The Gujarati weddings are organised on a grand scale and their rituals are very colourful.It is full of various poojas and interesting traditional customs.The entire atmosphere is full of enthusiasm.
Sagai (engagement ceremony)
A typical Gujarati Wedding begins with Sagaii or engagement. It is actually the first formal approval of marriage in the Gujarati community. It is a traditional ceremony when would be bride arrives at would be groom’s place. The bride's father and four other male members applyes the vermilion mark on the forehead of the groom. This announces the acceptance of the alliance between the two families. The couple is blessed at this ceremony by both the families.
This ritual has a great significance. The parents of the couple seek the blessings of Mother Earth and ask permission to commence with the digging of the soil to erect the mandva or mandap. The families pray to Lord Ganesh the Hindu God who is believed to remove all obstacles and seek his divine blessing. The puja is performed by a priest in front of a sacred fire.
Any disturbance in the stars can cause harm or clashes in the marital relationship and the lives of the couple. The purpose of the puja is to bring peace among the stars.This is carried out in the respective home of the bride and the groom. In this ceremony both the families seek the blessings of all the nine planets and pray to remove all possible obstacles before the wedding.
Garba is the specialty of any Gujarati marriage ceremony. A marriage ceremony is incomplete without the Garba. This ceremony gives chance for both families to meet, greet and know each other well. Normally it is held a night before the wedding, it involves lots of dancing and bright colourful clothes. Dandiyas or special sticks are used for the dance and music is also played.
It is performed individually at both the bride and groom houses. In this ritual turmeric paste which is considered auspicious and beautifying is applied on the bodies of the bride and groom houses. Close relatives and friends at their respective places are invited in this ceremony.