The wedding begins when the Groom, Jivaneshan, arrives with his family and entourage and is welcomed by the Bride’s family. Jivaneshan’s best man and three Sumangali (married women) perform a welcome ritual before the Groom enters the wedding hall
The Groom arrives at the Manavarai (stage) and the pandit first performs Ganapathi Pooja, worship of Lord Ganesha, to remove all obstacles for the proceedings. The Groom then performs a number of rituals with the pandit and his best man, including Paatha Pooja (washing of his parents feet).
The Bride, Tully, arrives with her bridesmaid, the Groom’s sister Kaamini, and both sit under the Manavarai to perform a number of rituals including the Gauri Pooja, where the Bride seeks blessings from the Goddess Gauri for a happily married life. The pandit performs the Thaali Pooja to bless the Thaali, the Bride and Groom’s wedding outfits, and wedding garlands.
Tully holds a coconut in her hands, and her father offers her hands to Jivaneshan and his family, while her mother pours water over the coconut. This is an emotional moment as it signifies the giving away of the bride. The pandit recites 4 generations of the two families and the couple’s parents apply Pottun (bindi) on each others foreheads as a sign of respect and welcome. The best man and the bridesmaid are presented with the blessed Vasthram (wedding outfits) on behalf of the couple, and they both leave the wedding hall to change.
Jivaneshan re-enters in his wedding outfit, as does Tully in her Koorai (wedding saree). It is then the most significant moment of the wedding. The Thaali is a sacred gold necklace, the Hindu equivalent of a wedding ring and a symbol of the husband’s love, integrity and devotion. Jivaneshan will tie the Thaali around Tully’s neck, close to her heart, signifying she is now a married woman. Those on stage shower the couple with Atchathai (tumeric rice) in celebration.
ivaneshan and Tully exchange floral wedding garlands, symbolising they are no longer separate individuals and are now equal partners in their union.
The Sapthapathi is one of the most important rituals in the wedding. The pandit ties the Groom’s shawl to the Bride’s saree pallu. Jivaneshan and Tully take 7 steps around the Agni (fire), each step signifying their vows to each other:
To nourish each other – To care for our children – To remain lifelong friends To share our joys and sorrows To be together forever To preserve our wealth To grow together in strength
A ring is dropped into a decorated vessel filled with water and milk, and the couple compete to get the ring first and be declared the winner! It is said that the winner of the game will rule the household. It also signifies the importance of fun and compromise in their married life ahead
The couple then seek blessings from each of their parents by falling at their feet, and their two families exchange gifts. The couple are sanctified with a tray of lights (Arathi) and this symbolises the closure of the wedding ceremony.
Guests are then invited up to the Manavarai to congratulate and bless the newly married couple. Please remove your shoes before going onto the stage. Dinner and refreshments will be served from 6pm