved ones know what to expect on your big day.

We spoke to Brittany Ellis, owner and lead event director of Eventrics Indian Weddings in Lakeland, Florida for all the details on Indian wedding baraats and how to plan one. Whether you're planning a baraat ceremony or are a wedding guest at an Indian wedding, keep reading to find out more about this lively tradition.

In this article: What Is a Baraat? | FAQs | How to Plan

What Is a Baraat?

The meaning of a baraat is an upbeat wedding procession to escort the groom to the ceremony. There's often lots of dancing, high-energy music and a myriad of brightly colored attire. A baraat ceremony often takes place during a Hindu or Muslim wedding.

Wedding Baraat Frequently Asked Questions

What happens at a baraat, who attends and what is the purpose of this traditional custom? Find the answers to all of your most-asked questions.

Who Pays for the Baraat?

This can depend on the families of the to-be-weds. "Some families split the entire cost of the wedding (including the baraat) down the middle," Ellis said. "Sometimes one side pays for everything and at times the groom's family pays for the elements pertaining to the baraat and other events."

Who Goes to the Baraat?

The baraat wedding is traditionally attended by the groom, his family and friends. However, who attends a baraat also depends on the couple. "Modern couples have both sides of the family join – especially if it is a fusion wedding," Ellis said.

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Traditionally brides do not participate in the baraat ceremony, but some couples are creating their own modern traditions. "I have started to see brides join in for a large combined baraat," Ellis said.

What Happens at a Baraat?

Baraat weddings are known for a parade of dancing led by the groom. Upbeat music from a DJ, band or dhol player (Indian drummer) hypes up the crowd during the baraat wedding procession. The ceremony might also include creative extras. "We have seen confetti drops, smoke bombs and all sorts of added details to enhance the experience," Ellis said.

What Is the Purpose of a Baraat?

Ellis said the baraat ceremony is a "longstanding tradition that represents the groom's journey to the bride's home to take her hand in marriage." A processional of dancing and singing leads the groom to the ceremony. It is an exciting start to the wedding day events before the couple gets married.

How to Plan a Baraat

Have fun planning your baraat wedding with these helpful tips. Before you begin, visit The Knot Vendor Marketplace to find vendors to bring your baraat to life.

1. Baraat Songs for a Wedding

Pick several Indian wedding songs that will make your guests want to show off their dance skills. Create a playlist that fills the duration of your baraat wedding, plus a little more in case your guests aren't done grooving. Decide if you want songs played by a DJ, band or dhol player. Our favorite baraat wedding songs include:

  • "Ban Ja Tu Meri Rani," by Guru Randhawa
  • "Gujju Pataka," by Meet Bros
  • "Tere Vaaste," by Varun Jain, Sachin- Jigar, Shadab Faridi and Altamash Faridi

2. Indian Wedding Baraat Ideas

The first thing many to-be-weds think of when planning a baraat is how will the groom arrive. Many choose a white baraat Indian wedding horse adorned with the same colors as the groom. However, feel free to get as creative as you want. Ellis has seen to-be-weds arrive on horses, elephants, jet skis, boats, parade floats and more. "Getting out of the box to create more of a 'hype vibe' before the wedding is always lots of fun for everyone," she said.

Also, decide if you want any special effects to announce your arrival. This could include sparklers, smoke effects or a showering of rose petals.

3. Wedding Baraat Dance

There's no official dance that takes place during a baraat ceremony. Many guests let loose and allow the music to move them however they want. It's also not unusual to see choreographed numbers during a baraat inspired by traditional dances or from Bollywood.

4. Plan Your Baraat Route

Decide on the route of your baraat ceremony in advance. Choose something that isn't too long and is easy for guests to travel. "Is it narrow or large, do you require a permit, are cars in the area?" Ellis said. "Understanding your route and keeping in mind your photo/video team's viewpoint make for the best look."

Coordinate with your DJ or musicians in advance as well to plan which path to take. Place a water station at the end of your baraat route to make sure everyone stays hydrated.

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