Overview of a Maharashtrian Wedding
Namashkār!!!! Thanks for sneaking in to read my blog on Maharashtrian Wedding. I’m Vedika Dursheti – A makeup artist by profession. I’m very passionate about the different cultures in India, but I think with moving lifestyles people are forgetting their roots.
My blog series will introduce you to various rituals & customs in Indian Weddings and its relevance in our lives. There are various reasons why these customs were established in the first place and why do our ancestors follow them traditionally.
Maharashtrian marriage is perhaps the most plain sailing and the least grandiose in the whole country. Marathi weddings are full of colors and fun rituals that for sure would spice up the whole event.
The first step of a traditional Maharashtrian marriage procedure starts with Lagnaach Bedior which is finding a suitable match. Once that is accomplished, the Horoscopes or Patrikas of the Boy and the Girl are matched by the Family priests
Sakhar Puda is one of the first rituals heralding the beginning of the wedding process. It is sort of the formal engagement ceremony. It is generally held a few days before the wedding. The two families gather and the Bride is given a Saree, Jewelry and a packet of Sugar or “Sakhar Puda” by the groom’s mother as a sign of her acceptance to the family.
The precise date and time of the wedding is decided by the family priest and the wedding preparations start at both houses by the inviting five married women or ‘Suhasanie’ to participate on a pre-determined auspicious day certain months before the wedding.
In an iron pestle tied with mango leaves, the women pound turmeric or halkund that would be used later. They roll out papads and make sandage (pulses soaked and ground, mixed with spices and dried in the sun). After these rituals, the shopping starts and the Bride’s side often hold a “Rukhvat” – exhibition of decorative and food items made by the bride.
The wedding invitations are selected and printed for both sides generally months or weeks before the designated wedding date. The first wedding invitation is always presented to Lord Ganesha as a symbolic request for him to grace the auspicious day with his divine presence.
A couple of days before the wedding, a puja is offered to the family deity by both the Bride and Groom’s side in the presence their respective relatives and friends. This is known as the “Kelvan” and is generally followed by a meal.
This particular ceremony takes place on the day before the wedding. The turmeric pound during the Muhurt Karane ritual is used by the same five Suhasinis. They apply the turmeric paste on the head, shoulders, hands and feet of the Bride as well as the Groom with mango leaves. The ceremony takes place in the Groom’s place first, and then the leftover turmeric paste is sent to the Bride’s place where it is applied on her.
The wedding day begins with worshiping Lord Ganesha and asking for his blessing for the couple’s future and that their lives are devoid of any obstacle.
The bride’s parents then accompany their daughter to ask everyone present at the venue to bless their daughter.
The family deity or Kul Devata is then invoked at the site where the wedding is to take place.
The Groom and his family arrives at the wedding venue and the bride’s mother washes the Groom’s feet, applies “Tilak” on his forehead, does his “Arti” and feeds him with sweets.
The bride is decked up in traditional wedding attire, usually gifted to her by the maternal uncle, and she offers her worship to a silver idol of Goddess Parvati placed on a mound of rice. She offers some of the rice to the Goddess and asks for her blessing for a prosperous life.
The Groom now appears at the Mandap with his head covered by a traditional cap or turban; he wears the “Mundavalya” and sits at his designated place on the Mandap. A cloth is held in front of the groom preventing him to see the Bride and this cloth is known as the Antarpat.
The priest chants the Mangalashtakas, or holy wedding vows. The Bride is led to the Mandap by her maternal uncle. The Antarpat is removed and the couple sees each other. They exchange the garlands and are showered with Akshatas or unbroken rice.
The father of the Bride then gives his daughter away to the Groom along with his blessings for them to start a life of Dharma, Artha and Kama. The Groom accepts his blessings and says he is receiving love in exchange of love, and that the Bride is the Divine love that is showered from the Sky and received on Earth. The Bride asks him to promise that he will love and respect her. The Bride’s parents perform worship of the couple as avatars of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
The couple ties a piece of Turmeric or Halkund with a thread on each other’s hands and the ritual is known as “Kankan Bandhane”. The Groom then seals the ritual by placing the “Mangalsutra” around Bride’s neck and applying vermilion on her center parting. The Bride in return applies a sandalwood Tilak on the groom’s forehead.
The couple revolve around the sacred fire seven times saying out loud the seven ritualistic weddings vows.
At the end of all wedding rituals the couple prays in front to the holy fire before it is extinguished. The father of the Bride playfully twists the groom’s ear to remind him of his future duties. The couple gets up from the mandap and seeks blessings from all relatives present.
After completion of the wedding rituals, the Bride bids tearful goodbye to her family and is led to her Husband’s home. The Groom picks up the silver idol of Devi Parvati during the Gaurihar Puja. The Varat refers to the procession that sees the bride off from her paternal home to her husband’s home.
Grihapravesh is the first ritual conducted after wedding. The Groom’s mother embraces the new couple and washes their feet with milk and water. After this, the traditional Aarti is performed and the Bride is asked to enter the house by knocking down a glass of rice, kept at the entrance. The couple enters the house with their right foot.
Last but not the least, a Reception party is organized, wherein the newly married couple meets and greets all family and friends, while sumptuous food is served for the guests. The Bride wears the dress and Jewelry gifted to her from the Groom’s side while the Groom dresses in attires presented by the Bride’s side.
A Maharashtrian Bride is all prepped up with Gold. Gold has a major significance in Maharashtrian wedding. As an attire, a Maharashtrian Bride is supposed to wear a Saree, which comes in many variations. Though the Modern Bride prefers a Lehenga over Saree on her reception, we are here to get you face to face with the traditional Maharashtrian Bride. As a part of dressing, this Catalogue showcases various types of Sarees a Maharashtrian Bride prides in. Traditional Maharashtrian Sarees include Basic Nauvari Saree, Uppada Nauvari Saree, Kolhapuri Silk Saree, Paithani Silk Saree, & Banarasi Paithani Silk Saree. We will understand what a Maharashtrian Shela means and how to wear it on your wedding.
Basic Bridal Nauvari
Nauvari (also known as Nav Vari, Nauvaree, Kasta Sari, Kacha, Sakachcha, Lugade) is a nine yards Saree worn by the Marathi women or women of Maharashtra. The name ‘Nauvari’ originated from the Saree’s length of nine yards. The style of drape for Nauvari has evolved drastically from the traditional style to the modern-age cult and is draped in such a way that it gives a trouser-dress like appearance while the Saree is tucked at the back. Nauvari sarees usually come in cotton and is worn without a Petticoat, majorly by the Maharashtrian Brahmin women community. A Basic Nauvari ranges anywhere between Rs.1000 to Rs.3000.
Bridal Uppada Silk Saree
Uppada is a beach town located in East Godavari district in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is famous for beautifully designed Silk Sarees. Uppada is well known for its traditional Jamdani / Uppada Handlooms. Uppada handlooms are well known for its unique designs. Usually Uppada handlooms are made in cotton/silk warp and wept. Andhra Pradesh being very close to Maharashtra. Many Maharashtrians have adopted using Uppada silk. Uppada Silk Saree Ranges from Rs.5000 to Rs.80,000.
Paithani Silk Saree
It is a variety of Saree, named after the Paithan town in Maharashtra. It is made from very fine silk, it is considered as one of the most expensive Sarees in India. It is also considered to be made from the finest silk in India. A Paithani Saree can range anywhere between Rs.5000 to Rs.500000.
Maharashtrian Silk Shela
It is a sort of accessory which complements the Saree of the Bride. It is taken over shoulders or head during the rituals. More formally a bride wears a Silk Shela(Shawl) as shown in the picture(Blue Colored). A Silk Shela comes in various silk variants and costs anything between Rs.1000 to Rs.3000.
Maharashtrian weddings are light on makeup but heavy on the variety of Jewelry. You will see combinations of pure gold, Colored stones, Pearls and a very less of diamond designs. Maharashtrian Bridal Jewelry has a very bold impression. Many Jewelry pieces are gifted to the Bride by the Groom’s family as a part of ritual and a sign of belongingness.
Some commonly used neckpieces in Maharashtrian weddings are Tushi, Dholki, Bormaala, Mohana Maala, Belpan Vjratik & Tanmani. There also are various Haar (Choker sets) that are dominantly used in Maharashtrian Jewelry. To name a few we have Champakali Haar, Putli Haar, Suriya Haar, Chandan Haar, Chinchpeti Haar. There are two more neckpieces namely kolhapuri Saaz & Mangalsutra which are the mandatory jewelry a Bride owns.
Maharashtrian Brides wears a Moti kaan or Kudya earrings in the ears. There are a variety of designs that come in these two types. Both the Bride and the Groom wear a set of Bugadi, as shown in the picture, it is a jewelry worn in the helix part of the ear. It signifies their religion as Maharashtrians have a history of this jewelry from a really long time.
Head & Hair accessories
In a typical Maharashtrian wedding, a bride knots her hair into a medium high bun, and then decorates it with a pin named “Ambada”. Ambada is a pendant pin which is made of white pearl beads and gold-plated copper material. It comes in various designs and styles. A Maharashtrian Bride & the Groom both wear a small white pearl string on their forehead just before starting of the marriage rituals. It is called “Mandavalya” It indicates that the Bride and the Groom are now ready for the marriage. Brides who follow Hinduism normally wear a Bindi on their forehead. A Typical Maharashtrians Bride would wear a moon shaped bindi in red or orange.
Hand & Arm Accessories
A Chuda (Bangles) is a common accessory in India. Maharashtrian Chuda has green bangles in it, which is worn in “Odd numbers”, to be precise one hand has two extra green bangles, i.e. if you wear 11 bangles in one hand, you wear 13 in the other. These Bangles are paired with bold gold bangles. They can be of two types as shown in the images. They are called “Toda” or “Patlya”. These Gold bangles are a sign of prosperity of the bride. “Vaaki” (An armlet) is worn one or both arms. It comes in two varieties – one being a simple round vaaki and other is a U Shaped vaaki. Vaaki is made in gold and colored stones.
This concludes my blog on “Maharashtrian Wedding”. Hope you liked it. You may also be interested in few of my other blogs as well. If Yes, then please go ahead and click on the button below to find all my blogs. Happy Reading!!!!