Though the specific rituals may vary according to the customs and beliefs of the people, the rituals followed in a Maharashtrian wedding is describes below:
Maharashtrian Pre-Wedding Rituals
Most of their wedding ceremonies are conducted during the day. The process begins by matching the bride and the groom’s horoscopes. The process of match making is called ‘Lagnaach Bedi’. After this, the pundit decides the auspicious date for the wedding.
After fixing the marriage the families of both bride and groom exchange a packet of sugar to informally mark the engagement. This event is known as ‘Shakhar Puda’. Then ‘Kelvan ceremony’ is conducted which symbolises the proper and formal engagement by performing the Kuldevta Pujan. ‘Haldi Chadawne’ is usually held on the day before wedding. Turmeric paste is applied from the feet to the upward direction in the whole body of the bride and groom in their own home.
Maharashtrian Wedding Rituals
The wedding day ceremonies begin with ‘Ganapati Puja’, to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha before any other rituals take place. The bride and the groom have to wear the ‘Mundavalya’ on their heads, which is basically a string of flowers or pearls. ‘Seeman Puja’ is conducted when the groom reaches the wedding venue and the bride’s parents wash his feet and shower him with gifts and blessings. Then the ‘Antarpat ceremony’ takes place where a silk partition is placed between the bride and the groom as they are not supposed to see each other. After the chanting of several specific mantras the Antarpat is removed. Then the guests shower unbroken rice over the couple. The process of ‘kanyadan’ and ‘saptapadi’ are similar to those of any Hindu marriage where the father gives the hand of his daughter to the groom and later the couple take seven rounds or pheras around the havan. Then the groom ties a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck accepting her as life partner.
After the marriage is over the newly married bride bids a tearful farewell known as ‘Vidai’ to her parental home and makes a new journey to her own house.
Maharashtrian Post-Wedding Rituals
The newly married couple are welcomed and received by the groom's mother at the threshold of the door of their house. This ritual known as ‘Grihapravesh’ also includes washing the feet of the couple and 'aarti'. Then they make entry in their home after the bride tips over a vessel full of rice. Finally, a wedding reception is held by the groom’s side as a mark of welcoming the new family member.
Costumes of Maharashtrian Weddings
The Maharashtrian Wedding attire is as usual gorgeous and eye catching as the wedding dresses in other communities. The bride wears a conventional Maharashtrian green coloured Paithani saree with the typical Maharashtrian seven pearl studs and green bangles, considered to be very fortunate for any function. The bride wears toe rings, nose ring and a bright bindi.
A Marathi groom generally dressed in a Dhoti-Kurta with a piece of decorated red and gold cloth across his right shoulder. This decorated cloth is tied together with the bride’s saree Pallu when the couple takes the seven rounds around the sacred fire to strengthen their matrimonial bond.