Mehandi and Peethi
Bride's hands and feet are decorated with "Mehandi."
Various individual ceremonies are organized at the homes of
bride and groom.
In wedding procession, the bridegroom sits on horse
and reaches to wedding place along with relatives and
friends. They are greeted by bride's relatives and friends
at the entrance of wedding place. The bride's brothers
escort groom to the Mandap. The white curtain
"antarpata" held in front of the groom signifies
that the bride and groom are still separate individuals.
Ganesh Puja (Worship of God)
bride is escorted to Mandap by her maternal uncles.
The curtain is lifted and the bride and groom
garland each other. This signifies the beginning of
the ceremony that will unite them.
Commencement of Marriage
A canopy is made which is a makeshift structure to
conduct wedding ceremonies. The priest commences the
marriage and chants vedic mantras.
Kanya Danam (Giving Away
of the Daughter)
This ceremony marks change of status of an unmarried
lady to a married one. The bride's
parents offer her hand to the groom. He places his hand over
hers symbolizing his acceptance. The bride's parents then
place a long garland (varmala) around the couple, which
represents unity, strength and a long prosperous life
or Hasta Milap (Holding the Hand)
The bridegroom stands facing west and the bride sits
in front of him facing east. He seizes her hand and
recites Vedic hymns for happiness, long life, and a
Now the bride's saree is tied with groom's shirt,
connoting spiritual and lifelong bond between the two. Both
exchange the rings and take oath to be lifelong partner
before nuptial fire. Fire, symbolizes divine witness.
Samagree (worship material) consisting of crushed
sandalwood, herbs, sugar, rice, ghee, and twigs is offered
into the sacred fire to seek God's blessings for the couple.
Parinaya : The Circumambulation of the Fire
This is the most important rite of the entire
ceremony. Here the bride and the bridegroom take
seven steps together around the nuptial fire (Agni)
and make the following seven promises to each other. Each of the seven steps represent the vows made by the
The first step connotes nourishment; encourage and
motivate each other's hopes.
The second step connotes consolidating
The third step connotes preserving wealth.
The fourth step connotes shared existence by
sharing dreams, sorrows, happiness and all other
The fifth step connotes care for our offspring.
The sixth step
connotes inseparable bond and strive for better
The seventh step
connotes lifelong co-existence and respecting
everyone in the family and respecting spiritual
some communities, only four steps signifying Artha
(wealth & prosperity), Dharma (religion & ethics), Kama
(love, fertility & family) and Moksha (spiritual
Mangal Sutra Dharana
Then, mangalsutra is tied around the neck of the
bride symbolizing lifelong bond establishment.
Mangalsutra is a thread tied around the neck of the
Sindhoordana or Suhag
The groom places sindhoor (red powder) on the bride's
hair symbolizing her as a married woman.
Married women from the bride's family come forth to wish her
The priest blesses the newlyweds on behalf of the Gods and
Goddesses and brings the ceremony to a close with a prayer.
He asks the congregation to join him in showering the couple
with blessings and good wishes.
The groom's parents bless the couple and offer cloth
or flower to the bride (now their daughter-in-law),
symbolizing her joining of the groom's family. All
those assembled shower flowers on the couple and
bless them completing the marriage.
Grahapravesha - Entering the
The couple depart from the girl's house after the vidai
, for the groom's house. The
bride enters the home placing the right foot -
considered auspicious, first. When the bride and the
groom enter the groom's house, the mother of the groom
welcomes the bride by doing an aarti. They sit silently
until the stars are visible.