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The first thought that comes to one’s mind on seeing a Marathi wedding is, “Simple is beautiful”. Precise rituals like Sakhar Puda, hassle-free ceremonies like Halad Chadavane and a bride dressed in a vibrant Navari - you can easily identify these elements to a Maharashtrian wedding. If you're looking for ways to plan a typical Maharashtrian wedding with the Maharashtrian wedding rituals being performed in full swing for yourself, let us help with a quick guide to each wedding ceremony.
The beginning of all the Maharashtrian wedding rituals is the Aaple Lagna that takes place with the guidance, role and support of every member of your family, as the familial bond is a strong thread in Marathi culture. Once you send out the Lagna Patrikas, here is how you can also incorporate them into your wedding plan.
If you are planning your wedding, you sure need a Marathi wedding checklist that is precise and accurate. So here are all the Marathi wedding rituals in details for you to deep dive into the beauty of this regal culture.
Pre Wedding Ceremonies
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This is the common set of pre-wedding ceremonies and rituals of Maharashtra which take place in a Marathi wedding:
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The horoscopes or Patrikas of the bride and the groom are matched before any further proceedings. This ritual was more prevalent earlier when all the Maharashtrian wedding rituals were arranged by the respective parents of the bride and groom. The family priests then fix an auspicious time and date for the wedding or the Maharashtrian wedding vidhi.
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This is the official engagement ceremony or the Roka ceremony in Marathi/Maharashtrian wedding, which is signified by Sakhar or sweets. The groom’s mother applies Haldi-Kumkum on the bride’s forehead as blessings and gifts her saree, jewellery and Sakhar Puda or sweets. The mother of the bride follows the same rituals with the groom. After this, the couple exchanges engagement rings as a part of the wedding rituals of Maharashtra. This ceremony can be celebrated immediately after the Maharashtrian wedding vidhi is picked or even during the pre-wedding period.
After the Maharashtrian wedding vidhi is fixed and the engagement is celebrated, the Maharashtrian wedding rituals begin in full swing. The preparation for the wedding starts months before the D-day. Suhasanies or married women are invited by the bride’s mother. They start making turmeric powder and Sandege (pulses and spice powder) in mortar and pestle to be used later in the wedding. 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 bridal trousseau as a part of the wedding rituals of Maharashtra.
The Wedding Invitation
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The first invitation is offered to Lord Ganesha for his blessings as an integral part of the Marathi wedding traditions. After that, the other invitation cards are sent out.
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This is performed a few days prior to the wedding. Both the families perform a Puja to their Kuldevta or family deity for blessings. This ceremony is usually then followed by meals amongst family and close relatives.
The same married women from Muhurta Karane perform this Maharashtrian version of Haldi. They apply turmeric paste with mango leaves on the forehead, shoulders, hands and feet of the groom. This same paste is then taken to the bride and the same ritual is performed with the bride.
The Wedding Rituals
The Marathi wedding rituals are a combination of Pujas and vows. Some wedding traditions are similar to some of the South Indian wedding traditions like Saptapadhi and Kanyadaan; whereas, there is some uniqueness in some of the Maharashtrian wedding ceremonies too. Have a look:
Ganpati Puja, Devdevak and Gurihar Puja
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Like many other auspicious Maharashtrian occasions, the wedding day commences with the worship of Lord Ganesha. Ganpati Puja is performed for a bright future of the couple. The family deity is then invited at the wedding Mandap by Devdevak. In Gurihar Puja, the bride all dressed up in her wedding attire, worships to the goddess Parvati for her prosperous life. The maternal uncle of the bride gives her some rice which, she then offers to the Goddess.
Punyavachan & Seemanpuja
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The bride’s parents take her to the wedding venue and ask everyone to bless their daughter on Punyavachan. In Seemanpuja, on the groom’s arrival, the bride’s mother receives him with Aarti and sweets. She washes the groom’s feet and applies Tilak on his forehead.
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The groom enters the Mandap and sits on a designated wedding spot. The Antarpat or a curtain is hanged in front of the groom restricting his vision of the bride who’d be sitting opposite to him.
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The bride then enters the Mandap and the priest chants Mangalashtakas or sacred vows accompanied by musicians. On an auspicious moment, the Antarpat is removed and the couple exchange jaimala. That’s when everyone showers them with Akshata or whole rice.
The father of the bride gives away his daughter to the bridegroom with blessings. The groom promises to love and respect his wife forever.
For the final Marathi marriage rituals to commence, a sacred fire is ignited and the bride offers grains to the fire chanting three mantras repeated by the groom. The fourth mantra, however, is uttered silently only by the bride. After that, the bride’s parents worship the couple as avatars of Vishnu and Laxmi and the couple then tie a turmeric thread on each other’s hands. As a final touch, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the bride’s neck and puts vermillion on her forehead.
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Saying out loud the seven wedding vows, the couple together encircles the holy fire seven times while performing the Marathi marriage ritual of Saptapadi.
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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.
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Here are the common Marathi marriage rituals that take place post-wedding in a traditional Marathi wedding:
Varat in a Maharashtrian wedding basically means the farewell of the bride from her parents’ home to her new family. It’s usually a procession that follows the bride till her in-laws’ house. While the bride bids her goodbyes, the groom carries the Parvati idol from Gaurihar Puja.
The newlywed couple is welcomed to the groom’s family. The mother of the groom performs Aarti and washes the couple’s feet with milk and water. The bride is then asked to push down a Kalash of rice at the entrance and they both enter the house putting their right foot forward.
After all the Marathi marriage rituals that take place, the final celebration party is organised. Here the bride and the groom are introduced to all the guests. The bride wears a saree that is gifted to her by the groom’s family and the groom wears an outfit that the bride’s parents gift him.
Maharashtrian Wedding Outfits and Jewellery
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A traditional Maharashtrian groom’s wedding outfit is off-white, cream or beige cotton Kurta paired with a white thin bordered Kanche or Dhoti. There is a fancy red or gold coloured stole that the groom wraps on his shoulders in style. For the head, there is a Pheta or turban or a white Gandhi-style hat.
A Maharashtrian bride wears the most colourful silk sarees with exquisite gold borders. The saree is usually draped in a typical Marathi Dhoti style. Some of the most popular colours combinations are yellow, orange, purple and green. Generally, two kinds of sarees are worn in a Marathi Wedding- six yards Paithani or nine yards Navari. As for jewellery, green glass bangles, Mangalsutra, Thusi or their traditional necklace, Maharashtrian armlets and a moon-shaped Bindi are the indispensable components of Marathi bridal wear.
Both bride and groom wear a Mundavalya - a string of pearl attached to their headband.
Things to remember:
- Have clear conversations with both the family priests regarding date and timings
- Some couples opt for an elaborate engagement on Sakhar Puda. It’s completely your choice. Just make sure you don’t hurt any religious feelings or offend anyone in the family. Try to put forward your views without hampering the traditions as much as possible.
- For Rukhwat, you can also opt for handmade baskets, handicrafts or creative packing with the trousseaus. Add a little spunk to the traditional events
- Make sure all the Puja Samagri explained by the priest are available and present during the nuptials and other Marathi wedding rituals.
- If you’re going for a destination wedding or a weekend wedding out of town, make sure you have everything you need for the rituals and ceremonies. Make back up plans in case of unavailability by consulting with your wedding planner
- If you’re planning to blend in traditional and modern wedding in your Maharashtrian marriage rituals, take help from your wedding decorator to choose an appropriate theme
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Simple yet graceful; vibrant yet elegant - a Maharashtrian wedding has flavours of culture, traditions as well as fun and playfulness as seen in the Marathi wedding rituals in details above. However, you can have fusion for your own Marathi wedding rituals by blending traditional and modern values together. Go to an exotic location for your Marathi wedding and follow all the Marathi wedding rituals. Thank your guests with creative return gifts without disturbing the conventional Maharashtrian marriage rituals and customs. Make your Lagnachya Katha the favourite saga of your family and friends! Plan a flawless Marathi wedding checklist to make sure your wedding is a super hit for all to remember!
Do you have any interesting stories from the Maharashtrian wedding you attended? Write to us in the comment section below.