The bride is led to the mandap by her maternal uncle. When she reaches the mandap, there is an antarpaat (curtain) which separates her from her groom. The acharya begins the ceremony and the antarpaat is lowered and couple exchanges garlands. The wedding ceremony takes place in front of a sacred fire and is conducted by the pundit.
The arrival of the groom, or the Ponkvu, is the official start of the Gujurati wedding. The groom is welcomed by his mother-in-law at the entrance. She will perform the aarti and will playfully try to grab his nose. This tradition reminds the groom that he has come rubbing his nose at their door asking for their daughter’s hand in marriage.
This ritual signifies the giving away of the daughter by the bride’s #father and #mother to the bridegroom. In one step, the bride symbolically gives back all that she has taken from her father’s house till date so that she can be free to fulfill her duties towards her #husband and his #family without any biases or inclination towards her #parents
The groom arrives at the #wedding ceremony location with his #baraat of family and friends. Many grooms choose to arrive on horseback or in a horse and carriage. The Baraat gathers together and everyone dances in celebration. Traditionally Gujarati’s did not marry someone from their own town so the baraat signified the groom entering the bride’s village.
Some Gujaratis will then bring the bride out and she will exchange garlands with her #groom-to-be. This is called the Jaimala ceremony. The groom is traditionally lifted higher than the bride during this exchange. In modern times this is done by the #groom’s #friends to show that the bride cannot take the groom from his #friends and #family.
Chuda – This ceremony takes place in the morning of the wedding day. The ritual involves a havan or puja that is conducted by a pundit or priest. The oldest maternal uncle of the bride has an important role to play and he is one of the main participants of the havan. A set of red and cream ivory bangles, touched and blessed by all those who are present is put on the bride by the eldest maternal uncle. Flowers are sprinkled on the bride and sweets are distributed to commemorate the beginning of all the rituals to follow. Once the chuda has been worn, all relatives, friends and cousins tie kaliras on the kada or bangle on the bride’s wrists. These are essentially gold and silver plated traditional ornaments that hang from the wrist during the wedding. This is also the time when the maternal uncle presents the wedding lehnga to his niece.
The groom’s scarf is ties to the bride’s saree which symbolizes the union of their two souls. The acharya chants mantras to invoke the blessings of Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Parvati for the bride. The relatives also come together to bless the couple and shower grains of rice and rose petals on them.