serious ceremony details.

here's a detailed schedule of our ceremony (please don't hold me to the timings!). i apologize for the absurdly long post, but i didn't want to skip any of the fun steps or sweet symbolism. for those of us that weren't aware of all that happens during an indian ceremony, i hope this brings a little insight.... enjoy!

9.15am- Welcome ceremony for David and his family {Vara Puja}- Radhi’s family welcomes David and his family and friends. Accompanied by an Indian live band (Nadaswaram), Radhi’s family offers a candlelight welcome (Harathi) with sweets and other treats.

9.40am- Beginning ceremony {Ganapathi Puja}- David arrives on stage first to perform a purification ceremony (puja) under the marriage structure (mandapam) before the ceremony begins.

10am- Radhi’s arrival - Radhi's maternal uncles carry her in a bamboo basket (!!) to the mandapam where a curtain will separate her and David for the first part of the ceremony. The priest invokes the blessings of the ancestors belonging to the last seven generations of both families.

10.58am- Auspicious time {Subha Muhurtham}- After the priest recites the wedding mantras from the Vedas, Radhi & David apply a paste (Jeelakarra-Bellamu) of cumin seeds (jeera) and jaggery (unrefined sugar) on each other's heads over the curtain. The slightly bitter cumin and sweet jaggery form an inseparable mixture signifying that Radhi and David will now be inseparable through life's bitter and sweet times. After this part of the ceremony, the curtain is lifted.

11am- Removing obstacles {Raksha Bandhanam}- A sacred yellow thread is tied on the wrist of Radhi and David to serve as protection from exterior obstacles during the ceremony.

11.05am- Giving away the Bride to the Groom {Kanyadanam}- Radhi’s parents bestow gifts of sweets, jewelry and other items ultimately culminating in giving Radhi to David.

11.10am- Marriage outfit change {Madhuparkam}- Radhi will leave to change into her official marriage outfit, the cotton Madhuparkam sari which is white (for purity) with a red (for strength) border.

11.25am- Tying the Knot {Mangalya Dharana}– After offering prayers, David ties a traditional thread neckalce (Mangalsutra) around Radhi’s neck with three knots to represent the physical, mental and spiritual strength of their union.

11.30am- Rice & Rings {Talambralu}- The priest guides Radhi and David to pour rice on each other’s heads symbolizing showers of prosperity. Following that, their wedding rings are dropped in a large container of water and they compete to find their ring first to predict who will be the dominating force in the marriage. They receive plenty of encouragement from their representative friends and family during this process!

11.45am- Exchanging Garlands {Malika Ropanam}- Radhi and David exchange garlands and families exchange clothes to signify the joining of both families. Friends and family bestow their blessings on the couple by showering them with flowers and turmeric-stained rice (akshanta).

12pm- Seven Steps {Saptapadi}- Radhi's sari and David’s shawl are tied together in a knot. In each of the seven steps that David leads, he prays for life-long blessings. First step-sustenance, second step-physical, mental, and spiritual health, third step-prosperity, fourth step- happiness, fifth step- healthy progeny, sixth step- longevity, seventh step- companionship.

12.15-1pm Blessings {Harathi & Aseervadam}- Radhi and David receive blessings and good wishes from the priests, their families and friends.

1 comment:

  1. I love it and cannot wait to be witness to this union! I am so happy for you two! xoxo


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