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Welcoming the groom in Hindu marriage

The traditional Hindu marriage in Kerala is usually one which involves many ceremonies and on the wedding day, the first prominent rite is the welcoming of the groom to the venue of the marriage.

As soon as the groom’s party arrives, the brass lights in the Kathir Mandapam (the decorated platform where the marriage ceremony is held) are lit. Girls holding lamps and Ashtamangalyam (eight auspicious objects) wait at the doorstep to welcome them while the bride’s party moves towards the groom’s party with a Peetham (small pedestal), kindi (the nozzled water container), garland, sandalwood paste, bouquet etc.

The bride’s brother washes the groom’s feet at the pedestal, puts the garland on his neck, hands over the bouquet, puts a sandal paste mark on the forehead, sprinkles rosewater and hands over a lime. Shaking hands with the groom, the would be brother-in-law brings him on to the Kathir Mandapam.

Entering the Mandapam, the groom seeks blessings from the elders and the invitees by folding his hands and bowing. Later, he steps into the Mandapam and gets seated, leaving enough space in the left side for the bride to sit.