Customs of Maharashtrian Wedding :
All the Maharashtrian Weddings have some common pre and on marriage ceremonies :
Pre - Marriage Ceremonies :
Lagnaach Bedi : The Maharashtrians rely on their parents for finding the bride or bridegroom for their marriage. Once the elders of the house agree on a pair, the process of marriage begins. This ceremony is known as Lagnaach Bedi.
Baithak : In Baithak, the Horoscopes of the Bride and Bridegroom are matched. In horoscope, there are 32 Gunas. out of these at least 20 should match, then only the elders agree for the Marriage.
Sakharpuda : Sakharpuda or the Engagement Ceremony takes place once the Horoscope gets matched. For this Ceremony, the bride is gifted a Saree and Green colored Bangles. On the Engagement day, the bride wears this saree, given by her to-be-in-laws and the Green Bangles. As the rings are exchanged, she is given a packet of Sugar, symbolizing the sweetness she will add to the home.
Kelvan : About 15 days before the marriage, a feast is arranged in both the bride and the bridegrooms home. Both sides hosts a meal for the each others family. Before the feast begins a small prayer is done before the God. This Prayer is known as the Prayer of Kuladevta or Family God.
Mehandi : A day before the marriage, both the Bride and the Grooms family have the Mehandi Ceremony. Mehandi (Indian Tatoo), a paste of green leaves is used to make beautiful design on the Hands of the Bride and the Grooms relatives. It is said, the more the color of the Mehandi, the more better is the Married life of the Couple.
Marriage Ceremonies :
Chuda Ceremony : On the day of the Marriage, in the morning hours, a Chuda (Bangles - Indian Jwellery), is given by the brides to be In - Laws. After Puja/ Prayers done in front of the God, the bride wears the Chuda and then seeks blessings of the God and her elders.
Shubh Mangal Savdhaan : Shubh Mangal Savdhaan is a composite rite comprising of several ceremonies performed in a certain order. There are about 43 rituals connected with this ceremony. It is the most important of all ceremonies and is performed early in the morning.
Ganpati Puja : Lord Ganesha has a main role in all the functions held in Maharashtra. In the Maharashtrian Weddings too, the blessings of Lord Ganesha are of utmost important. The prayer of Lord Ganesha is the symbol of formal beginning of Maharashtrian Wedding.
Seemant Puja : Seemant Puja is the Puja where the Girl is supposed to leave her home. In this the Brides family welcomes the Groom by washing his feet. Gifts are given to the Groom which includes Silverware.
Lajahoma : In this the wedding rites are performed in front of the God Fire. The couple takes oath in the front of the fire; the groom places Mangalsutra around the brides neck, proclaiming that she is now married to him. After this he puts a Vermillion mark on her head.
Saptapadi : After the Lajahoma ritual, Satapadi ritual is done. In this seven heaps of rice along with beetle leaf are put around the altar and the fire rekindled. The Bride Groom leads the bride putting the brides right foot on each of the seven rice heaps, while the priest chants the sacred verses. After this the couple offers parched grains and the beetle leaf to the God Fire. This procedure solmenises a typical Maharashtrian Marriage.