– Ganesh Sthapan
Any ceremony in our family starts with Ganesh
Sthapan, an invitation to Lord Ganesh to be present
at this auspicious occasion. His presence is believed
to ensure the smooth running of all the ceremonies
and remove any obstacles and brings happiness
and prosperity. This is performed by a learned
priest. This follows the ceremony of Grah Shanti,
which is performed in presence of the parents
and to be wedded with close family relatives and
Geet and sangeet are the soul of any Indian wedding.
Women collectively take part in Geet/Sangeet on
this day. Now a days a special day is kept aside
for ladies Sangeet where all the close relatives
and friends are invited to sing wedding songs
and dances to popular wedding songs from hindi
Close relatives of both the bride and bridegrooms
family are get together in a ceremony where rings
are exchanged. After this, the boy and girl are
considered to have engaged and accepted in the
society as future bride and groom.
Both the bride and the bridegroom apply mehendi
(henna). While the bridegroom applies it as a
token on his hands, the bride applies it on her
hands and feet making intricate patterns. Mehendi
signifies the strength of love in a marriage.
It is believed that the darker the mehendi color,
the stronger the love and bond will be between
the bride and the bridegroom.
Barat & Swagat (Procession
The groom, accompanied by his family & friends,
goes to the Bride's place in a procession. In
our case, our wedding is at Le Meridian so we
will have a similar possession to the hotel. The
Groom sits on a decorated horse. The bride's parents
and other senior members of the family will welcome
the groom, his parents & relatives and introduce
each other. The introduction is known as Milni.
The procession consist of friends and family from
the groom's side who dance in the procession to
show excitement and happiness.
Jai Mala (Garlands Exchange)
The bride and groom exchange garlands of fresh
flowers to acknowledge their life- long bondage.
The bride and groom are then escorted to the mandap
(alter) by their parents.
Chowka & Puja
The chowka is the sacred space where all the major
ceremonies will be performed. It is a decorated
dais and is square in shape. Hence the term chowka
(means squared in hindi). The Fire Altar (havan
kund) is made in the middle of the chowka, where
the Vedas are sung. This is one of the most ancient
ritual constituents handed down to the present
day. It is here that the Vivah (marriage) Homa,
the nuptials will be performed. All the gods and
goddesses are invited to take their seats, and
given due respect and welcome so that they may
act as divine witnesses and give their blessings
to the newly wed couple.
The most important ritual in every Hindu wedding
is the 'Saat Pheras' (seven circles). As per the
Hindu Law an Indian wedding is not considered
complete without the bride and groom taking the
'Saat Pheras' together. Hindu religion considers
the fire as the sustainer of life and it is in
the presence of this sacred fire that the Saat
Pheras are taken. A couple is declared man and
wife only after taking the 'Saat Pheras
With every step taken the couple invoke the
blessings of the Gods and Goddesses for different
Phera 1: Economic Stability - With the first
circle around the sacred fire, the couple invokes
the Gods for the plentitude of pure and nourishing
food and a life that is noble and respectful.
Phera 2: Health is Wealth - With the second
circle the couple pray for physical and mental
strength and fortitude to lead a healthy and
Phera 3 – Faith - The third circle is
taken for the fulfillment of spiritual obligations.
The Gods are invoked for blessing the couple
with spiritual strength.
Phera 4 - Love & Trust - The fourth circle
is taken for the attainment of happiness and
harmony through mutual love and trust and a
long joyous life together.
Phera 5 – Progeny - The fifth circle is
taken to pray for the welfare of all living
entities in the entire universe and for begetting
Phera 6 - Togetherness - With sixth circle the
couple prays for bountiful seasons and seeks
that they may go through these seasons together,
just as they would share their joys and sorrows.
Phera 7 – Forever - With the last circle
they pray for a life of understanding, loyalty,
Mangalsutra - The tie that binds
Historically, the custom of tying a mangalsutra,
the auspicious emblem or cord, on the wedding
day signals commitment to marriage. The mangalsutra
is considered a talisman to ward off the evil
eye. The black colour of the beads is said to
absorb all negative vibrations before they can
reach the bride and her family. The stringing
together of the beads into one thread signifies
bride blending and integrating into the new
family after marriage.
Vivah, Shaadi (Wedding)
During the wedding ceremony the bride and bridegroom
are seated in front of a holy fire. A Pundit
conducts the wedding, performs havan, and recites
various religious sayings. In the havan, offerings
are made into the holy fire. The Pundit explains
to the couple their responsibilities and duties
in their married life towards each other. Hindu
religion believes that fire is a sustainer of
life. The couple walks around the fire four
times (in some customs seven times) exchanging
vows of their duties.
Kanya Daan (Blessings)
This is also a part of the wedding ceremony
in which the brides parents entrust their daughter
in the safe hands of the groom.
In this ceremony, after the wedding is over,
the bride's parents give a warm send off to
their daughter. They wish her a prosperous and
harmonious long married life.