A GUJARATI Wedding ARTICLE MARY ABELN | PHOTOGRAPHY KUNAL MEHTA
FOR THIS YEAR'S WEDDING ISSUE, OUR EDEN PRAIRIE FRIENDS ABHI AND VANESSA HAVE BEEN KIND ENOUGH TO SHARE THEIR WEDDING CELEBRATION. Giving us an insiders view of their family Gujarati Wedding - a three-day event in all its pomp-and-circumstance. The guest list reaches far and wide. Family and friends come from all over the world. The wedding celebration has a history of celebrating the families good fortunes to have this match. For as long as these wedding parties have been going on it has also been a place for other young people to meet and families to mingle.
GANESH PUJA As with all auspicious Hindu occasions, the wedding day starts with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. He is believed to be the remover of
and vermillion powders and a garland of mango leaves at its base, the coconut is blessed prior to the ceremony and is one of the offerings that the couple submits to the Gods.
all obstacles, and the Ganesh Puja is carried out to ensure successful completion of the day’s itinerary. This takes place at the wedding venue under a mandap (four-post canopy) and is carried out by the bride’s parents, under instruction from their priest.
BARAAT Both men and women participate in the procession of baraat. Close male relatives of both the bride and groom wear turbans, which indicates honor. When the baraat arrives at the wed-
ding venue, a ceremony known as the milni (literally, meeting
This ceremony takes place at the bride’s and groom’s places
or merger) is carried out, in which equivalent relatives from the
separately the day before the wedding. The bride/groom sits
groom and bride's sides greet each other. This usually begins with
on a low stool or bajat with their palms upturned, and a paste
the two fathers, followed by the two mothers, then the siblings,
of turmeric, sandalwood, rosewater, herbs and mogra attar or
uncles, aunts, and cousins; even distant relatives are included in
perfume is applied to their face, hands, and feet.
the milni, which symbolizes the unification of the two clans.
MEHNDI - HENNA
A Mehndi party is the pre-wedding celebration when the
The couple then take seven steps together, the bride with
bride has the red-orange mehndi "stain" applied to her palms,
her right big toe touches each stone while the priest is speak-
back of hands, and feet. Tradition says the deeper the color of
ing the following seven vows:
the bride's mehndi, the happier the bride and groom's marriage will be. Designs symbolize various blessings, luck, joy, and love.
Let us take the first step to sharing the responsibility of providing for our household Let us take the second step to strengthen our mind, body,
SANGEET Sangeet is where the party begins. The word Sangeet translates to ‘sung together’ from Sanskrit. ‘Gaun’, another word used to describe the event, means ‘songs’ or ‘to sing’ in Hindi. The Sangeet is solely conducted to relish in the happiness and joy surrounding the couple.
and soul to accomplish life’s needs Let us take the third step to accomplish wealth and prosperity through righteous means Let us take the fourth step to acquire happiness through mutual love, respect, and trust Let us take the fifth step to raise strong, virtuous and courageous children
THE KALASHA The coconut is one of the most common offerings you find at a Hindu temple (it is also referred to as the fruit of God) and
Let us take the sixth step towards spiritual values and longevity Let us take the seventh step to stay best friends in this lifelong wedlock
is used to ‘break new ground’ as it is smashed into two halves. The ‘Kalasha’ is a sacrificial object placed in front of the Havan,
The reception to celebrate the newly married couple is the
the fire pit located at the center of the Mandap. It is composed of
finale. Food, drink, music, dancing, and more dancing all to
a metal pot with a coconut placed atop. Adorned with turmeric
entertain the couple and their guests.
March 2018 | Eden Prairie Lifestyle
March 2018 Issue of Eden Prairie Lifestyle