Think of the actual wedding ceremony as if it were a romantic story, where the bride and the groom come to the Mandap, separately, as if unknown to each other. Then they fall in love and ask the parents’ permission to get married.
Following are the essential steps of the ceremony. They will be customized to each specific wedding and the overall program will be distributed at the ceremony.
Welcoming Groom Swagatam & Madhuperk
The arrival of the groom is an important and fun-filled event. The groom, dressed in his
wedding attire, leaves his place to the wedding venue on a decorated ghodi (horse). The groom is usually accompanied by his family members, relatives and friends in a big procession (Baarat).
The Barat, the singing and dancing procession of the groom and his family, reaches the wedding venue. The bride’s family welcomes them with Aarati and sweets, as a symbol of happiness and good tidings to come and escort them to the mandap.
Vadhu Aagman (Arrival of the Bride)
Bride is brought to the mandap typically by her parent, along with bridesmaids. An antarpat, an auspicious cloth, separates Bride and Groom as a symbol of their separate existence prior to the marriage.
Varmala/Jaimala (Exchanging the Garland to each other)
Soon after the groom arrives, the bride and groom exchange garlands. On a lighter note, it is considered that, whoever puts the garland first on their partner, will have an upper hand in the marriage.
The Priest explains the bride and groom the objectives of the Vivaah Samskar and then they propose to marry each other and enter the Grahasthashrama as a married couple
Kanyadaan (Giving away of the Bride)
In the Brahma Vivaah, the highest form of Hindu marriage, Bride’s parents, “give away” the Bride as one of the noblest acts they will perform in their lifetime. The Father of the Bride places her hand in the groom’s hand requesting him to accept her as an equal partner
Vivaah Homa, Laaja Homa & Agni Pradakshina
Vivaah Homa is the start of the Grahasthashrama for the couple. The couple lights the Agni, the holy fire that symbolizes light, power and knowledge, and acts as a witness to the ceremony.
They circle the sacred fire four times, starting their transition into married life, supported by Bride’s brother, as her lifelong supporter.
The couple take seven steps together to reiterate their aspirations of their married life
Mangalya Dhaaranam & Sindhoor
Groom adorns Bride’s neck with the Mangalsutra, a necklace symbolizing good luck, love and friendship. Groom applies kumkum on Bride’s forehead, now as a Soubhagyavati. Bride applies chandan tilak on Groom’s forehead, now as a Grahastha.
After being declared as husband and wife, they leave the mandap as a newly married couple as the guests shower them with flowers petals
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