Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are mere days away from tying the knot, and they’ve already kicked off their pre-ceremony festivities on a traditional note.
On Wednesday morning, the bride and groom participated in a Hindu puja ceremony at the Mumbai home of Priyanka’s mother, Madhu Chopra, according to The Hindustan Times.
Wedding planner Seema Chenam, co-founder of Elegant Events, tells Access that a puja prayer – “a way to ask God for blessings” – is often conducted in the lead-up to an Indian wedding ceremony.
“Usually, it’s done to Lord Ganesha,” a Hindu deity revered as the remover of obstacles, Chenam explains. The purpose of the prayer is to “bless the marriage and remove any obstacles that may occur during this auspicious occasion.”
After their puja wrapped, Priyanka and Nick smiled for photographers outside Madhu’s home. The couple dressed elegantly – with the Bollywood beauty in an embellished, pale blue ensemble and the “Bacon” singer in a blush-colored kurta. Each wore sunglasses and was adorned with a red mark on their forehead.
“Usually, during the puja, the priest will put – we call it a tika – on the head,” Chenam says. “It’s usually a red dot, and that is blessings from the priest as well as from God.”
The puja is one of a series rituals that typically occur in the days ahead of an Indian wedding ceremony.
Chenam says that in preparation for the big “I do,” a couple will usually take part in a mehendi ceremony (“where the bride will put [henna] all over her hands as a symbol of luck”), as well as a haldi ceremony (“where the bride and groom will apply turmeric paste to their bodies as a way for their skin to glow and to ward off any evil”).
In addition, couples often hold a sangeet ceremony, which Chenam says is an opportunity for everyone to “just celebrate and have a good time.”
“People dance. There’s performances. Both sides meet and mingle,” she explains. “We have all these ceremonies; a lot of them have a lot of meaning behind them, and some of them are just to party and have a good time.”
According to India Today, Nick and Priyanka are both rumored to perform at their own sangeet ceremony, with Nick possibly prepping to dance to a mash-up of his bride’s hit songs.