The first ceremony performed
is called Mandap Mahurat which is performed by the Pandit
a few days before the wedding at the house of the bride
and the groom. The next ceremony is the Griha Shanti.
The puja for Griha Shanti is conducted by an acharya
with the family members and relatives of the bride as
well as the groom. The purpose of the puja is to bring
peace among the stars so that the couple can live a
happy married life. The actual wedding day begins with
what is known as the Pokavu, the arrival of the groom.
The mother-in-law at the entrance to the wedding hall
greets him. A small ceremony is performed and then she
tries to pinch the groom's nose. This playfully reminds
the groom that he has come to their door to ask for
their daughter by rubbing his nose on the door.
In a Gujarati marriage ceremony
the bride and groom exchange garlands twice. This is
known as "Jaimala". The first time the groom is placed
higher than the bride. The second time again at the
Mandap but on equal ground. During the "Madhuparka",
the groom's feet are washed and he is fed honey and
milk. During this time, the bride's sisters try and
steal the groom's shoes, adding mischief and humour
to the ceremony. At the end of the day the groom retrieves
his shoes by offering his sister in-laws money. The
bride is then carried to the Mandap by her maternal
uncle in a ceremony that is known as "Kanya Agamana".
At this point, the "Antarpat", or the curtain separating
the bride and groom, is lowered and the couple again
exchange garlands. It is now time for the bride to be
given away in a ritual known as "Kanya Daan" or "Hasta
Milap". In Gujarati Marriage Ceremony phera's are not
taken seven tmes but it is taken four times. This ritual
is called "Mangalpheras", when the couple circles the
holy fire four times which symbolizes "Dharma", "Artha",
"Kama" and "Moksha". The "Sapta Padi" is performed with
a variation in which the groom helps the bride touch
seven betel nuts with her right toe, while they recite
the seven vows. After the ceremony is over the couple
take blessings of the elders.
Post Wedding Ceremony
After the departure of the
bride and groom amidst tears of joy and grief, which
is known as the "Vidai", the couple returns to the groom's
house where they play a game called "Aeki- Beki". This
game is played by placing a ring and several coins in
a tray filled with water, which is coloured, by "sindoor"
and milk. It is said that the person who finds the ring
four out of seven times, will rule the household.