By Aashima Talwar Last Updated:
What can we say about a Gujarati bride- she is simple yet a natural charmer. Whether it is her graceful garba moves or her traditional white panetar, we are always in awe of a beautiful Gujarati bride. And when we talk about a Gujarati wedding, it is a blend of traditions and customs followed since generations with a modern touch to them.
Gujaratis are simple and fun-loving people and this can be easily seen in their weddings. The wedding along with its traditional rituals has an essence of simplicity and merriment. So, let the celebrations begin.
The first step in the nuptial begins with the sagai ceremony. It is the occasion where both the families publicly announce the relationship of the couple. It is also a good time for the bride and the groom to meet each other’s relatives and friends. Well, the usual exchange of gifts and blessings do take place in this occasion.
Mostly 15-20 days before the wedding, a special function is organised wherein all the close relatives gather and write the marriage invitation card. It is only after this custom is over, the family can start distributing wedding invitation cards. Also, while writing the cards, it is necessary to write first five or seven cards in the name of god and goddesses. These special cards are delivered to their respective temples. This is to make sure that the divine presence and blessing is always there on the special occasion.
Just like any other Indian wedding, the bride applies beautiful henna on her hands. It is a very fun-filled event and often accompanied by singing and dancing. It is also a beautiful ritual to hide the groom’s name in the bride’s henna design. The more complicated and intricate the design, the more difficult it becomes to find the name.
It is a ritual which is performed before you commence an auspicious occasion like marriage. The priest conducts this puja by paying obeisance to the deity Ganesha. Usually, the father and mother of the bride sit in this puja. It is also the official countdown to marriage.
The bride needs to look beautiful and resplendent on her D-day, and that is why the haldi ceremony is arranged. Her friends, family and relatives apply the turmeric paste on her to make her complexion fair and glowing. This event does not get over until there is teasing and masti.
When it comes to dance, the Gujaratis swear by garba and swoon to the tunes of garba whole night with dandiya in their hands. Well a day or two before the wedding, the families organise a sangeet/garba function wherein the theme is fun and enjoyment. The garba is usually done to the tunes of traditional dhol or sometimes there may be a live orchestra also.
A Gujarati bride is the epitome of simplicity. The saree that she adorns on this special day is called Panetar. The prominent colour of the saree is mostly milky white or off-white. While the other colours can be maroon, red, green and rarely yellow.
The way the saree is draped is also different; here the pallu is brought forward. Also it is necessary to cover the head with her pallu. In many cases, there are two sarees worn by the bride. Apart from panetar, the other saree is used to cover her head, which is known as gharcholu. The later one is given by the mother-in-law.
Normally, a bride wears heavy gold and kundan jewellery. However, there is more prominence of gold jewellery. Also, a matha patti or maang tika is a must. This jewellery is also made from gold. Apart from that, most brides also prefer to wear a nose ring. She usually wears gold and glass bangles in red, gold and green colours.
Distinctively shaped bindi over their eyebrows is something which is a trademark of a Gujarati bride. The hairstyle is normally a bun decorated with lots of embellishments. Nowadays, brides also prefer to wear floral hair accessories made from tagar.
The groom arrives in style to take away his dulhaniya. There is a lot of dance and garba in the baraat after which the bride’s mother and sister welcome them on the gate.
This ritual is known as ponkhvu. This is a typical ritual wherein the bride’s mother pulls the groom’s nose. Thereafter, there is exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom.
Usually a bride comes into the mandap sitting in a doli and this doli is carried by her brothers. When the bride enters the mandap, there is a cloth (antarpat) between the bride and the groom.
They cannot see each other until the priest completes the shlokas and rituals.
The seven steps to unity and togetherness forever are taken by the bride and the groom considering the holy pyre as the witness. Then the couple seeks the blessings of all the family members and elders.
After the pheras are over, there is a peculiar ritual in a Gujarati wedding. A few ladies from the groom as well as the bride’s side whisper their special wishes to the bride in her ears. They bestow the wishes of happy and a prosperous married life.
A bride is given the status of goddess Laxmi in her new home, and a small puja is conducted when she steps for the first time in the house after the marriage. Also there is a small game which the bride and the groom play. In the game, there is coloured water and the bride and the groom have to search coins using only their hands. It is a fun game which decides who will rule the household.
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Thus, a Gujarati wedding is simple yet enjoyable. All the rituals and traditions are followed with grace. So, have you already fallen in love with these beautiful and enigmatic Gujarati traditions? Leave your views in the comment section below.