Indian Pandit for your Big Fat Indian Wedding | Advice and Choices
Updated: Jan 5, 2020
In this post I'm going to explain how to pick the perfect pandit for your Indian wedding and also how to find the best priest in the USA and North America. Then, I'll give you insights into the awkward topic of how much a Hindu wedding priest costs. Lastly, I'll recommend Indian Pandits across the world.
Welcome to the Big Fat Indian Wedding planning experience!
As you continue your shaadi planning journey, once you figure out big items like the hotel, the decorator, the dj, the food...you'll often start to think about the pandit, or priest for your wedding ceremony.
Ironic isn't it? We are all here for the wedding ceremony itself, but everything surrounding that takes up most of our time!
Well, it's time to change that, and make sure your ACTUAL WEDDING ceremony is the best it can be. And a lot of that has to do with Pandit Ji.
This blog post will also be relevant to people looking for a pandit in Australia, America, Canada or wherever you are outside of India. (If within India I'll assume you have a million options).
Even though we might have pandit family members in our circle, sometimes you want someone different for various reasons.
What is a Pandit?
When you have a traditional Indian or Hindu wedding often times you will need a good hindu priest, also known simply as wedding pandit, or amongst Hindu's simply as "pandit." These days the term wedding officiant is also used.
The pandit is the person who takes you through the ancient Hindu traditions. Most of us who grew up in the states or the west probably got busy with our careers and are a bit rusty on our temple traditions, but your pandit is an expert on doing a proper marriage ceremony.
If you don't know of any pandits, temples get calls and emails all the time asking for a marriage priest so don't be shy, and we also have some references at the bottom of this post.
Pro Tip: Most pandits now also have a short funny wedding ceremony script they offer as Hindu weddings in New Jersey or Los Angeles or Melbourne are increasingly secular and interracial weddings. Try to get one who is a bit cheeky and you will have a great time and so will your guests!
How do I choose a pandit for my wedding?
Hindu priests can be funny, traditional, informative and can make or break your wedding ceremony.
You want someone who knows their stuff (traditional), is professional (courteous and professional) and also someone who will constantly balance the Indians who are bored of their 100th wedding and the non-Indians who are genuinely curious about the customs and paying attention.
A good Indian wedding priest does South Asian weddings monthly and knows how to balance your big day with the customs that are so important to you and your family.
He or she also should also have experience in Gujarati Weddings, Punjabi weddings and/or South Indian weddings, as there is a good likelihood both your families will be from different areas in India (or the world).
Don't compromise on a good pandit! (Yes they do exist).
PRO TIP: Some pandits are a bit "busy" or too formal, and they don't realize that people have varying degrees of interest. They don't need to a professional emcee or comedian, but they should be able to officiate your wedding while also making it interesting for your guests via eye contact, announcements, talking to the crowd and so forth.