Among many communities living in India, Marathi people perhaps have the simplest and least lavish marriage ceremony. Maharashtra exhibits a culture that is a mix of the Aryan and Dravidian culture which means it has influences from north Indian culture and south Indian culture. The wedding ceremony is interwoven in Marathi traditions and rituals known as samskaras or sacraments.
The Marathi wedding usually takes place in the morning because mostly the auspicious time for marriage is in the morning or afternoon in day light. The marriages are conducted within the community and inter-caste marriages are not much appreciated.
Maharashtrians believe in arranged marriages and the parents with their sons/daughters consent look for a suitable match. According to them, marriage is a sacrament where a union binds two individuals into a life long togetherness and makes them one. The community and its members progresses and grows with such alliances. Marriages in India are one of those festive seasons where all the relatives wear traditional dresses to celebrate the new beginning of the future couple. The Indian bride and the groom look exceptional in their wedding attires and are center of attraction.
Maharashtrians brides represent the feminine and true depiction of a Hindu bride. On her wedding day she wears a nine yard long saree which is draped on her in a Marathi style. The color of the saree has to be green banarasi or kanjivaram saree with a thick border in golden embroidery. The hairs are tied neatly into a bun and a bunch of flowers usually jasmine or some other white flower is put over it. The Marathi bride does not wear heavy jewelry but accessorizes with pearls. She wears a pearl chain on her forehead along with a bindi, pearl necklace, a seven pearl earring on each side, a nose ring with nine pearls on the left nostril, green glass bangles known as chzuda is worn along with pearls bangles in hands, gold waist band on the waist and silver toe ring on her feet. After dressing up, it is said the bride becomes an incarnation of Goddess Parvati as she is blessed with marital bliss.
Marathi groom dresses up in dhoti kurta which is usually white in color or preferring other lighter color tone. Like bride’s saree, groom carries a stole which has thin golden border. The kurta also has self design adding color in his outfit. The head is covered with a Nehru cap or a turban. The basic jewelry that the groom wears is rings in hand fingers and pearl beads around his neck. The groom carries a large cloth on his right shoulder whose one end is tied with bride’s saree and the ritual of saptapadi is followed. In this ceremony, the couple takes seven rounds around the sacred fire which represents the presence of god.
Both bride and the groom apply mehndi on their palms where the bride applies it on her feet as well. The experience of a Marathi wedding is very different from north or south Indian wedding, but is thoroughly enjoyed by all due to its similar Hindu customs that are followed by all the Hindus in the country.