Heartwarming Kashmiri Wedding With 10 Ceremonies And A Lot Of Love
BY Swagata Dam | 27 May, 2022 | 454 views | 7 min read
No matter how far we go away from home, the memories, the fragrance, the vibe attached to it - we always carry them in our hearts. So it was only befitting for this US-based Kashmiri couple to mark their union in a traditional way with all the quintessential ceremonies amidst their loved ones back in India. With 10 functions, some backyard cooking, many delicacies, and lots of singing and dancing by the family, this one was a wholesome celebration of love. Not to mention, the Kashmiri bride looked ethereal in a powder blue sequined lehenga on her special day.
Meet Hether & Vishal
After the the Kashmir incident in 2003, both Hether and Vishal's respective families shifted to a faraway country, the U.S.A. That's where the two of them ended up connecting with each other, fell in love and found their perfect partner. After 6 years of love and 11 years after leaving their home in Kashmir, they decided to get hitched in India with the Kashmiri rituals they were born and brought up with.
After an elaborate bathing ritual, the bride's eldest aunt put Mehendi on the bride's palms and feet and the entire family celebrated the evening with a lot of music, food and laughter.
The wedding comprised of the arrival of baaraat, when the family of the groom was warmly welcomed by the family of the bride at the wedding venue by blowing a conch shell. Nutmegs were exchanged by both the families as a symbol of lifelong friendship. It was followed by the lagan, where the couple took their seven pheras. In Kashmiri Pandit weddings, the first vow is taken around the sacred fire by stepping on seven one rupee coins. At the end of the ceremony, both the bride and the groom fed each other rice. At the end of the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom were made to sit down for the posh puza. A red cloth was placed on top of their head and the guests around them showered flowers (posh) while mantras were being chanted from the Vedas. It is a way of worshipping the couple with flowers as Shiva and Parvati. Lastly, during the vidaai, the bride officially bid goodbye to her family. During this ceremony, the couple was made to stand on a wooden pedestal known as Vyoog and the eldest female member of the family kissed them thrice on the forehead. It is known as offering Nabad.
From The Bride:
We got married on 12th November in 2021. It was our unanimous decision to have all the Kashmiri rituals in India. We had 9 ceremonies before the actual wedding. Let me give a lowdown on each.
1. KASAM DRY - Our elderly family members from both the families meet in a temple where they exchange flowers as a formal agreement and commencement of the celebrations. The bride-to-be's family prepares a traditional Kashmiri meal for all.
2. GANDUN - The family priest fixed the date of a formal Engagement ceremony as per the Kashmiri calendar. This ceremony takes place in front of an idol that they worship. An exchange of gifts also takes place between the bride and groom that include lavish festivities, traditional meals and exchange of rings.
3. LIVUN - In this Ritual both families wash the walls of the house and on one particular wall they make the beautiful calligraphy name of the Bride and Groom .
4. WURI - On the day of Livun, the waza or the family cook puts a mud-and-brick oven called wuri in the backyard of the house where all the food for the wedding ceremonies will be cooked. The Family sings the songs together and celebrates the day by eating lavish meals together.
5. WANVUN - The Livun ceremony is followed by the Wanvun ceremony. This involves musical sessions that are held in the bride and groom's homes respectively. The relatives and neighbours participate in singing folk songs. The tumbak an acoustic musical instrument, plays a significant role through the evening. The guests are then served noon or sheer chai (salted pink tea) in the end.
6. KROOL KHARUN - Krool Kharun is the decoration of the entrance of the houses of both bride and groom with traditional colours by the respective pof or the bua (father's sister) of the bride and groom. Again family members participate with singing and dancing and the traditional Vaer is prepared and a traditional lunch or dinner is served.
7. MAENZIRAAT - On the evening of Krool Kharun ceremony, the bride-to-be follows an elaborate bathing ritual, during which her feet are washed by her maternal aunt. After this bathing ritual, her eldest aunt puts means (henna) on her palms and feet. Then the means is passed on to the other women present for the ceremony following which a delicious meal prepared by the waza is served to them. A little henna is applied on the groom's hands as well as an auspicious sign. They also have a main dancer in these professional groups known as the beach. Apart from the beach, there is also the lead singer, santoor player, a sarangi player, a rabab player, one harmonium player, the tumbaknaer player and the natoo player.
8. DIVAGON - A very significant pre-wedding ceremony, the Divagon marks the transition of the bride and groom from the Brahmacharya ashram to the Grihastha ashram. The bride and groom worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in their respective homes because this ceremony is observed separately. The family members and relatives of the bride and groom who participate in this ceremony keep a fast on the previous day. This ceremony is conducted before the holy fire by the family priest.
9. KANISHARAN - Kanisharan is a significant part of the Divagon ceremony itself. During this ritual, the bride and the groom are bathed in a mixture of water, rice, milk and curd. Along with these, flower petals are also showered on them. After this ritual, the to-be-wed couple changes into a new set of traditional wear.
Wedding Planner: Sandhill Events
Sandhill Events has done wonderful work in making my wedding a memorable one. My whole family and other guests have engraved all the moments of the wedding, Special thanks to Team for making this dream wedding successful. They both have understood our view ,choice and Our Kashmiri wedding Culture and they executed well. We never felt any hesitation in asking for any favour from them because they made us feel so comfortable! I cannot even imagine our wedding without them. Every guest had only praises to say about the wedding and all of it was because of them. Three cheers for the team.
Photography: The Wed Makers
We never felt pressurized or rushed once when The Wedmakers were capturing our wedding, neither myself or any one in the family. We really like having our photo taken, however there was not one photo that said "oh I don't like that one" we love each and every photo. Such a relaxed artistic photographer with a great sense of humour and who goes above and beyond to get that perfectly unique shot! We truly were blessed to be able to have The Wedmakers team at our wedding!