Wedding Ceremony of
June 10, 2006
to our traditions and cultural beliefs, a person goes through 16 ceremonies
from birth to death. Marriage is the 13th ceremony and the focal point of
one’s life. It is the bringing together of two souls so firmly that after
marriage although their bodies seem to remain separate, the souls in them
are one harmonious whole as they embark upon a new life as husband and
wife. The question of equality between men and women therefore does not
arise, as they become spiritually one. Sages have declared that man is not
man alone. He is the man, women and progeny.
(Arrival of the Groom)
arrives at the doorstep of his bride on a decorated white horse, with a
procession of family and friends celebrating the joyous occasion.
(Welcoming of the Groom)
his family are welcomed by YYY family. YYY mother warmly greets
XXX by offering red sandalwood (tilak) on his forehead and sacred flame (aarti),
symbolizing the happiness and joy that will come from the joining of the
Jain and Seth families.
(Meeting of the Families)
and YYY relatives exchange flower garlands and coconuts as an
expression of auspicious blessings between the two families. A Hindu
wedding not only commits the bride and groom to each other for the rest
of their lives, but also binds the family and friends of the couple to
share in both joyful and difficult times. XXX and his family are then
escorted by YYY family to the decorated mandap where the ceremony
will take place. The mandap’s four pillars signify each of the four
parents and the important role they have played in raising their
Kanyagaman and Jaiamala
(Arrival of the Bride and
Exchange of Garlands)
Following a procession of
bridesmaids, XXX enters the mandap where she greets YYY and
acknowledges him as her betrothed in the presence of everyone, by
placing a garland around his neck. XXX then reciprocates this symbolic
commitment. This exchange signifies their unification as one soul in
Puja : Ganesh, Kalash, and Navagraha
priest (pundit) begins the wedding ceremony under the mandap, by
invoking the blessings of God to accept our prayers, to bless the
assembly of family and friends, and to bless the couple to be married.
The mother of the bride is then requested to join the ceremony. The
priest first worships Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles and
continues with invocations and offerings to the copper vessel (Kalash)
containing sacred water, flowers, and a coconut symbolizing the
universe. In this part of the ceremony, the five universal elements:
earth, air, fire, water, and sky are worshipped. The nine planets of
the solar system (Navagraha) are also invoked for their blessings.
mother offers YYY a glass of a mixture of honey, yogurt, ghee
and saffron (Madhuparka), which he accepts with a Mantra, the meaning of
which is, “I will always cultivate in me the sweetness of the Madhuparka
in all my dealings.”
(Joining of the Hands)
Hindu way of life, a married woman is given a special status and respect
in society. This is a very special moment for the bride, as she accepts
her change of status from an unmarried girl to a wife. XXX mother
gives away (Daan) her daughter (Kanya) to YYY, who affirms his
commitment to the marriage. She jointly places XXX hand in YYY
hand, symbolizing XXX acceptance of responsibility to love, respect,
and protect YYY forever.
(Tying of the Knot)
priest ties a knot to bind XXX and YYY for life. The ends of their
scarves are tied together along with betel nuts, copper coins, and rice,
signifying unity, prosperity, and happiness (Granthibandhan). The
couple is advised to remember the Divine; look upon others with
sympathy, love, and compassion; be strong and righteous; and show
goodwill and affection toward each other’s families. Such are the
teachings of Dharma, the right way of living.
(Lighting of the Fire)
and YYY offer oblations to the sacred fire (Agni), who will serve as
witness of the marriage. Together, they make offerings of crushed
sandalwood, herbs, sugar, rice, ghee, camphor, and twigs to the
ceremonial fire, which symbolizes the removal of darkness and
ignorance. Agni leads them to the world of everlasting light and
(Circling the Divine Fire)
and YYY go around the sacred fire seven times while mantras are
chanted. XXX leads YYY three times around the Agni, making
offerings to God each time. This represents a prayer for the mutual
happiness, love, prosperity, and salvation with each circle. XXX then
leads YYY four times around the Agni representing liberation or
oneness with God. They throw grains in the sacred fire signifying that
both will join together in performing the sacrifices and religious rites
that the couple is required to perform throughout their married life.
This demonstrates their determination to stand by each in all their joys
(The Seven Steps)
and YYY take their first seven steps together, symbolizing the
beginning of their journey through life together as a couple. Each step
represents a vow that is taken in the presence of God and their families
for an auspicious start to their journey.
First, we shall cherish each other in sickness and in health, in
happiness and in sorrow.
Second, we shall love, provide and pray for our healthy compassionate
Third, we shall be thoughtful in action and in words.
Fourth, we shall pray to prosper in spiritual wealth.
Fifth, we shall live in harmony with nature.
Sixth, we shall share our joys and lift our sorrows.
Seventh, we shall remain true friends for life.
(The Seven Vows)
and YYY take seven vows (Saptapratigna):
Together we will share in the responsibilities of home and children.
Together we will fill our hearts with strength and courage to accomplish
all the needs of the home.
Together we will prosper and share our worldly goods.
Together we will fill our hearts with great joy, peace, happiness, and
Together we will raise strong and virtuous children.
Together we will remain lifelong partners by this marriage.
Together we will cherish each other in sickness and health, in happiness
and sorrow, and we will follow the spiritual way of living (Dharma)
Sindoor Daan and
places red powder (sindoor), the traditional mark of a married woman (suhaagwati
stree) in the parting of Kopal’s hair. Kopal and Adhar then
exchange wedding rings to symbolize the continuity of their bond in
newly united couple seeks the blessings of their parents and elders as
they touch their feet. Then they are blessed by their family,
relatives, and friends by being showered with fresh flowers to wish
their love and prosperity in their marriage.
honored by your presence and would like to thank you for blessing XXX
and YYY on this special occasion.
and XXX Family