Marwari marriage is celebrated with gaiety. It is an elaborate affair and extends over a period of days. Marwari wedding strictly adhere to the ancient customs and traditions. There are a number of pre wedding, wedding and post wedding rituals, which are observed. After the completion of all these rituals only, the marriage is deemed complete. In fact, Marwari marriages are very traditional and rather regal in look and appeal.
Engagement (Tika) Ceremony- The engagement ceremony takes place after the acceptance of both the families that they are ready for carry out a relation. This ceremony is also a assurance of the marriage because after it the marriage will be performed certainly. This ceremony takes place at the home of the groom’s house, only family members and other close relatives are invited to attend this ceremony. In this the brother of the bride applies tilak at the forehead of the groom and many gifts in the form of gold ornaments and cash and other things are given to the groom. This is an official announcement of the marriage for the society.
Ganapati Sthapna (installation) and Griha Shanti Ceremony- In this ceremony, an idol of Lord Ganesha is placed or installed before couple of days from the marriage. And this idol is worshipped by the both the family of bride as well as groom.
Pithi Dastoor Ceremony (Ban)- In this ceremony, a paste of turmeric is applied to the body of the bride and after the starting of this ceremony bride and groom cannot leave their house till the weddings. The ladies of the both families make the paste and it is applied to the both bride and the groom. It is repeated for two to three times a day till the day of wedding. This paste of turmeric makes the skin brighten and glow of the bride and groom. . Dholans (women singers with dholak) sing auspicious pre-wedding songs while the ceremony is in progress. It is interesting to note that dholans are omnipresent in throughout the Marwadi wedding celebrations. They are accompanied by the Shehnai and the nagara players.
Mahira Dastoor- This ceremony is common to both the families bride as well as groom. In this ceremony the uncle (Mama) of the bride/groom comes to the home with his wife and children. They are welcomed by the bride/grooms family. Then uncle gives the jewelley, clothes and other gifts to the family of the bride/groom. This ceremony signifies that it is the duty of the brother to help his sister at her child's wedding.
Janev Ceremony- In this ceremony, the groom has to be dressed in saffron robes like an ascetic and perform a havan before wearing the thread. The saffron robe signifies that the groom now has two choices before him. That is either he renounces the world and becomes an ascetic, or he accepts the institution of marriage and its responsibilities. After the havan is completed and the thread given, the groom has to make a mock attempt to run from the chains of marriage while the maternal uncle must catch him and convince his nephew into accepting marriage.
Palla Dastoor- In this ceremony the groom’s family go to the bride’s home and gives the clothes and gold jewellery for the bride which she has to wear on the day of the wedding. This takes place a day before wedding or the wedding day.
Nikasi- In a Marwadi wedding, the groom wears a padgi or headgear which is tied up by the jija (sister's husband). The groom also wears 'pecha', 'kalgi' and 'tani'. A sehra either of flowers or of pearls is tied on the pagdi. The sister in law (brother's wife) of the boy applies kajal in his eyes.
Toran – In this ceremony, the entrance of the girl's house is decorated with a 'toran'. As a custom the groom hits the toran with a stick of neem. This ceremony is called 'toranachar' and is symbolic of warding off the evil eye. After this the girl's mother does 'aarti' and 'tilak' to the boy.
These rituals are the rituals that take place at the day of the main wedding day. These rituals are very important for the completion of the wedding. These rituals are described below:
1. Granthi-Bandhan- In this the cloth tied around the groom's waist is tied to the chunni of the bride. The ceremony is symbolic of the union of two individuals. From this day they become one entity. Either the sister of the groom or the priest does it.
2. Pheras- This includes the seven circular rounds taken by the bride and groom with the chanting of matras by the priest presented in the marriage.
3. Ashwahrohan- In the Ashwahrohan ceremony the girl puts her foot on a grinding stone. The custom is symbolic of steadfastness and symbolic of facing every challenge with courage.
4. Sindurdaan- In this process, the sindoor ( a type of red powder ) is applied to the above of the forehead of the bride and the groom take pledge to company the bride in every condition/situation.
5. Bidai- This ceremony includes the see off of the bride to the groom’s home to start a new life. The elders of the bride’s family members bless her for new life.
There is some interesting post-wedding rituals of a Marwari Wedding and these are followed very cheerful by the groom’s family.
Grihapravesh: Grihapravesh takes place once the baraat returns with the newlyweds couple. The bride still wears the veil while the puja and other ceremonies take place.
Pagelagni: This ceremony takes place after the Grihpravesh ceremony. In this ceremony the bride is introduced to all the family members of the grooms. The elder members bless her for the new life and also offer her gifts or money according to their status.