Malayalee Hindu wedding ceremony involves a very short and crisp marriage plan that is held in the early morning. The highly desired location to organize a typical malayalee wedding is at the maternal home of the bride. But, in the recent days, people opt for a highly comfortable venue for both families of the groom and bride, say, at the auditorium of a temple located closer or at the temple itself. Whether it is a grand marriage, with a huge list of guests to attend or just a simple one, the customs and traditions followed by the malayalees are typically the same.
Malayalee Wedding Rituals
Before reaching the venue to tie the auspicious wedding knot, both the bride and groom need to seek blessings from the elders, at their corresponding homes. Then, the bride and groom will be getting ready to reach the venue/mandapam. The friends of bride will assist her to dress up, for nuptial knot. Usually, the bride dons a 2 piece sari, which is specific during keralites marriage. But, she can also pick any other sari. She is featured with jewelry and her blonde will be embellished with flower that is typically jasmine. The groom, on the other hand, will dress up in a traditional dhoti and a full white or an off white shirt in silk. Golf bracelets, gold chains and rings add to the look of his outfit.
Welcoming Bridegroom in Malayalee Tradition
Upon receiving blessings from the elders, the bride and groom reach the venue from their homes. Traditionally, the friends and families of bride side will be in the venue first to welcome the groom and his relations. Conventional nadaswaram and drum will be played to welcome the procession of groom that heads towards the wedding venue. At the venue’s doorstep, the brother of bride will welcome the groom by rinsing his feet with water. The brother will receive small gifts in return from the groom. Then, the groom will be accompanied by couple of his relatives to the venue. The bride will revolve 3 times around mandapam and settles next to bride, who present there already.
Nuptial ceremony is often regarded as veli. The priest undertakes the wedding ceremony. In certain parts of Kerala, the priest will be replaced by someone elderly from the family of either groom or the bride. Upon making rounds of the mandapam, the to-be-married couple sits close to each other. The bride preferably sits on the left side of groom. During the muhurtham time, groom will tie mangalsutra across the neck of the bride. The priest will hand over the garlands as well as bouquets to the bride and groom, to exchange. On exchanging the garlands, the father of bride will do the kanyadaan, by keeping the hand of bride over the hand of groom. Followed by kanyadaan, the newly married couple will take rounds of mandapam, for about 3 times. Then, the groom will apply vermilion on the bride, in return of which, she will apply chandan on the forehead of groom. Then, the couple will seek blessings from their respective parents by touching the feet of their parents. After the wedding, there will be a feast organized by the family members of the bride, wherein the traditional dishes of Kerala will be served to the guest.
Temple visit and engagement was also a part of malayalee customs originally that has spread its practice wonderfully over other Hindu traditional weddings in Kerala. Moreover, hair styles which were too conventional and used to be knotted in a bun shape have been changed over time. Today, brides also prefer loose hair styles in stylish and different manners.