Indian Wedding Ceremony Invitations Cards
Mehendi and Peethi
A day before the wedding the palm and feet of the bride are
decorated with "Mendhi". A canopy or mandap decorated
with flowers is erected at the place of wedding. On the wedding
morning, various ablutionary rituals are performed on both
the bride and the groom in their own homes. Their bodies are
anointed with turmeric, sandalwood paste and oils, which cleanse
the body, soften the skin, and make it aromatic. They are
then bathed to the chanting of Vedic mantras
|Laya (Laja) Homa : The Oblation
of Parched Grain
Here the bride offers sacrifice of food (poured into her
hands by her brother or someone acting in her brother's
behalf) to the Gods for their blessings. "This grain
I spill. May it bring to me wellbeing and unite you to
me. May Agni hear us." He then asks the bride to
spill the grain into the fire, saying: "This woman
scattering grain into the fire, prays: Blessings on my
husband. May my relatives be prosperous".
||Baarat (Wedding Procession)
The Bridegroom arrives for the wedding along with his
family and friends in a procession. They are then received
by the bride's family and friends.
|Commencement of Marriage
The priest commences the marriage under a canopy that
is specially decorated for the ceremony. The priest invokes
blessings of God for the couple to be married. The bride
offers yogurt and honey to the groom as a token of purity
and sweetness. The bride greets the groom by placing a
garland around his neck and the groom reciprocates. Both
are congratulated by guests. The priest invokes the memory
and blessings of forefathers of the bride and the groom
for this auspicious occasion.
||Kanya Danam (Giving Away of the
The bride accepts her change of status from an unmarried
woman to a wife by spreading turmeric powder on her hands.
Kanya Danam is performed by the father (or uncle of guardian)
of the bride in presence of a large gathering that is
invited to witness the wedding. The father pours out a
libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of
the daughter to the bridegroom. The groom recites Vedic
hymns to Kama, the God of love, for pure love and blessings.
As a condition for offering his daughter for marriage,
the father of the bride requests a promise from the groom
for assisting the bride in realizing the three ends :
dharma, artha, and kama. The groom makes the promise by
repeating three times that he will not fail the bride
in realizing dharma, artha and kama.
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 lifelong relationship
When the Bridegroom Takes the Bride's Hand, He Says :
"O Sarasvati, gracious one, rich in off spring, you
whom we hymm first of all the Gods, may you prosper this
marriage. "I seize your hand."
The bride and the bridegroom face each other, and the
priest ties their garments (the bride's saree to the groom's
shirt) in a knot, symbolizing the sacred union. The bride
and the bridegroom garland each other and exchange the
rings. Next the nuptial fire, symbolizing the divine witness,
and the sanctifier of the sacrament, is installed and
worshipped. Both the bride and the groom grasp their hands
together and pray to God for His blessings. Samagree,
consisting of crushed sandalwood, herbs, sugar, rice,
ghee (clarified butter), and twigs is offered into the
sacred fire to seek God's blessings for the couple.
|Agni Parinaya :
The Circumambulation of the Fire
The bridegroom holds the bride by the hand and both walk
three times around the nuptial fire. Both offer oblations
and recite appropriate Vedic hymns to Gods for prosperity,
good fortune, and conjugal fidelity. They touch each others
heart and pray for union of their hearts and minds While
walking around the bridegroom repeats: "First now
they bring to you in bridal procession this Surya, guiding
her steps in circular motion. Return her now, O Agni,
to her husband as rightful wife, with hope of children
to come." Then the entire rite is repeated twice
more, beginning with the rite of the fried grain. At the
fourth round she pours into the re all the fried grain
from the mouth of the winnowing basket saying: "To
|Asmaarohana or Shilarohana (Mounting
At the end of each round of nuptial fire, both the bride and
the groom step on a stone and offer a prayer for their mutual
love to be firm and steadfast like the stone.
||Satapadi (Seven Steps)
This is the most important rite of the entire ceremony.
Here the bride and the bridegroom take seven steps together
around teh nuptial fire (Agni) and make the following
seven promises to each other :As per the Vedic rituals,
the bridegroom sings the following : With God as Our Guide,
Let Us Take,
- the first step to nourish each other
- the second step to grow together in strength
- the third step to preserve our wealth
- the fourth step to share our joys and sorrows
- the fifth step to care for our children
- the sixth step to be together forever
- the seventh step to remain lifelong friends,
the perfect halves to make a perfect whole. After
the seventh step he makes her remain where she is
and says: "With seven steps we become friends.
Let me reach your friendship. Let me not be severed
from your friendship. Let your friendship not be severed
from me." The Saptapadi ceremony concludes with
a prayer that the union is indissoluble. At the end
of this ceremony, the bridegroom and bride become
husband and wife. In some communities such as Gujarati,
instead of seven, only four steps, signifying Artha,
Dharma, Kama and Moksha are taken.
|Mangal Sutra Dharana
The Mangala suthra Dharana is the tying of the thread containing
the marks of the Vishnu or Shiva in the neck of the bride by
Suhaag or Sindhoordana
The groom places sindhoor (red powder) on the bride's hair symbolizing
her as a married woman.
There are several regional variations to this ceremony.
In the groom’s house a game called aeki-beki is played,
by placing a ring and several coins in a tray of water which
is colored by vermilion and milk. It is said that the person
who finds the ring four times, will rule the house.
In many South Indian marriages the rice mixed with the turmeric
is poured over the heads of groom and bride, by bride and groom.
After this there are ceremonies of name calling singing and
other games aimed at the bringing the bride and the groom closer.
Arundhathi Darshana is the showing of the Saptha Rishi Mandala
and the small star Arundhathi underneath the star of Vashistha.
These seven sages and their families are the originators of
the Vedic Lore of the Hindus. In memoriam of these great sages
the seven stars in the Great Bear constellation are named after
them. The significance of this ritual is to remind the couple
of the cosmic responsibilities they have to fulfill. Darshan
of these Great Sages is intended to remind the couple the heritage
they have to carry and the debt to the sages they have to pay.
Dhruva Darshan - Looking at the Polestar
After sunset he shows her the polar star, saying: "You
are firm and I see you. Be rm with me, O ourishing one! Brhaspati
has given you to me, so live with me a hundred years bearing
children by me, your husband."
The groom's parents bless the couple and offer cloth or
flower to the bride (now their daugher-in-law), symbolizing
her joining of the groom's family. All those assembled
shower flowers on the couple and bless them completing
|Grahapravesha - Entering the Home
The couple depart from the girl’s house after the vidai
, for the groom’s house. They carry behind the couple
the sacred fire in a vessel. They should keep the fire constantly
alight. When they reach his house, he says: "Enter with
your right foot. Do not remain outside." 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 arati. They sit
silently until the stars are visible.
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