The Brahmin priest announces where, when and between whom the marriage is taking place.
The Brahmin priest invites Lord Vishnu to join the ceremony. He then explains the meaning and significance of the marriage and its commitments as outlined in the Vedic Scriptures.
The bride is escorted by her maternal uncles to the Mandap. Once the bride is in the mandap, verses (Manglashtak) are chanted as the veil is lowered and the couple exchanges flower garlands (Jai-Malas). The bride offers the first garland declaring that she has chosen the groom on her own free will. The groom will then return the compliment by offering her a garland welcoming her to a new life together and promising to look after her.
The bride’s parents perform a pooja where they wash the groom’s feet, offer flowers and madhuparka, a drink mixture of yogurt and honey. It is stated in the Vedic scriptures that at the time of marriage the groom is a representation of Lord Vishnu Himself.
At the end of the pooja, a veil of cloth (Antarpat) is held in front of groom to prevent him from seeing the bride as she enters.
The wedding ceremony begins by offering a prayer to Lord Ganesh requesting for peace and harmony to prevail during the ceremony. Lord Ganesh’ blessings are sought for the auspicious beginning for the couple.
After the celebratory arrival of the baraat, the Bride’s family formally welcomes the groom and his family and friends. The bride’s mother applies tilak (red vermilion powder) on the groom’s forehead and he then smashes a clay pot with his foot breaking it into pieces, demonstrating that he has the power to overcome all the obstacles the couple may face in their married life. The groom is then escorted to the mandap (the bridal altar) where the marriage ceremony is held.
Vedic Hindu Wedding CeremonyIn Hindu tradition, marriage is viewed as the most important stage of the four stages of life. As well as being the union of two souls, it is also regarded as a bond between two families. At its core, the Hindu wedding ceremony unites two individual souls spiritually, mentally and physically. The bond of matrimony is sacred and the ceremony of marriage is conducted according to Vedic traditions. The Vedic ceremonies originated from the Vedas, the most sacred scriptures of Hinduism. Although the rituals have been simplified considerably in modern times, Hindu culture attaches a deep significance to them. Each step of the ceremony has a profound spiritual meaning and a life affirming purpose. The ceremony will be conducted in Sanskrit, the most ancient languages of the world and translated to English by the priest. The brief description of each part of the ceremony that follows will explain the meaning of the rituals.
The traditional stages of a Hindu wedding ceremony are;
- Pokwanu Milni, arrival and welcoming of the groom
- Ganesh Pooja, worshiping Lord Ganesh
- Vaarpooja, worshiping of groom
- Kanya Aagman, arrival of the bride
- Kumbha Sthapana
- Hastamelap Kanyadan, giving away the bride
- Granthibandan and Varmala
- Mangal Fera, steps around the Holy Fire
- Saptapadi, seven steps
- Mangal Sutra Dharan
- Aashirwad, blessings
- Akhand Saubhagyavati, blessings from married women