Maharashtrian weddings are about sheer simplicity. Perhaps there is not a single event in the weddings that doesn’t hold some spiritual significance. They are sans any façade or any unnecessary grandiose.
They hold all the core values of the Maharashtrian culture and follow the traditions alike- whether the wedding is of a humble Maharashtrian family of that of a multi-millionaire. But that doesn’t mean the weddings are boring, Maharashtrian weddings are as much fun as any other Indian weddings.
The patrikas of the girl and the guy are matched and if the horoscopes match, the sambandh is finalised. After this, the pries picks up an auspicious date for the wedding and the rituals can then officially begin.
This is the engagement ceremony. The groom’s mother applies Haldi-Kumkum (turmeric) on the bride’s forehead as blessings and gifts her saree, jewellery and Sakhar Puda or sweets. After this, the bride’s mother performs similar ritual on the groom. the bride and the groom then exchange rings.
The families of the bride and the groom offer prayers to their Kuldevta or the family deity and seek blessings for the couple-to-be. This is usually followed by a lunch.
Suhasanies or married women are invited by the bride’s mother. They start making haldi Sandege (pulses and spice powder). Rolling of Papad is yet another very important pre-wedding activity of Muhurt Karane. And then starts the shopping! The women then hold a Rukhvat by decorating artistically and exhibiting bridal Lehengas and sarees, jewellery, kitchen utensils, sweets and all sorts of the bridal trousseau.
This is the Haldi ceremony of a Maharashtrian wedding. This usually takes place a day or two prior to the wedding. Haldi is applied on the bride and the groom at their respective places with mango leaves.
This puja is performed by the bride’s mother when the groom enters the wedding venue. The groom’s immediate family members are then given gifts.
The bride dresses in yellow and a mundavalya (glower garland) is tied across her forehead. She performs a puja with her parents. Rice is placed on the idol’s head as mantras are recited and the bride prays to the Hindu Goddess Parvati.
As the marriage rituals begin on the mandap, till their completion, the bride and the groom are not supposed to see each other. So a shawl is placed between them as a veil until the priest recites the chants.
At an auspicious moment, the antarpat is removed and the bride and the groom see each other for the first time. They then exchange garlands- varmala is performed.
The bride’s father gives his daughter’s hand in the hands of the groom. After this, the groom ties a mangalsutra around the girl’s neck and applies sindoor (vermillion) in the centre of her hair parting. The bride then applies a sandalwood tikka on the groom’s forehead.
These are the sacred saat phere of the Maharashtrian wedding.
The couple performs the Laxmi Pujan and worships until the fire puts out. The groom then gives the bride a new name. Finally, the brother of the bride teasingly twists the groom’s ear to remind him of his marital duties and the couple takes everyone’s blessings in the end.