It would be inappropriate to say that a car is used in all ceremonies however there are two occasions in a Hindu wedding ceremony that require some means of transportation; one is when the groom is being escorted to the wedding venue by his family and the second is when the wedding party leaves the bride’s house for the groom’s abode. In the good old days before gasoline and cars hit the streets the only form of transportation available was animal or human driven. So the groom would travel on a horse or a horse driven cart while the bride would be brought back to the groom’s house in a palanquin carried by people from the bride’s side.
While in some places bullock driven carts were used for both the purposes and to escort the guests to and from the wedding venue. To reflect the mood of the occasion, the horse (usually a white mare), the palanquin and the horse driven or bullock driven carts would be meticulously and opulently decorated with flowers and local crafts.
But people are now living in cities with cars all over and it would be quite impractical to try and ride a horse on the busy stress of the metros. However, even today, many families use these modes of transportation to keep up with the tradition but it’s done with a difference. For instance, the groom now leaves his house in a well decorated car but when he gets close to the wedding venue he mounts the decorated white mare and the baratis or the wedding party from the groom’s side follows on foot. The groom is usually accompanied by his nephew on the horse. When he gets to the wedding venue the bride’s family welcomes him and somebody from the family usually the bride’s aunt will feed the horse, these are just traditions now followed more for fun than anything else.
When the bride leaves the wedding venue for her husband’s house once again, she may leave in a palanquin, which is usually taken a few meters away from the wedding venue, and then she gets out and leaves in a car. The palanquin is lifted by the bride’s brothers and the other male members of her family. But some families are not very keen on taking the traditional route and stick to the car. The Indian wedding car is equally well decorated, usually with flowers and shimmering fabric. Normally you would see roses, gerberas and orchids used in the decoration of a wedding car.