South Indian weddings are traditionally going to be planned or happen for one or more than a day, which involve having mehndi for the bride particularly, in some cases times groom as well have mehndi. Few of the south Indians have Haldi ceremonies as well. Groom's arrival itself is celebrated. And the wedding ceremony begins with a few pooja’s & traditions. And at the end, the couple will be sent to Groom’s house as a goodbye ceremony.
Let me detail it out as a process or steps which South Indians Hindus follow in their marriage. Specifically in Andhra (telugu) traditions & rituals are done as below. And mostly in south india, Hindus will have more or less similar traditions & rituals.
And to make a note, few traditions will happen in Groom's home, few at Bride’s home and few at Wedding place.
1. Groom's home
Applying Mehndi to Groom In some cases Mehndi will be applied to Groom by his Cousins.
Officially making him Groom: This ritual will start with Groom’s auspicious haldi bath and Do pooja at home and take blessing of elderly people at home, relatives & friends (officially becomes a Groom)
Ganesh pooja at home is done by having wedding clothes of both Groom and Bride.
2. Bride’s home
Applying Mehendi to Bride: This is the tradition in which mehndi is applied to Bride’s hands and legs.
Haldi Ceremony is done by applying haldi to Bride by a few married women and an auspicious bath is taken by Bride; this itself is a ritual done before making an official Bride.
Officially making her Bride, by taking blessings of elderly people at home, relatives & friends. And start with pooja.
Ganesh & Gouri pooja at home is done by the Bride.
3. At Wedding place
Groom's arrival at the Wedding place is a Celebration itself, Groom will be given some soft drinks and invited to the wedding place, relatives of the Groom will also be invited. And pooja to Ganesh will be done at the wedding place by both Groom’s & Bride’s families.
In the evening, Reception will be planned. Most relatives will be appearing for the reception and Wishes will be shared by relatives & friends along with a Photo & Video. Further a huge dinner will be arranged for relatives & friends at reception tonight.
Next day, Early in the morning, there was a Haldi Ceremony for Groom & Bride. Initially Haldi will be applied to Bride by few married women and later will be applied to Groom. And then Haldi will be applied to both Groom & Bride. Later they are left to get ready for Muhurtham (auspicious time of marriage).
Couple weds under a Mandap, this mandap will be decorated with flowers (in some cases fruits as well). And the Pandit will make ready with necessary things at the mandap for the Muhurtham at auspicious time.
Rituals will begin with a prayer to Ganesha, Pandit will start the Muhurtham with Ganesh pooja by Groom & Bride.
Next, Couples exchange Jeelakarra Bellam upon their heads, which represents they would stay along forever like the bond between Jeelakarra & Bellam.
Next, Couple exchanges Floral Garlands, along both Bride’s & Groom’s parents.
Next, Kanyadaan ritual, which is giving away the bride to groom ritual, in which Bride’s parents will promise to give the Bride to Groom.
Further Bride Is adorned with 2 stunning & rich gold coins called Mangalsutra.
- One gold coin will be tied by the Bride's Mom, which is a kind of promise of giving her daughter to Groom.
- Other gold coins will be tied by Groom, which is a kind of Groom promises her to be a partner in the remaining life.
Next, Red powder (bindi) Is applied to the Bride's hair by Groom, Signifying she Is Married.
Then, the Pandit will tie the garments of both Bride & Groom's and they will take blessings of both their parents and Pandit.
Then, Newlyweds will shower each other with Rice.
Next, Groom will be showing Arundhati nakshetra to Bride where it represents a small story of ideal couple Vashista and Arundhati as a symbol of marital fulfilment and loyalty.
Then, the Goodbye ceremony will start, this will not be a goodbye kind but officially the Bride will be going to Groom’s home, so this Ceremony will be held.
4. Groom's home
Newlywed couple visit Groom’s home immediately from the wedding place, they both will do Pooja at the Groom's home (later will spend some time there). Groom’s family will make some sweets for the newly wed couple.
5. Bride’s home
Later, Newlywed couple will visit the Bride’s home on the same day.
Next, the First night ceremony will be arranged at Bride’s place. And further, the newly wed couple will stay at Bride’s home for a few days (3-4) and leave back to Groom’s home.
6. Groom's home
Next, this Newlywed Couple will stay at Groom's home officially.
There are some additions to this process in South Indian marriages, but if we see overall this above ones are followed by almost all the south indian hindu’s in their marriage traditions & rituals.