A Simple Guide to Decode Maharashtrian Weddings

A Simple Guide to Decode Maharashtrian Weddings

The mere use of two words ‘Maharashtrian Wedding’ are enough to transport you into a world full of sheer simplicity!

Yes, you read that right. The USP or highlight of Maharashtrian shaadi lies in the simplicity of their wedding rituals and how even their minimalistic, private affairs are also a delight to the eyes!! Another thing Maharashtrian weddings are quite popular for is the innumerable rituals, exuding oodles of rich culture and traditions.

 

Not to be mistaken for a formal or drab affair, these weddings are filled with fun, colour and some delectable food- you shouldn’t miss!! While a lot of rituals are similar to the ones found in other Hindu wedding ceremonies, Maharashtrian weddings have a host of rituals, you may or may not have even heard of.

 

For all the Maharashtrian brides-to-be, don’t you shudder at the thought of tying the knot. Here’s an A-Z guide guide on rituals for making your life a tad bit easier:

 

1. Lagnaach Bedior

 

This is the very first phase before the wedding, when the horoscopes or patrikas of the bride and groom are matched. A ritual which is prevalent mostly in case of an arranged marriage, wherein the parents choose a spouse for their son or daughter.

 

2. Sakhar Puda

 

Image source: MGM Graphics and Entertainment

 

Sakhar’ actually means sweet or in this context sweets, in Marathi. This is the official engagement ceremony in Maharashtrians. The ritual commences with the groom’s mother applying haldi-kumkum on the bride’s forehead, signifying blessings and there is an exchange of gifts and sweets. The ceremony ends when the bride and groom exchange rings, just like a quintessential engagement ceremony.

 

3. Muhurt Karane

 

Subsequently after the wedding date is fixed, the bride’s mother invites Suhasanies or married women. These women then start making a paste with turmeric powder and Sandege (powdered spices and pulses). Right after this, starts the most exciting part of the pre-wedding prepping- SHOPPING!!!

 

4. Kelvan

 

Image source: WhatKnot Wedding Photography

 

Few days prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom’s families perform a special pooja, offering prayers to their family deity. The aim of this is to invoke blessings for the to-be-married couple.

 

5. Halad Chadavne

 

Image source: Ajit Malusare

 

Don’t get alarmed, this is nothing but your regular haldi ceremony!!

Married women apply turmeric or haldi paste with mango leaves on the forehead, shoulders , hands and feet of the groom. The same paste is then taken to the bride and a similar ritual is performed at her place.

 

6. Ganpati Puja and Gurihar Puja

 

The wedding ceremonies commence by praying to Lord Ganesh or Ganpati, evoking his blessings to ensure a happy married life for the bride and groom!

As part of the Gurihar Puja, the bride all dressed in white, performs a puja dedicated to Goddess Parvati, for happiness and prosperity.

 

7. Punyavachan and Seemapujan

 

Image source: Movieing Moments

 

The bride’s family takes her to the wedding venue, where all the close family members bless the bride, right before the wedding ceremonies begin. This is the Punyavachan ceremony! As part of Seemapuja, the bride’s mother welcomes the groom to the wedding venue, by feeding him sweets and applying tikka on his forehead.

 

8. Antarpat

 

Image source: WhatKnot Wedding Photography

 

Once the bride and groom are at the wedding venue, they are not even allowed to catch a glimpse of one another before the ceremonies commence. An antarpat or curtain is kept in between, while the priest starts chanting the mantras.

 

9. Sankalp

 

Image source: Anuraag Rathi

 

Sankalp is the ceremony in which the bride and groom exchange garlands or varmalas, while everyone showers them with flowers and rice!

 

10. Kanyadaan

 

Image source: Into Candid Photography

 

One of the most heart-touching moments for a bride, during her wedding ceremony! The bride’s father places her hand in the hand of the groom, seeking a promise that his daughter will be taken care of, respected and loved.

 

11. Lajahoma

 

Image source: Anuraag Rathi

 

A sacred fire is ignited, immediately after which the bride starts reciting holy mantras, while offering rice into the fire after every mantra. The groom also repeats the mantra after her. However, the fourth mantra is recited by the bride alone, almost silently. The couple then tie a turmeric thread on each other’s hands, followed by the groom tying a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck.

 

12. Saptapadhi

 

A ceremony seen as part of all Hindu marriages, the Saptapadhi or Saath Phere signifies the successful completion of the wedding ceremony, as a result of the seven vows taken by the bride and groom.

 

13. Grihapravesh

 

Image source: Pinterest

 

The newlyweds head towards the groom’s house, where the groom’ mother welcomes them by washing the couple’s feet with milk. Subsequently, the bride is asked to push down a kalash or a brass vessel filled with rice, using her right foot. This signifies that the bride is bringing with her- prosperity, wealth and happiness.

 

14. Reception

 

Image source: Movieing Moments

 

This is the last function as part of the wedding ceremony. It is sometimes organized on the night of the wedding or on the day after the wedding. The bride wears a saree or any other outfit , gifted to her by the groom’s family, while the bridegroom adorns an outfit gifted to him by the bride’s family.

 

Marathi mulgis out there, I am sure y’all are now geared up to tie the knot!
 

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