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A Traditional South Indian Wedding-Rituals,Silk Sarees,Jewellery

Updated on June 22, 2011

Beautiful Bride

Bride bedecked in Gold Jewellery and Kanjeevaram Silk Saree
Bride bedecked in Gold Jewellery and Kanjeevaram Silk Saree

Matchmaker,Matchmaker,Make Me A Match!!

Indians love weddings!New connections are made when two families come together,and their relatives and friends become a part of it.Traditionally in India,we have matchmakers in the elders of every community,and they bring in marriage proposals to the bride's family.They follow it up with a biodata of the prospective groom and his family.The biodata must include the horoscope of the groom.An astrologer is then consulted to see if the horoscopes of both bride and groom match(whether they will have a happy married life).Only if it is a perfect match,a formal meeting is arranged to see the bride,at the bride's father's home.The groom visits with his family to see the bride and if he likes her,he agrees to the marriage proposal.Today,the prospective groom is also allowed to have a few words with the bride before he gives his consent.If the girl also agrees to the boy,marriage is fixed.A date is set aside for the big day,taking into account auspicious days and the availability of the mandaps(large wedding halls) which are booked well in advance.Yes,this is how a marriage is arranged between two families of the same community.

Blushing Indian Bride With Traditional Elaborate Jasmine Flower Hairdo

Traditional South Indian Wedding

Marriage Feast Served On Plantain Leaf

Preparation For The BIG DAY

An engagement is performed with a few relatives in attendance where the two families exchange fruits,betel leaves,coconuts,jasmine flowers,sweets and the bride is gifted a silk saree which she will change into and join the rest for a small meal.

Once the formal engagement is over,wedding invites are selected and the groom and bride's parents have different invitation cards to give out.Family and friends are invited to an elaborate two day marriage,with festivities and pujas being performed the night before.Invitations are handed out personally by the family by visiting each home.In some communities,the engaged couple are not to see each other till the wedding day.This is no more being followed and they speak to each other and are even allowed to go out together for an evening.

Shopping for the bride means a trip to Kanjeevaram where rich silk sarees are traditionally hand woven by skilled weavers.Sarees with rich gold zari are draped over the prospective bride to see what colour combinations suit her best for the big day in her life.Apart from the wedding saree,every ceremony demands a diferent saree for the bride and so several such sarees are bought.Some are to be gifted to close family members as well.A trusted tailor is then given the task of stitching the matching silk blouses for that perfect fit and to deliver well before the wedding.

Jewellery is elaborate for a South Indian bride and several sets of gold jewellery are bought for each ceremony.A diamond set is a must for those who can afford it.A jewelley set consists of bangles,necklace,ring,and a pair of earrings.

The caterers,florists,musicians have all to be booked in advance,as usually there will be many weddings on the same days if it is considered auspicious.The menu for the night before ceremony will be different from the elaborate marriage feast during "muhurtham".

Kanjeevaram Silk Saree For The Bride

The Marriage

"Muhurtham" is the actual marriage where the groom ties a mangalasutra(a gold pendant is threaded onto a thick turmeric thread) around the neck of the bride amidst the chanting of mantras by the Hindu priest seated in front of a fire in the flower bedecked mandap as family and friends shower them with rice mixed with turmeric(signifies blessing the couple).Nadaswaram(traditional live music to herald the event) is belted out to signify the tying of the mangalasutra.

The marriage feast is eagerly awaited by all because of the variety of eats which are traditionally prepared for a marriage.Three to four varieties of sweets is a must along with deliciously prepared rice items such as pulav,puliyogare(tamarind rice),pooris,chutneys,vegetable paliyas,pappads,vadas,kootus,curd rice,pickles,etc,...Course by course is served on a large plantain leaf and everyone eats with their hand.Towards the end of the meal,a designer packet containing a large coconut,betel leaves and nuts are handed over to elders present to be taken home.

Games are arranged and played between the bride and groom as they exchange garlands,sit on the large swing,swinging together as the whole lot ofwomen and children sing songs.

Reception is a grand affair with the same mandap now altered to create a stage where the groom and bride are seated and receive gifts from well wishers as cameras click and videos are taken.Food is usually an elaborate buffet these days where sweets and savouries,beckon you in addition to dosas and rice baths.

The next day is usually when the bride is welcomed into her inlaws home.A measuring jar filled with raw rice is kept on the threshold of the main door and the bride is asked to kick it slowly with her right foot and then enter with the husband.She is now officially the daughterinlaw.

Yes,throughout you would have noticed that it is a family affair.Unlike in other parts of the world,the whole family is involved in selecting everything.Family, friends and colleagues are all invited which means, "the more, the merrier".And the bride moves into her husband's home which is usually his parents' home until he moves out.


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    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 7 years ago

      Very interesting. I enjoyed reading this hub. Thanks for introducing a traditional South Indian wedding.

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Indian weddings are beautiful. I enjoyed reading this article. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • maverickmonk profile image

      sri 7 years ago from india

      out of all the wedding styles throughout the world, ours is the best!! though we have to suffer abit to follow all the customs and rituals :P :D

    • profile image

      Destination Wedding Photographer 7 years ago

      I'm crazy about shooting a traditional Indian wedding but not in Europe or US. I hope to have this honor this year cause everything from the smallest detail is so beautiful and harmonic.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks LondonGirl for stopping by. I am glad you liked this hub. I have attended many such weddings,although my own was a South Indian Christian wedding as described in Laila's hub.

      Congragulations,countrywomen! I am sure you looked gorgeous in all your Kanjeevarams! And thanks!

      By the way,we love wearing sarees with designer blouses!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      PurplePearl- Beautiful hub about South Indian wedding. I can so relate to this hub since I married last month. IMHO Kanjeevaram sarees are the best :-) Thumbs up for a great hub.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      fantastic hub - and it's great to read this and compare it with the other hub published in the last day or so, that one about Indian Christian weddings.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks Princessa! Am sure glad you liked it.

      Thanks Dottie1,for stopping by!

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      Thank you. I learned something new and interesting today about the South Indian Wedding Tradition. Glad I stopped by.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Hi, excellent hub. You are already on Google's first page with this one. Congratulations and thanks for the "trip" to India.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      MamaDragonfly2677,some reasons for not agreeing to a marriage proposal would be wanting to pursue higher education,wanting a more stable job.

      The reasons parents can reject is on the basis of horoscope not matching,heredity illnesses,height and looks not matching,economic status,character of the prospective bride/groom,family background,stable job with a good company,preferably high paying,which means well educated and having assets.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Am glad to have given you,WeddingConsultant a peek into a very small bit of Indian culture.There was a time when the close knit communities did not allow anyone to marry into another community,but with several young people reaching distant shores for education or for pursuing a career,parents have learnt to be more broadminded and have allowed their children to make their own choice of spouse both within the nation or abroad.Today in the major cities,it is increasingly common to see weddings where bride and groom belong to different communities,or where one is not Indian.There used to be a lot of opposition earlier,but now,it is accepted with some resistance.In some remote villages,it is still a practise where sometimes they do not even ask the bride or groom if they are willing to be married to each other.The families take every decision.

      To answer you,MamaDragonfly2677,children were always taught to respect elder's decisions in every matter,including choice of spouse,for it was understood that parents will look for the best groom or bride for you on the basis of the following.Education,great job,good career prospects,and most importantly good family background which matches their own family.Looks come last,but usually the parents themselves will scrutinize everything before handing over the horoscope for seeing the compatibility.Indian educated parents want the best for their children and they will see to it that their children get the best spouse as well.And by the way,they will "see" several prospective brides or grooms before actually settling on 3 or 4 for their girl or boy to see.Which means a good choice is given.

    • MamaDragonfly2677 profile image

      Shannon 8 years ago from New York

      Very interesting! Tell me, what happens if one or the other DOESN'T agree on the marriage, and what would be some reasons for not agreeing?

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Very informative hub here, thanks for sharing! It was eye-opening for this westerner.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      You are welcome,Teresa!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Wow! The saris are beautiful. Thanks for writing this interesting hub -- it's great to know customs from different cultures.