Indian weddings is a lavish affair for the wealthy. To a smaller scale it is a big affair for the middle class. The weddings a traditionally rich with many events taking place that could last for three days or more. In Jabalpur the wedding season for s the summer and winter more so in the former period.
The funfare starts right from the day engagement which is not by any means simple. Apart from traditional Puja the ceremony may have exchange of rings. But for many the ceremony means that the marriage is to follow in a short period.
While most of the marriages in the country are arranged by the parents in larger towns the knot could be tied following a love affair. As the society opens up more and more partners seek independent partners which they have chosen themselves. Unlike the earlier times whence the relationship was entered into by parents.
Most of the families are opening up to girls or boys choosing their own partners. Broad minded people do not restrict the arrangement to caste or regional basis as long as the partners are good. This happens in Jabalpur as well which by all means is a large town. Whatever the type of relationship that has propelled teh couple to tie the knot the ceremony as still the same. Due to social constraint most of the parents prefer traditional ceremony to court marriage.
As always the event starts with informing the family members and relatives about the engagement. This is a prerequisite since only close family members and friends may witness the engagement. This is followed by designing and printing the invitation cards. This is done by a close group of friends and relatives who also assist in sending or delivering the cards. The invitees may also receive the gesture online.
On day of the marriage which has been finalized by the priest after having selected the auspicious day and time. Among Hindus this is a prerequisite. This day may be chosen among other communities on some other basis.
Before the auspicious day the family receives close guests who also oversee the functions that precede the event. These are organized according to the budget. The well to do ones organize bachelors party, cocktail party, mehdi ceremony or singing session. The latter is essential among the family of bride to be, this is a jovial event with involvement of women singing and dancing. This is what sets the mood.
Though most of the event cost is paid for by the bride’s family, in modern times the grooms family also shares it. Those with tight budget organize what all is necessary to curb the expenditure. Even in these circumstances some close relatives and guests from outside are accommodated by both the parties. Food, transportation and sightseeing is usually organized by each family. On the day of the marriage the groom proceed with the family members, invitees towards the wedding hall for the ceremony. Women in bright saree, men in kruti pajamas or suits all follow behind the groom.
Preceding this some rituals are conducted by the priest and then the procession known as “Baraat” in Hindi , begins to move.
This is a noisy affair with loud music emanating from the band. The cacophony is thunderous and passerby, traffic, neighborhoods do not mind. The procession takes long to reach with intermittent dancing stops. The groom in a flowery veil rides on a horseback or sits in a luxury car decorated with flowers all over.
Whence the procession arrives at the doorstep of the wedding hall or a place set for the event. The dancing and music is at its best. After a long time since the procession has started the groom decked in traditional or western garb is invited to the mandap or the dais.
All the rites and rituals ar performed under the dais in Vedic tradition with the sacred fire in the center. After the ritualistic incantation of Vedic hymns, the vows take place whence the couple go around the fire for seven times. After this the marriage is solemnized and over.
In Jabalpur the banquet is organised in the wedding hall of the five star hotels. This is a late night lavish affair with amazing gastronomic delights on the tables. This is also the moment whence guests congratulate the new married and offer them gift or covers. Roadside ceremonies in Jabalpur are banned hence the popularity of the spacious halls in gaining.