Muslim wedding

 

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Muslim Wedding

Muslim marriage is called Nikhah in local parlance. Muslim marriage is a simple contract between the boy and the

girl’s father. This is the practice followed world over among the Muslims.

First the marriage proposal is mooted through a medium of broker. As in other communities in Kerala, few close

relatives from the boy’s side go to the girl’s house to ascertain the suitability of the girl to the boy. If they are

satisfied, the boy is sent to the girl’s house along with two or three friends to have himself satisfied about the girl. If

he approves the girl, the girl’s family is called upon to visit the boy’s house to ascertain themselves about the family

of the boy. If both families are satisfied with each other, the next step is Valayidal. Valayidal is that a gold bungle (

or more than one up-to a dozen according to the financial status) puts on the hand of the girl by her would-be mother

in law. This is preliminary to the betrothal. Thereafter, a mutually agreed day is fixed for betrothal or say

engagement. In local parlance it is Nikhah Urappikkal. For the betrothal some male members from the side of girl go

to the house of boy. A ceremony of reciting some psalms from holy Koran is followed and thereafter the boy is

presented with some cash or gold.

On the preceding day of the marriage the sisters of the boy accompanied by some closely related ladies go to the

house of the prospective bride to perform the Mailanchi Idal (applying of mehandi or say henna on the girl’s hands

and feet artistically for beautifying her and sing some classical Islamic songs after center-seating the girl among the

ladies. This singing is called Oppana. The songs are humour coated in relation to the wedlock. The Oppana will

prolong for hours. After the mehandi application the girl is debarred from stepping out of her home till the marriage

is over.

When the sisters of the boy and other ladies go to the girl’s house they take with them the Kalyana Saree and other

dresses for would be bride. The quantum of dresses and other items are similar to the practice in Hindu system. The

dresses are presented to the girl by the elder sister of the boy.

On the wedding day the groom and party reach the bride’s house or the place where the function is arranged in

advance of the appointed time. Here elder brother of the boy receives the Puthiappila (groom) with a bouquet and

garland and leads him to a segregated venue enclosed by curtains which is the place for Nikkah. The Nikkah is

performed by a Musaliar (mullah) from the local mosque in the presence of two male witnesses each from the sides

of bride and groom. The same is recorded in a record book called Nikah Pusthakam (book). The groom and two

witnesses sign the record first followed by the bride and two witness from her side and the same is read by the

Musaliar. The bride’s presence is not required in the venue of Nikkah. The Musaliar conducts a simple ceremony

reciting some quotes from Kuran. The groom and the father of the girl are required to take an oath in the presence of

the Musaliar. The oath by the girl’s father solemnly affirms that he gives away his daughter to the prospective

husband in accordance with the Islamic system, whereas the groom solemnly affirms that he has married the girl in

accordance with the Islamic system. The groom is required to give a mehr (dower) to the father of the bride when he

accepts the girl. Thereafter the bride is led to women’s section (in Islamic marriages the function hall is made into

two – one for the women and the other for men in a way they cannot see each other). Here Thalimala is tied around

the neck of bride by the groom assisted by his elder sister. The bride is presented herself wearing Wedding Sari

brought by the groom and the gold ornaments given by her parents as dowry.

 

Hindu Wedding

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Hindu Wedding

Getting married is the most wonderful feeling not just for the couple who is getting married but then also for their parents. It is the best for the couple because form that day they are going to stay together and exchange a bond which is too strong. It is a happy day for the family because their dream of getting their son or daughter married to the best person is going to come true. It is a well known fact that during a kerala hindu wedding all the different customs and traditions are to be followed. It is not just the main wedding rituals that are followed during the wedding period but then there are many pre wedding ceremonies too which are performed.

The pre marriage rituals include two ceremonies. The first is the Nischayam. Once the groom is chosen the elders from both the families decide upon a date for engagement and that is known as nischayam. In this ceremony there is also an astrologer who will give the further dates for the wedding ceremony to be performed. It is during this time that the wedding rings are also exchanged and then the food is served.

Ayana is the next ritual which is to be performed at the bride’s house on the previous day of the wedding where she is blessed by all the elders in the family. All the close family members and friends are invited for this function and then there is lavish dinner. The same is the ceremony at the groom’s house.

The marriage ceremonies in the kerala hindu wedding are either conducted in the temple or then in the Kalayana Mantapa made at the wedding hall. After the bride and groom arrive to the venue separately it is the priest who performs all the marriage ceremonies and rituals if it is held in the temple. If not there then they are received in a good way and made to sit on a plank and then the rituals are performed.

At this auspicious moment, the family priest will also perform the nuptial ceremony by reciting the vedic mantras and then the couple walks around the agni, after which the groom will tie the ‘Mangalsutra’ or ‘tali’ around the neck place of the bride. This ritual is called Talikettu.

The groom gifts the bride a elegant sari and also a blouse on the platter conveying his responsibilities towards her. This ritual is called Pudamuri. After this the bride’s father places her right hand into the right hand of the bridegroom. This custom is known as the Kanyadan.

After the wedding is witnessed the guests are requested to have food. It includes Sadhya or typical Kerala meal including rice, three varieties of pickle, Sambhar, toran curries and sweets, kalan, Avial, olan, pacchadi, payasam, pappads is served on plantain leaves to the guests along with payasam like paladaaprathaman or then chaka prathaman as a dessert.

Christian weddings

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Christian Weddings

Christianity originated in Kerala in 52 AD. Odd, considering how most of India is predominantly Hindu, and then there is this tiny state down south where Christianity is the third most practiced religion.
The Christians here follow Syrian rites, as opposed to the Latin rites followed in the West, and hence are also called Syrian Christians. Their wedding customs are a mix and match of ancient Hindu customs and ancient Jewish customs, resulting in a beautiful series of rituals altogether.
Syrian Christian weddings follow a general pattern apart from certain specifics, which vary with denominations. There are plenty of traditions that happen over the days preceding the big day, but let’s talk about the important customs followed during the church ceremony in this post.

Joining of Hands

In front of the entire crowd gathered in the church that the groom’s family is a member of, the priest takes the right hand of the bride and places it on the groom’s right hand. After this, the priest reads few gospels relevant to the marriage while the couple stands facing the altar, holding hands. They then exchange vows and publicly commit to each other.

Crowning

The priest takes a gold chain with a cross as its pendant and hovers it around the couple’s heads in the form of a crown. This is repeated three times and the couple is crowned King and Queen of their new life together. This is not common in all denominations. In certain customs, the priest simply blesses the groom and bride.

Ring Blessing

Exchange of rings is a part of every wedding irrespective of religion and caste. In Christian weddings this originated from the Old Testament when Abraham sent his servant in search of a wife for his son Isaac. With the servant he sent a ring. The church considers it as a symbol of love and faithfulness. It stands for the promise made between a man and a woman that binds them for eternity in love.

The roundness of the ring symbolizes an eternal marriage (a circle has no ends) free from anything negative. The rings used are made of precious metal like Gold or Platinum symbolizing the wedding being a precious agreement between a man and a woman.

Minnukettu (Tying the knot)

This is a Hindu custom that Syrian Christians of Kerala practice. A ‘minnu’ is a small leaf shaped pendant made of gold, with 7 tiny beads placed together on the leaf to form a cross (+), symbolizing the holy cross. Minnu is put on a thread spun with twenty one threads taken from the Manthrakodi (wedding saree). Seven threads are first taken and spun together. Two more such sets are made, and these three sets are spun together to make the final thread and minnu is put on this thread.

The minnu is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom on the day of their marriage. The knot tied is called the reef knot, which is almost impossible to unknot. This symbolizes the permanence of the marriage.  A good way to remember how to tie a reef knot is: left over right and right over left. (Click on the link to see how to tie a reef knot.)

After seven days of marriage, the minnu is put on a gold chain and is expected to be worn till death. Minnu is an indication of a married woman.

Manthrakodi (Wedding Sari)

Manthrakodi or the wedding sari is a gift to the bride from the groom and his family symbolizing him as her provider. Covering the brides head with Manthrakodi is another common tradition in Kerala Christian weddings. It symbolizes the groom’s promise of being a protector of his bride for the rest of her life

In certain traditions, the manthrakodi is kept safe till the bride’s death. On the day of her funeral, she is either wrapped in her wedding saree or it is draped on her body.

Ceremonial lifting of the Veil

Veil means “to cover” or “to mask”. It is a symbol of purity, chastity, and modesty. It is a common belief that the bride-to-be attracts evil spirits and veil protects her from this. There are different kinds of veil today that symbolizes different things depending on how and when they are worn.

Lifting of the veil is an ancient tradition and it symbolizes the grooms acceptance and him taking possession of the bride as his wife.

We will be talking about the different kinds of veils in our up coming posts!

 Father giving away the bride

This tradition roots back to ancient times when there were only arranged marriages. A bride belonged to her father till the day of her marriage. On that day, her father will give her away to the groom he has chosen for her. Today, this tradition symbolizes his blessings and approval of the wedding. Bride’s father gives away his daughter and the groom takes her as his wife. Traditionally during this ceremony, the priest loudly asks, “Who presents this woman for holy matrimony?” and her father responds, “I Do.”

There are more traditions followed, such as MuthukodaMathuram kodukal, to name a few, which are more denomination specific..

Wedding Day Reception Ideas

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Wedding Day Reception Ideas

Wedding receptions are a perfect opportunity to spend quality time (and to make some special memories) with all of the family and friends of the bride and groom. It is a great place to showcase the happy newlyweds and have some fun after the ceremony and all the craziness and stress that comes along with the entire wedding planning process. The crucial thing to scoring a fabulous wedding celebration is knowing what’s supposed to happen when.
Here are some fantastic wedding reception ideas and inspirational photos to pull together a party no guest will forget.

  • Give a custom flourish to all your printed material with your own logo—an image that’s meaningful to you and your spouse, like a hobby or place.
  • Collect photos of family and friends (easier with small weddings/reception), and place them in frames with each guest’s table assignment.
  • Traditional guest books often end up stashed in a closet; instead, choose a coffee-table book covering a subject you love and that you’ll want to display at home; guests can write on the photos or in the margins.
  • Depending on your style, tie the napkins with satin ribbons, metallic cording, braided leather laces, even pieces of twine.
  • Walk down the aisle to a song (with a slow tempo) that was meaningful when you were dating.
  • A cake topper can make a personal statement.
  • Hang a series of framed photos of both of you at the reception.
  • Light the way with a custom gobo—a metal plate stamped with a decorative design, then attached to a spotlight that projects the image on a dance floor or wall.
  • Place a blank card and pen at each place setting, and ask guests to write a favorite memory of you and/or the groom. Later, bind the notes into a scrapbook.
  • Match the color of your jewelry to his tie and cuff links.