Kashmiri wedding ceremonies are also quite simple and conducted in accordance with their own customs and rituals. Kashmiri Weddings are full of joyful and traditional ceremonies. First step towards a Kashmiri wedding is the matching of the horoscopes or teknis of the prospective bride and groom. If the horoscopes match the alliance is finalized. It is a tradition that an auspicious day is chosen for almost every occasion. The wedding can take place in the morning or in the night. Some important wedding rituals are given below.
Formal Engagement or Kasamdry
Once the two families agree to the alliance, the elders of both the families meet in a temple and exchange flowers to formalize the wedding alliance. The ceremony takes place in front of an idol.
In this ritual the house is cleaned before the wedding. This occurs at the bride and groom places but they can choose the date and time for performing the ritual. In addition to that the family cook puts together a mud-and-brick oven called war in the backyard of the house. This is where the traditional meals will be cooked for the wedding ceremonies.
It takes place a week prior to the wedding. It involves decorating and beautifying the door of the homes of the bride and the groom. In the evening the bride is bathed where her maternal uncle washes her feet. Next, the bride’s eldest aunt applies heena (known as maanz) on her hands and feet. A meal is served to the guests.
Wanwun or music sessions are held every evening at the houses of the bride and the groom. Relatives and neighbours participate in these sessions. It is held after the feast which occurs after the completion of the maenziraat ritual. The guests are served a salted pink tea called noon or sheer chai at the end of such singing sessions.
This ritual marks the transition of the bride and the groom from brahmacharya ashram to grihastha ashram. God Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshiped on this occasion. It is performed in the presence of a priest in front of scared fire. It is observed separately by the girl's family and the boy's family in their respective homes.
In this ritual the bride and the groom are applied a paste of curd, gram flour and saffron. After application of the paste they have to take a bath.
In this ritual the groom's family sends cosmetics, mirror, sindoor and a betel leaf covered with gold or silver foil to the girl.