South Indian Wedding checklist

 South Indian Wedding checklist

South Indians weddings rituals and the people who are part of the entire affair are all real simple and easy. They are slightly different than what you see in the north. Even if there is a lot of flamboyance, it is still the simple thing. There are many who have never attended a south Indian wedding, you being one of them are surely in for a treat.

 South Indian Wedding checklist

The one aspect you are bound to experience, in terms of those showy weddings of the north, in south, it is all very engaging. There is some ceremony or the other which is constantly in and happening. All this is because people of south give a lot of importance to their traditions which are under practice since ages.  The traditions that were followed around 50 years back are still the same.

Wedding Checklist for bridegroom family pooja

There are certain factors need to be kept in mind by the groom’s family for puja to be executed from their end, they are:-

  • Dress needs to be arranged for the bride to be given to her on the engagement day. This comprises of a sari for sure. Rest is up to the family to arrange.
  • For kasha yatra (read below), dress for the groom has to be arranged by his family, but umbrella and hand fan has to be given by the bride’s side.
  • ‘Remembering the ancestors’ puja is a collaborative event. Both the families have to share the responsibilities like for feeding 10 brahmins and giving them presents.
  • Mangal sutra, though put across the neck by the groom but is tied at the back by the sister of the groom.
  • For grihapravesham pooja, necessary arrangements need to be made by the family of the groom. Here there is no role of bride’s family.

For the post vidaai ceremonies, all are organized by the groom’s family. For fun games and the continuing feast, it is all done by the them only.

You can also read an article to know about Checklist for the things required during Hindu wedding Pooja

The before factor – The bride and the groom – family pooja

This may be referred to as the engagement ceremony. In this, families of both the sides meet for a formal pooja, which is organized for the peaceful, joyous and happy life of the couple. IT is also said, since there are plenty of ceremonies on the way, the priest also prays for happy and uninterrupted wedding.

You can also read an article to know about Importance of Ganesha Pooja before Wedding

Role of Married women – Sumangli Prarthanai

Sumangal means best wishes and prarthanai means praying. In this ritual, married women are made to do the pooja along with the bride. In this, bride is blessed by these women for a happy and prosperous married life.

In one of the areas in South India, for instance in Tamil weddings, these ladies wear the traditional 9 yards sari. It is called as Madisar. The ladies –sumanglis are in odd numbers. Post the ritual is complete, these sumanglis are served special feast, served on banana leaf.

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Pallikai Thelichal

In this ritual, 9 types of grains are filled in 7 earthen pots. These pots are decorated with sandalwood paste or powder. Post the pooja gets over; these pots are immersed in to the river, to feed the fishes. This ritual, is said, brings harmony in the married couple’s life.

Naandi Shrardham

In this both the families, remember their ancestors. It is said that they pray to the souls for keeping the couple happy and together. One of the special part of this ceremony is, 10 Brahmins or may less at times, are invited for a special feast. This feast is organized by both the families. The feast includes fruits, flowers, paan supari, special sweet, coconut and traditional clothes are given to them. Post the feasts, these Brahmins are requested to bless the couple.

The engagement ceremony

This ceremony begins with Lord Ganesha pooja. This pooja is performed by the bride’s family. Later, the groom’s family gives the bride new clothes, jewelry and other gifts. Same is done by the bride’s family for the groom. Post receiving the gifts, they both have to change and wear the gifted. It is marked as an acceptance by both the families.

Once changed, the sister of the groom, applies sandal wood paste on the forehead of the bride (tilak) mixed with kumkum. Later she puts a garland across the bride. Similarly, bride’s brother applies the same on the forehead of the groom and garland is presented as well. Later, the bride and the groom exchange rings. It is a social event, and exchange is done in the presence of family and friends. You can also read an article to know about Importance of Grah Shanti Puja |Meaning|Vidhi|Samagri before wedding

The legal announcement

This ceremony is called Lagna Pathirikai. Post exchange of rings, the date of the formal wedding is announced by the priest in front of all the friends and family members. Just like any other wedding, it is to welcome any objection if one has to be made.

The special bath- Mangala snaanam

Managal means blessed and snaanam means bath. This is one ritual which may is almost a punishment for the bride and groom both (pun intended). This bath is given to them at the dawn. This happens separately at their residence, in front of family members only. It is said that this bath purifies the soul of the bride and the groom.

Gauri Puja

Gauri, the goddess, epitomizes purity. Once the bride is ready, on her wedding day, she is supposed to do gauri puja. It is only post seeking the blessing of the goddess that she leaves for the main venue.

Kashi Yatra

This is the fun ceremony. The groom says that he doesn’t want to marry and wishes to go to kasha forever. For his journey, he is given an umbrella, a pair of slippers and a hand fan. Once he is out, the father of the bride goes to convince him. The father tells him that he will give his daughter to marry him. Post convinced, the groom is brought back to the mandap. While this ceremony is on, everyone at the venue is happy and having an easy time.

Pada puja

This ritual is almost common in all the states on India. The feet of the groom is washed by the mother of the bride with chandan and kumkum. There are certain customs in which the mother of the groom only washes his feet. Post his feet are washed, bride is brought to the mandap.

Garland exchange- Thrice- then swinging

In this, when the bride and the groom meet each other at the mandap, they exchange garland thrice. These many times is considered to bring in better understanding and love amongst the couple. Post this, they are made to sit on a swing. Married ladies offer the couple banana and milk. Rice balls are put around the couple to keep evil away. While sitting on the swing, the swing is rocked by little girls while they sing a happy song for the couple. This is one of the most emotional ceremonies for the bride.


This is ceremony is too is common amongst the hindu weddings. The only difference in south is, the bride is made to sit in the lap of her father. While the priest chants mantras, the hand of the bride is given in the hand of the groom, for eternity. Though people usually laugh around, but this is one time when the bride breaks down and starts to shed tears.


In this ceremony, usually the last, the groom applies sindoor on the head of the bride. Hair is already parted, of the bride, especially for this ceremony. Once sindoor is put, the groom puts the mangal sutra around the neck of the bride, which is tied by the groom’s sister.

The seven circles

At this time, the couple takes seven circles around the fire. This is termed as saptapadi in south India. Adding to the ritual, the groom holds the left toe of the bride. While the toe is held, the bride is supposed to step onto a grindstone kept near the holy fire. While she misbalances, her husband supports her. This ritual symbolizes support to be initiated, mutually, by both, for lifetime.

You can also read an article to know about Hindu wedding rituals 7 promises or Vachan meaning & importance

Sammandhi Maryathai

This is the vidaai ceremony. Though in north there is a lot of weeping but in south, yes it is an emotional time, but things all happen gracefully. The bride then leaves to stay with her new family.


In this ritual, the bride and the groom are welcomed by the mother of the groom, into their new house, as a couple. A small arti is performed and it is almost similar to the grihapravesh ceremony in north.


This is more of fun ceremony. This kind of breaks the ice between the bride and the groom. Before this ritual begins the sister of the groom gives the new bride some gifts. Then there are some fun games. These games are played by the newlyweds.


Other Links:

  1. Wedding Rituals in West Bengal
  2. Maharashtrian Wedding Ritual
  3. Punjabi wedding Customs

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