Like all wedding celebrations in India, Marathi matrimonial functions go for a number of days. Most of the weddings in Marathi are grand and has several rituals that begin several days before the actual wedding day. According to Marathi matrimonial, many rituals happen before and after the wedding day. Alliances for Marathi matrimony were earlier searched with the help of village priests or relatives, but now matrimonial websites are becoming popular to find the bride or groom for Marathi community.
The main wedding rituals happen in the morning though some happens in the afternoon too. All depends on the muhurat, which is the auspicious time to tie the knot according to Hindu rites. One common muhurat or auspicious time is when cows return in the morning after grazing fields. This muhurat is known as Goraj Muhurta. As a custom, no Hindu Marathi matrimonial takes place in the night.
Some common rituals before the day of wedding in Marathi custom are Sakhar Puda, Kelvan, and Kuldevta. Horoscope of girl and boy are matched. The family astrologer matches the horoscopes and checks compatibility issues. With all things sorted, the families gets ready for wedding celebrations. The Sakhar Puda ritual, boy and girl have a piece of gur (jaggery). This is similar to engagement in other communities of India. The boys parents present the girl with traditional sari and green bangles. The bride to be wears the green bangles. Once this ritual is completed, both the families sends wedding invitation cards to relatives and friends.
Kelvan ritual is a happy time when both the families meet at the bride to be house and enjoy a feast of traditional Marathi cuisine. This family get together happens two-three days before the wedding day.
Like all Hindu community-wedding rituals, a prayer offering to Hindu deities is necessary before beginning of anything. Even in Marathi matrimony customs, the families worship the Hindu gods and seek their blessings.
Wedding day activities in a Marathi matrimonial involves several small and big rituals. There is the Haldi ceremony where the bride and groom is applied a paste of turmeric, cream, sandalwood and scented oil. With the help of mango leaves, this paste is applied in all over the body. Then both the bride and groom are given a ritual bath.
Another wedding day ritual is the Seemant Puja where the family members of groom visit the brides house and they have delicious lunch of local delicacies.
The priest who chants Mangalashtakas which are holy verses to seel blessing of Hindu gods and goddess, conducts the wedding ceremony. Family members and close relatives are present during the rituals. At the end of each verse, the priest explains the meaning of verse to the gathering of people. The groom ties the mangalsutra along the brides neck and then both of them exchange garlands. Another common ritual in Marathi matrimonial wedding is the saptapadi, where the bride and groom encircles the holy fire.
Other wedding days rituals are Laxmi Pooja and Kanyadaan (Jhal Phirwane).
The post wedding Marathi matrimony rituals are Sun Mukh Baghne, where for the first time the grooms mother see her new daughter in law s face. She combs her hair. This is symbolic and implies that they should have a relation like mother-daughter. No wedding is complete without wedding dinner.