My Kerala Style Wedding at Guruvayur

Every state in India has different wedding customs, and within each state, a different custom for different religions. Each wedding custom has a very beautiful meaning. I would like to share a few of my wedding pics here and explain the step by step procedure that happens in our weddings.

We give a lot of importance to horoscope compatibility. There is a minimum compatibility range needed for a couple to get married. Well,I don’t have much idea about this astrology stuff. Our parents knew it clearly. So they checked everything well. Few days before the wedding the bride’s and groom’s horoscopes should be tied up together after all the elders pray and bless the horoscopes.In olden days the maternal uncles should do the tying, but these days the bride and groom’s father can also do it.

In the pic on the left my brother is about to sprinkle rice on our horoscopes and bless us,in the right my grandmother is praying for us and in the back ground my dad is handing over the horoscopes to his dad. In the past this was supposed to be the engagement, rather than ring exchange.After this the horoscopes should be kept like that forever, it can be untied only when the astrologer is checking it.

According to our custom after the wedding the bride has to stay in the groom’s house. Though not leaving forever its like formally leaving the house. So before we leave the house to the wedding place all elders will bless me for a great future. This happens generally on the wedding day morning if the place where the wedding is to be held is nearby;or the previous day (in my case, because the temple was nearly 7 hours journey from my house).

My dad and mom are blessing me. All the near and dear elder relatives will bless me too.

We usually wear pattu saari for wedding. This saari will be bought by the groom’s relatives. I went with Ratish’s parents to select the saari. Thank God that is allowed these days. The day before the wedding his sister should come and give me the saari. If he doesn’t have a sister then priority goes to his sister-in-law or cousin.

Thats Ratish’s sister-in-law Swetha Madhavan handing me the.

The wedding day adorning and makeup and whatever for the bride should be done by the groom’s relatives, it was so for my mom’s wedding. But now a days a beautician is hired.

We generally have to keep a lot of jasmine flower on our head and that was really heavy, I could hardly lift my head or turn. I never thought it would be this heavy.
Our wedding was held at the Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple ,a very famous temple in South India.The most important thing in our wedding custom is “Thaali Kettu”, tying the sacred chain around my neck, this is a gold chain with a locket and the locket is the Thaali . That happened in the temple. We can’t finish all the customs at the temple because generally there are a lot of weddings happening each day there, and it will keep the others waiting. So we arranged to have the rest of the ceremony at a hall/auditorium.

This was the welcoming ceremony for us at the auditorium.

We had two garlanding ceremony, one at the temple and the other at the auditorium. But since it was “Akshaya Trithiya” that day, a very auspicious day at the temple there was a huge crowd visiting and also a really long queue of people waiting to tie the nuptial knot. So unfortunately our photographer was not able to click much pictures at the temple.

The green garland we already have was what we exchanged at the temple. Those are made of Thulasi leaves, Lord Krishna,the diety at the temple, is very fond of Thulasi.

The rest of the marriage function happened in the auditorium. In the collage below the first picture he is giving me two saaris, one for my dad’s sister and the other for my maternal uncle’s wife. This custom is called “puda muri”. The second picture, he is putting sindhoor/kumkum(saffron) on my forehead,every married woman is supposed to put that always, though not followed these days. In the third picture my dad is taking my hand and placing it in his hand, this indicates ” I am giving my angel to you, do take care of her for the rest of your life”. Next we go around The mandap(the elevated stage) ,holding hands ,thrice, to take the oath that we live together for the rest of our lives with love,care, trust and understanding.

All Hindu weddings are “Agni Saakshi” , Agni= fire and Saakshi= witness, so fire is the witness for our marriage. We generally keep 2 or 3 lighted ” kuthu vilakku”
on the mandap for the agni.

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