Be it the Gujarati people or their marriages, they are known for their rich culture and celebrations. Especially when it comes to marriage indeed their culture is full of colors and rituals that are so beautiful!
Gujaratis are known for their compassion, excellent vegetarian cuisine, exquisite bandhani art or patola weaving, and the state’s rich culture may all be found only at a Gujarati wedding. Gujarati weddings are not only full of pomp and different types of celebrations but also with different types of unique and meaningful traditions. Considering all the rituals and functions these weddings go for 3-4 days.
As people have moved abroad, there are two things that are very important for them to consider i.e understanding the rituals and hiring a professional Indian wedding photographer. One of the most fascinating things about Gujarati weddings is their culture.
The following points are Gujarati wedding rituals that are to be followed:
The acceptance ritual: (Chandlo Matli):
This tradition officially remarks the beginning of the wedding rituals with its announcement. In other words, Chandlo Matli is a symbol of the union’s approval. In this ritual, the bride’s father brings a matli (steel utensil) filled with sweets and gifts for the groom and his family to the groom’s residence. As per the rituals, four key male relatives of the bride’s family accompany the bride’s father.
The bride’s father creates a crimson circle or chandlo with vermillion on the forehead of his ‘would-be’ son-in-law before giving over the shagun which means matli filled with gifts and money to the groom. Such precious moments should be definitely captured by an Indian wedding photographer to capture the beginning of this beautiful occasion. At this ceremony, the date of the Gujarati wedding is also set.
This ceremony is held at the groom’s residence. The bride and her family arrive at the groom’s home for the wedding ceremony, which includes the exchange of rings between the bride and groom. You will see the exchange of rings captured in any Indian wedding photography as it is such a beautiful moment to save.
Coming back to the rituals, coriander seeds and jaggery is known as Gol Dhana are distributed among the guests at the ceremony. From each side, five married ladies bless the pair. The reception is held a few days before the wedding. There is a big feast attended by friends, relatives, and other guests.
Bride’s Henna ritual (Mehendi):
This is one of the most favorite and much-awaited rituals for women. The bride’s house hosts the Mehendi (henna) ceremony a day or two before the wedding.
On the bride’s palms and her feet, beautiful designs are created with henna leaf paste.
Mehendi is also applied by other family members as well. It’s an all-women affair in most houses. During the ritual, the women sing songs and dance among themselves. It is important that you hire a professional Gujarati wedding photographer, who would definitely capture moments and ritual
Evening dance and celebration (Sangeet):
It is not ritual-based, but in most the Gujarati weddings nowadays, The sangeet ceremony is usually held on the wedding day’s eve. It may also be observed right after the Mehendi ritual in some houses. This time, the groom and his family visit the bride’s home, where the ceremony is held. Friends and relatives are also invited to join in the fun.
This occasion also helps to improve the bond between the two families. This evening includes modern song and dance, folk tunes, and traditional Garba and Dandiya dances.
Gifts Ritual (Mosaalu/Mameru):
This Gujarati wedding tradition takes place in the bride’s home, generally a day or two before the wedding. The bride’s mama (mother’s brother) or maternal uncle pays her a visit and brings her different presents like sweets, sarees, bangles, and jewelry.
Mandap Ritual and Prayer to Lord Ganesha:
This ritual takes place in both houses. The mandap mahurat is essentially a puja done to Lord Ganesha at the start of all the wedding-related rites.
The puja is performed by a priest who prays for the elimination of any conceivable impediment to the wedding rites. Before constructing the wedding mandap, both the bride and groom’s parents pray to Mother Earth. They dig a plot of dirt to mark the start of the mandap building after the prayer. It is a very important part of Gujrati weddings and would be definitely covered by an Indian wedding photographer.
In both families, a priest does this puja. Before a Gujarati wedding is planned, the bride and groom’s horoscopes are usually matched. This could imply some unfavorable planetary alignments. This puja is conducted to ward off any such impediment in the bride and groom’s wedded life.
The beauty ritual (Pithi):
This ceremony is similar to the haldi ceremony performed at marriages in other Indian traditions. For this ritual, a paste of pure sandalwood, turmeric, rosewater, and the scent is used instead of just turmeric paste.
This ceremony is performed separately in both houses. This paste is usually made by the bride’s or groom’s kaki (paternal aunt). The bride or groom sits on a low stool as family and friends apply the paste to their hands, feet, and faces. They are then given a bath. This ceremony takes place on the morning of the wedding.
Groom’s arrival (Baraat):
Finally, the day has arrived! The groom and his family and friends that follow him to the bride’s house are referred to as the baraat. To ward off any bad luck or the “evil eye,” the groom’s sister tosses some cash over his head. The procession then departs, led by the groom on horseback, with the accompanying party dancing and popping crackers as they approach the bride’s home.
Welcoming the Groom (Ponkvu):
When the groom and the rest of the baraat arrive at the venue, the bride’s family greets them with a whole moment of celebration. The bride’s mother then conducts the groom’s aarti and places a tikka on his forehead. It’s now time for a Gujarati wedding’s distinctive tradition.
As the groom touches the bride’s mother’s foot, she tries to grab his nose and drag him inside the venue, which he tries to avoid. It goes without saying that this is being done for the sake of amusement! This ceremony expresses the groom’s thanks and respect for his mother-in-law, who is entrusting her beloved child, her daughter, to this man. Such cute family moments as captured by the Indian wedding photographer Chicago are to be seen later.
Garlands Exchange ritual (Jaimala):
The mandap mahurat is essentially a puja done to Lord Ganesha at the start of all the wedding-related rites.
The puja is performed by a priest who prays for the elimination of any conceivable impediment to the wedding rites. When the wedding mandap is about to set up, both the bride and groom’s parents pray to Mother Earth.
Washing Groom’s feet (MadhuParka):
In this wedding ceremony, the groom is taken to the mandap by his mother-in-law after the Jai mala, where his feet are cleaned with water and milk. Then he is requested to consume the panchamrit, a sacred drink made of milk, honey, ghee, sugar, and yogurt.
Placing Opaque cloth (Antarpat):
As per the Gujarati traditions, the bride is taken to the mandap by her maternal uncle, and an opaque fabric is draped between the bride and groom like a curtain as the Gujarati wedding mantras are performed.
Kanyadaan (Giving the daughter):
This tradition represents the groom’s father putting his trust in his son-in-law. His son-in-law will now be accountable for his daughter’s happiness. This was a very emotional moment for the bride and her parents as well.
Tying the knot:
While singing the sacred scriptures, the priest ties one end of the groom’s shawl to one end of the bride’s saree.
Four Goals of life (Pheras):
In contrast to other Indian cultures, the couple in a Gujarati wedding takes four pheras around the sacred fire instead of seven. The four pheras are extremely important in the marriage. Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha all represent different aspects of human life.
Seven Steps (Saptapadi):
The couple takes seven steps together as the priest recites mantras during this procedure. The seven sacred vows are then recited.
The last ritual is when the groom smears the sacred vermillion on the bride’s forehead using sindoor. The mangalsutra, another traditional sign of marriage, would next be tied around his bride’s neck.
With these holy rituals, the couple and the family complete the traditions to be followed in the Gujarati marriage tradition. After the marriage has happened, later the families and the couple themselves wait to see the pictures and videos of the wedding. The photographer plays a very important role, as your Gujrati wedding photographer is responsible for actually capturing the whole wedding in one go it moves forward with every ritual. Especially, if you’re living in the states, it is important that you choose a professional Indian wedding photographer Chicago who can actually give his best like any Indian Gujrati wedding photographer would do. If you’re looking for a company that’s professional and dedicated to their work than you should definitely consider Shan Photography. Feel free to contact us and get a free quote today!