In India, it depends on which religion you are part of. My family are Hindu, and even Hindu weddings differ from state to state. I’ll try to explain the differences in Hindu ceremonies:
Dress: Normally it is NOT white. Hindus wear white to funerals. In North India, it’s usually a heavily embroidered red gagra choli, or sari, or even salwaar kameez (especially if you’re from the Punjab region). In South India, for the actual wedding function, a very simple coloured sari is worn. During the various pre and post-wedding ceremonies, a LOT of saris and clothes are worn.
Invited people: Everyone is invited. Literally. You will get random strangers joining the wedding procession. On average you can expect to find more than 300 people at an Indian wedding. I know for the most recent one I went to, there were about 500 people and the majority of those were my family lol!
Pre-wedding party: I know of one type of ceremony where all the women get together for some fun, and to spend time with the bride before she is married. It’s called a Mehndi ceremony (not sure if you know what henna is, but that’s what mehndi is). They’ll dance to music, crack jokes, put mehndi on each other’s hands, etc.
Then each wedding has their own specific ‘quirks’, like little wedding games or whatnot. These vary from region to region though.
Normally food is all catered for, and there isn’t a wedding cake. You’ll just find a LOT of Indian sweets and whatnot. And trust me, there will be enough food at an Indian wedding to feed an ARMY!
I also know in the South, they don’t wear engagement/wedding rings. I know South Indian women have a necklace called a Mangal Sutra, which is kind of the equivalent. You buy it only after marriage though. Also, some regions get various things done to show that they are married, i.e. pierce their noses or whatnot.
The time that a wedding happens at depends on what the Priest said is the most ‘auspicious time’ to conduct the ceremony at. And everything revolves around this. If the auspicious time is passed, then they will have to reschedule it. I know some people are VERY superstitious, especially rural people and the older generation.
I know with a lot of ‘semi-arranged’ marriages, there isn’t a proposal. More a mutual agreement by both people and both families that the wedding will take place.
I can’t think of any more actually, but if you want to know more, just pm me!