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Up, Close & Personal on a Kerala Muslim Wedding: From Ceremonies to Traditions, a Deep Dive Into Their Culture

A typical Kerala Muslim Wedding is a grand affair, where the two families come together to celebrate love. If you wish to know in depth about all the ceremonies involved in a traditional Kerala Muslim wedding, then keep on reading.

Weva Photography, Kochi

A traditional Kerala wedding, especially Muslim Wedding is an amalgamation of two hearts and merger of two like-minded families, according to the religion of Islam. The wedding is officially a contract between the bride’s father and the groom, also known as Nikah. Like most weddings, a typical Kerala Muslim wedding also has Pre-Wedding Ceremonies, a few Wedding Rituals and some Post-Wedding Ceremonies. To find out more, continue reading.

Pre-Wedding Ceremonies of a Kerala Muslim Wedding

Weva Photography, Kochi

1. Valayidal

This traditional engagement ceremony is similar to a Roka ceremony in North India. In this ceremony, the two families formalise the alliance between the bride and groom. The groom’s mother, gifts her future daughter-in-law some gold bangles and ornaments.

2. Naal Nischayam

This is the next step in a traditional Kerala Muslim wedding; where the two families come together to fix a wedding date. The two families usually get together at the groom’s house and in front a priest (Maulvi) from the local mosque, to fix a date for the wedding.

3. Mailanchi Raavu

Traditional Indian weddings are incomplete without a Mehndi ceremony. In Kerala, a traditional Mehndi ceremony is known as Mailanchi Raavu. This fun night is a celebration that happens at both the bride’s and the groom’s house. Just as a Mehndi artist decorates the bride’s hands and feet with gorgeous designs, friends and family get together for some singing and dancing. According to an old age tradition, the bride is not allowed to step out of the house after this ceremony until the wedding day.

4. Haldi Ceremony

Right after the fun, Mehndi ceremony is the emotional Haldi ceremony. In this ceremony, the bride’s family applies a fresh paste of turmeric on the bride’s face and body, for her skin to be reminiscent of a pre-wedding glow.

Wedding Ceremonies of a Kerala Muslim Wedding

5. Nikah

The main wedding ceremony is an official contract that takes place between the groom and the bride’s father. At the Nikah, the priest’s proceedings include a sermon and some prayers from the Quran. After this, the groom signs the register where two witnesses each from his and the bride’s side sign it too. The groom then gifts a Mehr (cash, gold) to the bride, which is a promise that he will take good care of her. Once the wedding is solemnized, the bride and groom are congratulated by all the guests present at the function.

6. Feast

Food is one of the main highlights of any wedding. While a traditional Kerala wedding is all about the delicious Biryani, the entire food spread has influences from North Indian and Persian cuisines. The cherry on the cake (no pun intended): even though the dessert counter has a lot of variety, the kheer is not to be missed.

Post-Wedding ceremonies of a Kerala Muslim Wedding

7. Ruksat

After the Nikah, it’s time for the bride to bid farewell to her maternal home and start a fresh chapter at her husband’s home. This traditional farewell is called Ruksat, where the bride’s father gives her hand to her husband, telling him to take good care of his daughter.

After this ceremony, the bride is welcomed to her husband’s house by holding the Holy Quran above her head. After this welcome, the bride then seeks blessings from all the elders of the groom’s family. Four days after the wedding, the bride then visits her home.

8. Walima

Weva Photography, Kochi

Once the bride and groom have settled in their new house, the groom’s family hosts a grand reception to formally announce the couple’s wedding. This is a slightly informal setup where they can introduce the bride and groom to their family and friends. The wedding reception is also known as Daawat-e-Walima as it is followed by a scrumptious feast.

Just like any other state, God’s own country to houses people from different religions, who live peacefully and come together at weddings. This is what a traditional Kerala Muslim wedding is all about – it’s all about celebrating with family and friends.

If you live in Kerala and are still undecided on your wedding photographer, check out these wedding photography vendors.