Thursday, 11 December 2014

Malyalee Wedding Rituals

Hello There...I hope you guys are excited to start with the wedding series aka So-Shaadi series on So-Saree, Coz I am more than excited. We start the series with Malyalee wedding rituals, and I cannot thank my childhood, long lost friend (who I found on FB) for kick starting this series. Thank you Vinita for this fabulous post and for sharing pictures of your special day with us.
Over to Vinita.

My Friend Vinita- Isn't She Gorgeous?
Sushil & I had a traditional Kerala wedding. I am an Iyer and he is a Malayalee (caste thiyaa ; belong to north malabar)

Usually wedding rituals in any religion keep the families occupied for a week but a Malayalee wedding: Blink and you will miss it!

Our wedding took place in Thelicherry, Kannur district, in the Indian state of Kerala. We tried to follow most of the norms, however it was customized based on comfort & convenience. 

Since I am born & brought up in Mumbai, we had to arrange an accommodation for all our guests in the nearby hotel. All the rituals that traditionally take place in the bride's house took place in the hotel.

A day before the wedding, the grooms parents invite all the relatives and guest from their side home for a feast, The feast comprises of the mouth watering chicken biryani, raita and the famous bakery items. Men have their alcohol session followed by music and dance.

Podava Kodukkal (giving of the saree)
The grooms sister along with some elderly ladies go to the bride's house (in my case they came to the hotel) to handover the wedding saree, stitched blouse and the vanity case. The vanity case had all the essentials that a bride requires to get dressed for her wedding day. The bride in turn gives a gift to the grooms sister. This ceremony takes place either on the wedding day or a day before.

Temple Visit
On the morning of the wedding, the bride dressed in a simple mundu veshti (traditional Kerala saree), visit the family temple and makes a ritual offering, takes blessings of the Gods and all her loved ones. The groom too visits his family temple and follows the same ritual

Thaleluarieduva - Thala (head), Ari (rice) – eduva (receive blessing
This is a custom, that happens separately in the girl and boy’s side. This happens
on the day of the wedding. The girl/ boy receives blessings from everybody older than them in their families. They pour raw rice over their heads and the girl/boy in turn touch their feet to be blessed by time.  The best part being, even your older cousins are not exempted from this.

Following the ceremony, the groom and the party proceed to the wedding hall
Welcoming the groom
Dressed in a cream silk shirt and cream silk munduthe groom enters the madapam with his wedding party. At the entrance, his feet are washed by the bride's brother. The bride's uncle garlands him and hands over a flower bouquet. The bride's family along with all the relatives escort the groom and his family to the mandapam.
Welcoming the bride:
The bride dressed her in wedding saree, hair tied with white & orange flowers and loaded with yellow gold (yes a malayalee wedding is incomplete without the gold) - makes her way to the mandapam. The female relatives of the bride form the thalam procession. They carry a lamp and lead the bride to the mandampam where the groom is waiting for her. 
Thalikettu (tying of the knot)
The time for the muhurtam/thalikettu is prefixed and it is important that time is adhered to. Once the bride and groom are seated on the mandapam, the bride and the groom exchange their wedding rings. 

Then the groom is given the thali (mangal sutra). The groom ties the thali around the brides neck and two knots are tied by him. The third knot is tied by the grooms sister.
Kanya daanam (giving away of the daughter)
The bride's father places the bride's hand over the grooms and blesses the wedding. After this, groom holds the bride's hand and walks around the sacred fire thrice.

After the couple's wedding ceremonies are done, the bride and groom's immediate family offers them a spoonful of sweetened milk and bananas.
The sadya,or meal, is the most important part of the celebrations. It is only after eating the food from the wedding sadya that the bride and groom can leave.
Following their meal, the bride and groom leave from the madapam. The bride's family do not accompany her. At the groom's house, the bride is given a villaku (lamp) and she enters her new home, putting her right foot forward first.
The bride's family along with the relatives come to the groom's house on the wedding evening. The grooms parents welcome the family and they are served dinner. The bride's family and relatives bless the couple and leave.
Thank You Vinita, for the lovely post. You and Sushil make such a smashing couple. God Bless.


  1. Awesome post! Beautifully written!

  2. Vinita makes for such a pretty bride!! It's great to know the whole process of a Malayalee wedding! Can't wait to read the next So-Shaadi post! :)

  3. Vinita looks so beautiful! And lovely to read about how a Malayalee wedding takes place. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. u should think of starting a so-shaadi blog too. at least block the url .. hehe
    My cousin got married the same way.And Vinita is a real pretty bride.

  5. So interesting reading and comparing the similarities and differences between my wedding and Vinita's.
    Beautifully written post!



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