Sakhar puda: The betrothal ceremony is held after the wedding is confirmed from both sides. This ceremony literally means exchange of sugar packets between the bride's and the groom's family. The bride is gifted a sari from the groom's family on this occasion.
Kelvan: A puja is organized both in the houses of the bride and the groom. Prayers are offered to the kuldevatha (family deity) and lunch is served for guests.
Haldi ceremony: Just a day before the wedding, this ceremony is celebrated. Turmeric paste is applied on the bride's body to bring out her best complexion. Later the bride is given a bath by five married women. A similar function is held at the groom's place too.
Chuda: The bride is made to wear green bangles along with gold bangles for the wedding.
Maharashtrian Wedding rituals
Seemaan pooja: Once the groom's procession reaches the bride's house, the bride's parents wash the groom's feet, his parent's feet and the feet of the elders of their house. The groom receives gifts from the bride's parents.
Antarpat ceremony: Antarpat is a silk shawl that is used to separate the bride and the groom till the muhurath is through. The bride and the groom are accompanied to the center stage by their sisters who carry a kalash and an oil wick lamp in their hands. The bride is seated facing the west and the groom facing the east. The bride and the groom hold a garland in their hands as the priest chants holy verses (mantras) and the gathering blesses the couple. The bride and the groom see each other for the first time and they exchange garlands.
In a mantap decorated with flowers, the priest sits on the north side and the bride is seated on his right hand side and the groom is seated on his left hand side. The bride and the groom are not allowed to see each other till the mahurath.
Sankalp: The groom and bride seek the blessings of their elders and receive gifts from them. The bride's and the groom's parents greet each other and are served madhuparka (a mixture of milk, fruit, honey, yoghurt and ghee) by the priest.
Kanyadaan: The bride's father places her hand in the hands of the groom and the bride's mother pours water on it. The groom touches the right shoulder of the bride signifying that he has accepted her and also assuring the bride's father that he will take care of her all through her life.
Mangalsutra bandhan: A mangalsutra is tied by the groom around the bride's neck and he applies sindur on the hair parting. The bride applies a sandal tilak on the groom's forehead. The bride is gifted a silk sari and toe rings by her in-laws and she wears that indicating her acceptance to live in her in-laws household.
Vivaha homa: A vivaha homa is performed by the groom to invoke the blessings of the Almighty.
Satpadhi: The groom and the bride hold hands and walk seven steps in the southeast direction. A pile of rice is kept at every step and the couple step on the pile of rice at every step.
Karmasampati: This ritual signifies the end of the wedding ceremony. The bride's father takes water from his left hand and passes it to his right hand and recites a mantra (holy verse) to appease God. The bride and the groom too seek the blessings of the Almighty.
After the wedding ceremony, a lavish feast is organized and a traditional meal is served on a banana leaf. The bride is given a new name by her in-laws family and the groom writes this new name on the rice kept in a plate. The newly wed couple is welcomed by the groom's mother. An aarti is performed and the bride enters her new house after kicking a glass of rice kept at the entrance with her right foot.
Maharashtrian Wedding dress
The bride wears a traditional Maharashtrian green colored sari. Most commonly the Paithani type of sari is used. The typical Maharashtrian seven pearl studs are worn by the bride for the wedding. The bride wears green bangles considered to be very auspicious for any function. Toe rings, pearl and bead nath (nose ring) and a bright bindhi are worn by the bride. The groom is dressed in dhoti or salwar and kurta, or sherwani.
Wedding feasts are served on banana leaves and people are seated on the floor to eat their food. The bride and the groom and their families eat on silver plates. Few special Maharashtrian wedding delicacies include batata bhaji, pitlai, sheera, varan, shrikhand, vatanyachi usal .