Here Are 10 Steps in a Traditional South-Indian Wedding

Hindu weddings are laden with several rituals and ceremonies, and South Indian weddings are no exception. It is fascinating to see how different regions of the country follow certain rituals and traditions associated with their culture, religion, and historical background.

Read through Sreelakshmi & Akhil’s wedding story here.

Here are the 10 most important and traditional ways or customs that are followed in a South Indian wedding ceremony:

  1. The previous evening: All the arrangements start before the wedding night. The groom, along with his family, arrives at the wedding venue. The bride’s family welcome’s the groom to the Banquet hall with a flower garland and a wedding band.

  2. On reaching: Now begins the formal ceremony with the invocation of Lord Ganapati. A Pipal tree is placed at the Mandapam. The tree is washed by five women who are married. This is a ritual to please the Gods and Goddesses.

  1. The main ceremony or Muhurtham: Once the wedding ceremony begins, a dhoti is presented to the groom, while a sari to the bride. This is a symbol of revering the nine planets that govern the fate of all humans. Then comes the exchange of garlands which symbolises that the bride and the groom accept each other.

  1. The Sampradanam: Following the exchange of garlands, the bride is made to sit on her father’s lap in order to be given away to the groom. Then the Mangalsutra is tied around the bride’s neck as a symbol of marriage. 

  1. Seven holy rounds around the fire: This is one of the most sacred rituals of a South Indian wedding. The sister-in-law, or other family members (varies from culture to culture,) ties three knots with the piece of cloth from the groom’s attire and the bride’s attire before the ceremony. 

  1. Agni puja: Ghee, twigs, and nine types of wood are required to perform the agni Puja or Yagna, a must for any Hindu wedding. This depicts the successful completion of the wedding.

  1. Ashirvad from elders: The newlyweds seek blessings from their  parents and other elderly members, soon after the wedding is done.

  1. The departure: Now comes the bride’s formal departure from her parents’ home to the groom’s. This is the most emotional part of the wedding and in some cultures, the bride is not supposed to look back while leaving. 

  1. Post-Wedding games: This is a fun and relaxing session that involves a lot of games that explore friendship, bonding, and cooperation among the newlyweds.

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  1. Post-wedding Puja: The post-wedding puja takes place within seven days of the wedding. This is a symbolic ritual to please the deities for the successful completion of the wedding.

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