Gujarat is known as a land of Lions and legends. Gujarati weddings are a grand affair and are as ostentatious as the Gujaratis. The Gujarati weddings ceremonies are vibrant and fun loving. With the eyes stuck on the traditional bridal wear to the designer Wedding Lehenga and other ethnic attire, the guests are at their fashionable best with their respective traditional clothing.
I bet you to attend any Gujarati wedding and one thing is certain that there’s never going to be an unexciting moment. The rich customs and traditions followed by some great dressing sense of ethnic wear and obviously the food are the X-factor for any Gujarati wedding.
Here’s a look at the few rituals that takes place in Gujarati weddings.
Pre Wedding Rituals
Engagement (Chanlo Matli)
The chandlo (applying the vermilion mark on the forehead) announces the acceptance of the alliance between the two families.
The Mehendi takes place two days before the wedding day with the Bride applying Henna on her hands by the help of professional Mehendi designers.
Pithi is the paste of sandalwood powder, herbs, rose water and mogra. The pithi is applied on the Bride’s skin by the household women and it is prepared by Kaaki (paternal uncle’s wife).
Varghodo: The groom’s procession
The grooms leave for the wedding venue dressed at his traditional best carrying a katar (small dagger) along with his procession. The Varghodo comprises of family members, relatives and friends leave the groom’s place all excited and thrilled exhibiting thier happiness by dancing on the tunes of the DJ and dhols. On disembarking at the wedding venue, the groom is greeted by the bride’s family and accorded the traditional aarti welcome.
Varmala is the ceremony where the bride and groom exchange garlands. Their friends and relatives pick them on their shoulders and in the spirit of fun; the bride and groom try to avoid the garland.
As per the Gujarati ritual, the bride’s father places his daughter’s hand in the hand of the Groom. This denotes that the father is giving his daughter in the care of her husband. The bride sits to the left of the groom.
In this ritual, the groom’s scarf or shawl is tied to the bride’s saree. This knot and the joined hands of the couple signify the union of two souls in a holy matrimony. Family members and elders bless the couple by showering them with rice and rose petals.
Saptapadi or Saat Phera
During the marriage, the groom and the bride are supposed to walk around the fire seven times. Each walk around is called a Phera. With every phera, the Groom and the bride take a vow. These seven vows include four objectives in the married life: Dharma, Karma, Artha, and Moksha. For the first 3 pheras, the bride is ahead of the groom and the groom leads the next four pheras. These seven pheras or walk around are called as Saptapadi.
Post Marriage Rituals
Vidaai – Parting
The bride’s parents bid her farewell as she leaves for her husband’s home.
Gharni Laxmi – Bride Welcomed in her Husband’s Home
This Gujarati wedding ritual translates into “Goddess Laxmi of the House”. The bride is welcomed to the new home and her first step in the house is considered to be auspicious. A new bride is considered to be Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth.
Bridal wear for a Gujarati Bride
The wedding dress of a Gujarati bride is different from other Indian brides in terms of style and design. Sarees are the most preferred attire for any Gujarati bride, there are two types of Saree for a Gujarati bride, named as ‘Panetar’ and ‘Gharchola’. Panetar, a pure white saree with dotted patterns are printed in green and gold colour. The pallu and a complete border of the Panetar have rich red or maroon patterns all over. It is a simple yet very elegant saree and looks great on a Bride.
Gharchola is a maroon or red rich saree woven with silk and zari. This saree is rich in texture, fabric as well as design. Different fashions and style of Panetar and Gharchola are available in the market with dapper embroidery and work on its pallu.
Panetar Chaniya Choli is the bridal wear in trend, which is traditional yet very fashionable with different colours like Red, white and green. The front side pallu is great to look at if drapped in a decent way.
Jewelry in Gujarati Weddings
One thing that you will see in abundance is the Golden Jewelry. Necklace set and Kan ni Butti (ear-rings), Nathni (nose rings), Bajubandh (armlet), Bangadi(Bangles) and Chadda (Payal) in legs. However, with the designer Lehenga or the Panetar Chaniya Choli, the matching Imitation Jewelry goes great as well. Necklace studded with pearls and other stones or pendants look dapper on the bride and compliments the bridal look.