Kerala wedding is a simple ceremony. Of course like other weddings there are rituals in Kerala wedding too, but it is performed simply. Kerala wedding is mostly taken place in temple or Kalayana Mantapa of wedding venue. Few Kerala people also arrange wedding in Guruvayur because it is holy place and considered as a best place for completion of this auspicious event.
Once groom and bride like each other their horoscope will be matched by astrologer, and if they match well the auspicious date for the wedding will be chosen known as Muhurtam. During Nishchayam ceremony the bride and groom exchanges, the ring and wedding date is announced formally in front of relatives and guests.
Ayana (Prenuptial blessing of bride)
During Ayana, the grand feast is arranged at bride home. All the relatives and friends are invited over lunch or dinner. The bride takes blessings from all the elder people present in ceremony. The same ceremony takes place in groom’s house for his relatives and pals.
If wedding is performed in a temple then priest of a temple accomplishes wedding rituals and mantras in a very simple and profound ritualistic manner. However, if wedding takes place in Kalyana Manrapa bride and groom are made sit on a wooden plank on the best side of canopy, which is decked beautifully with flowers, fabrics, palm fronds, and banana stalks. The bride is escorted to Mantapa by her aunt and amidst the music of ‘nadaswaram’ and ‘thakil’.
The priest chants vedic mantra, and couple walks around the sacred fire. Then groom ties mangalsutra around a bride’s neck. During this process, the drums are played, which is known as Talikettu. The bride is gifted sari by groom, which indicates that he is ready to accept bride and will fulfill all his responsibility towards her. Father of a bride gives her hand in groom’s hand which symbolizes that now onwards the bride is a responsibility of a groom. This ritual is known as kanyadanm.
The grand feast is arranged after wedding. Typical Kerala meal is served to guests like rice, three kinds of pickles, curries, sweets, sambhar, avail, toran, olan, kalan, pacchadi, payasam, and papad along with chaka or paladaaprathaman on the plantain leaves.
Post wedding rituals
After wedding, the bride is escorted to her new home along with groom and his family members. This ceremony is known as Kudivepu or Grihapravesh. Bride wears a sari gifted by groom on a wedding. The family gives her warm welcome and ‘aarti’ is performed in typical metallic lamp. The bride knocks down the pot of rice with her right feet that symbolizes prosperity that bride will bring along her.
Sometime groom’s family organizes a reception after wedding to introduce a new couple with kin. During reception, the grand feast is organized.