Once the horoscopes are seen and matched and the match
is fixed, the pundit fixes an auspicious day for marriage.
Till then the boy and the girl are forbidden to meet
each other. One day prior to the marriage a ceremony
called "Jaanavaasam" is celebrated. The groom's party
arrives at the bride's place amidst fanfare, like in
a Barat and Ganesh Puja is performed. On the dawn of
the wedding day the boy and the girl have an auspicious
bath called thv e "Mangala Snanam".
For conducting the actual marriage ceremony, there is
a "mandapam" with a sacred fire. The "mandapam" is decorated
with kokam and flowers. Also there are containers with
different varieties of sweets and savouries. The father
of the bride welcomes the groom and washes his feet.
The groom's family presents the bride with the wedding
9-yard sari, which his sister helps, her wear. She wears
the saree and comes back where "Kanyadanam" is performed
i.e. the groom and the bride are symbolically united
by the bride's father. In this ceremony the girl's father
is made to sit on a sack of paddy, and the girl is seated
on his lap. The paddy symbolizes material and spiritual
plentitude in the marriage.Then the yoke of a plough
is touched to the bride's forehead symbolizing that
just as two bullocks are required to carry the plough
for tilling the fields, so also will she and her husband
remain side by side to go through life. The bride's
father gives away the bride to the groom. The priest
performs the havan and the paanigrahan whereby the boy
accepts the girl and promises to look after her forever.
Then the bride and the groom go around the sacred fire
seven times in a ritual called "Saptapadi". The bridegroom
takes hold of the right foot of the bride and makes
her take seven consecutive steps where the bride touches
her feet to a grinding stone "ammi". This symbolizes
that their union be as steady, solid and steadfast as
a stone. In Tamil Marriage garlanding is done thrice.
Most importantly, the boy ties a yellow thread with
a pendant called the 'Taali' to the girl's neck.
In the evening "Nalangu" is performed in which the boy
and the girl are given a coconut to play with. It is
performed just for fun. An exchange of gifts takes place
between members of both families and flower petals are
showered on the couple. After this, the "Grihpravesh"
is performed, in which the bride is formally received
and welcomed into her new home and family after taking
a leave from the bride's family.