Indian weddings are a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, rich traditions, and joyful celebrations. Each event within the wedding festivities is unique, requiring its own soundscape to set the perfect mood and ambiance. Wedding Planner, Poonam from The Maharani Diaries, together with Vijay of Vijay Bhasin Music have worked together to compile a comprehensive guide to must have tunes for every Indian wedding event, ensuring that every moment is sound perfect. Here is the ultimate playlist for every Indian wedding event. 

Photography: Shevan J Photography from Vandna & Shiva’s At Home Haldi & Mehndi Wedding In Daylesford 

Haldi

The Haldi ceremony, often the first major event for an Indian wedding, sets a joyful and sentimental tone for the upcoming wedding festivities. Often referred to as a cleansing ceremony during which the couple gathers with close family and friends to have turmeric paste applied to them. The songs chosen for this occasion should be light, fun, and emotional, reflecting the happiness and anticipation of the moment. Here are some top picks:

  • Laal Peeli Akhiyaan (red eyes): This song has a cheerful melody that perfectly captures the playful spirit of the Haldi ceremony.
  • Navrai Majhi Laada (my new bride has been brought up with a lot of love): With its joyful lyrics and upbeat tempo, this song brings a festive vibe to the event.
  • Kabira (this song is an ode to a famous poet, Kabir and can be referred to in this instance as “spiritual guide”): A more emotional choice, “Kabira” adds a touch of sentimentality, perfect for reflecting on the journey of love and commitment.

Photography: Dan Cartwright from Parambir & Kaz’s Bright & Colourful Sydney Indian Wedding

Mehndi

Mehndi, also known as the “henna night” or “dholki” in some regions, is a celebration of beauty, tradition, and the bond between friends and family. This is the event where henna tattoos are applied on ladies and often men these days. The music for Mehndi should be vibrant and full of energy, blending traditional and contemporary tunes. Essential songs for this event include:

  • Mehndi Hai Rachne Wali (henna is going to be applied): A classic song that has become synonymous with Mehndi ceremonies, its melodious tune and meaningful lyrics set the perfect tone.
  • Mehndi Lagake Rakhna (put your henna on): Another must play and extremely popular track, this song is lively and celebratory, making it a favourite for Mehndi events.

Photography: Lifesketch Weddings from Dharshana and Muneeb’s Romantic Garden Wedding at Beaumont House 

Sangeet

The Sangeet night is all about music, dance, and celebration.

Photography: Rolling Canvas via The Maharani Diaries

Traditionally, Punjabi folk songs were sung by the ladies, but now it’s a mix of traditional and modern music for families. Start the night with classic tunes and gradually transition to more contemporary beats to get everyone on the dance floor:

  • Chitta Kukkad Banere Te (there is a rooster on the terrace): This traditional song brings a nostalgic touch to the Sangeet.
  • Gur Nalo Ishq Mitha (love is sweeter than jaggery): A timeless Punjabi hit that never fails to get the crowd moving.
  • Modern additions: Including hits by current popular Indian pop artists of today such as Diljit Dosanjh and AP Dhillon add a modern flair and keep the energy high for a sangeet party.

Photography: The Ivory Story from Stephen & Lakshmi’s Hindu White Tie South Australian Wedding

Hindu Ceremony

The Hindu wedding ceremony is a sacred event, marked by rituals and spiritual significance. The music should reflect this reverence, using traditional instruments and melodies to enhance the solemnity of the occasion:

  • Shehnai and dholak mix: The soothing sound of the shehnai, combined with the rhythmic beats of the dholak, creates a serene and auspicious atmosphere.
  • Flute, sitar, and tabla music: These classical instruments add a touch of elegance and spirituality to the ceremony, making it even more memorable.

Photography via Vijay Bhasin Music 

For the Baraat, which is the groom’s procession, the music needs to be loud and lively, announcing the arrival of the groom’s party with grandeur:

Photography: Bhargav Boppa from Jada & Shivesh’s Intimate Wedding Filled With Hindu Rituals and Customs 

Reception Party

The reception is always a blend of Western and Indian influences, creating a high-energy party atmosphere. The music should reflect this mix, with a variety of tracks that keep the celebration going all night:

  • London Thumakda (you are the clock of Big Ben and the entire London dances with you): A lively song that bridges the gap between traditional and modern, perfect for getting everyone on the dance floor.
  • Saadi Galli (come to my street, even if it is by accident): Another favourite, this song adds a fun and upbeat vibe to the reception.
  • Badtameez Dil (my ill-mannered heart): A Bollywood hit that’s sure to get everyone dancing.
  • Western hits: Include tracks like “Temperature,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Give Me Everything Tonight” to keep the energy high and cater to a diverse crowd.

Photography: Lifesketch Weddings from Dharshana and Muneeb’s Romantic Garden Wedding at Beaumont House 

These curated song selections will ensure that every moment of your Indian wedding is filled with the perfect musical backdrop, creating unforgettable memories for you and your guests.

A huge thank you to Vijay Bhasin for his contribution. We hope that these recommendations will help guide you when planning your Indian wedding music playlists! 

About The Maharani Diaries and Vijay Bhasin Music: Poonam Gururajan is the face behind The Maharani Diaries, a luxury wedding planning business, helping South Asian couples plan breathtakingly beautiful weddings. The Maharani Diaries initially started off as a wedding blog, created to make the wedding industry more representative of the wider Australian society. Now, Poonam and her team are working with couples of all different backgrounds and nationalities and she’s also really passionate about helping educate other professionals about the intricacies of of South Asian weddings. 

Vijay Bhasin has been passionate about music since the age of 4. He has always been around music, having learned to play many instruments as well as singing live, during his primary and secondary schooling years in India. After moving to Australia, he noticed a huge gap in the market, with very few live entertainment providers and that’s how Vijay Bhasin Music was born. For the past few years, Vijay has been fortunate to have performed live for various community events and weddings, and now providing DJ services.