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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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