The Gujarati weddings are full of splendor and fun. As most of the Gujarati population indulge in business rather than employment, they are financially well off and hence money is never a problem at such weddings. A function like a wedding also serves as a rapport development exercise between customers and vendors.
The following rituals are performed in a guajarati marriage. Let us first have look at the pre marriage rituals.
First among the pre marriage rituals is the Mandap Mahurat.
Here the families of both the bride and groom in their respective homes and the groom seek the blessings of the lord Ganesha. The house is full of relatives at such times and every one enjoys the wedding. Such a pooja is performed a few days before the actual marriage and is performed by a priest.
Graha shanti is performed by the all the relatives who have gathered in the house to attend the wedding. The priest decides an auspicious time for the pooja and the entire family performs this pooja at such times.
Jaan is an interesting ritual performed at the bride's residence. The grooms, along with his family arrive at the bride's residence and seek the blessing of the in laws.
Now its wedding time.
The bride and groom arrive at the wedding location in their own decorated vehicles. Both the bride and the groom change to the wedding attire and come on the common dais. Here the first function to be performed is the Kanya Daan. The bride's father lays trust on the groom that his daughter will the well taken care of. As per the rituals, the brides are considered the Goddess Laxmi and groom is considered Lord Narayana. The father of the brides takes her hand and places it on the hand of the groom. All these are performed before the sacred fire.
Hasta Milap is a step further to Kanya Daan. The grooms scarf and the bride's sari are tied in a knot which signifies their union before the entire guest, who are present on the occasion. This is done by the priest who performs a pooja along side the sacred fire.
The final step before the couple is fully married is called Saptapadi. This is very significant ritual. This is performed in the north India by walking around the sacred fire. In case of Gujarati and some other communities, the priest places 7 small heaps of rice on the floor. The bride and the groom take 7 vows together as the bride places the here thumb on each of the small heaps of rice. In case of Gujarati , the couple also takes 4 mangal pheras, which represent "Dharma", "Artha", "Kama" and "Moksha".
Now the couple is married and is now man and wife in full view of the entire guest present. The couple then seeks the blessing of the all the elderly guest present for their long happy married life.
All these rituals are over by the mid of after noon. The bride and the groom go to their respective homes if they are nearby and now the post marriage ceremony takes place.
The Reception takes in full splendor. One of the best halls is selected. The bride and groom are seated at and decorated seat on the dais. They are visible to each of the guest who arrives at the reception. The guest meets the couple one at a time and exchange greeting and gifts with them. This goes on till all the guest has been attended by the bride and the groom. The guests then have their dinner and so do the bride and the groom.
Now the reception is over, it is time for the bride to leave the fathers house to be with her newly wed husband. Here we have the Vidaai ceremony in which the bride gives a tearful farewell to her family.
Now one last ceremony before the couple start their married life.
This is called the Ghar ni Laxmi. The bride is considered as Laxmi of the house and is welcomed to the groom's house. A bride pushes down and vessel filled with rice. All the grooms' family gather around the couple and then they play some games. These are fun games which are intended to help the bride mix with the groom's family members.
After some of the games, the bride and groom are left together to start their married life.
We wish them both a long happy married life.