A number of pre-wedding rituals take
place in a traditional Marwari Wedding.
Please read on to know more about them.
Ceremony: Engagement ceremony
takes place at the home of the groom.
The ceremony makes match making official
and binding for both bride and groom.
Only the bride's father, brother and other
close relatives attend this ceremony.
Ladies not even the bride accompany men
folk for the 'tika'. The ceremony is so
called because the bride's brother actually
applies a tilak to the groom's forehead
and makes the alliance or engagement official.
A sword and other presents including clothes,
fruits, sweets etc are also given to the
(installation) and Griha Shanti Ceremony:
Ganapati sthapana and griha shanti is
the second most important ceremony of
any Marwari wedding performed usually
a few days prior to the wedding. In this,
a havan is performed by the groom or bride's
parents to propitiate the gods. An idol
of Lord Ganapati is installed. All ceremonies
commence only after the sthapana.
Ceremony (Ban): The pithi
dastoor is one of the first important
ceremonies, which involves the bride/groom
and continues until the day of the wedding.
The actual ceremony consists of application
of turmeric and sandal wood paste to the
bride/ groom. Custom goes that once the
pithi starts the bride and the groom cannot
leave the house.
The pithi dastoor at the bride's house
is an elaborate affair. The bride dresses
in a traditional orange poshak and is
then brought under a silken canopy, which
is held with the help of swords on the
four corners by four ladies who must belong
to the same clan as the bride. She is
brought to the ladies gathering, who then
apply the paste to her. A similar ceremony
takes place at the groom's house as well,
although it is not as elaborate. Dholans
(women singers with dholak) sing auspicious
pre-wedding songs while the ceremony is
in progress. It is interesting to note
that dholans are omnipresent in throughout
the Marwadi wedding celebrations. They
are accompanied by the Shehnai and the
Mehfils are the integral part of a Marwari
wedding. These are usually held
in the evenings. Separate mehfils are
organised for the women and the men. At
the ladies' mehfil, all the womenfolk
gather at a central place in an enclosed
courtyard or hall. Dressed in dazzling
dresses, they perform the ghoomar (a special
dance done in a group). The bride at the
mehfil is given an important position
to sit and watch the proceedings. Of course,
the men have their own mehfil, where singers
perform and these are strictly all male
The mahira dastoor is
yet another important ceremony, common
to both the bride and the groom's families.
This ceremony is performed by the maternal
uncle (Mama) of the groom/bride, who,
along with his wife and family, arrives
with much fanfare, and is received by
the bride/groom's mother with the traditional
welcome. The uncle then gives clothes,
jewellery, sweets etc., to the entire
family and relatives. The ceremony signifies
that since at the time of a wedding there
is considerable expenditure, it is the
duty of the brother to help his sister
at her child's wedding.
Following the custom, the groom has to
be dressed in saffron robes like an ascetic
and perform a havan before wearing the
thread. The saffron robe signifies that
the groom now has two choices before him.
That is either he renounces the world
and becomes an ascetic, or he accepts
the institution of marriage and its responsibilities.
After the havan is completed and the thread
given, the groom has to make a mock attempt
to run from the chains of marriage while
the maternal uncle must catch him and
convince his nephew into accepting marriage.
On the day of the actual wedding, or maybe
a day prior to it, the palla dastoor is
brought in by a few of the groom's relatives
to the bride's house. The palla dastoor
consists of clothes, jewelery and gifts
from the groom, which the bride has to
wear during the wedding ceremony.
In a Marwadi wedding,
the groom wears a padgi or headgear which
is tied up by the jija (sister's husband).
The groom also wears 'pecha', 'kalgi'
and 'tani'. A sehra either of flowers
or of pearls is tied on the pagdi. The
sister in law (brother's wife) of the
boy applies kajal in his eyes. Later,
groom's sisters tie golden threads to
the reins of the mare in a ceremony called
'vaag-gunthai'. While the sister is performing
the ritual, her husband holds the reins
of the horse. As a custom, the groom pays
a visit to the temple first before proceeding
to the girl's house.
The entrance of the girl's house is decorated
with a 'toran'. As a custom the groom
hits the toran with a stick of neem. This
ceremony is called 'toranachar' and is
symbolic of warding off the evil eye.
After this the girl's mother does 'aarti'
and 'tilak' to the boy.
groom is escorted to a dais prepared for
the Jaimala ceremony. As is customary
in Hindu marriages, the bride and groom
exchange garlands. This is the first step
of the wedding rituals.
After jaimala or varmala ceremony, the
bride and groom is taken to another mandap
where rituals related to phera are performed.
The next step is 'granthi-bandhan'
or tying the knot. In this the cloth tied
around the groom's waist is tied to the
chunni of the bride. The ceremony is symbolic
of the union of two individuals. From
this day they become one entity. Either
the sister of the groom or the priest
This is followed by the 'paanigrahan'
ceremony. The groom takes the bride's
hand in his hand. It is again a symbol
of this most pious union. It signifies
that they will now be together in good
times and bad.
Then the groom and the bride go around
the fire. This act is called 'pheras'.
In a Marawadi wedding
only four 'pheras' are done in the mandap,
rest of the three pheras are performed
at the entrance. Following the tradition,
in the two pheras, the girl is in the
front and in the other two the boy leads.
In the Ashwarnarohan ceremony the girl
puts her foot on a grinding stone. The
custom is symbolic of steadfastness and
symbolic of facing every challenge with
courage. Then the brothers of the bride
puts 'kheel' or puffed rice in the bride's
hand, which are passed to the groom's
hand and then offered to the fire. This
ritual is symbolic of brother's happiness
and wishes of prosperity for his sister
and her husband.
and Sindurdaan: Later,
in a ceremony called ' vamang-sthpana'
the groom requests the bride to sit on
his left side, because the heart is in
the left side of the body. This signifies
that the groom is accepting the bride
and is establishing her in his heart.
This is followed by sindurdaan ceremony
wherein the groom fills the bride's centre
hair parting with sindoor or vermillion.
Sindoor is considered to be the most auspicious
sign of a Hindu married woman.
Now, 'saptapadi' is carried out. The bride
and the groom walk seven steps together.
This signifies that till now they have
walked alone but from now on, they will
always walk together in synchronization.
While observing the custom, the bride
and the groom utter seven sentences, which
are in fact promises, they make regarding
their conduct towards each other. After
this 'pherpatta' is done which signifies
that the bride can freely proceed to her
in-laws house. After this the sister of
the groom does the 'sargunthi' or adorning
of the girl's hair. This ritual signifies
acceptance of bride by the groom's family.
Following the 'aanjhala bharai' tradition,
a bag full of money is put in the new
bride's lap by her father-in-law. This
is his way of welcoming her into his family
and also to make her aware of her family
responsibilities. The bride then distributes
a part of this money to her sister-in-law
and her husband. After this the new couple
get up from the mandap. All the elders
bless them when the couple touches their
The groom is then taken for 'paharavani'
wherein he is made to sit on a new cloth
or asana and is welcomed by a Tika. He
is also given gifts in the form of money,
clothes and other things for his personal
use. A silver utensil or kachola is given
to the groom's father. The woman folk
of the bride's side then take the groom
for the fun-filled 'shloka kahalai' session
wherein he is made to recite poems or
dohas. After this, the bride worships
the threshold (dahaleez) of her paternal
home and breaks an earthen diya on it.
The groom and the bride are escorted out
and they leave for the groom's house.
At the time of the bidai, a coconut is
placed under the wheel of the car before
the bride lifts her veil for the husband
after the wedding. At this stage, the
groom usually gives a piece of jewelry
to his bride.
There are a few but interesting
post-wedding rituals of a Marwari Wedding:
Grihapravesh takes place once the baraat
returns with the newly weds. The bride
still wears the veil while the puja and
other ceremonies take place.
Pagelagni takes place the day following
the grihapravesh. This is a ceremony where
the bride, still in veil, is formally
introduced to all the family members of
the groom who bless her and give her gifts.
The veil is then finally removed.
Other post -
wedding ceremonies include the 'Chura'
wherein the mother-in-law presents bangles
to the bride. While during the 'Mooh Dikhai',
the bride gets a chance to get acquainted
with all her new family members one by