Monday, September 22, 2008

Part IV: GSB Wedding Rituals

The following rituals are combined after deep research from a book "Reethi Rivaz" (in Kannada) and from interogating our Pandit and relatives several times.

Wedding Rituals

On the morning of the wedding, the Pandit will arrive at the brides house and conduct a small prayer for proceedings to go smoothly. Elder relatives of the brides parents are usually also invited to this early morning prayer session.

After brief prayers, the bride touches the feet of all elders present and the wedding party proceeds to the hall. The Bride has to wear a not too grand sari (Sari 1) which need not even be new. ( The idea apparently is to keep expenses in control )

Inviting Groom's Party

The Brother of Bride / Maternal Uncle (Mama) of the bride will go to groom's house and invite the groom's family to the hall.
He will take with him a box of sweets (previously used to be a box of homemade laddus), flowers for the women of the house and token cash (in envelopes) for any small children of the groom's family.

Edur Kansani ( Receiving the Groom's party )

Once at the hall, bride's party prepares to receive the groom. This program involves only women.
The women will wait outside the hall with the paraphenelia as described. The Brides sister or Paternal cousin sister will hold a circular steel plate (thali/poleru in konkani) (Plate 1) it will have the following
1.Mirror supported by a Kalash ["tambio"(in konkani for a copper pot) with water and a coconut on it]
2.Gold chain set on the mirror
3.Flower garland on the mirror
4.Kumkum and Haldi in bowls
5.Raw Rice

Plate 2 with another sister will have flowers and a Rose Water dispenser
(Gulab-dani, usually made of Silver), Plate 3 with yet another sister will have 4 coconuts on it.
Plate 4 with folded Paan with supari (Veedo).

When the groom's party arrives, the women of the family will precede the men to the entrance. The Groom's sisters will hold Plate 1 (just as in the brides side) and Plate 3. Plate 2 and Plate 4 can be shared.

The women will now walk towards each other and apply kumkum and haldi to each others foreheads and wear a flower from Plate 2. They will sprinkle rose water on each other.

Entering the Hall

Before entering the hall, a aarti of kumkum water is given to groom. This done,
the father of the bride will give the Groom a coconut in his hand and put a small garland around his neck in greeting and lead him by the hand (lest he runaway) into the hall and seat him in a chair in the hall. Rest of the party will follow.

Phool Muddi ( The Flower and the Ring )

Along with the groom sits an un-married boy who is called "Dhedo" (previously the dhedo would be a young kid, nowadays young eligible bachelors are seated instead as a way to get noticed).
Once the groom is captive in the chair, his feet are washed by the father of the bride. A Gold Ring is placed on his finger. A new sacred thread is put on him (over this clothing), he will already have one of his own under it. A Peta is placed on his head.

Aarti is done to him by the bride's mother (with cloth wicks not cotton) and rice is sprinkled on him.
He is fed 5 different types of sweets and a sip of sweetened milk. The Dhedo gets a gift of clothing.

Now, its the brides turn. Bride makes her first enterance to the gathering (still in Sari 1)and is seated in the chair. Along with her sits the "Dhedi" (female version of the dhedo)
She is gifted a Sari and any other gifts (usually ornaments) from the groom's mother. Flowers (white managlore mogra) is pinned to her hair. Aarti is done to her by the groom's mother (with cloth wicks not cotton) and rice is sprinkled on her. She is fed 5 different types of sweets and a sip of sweetened milk. Like the Dhedo, the Dhedi gets a gift of clothing also.

Breakfast I
The first breakfast is served and the whole party tucks in. Bride changes clothes. Brides mother can also change. ( So can anyone else, there is no hard and fast rule)

Ghade Udhak ( Water clock )

Originally intended to help the gathering keep track of the time, now it is done only for symbolic purposes.
5 thambios (copper pots) are held, one each by five women namely bride, bride's mom, groom's mom and 2 others.
They are filled with water and Ganga Pooja is performed as instructed by Pandit.
These pots are then kept aside to be revisited later.

Udida Moorth (Grinding of Gram)

A mix of Green Gram, Black Gram (Udid in konkani), tumeric, oil is prepared and the bride (now in Sari 2) and her mother jointly grind it in a manual stone grinder. Not sure of the significance, if anyone has an idea, pls let me know. Further minor rituals are perfomed as instructed by pandit.

Once the bride is done grinding, her party proceeds to Breakfast II. Vacating the seats to allow the groom and his sister(s) to do the grinding too. The sisters also get to apply kajal to the groom.

Grinding can be done simultaneously also if there is equipment and space available.

Kaashi Yatra

Tired of all the rituals, the groom decides to renounce worldly life and meditate in Kaashi. He sets out with an umbrella, and a Potli ( cloth tied into a bag on a stick containing his worldly belongings ). He is stopped by the Father of the bride, who tells him of the virtues of married life. (Mostly he tells him, there is no escape now, you're doomed)
Once again captive, the groom is pacified with a gift either of money or a gift of clothing and an aarti and proceeds to Breakfast II. He can change his clothing also.

"Go Daan" (Gift the pandit a cow)

Traditionally at this point, the pandit performing the rituals is given a cow as a gift. Now a days ofcourse this is symbolic and cash and/or clothing is given instead.

Aarti is now done to the Groom's Sisters, Groom and the Dhedo and they make a pradakshina (walk in a circle around) the Homa Kund (central holy fire place).

The Water clocks/ Ghade Udhak is revisted by the 5 ladies to check if the water pots are hale and hearty.

Breakfast II

The second breakfast is served and all tuck in (again!)

Entering the Mantap

The bride now well fed and covered in mounds of silk, flowers (moggina ja-day - jasmine flower headress) and a ton of gold is led into the Mantap by her mother. Meanwhile, the Pandit does a pooja of the Mantap. She enters the mantap with her right foot first.

The Dhaare Mani ( black bead and gold chain with 2 large coral beads ) is Mangalsutra 1. It is given by the bride's family. The chain is taken around the hall to be blessed and inspected by the elders.
After remembering the family diety, it is put around the brides neck by her Mother. An aarti is done to her and rice is liberally sprinkled over her.

This done, the bride is dispatched away again, possibly to be decked with more gold.

Var Pooja

The Bride's married sisters and their husbands are called into the mantap in sequence and given a gift of clothing, aarti and rice sprinkling.

Groom Bashing! ( tying the "bashing" on the turban )

"Bashing" is an ornament made of thermocol and glitter held together by glue. It has lot of dangling beads and shiny papers stuck to it. Hideous though it is, it is tied to the Turban of the Groom. Traditionally it was tied over the Gandhi cap which was worn by the groom. It is a good idea to tie it out of sight behind the fan of the peta so that it is not seen.

Preparing the "Talee" ( Thali or Plate )

1 Plate (Vothu Ghadi - means "at the time of pouring" ) is prepared and held by the mother of the bride. It contains the following:
1. 2 simple non zari saris (meant for daily wear by the bride in her new house)
2. Paan Veedo
3. Flowers and Raw Rice
4. 1 Coconut, sari blouse piece, kunkum ( collectively called Vonti )

Plate 2 ( Lagna Talee - wedding plate ) is prepared and held by Groom's mother. It contains the following:
1. Post Wedding Sari ( a grand sari nowadays worn at the reception)
with Pallu visible (pallu has to be visible for aunties present to estimate the cost of the sari :D )
2. Mangalsutra 2 - Chunky Gold and coral bead chain.
3. Paan Veedo
4. Mogra Flowers and Raw rice
5. Silver Kunkum Box
6. A small box of Kajal
7. Ivory comb ( now replaced by a plastic imitation)
8. "Bashing" ( for the bride this time )

The Pandit now does a pooja of the Plates as above. The father of the bride brings the groom into the Mantap along with the Dhedo.

The Plates mentioned above are carefully placed under his chair.
Once he is seated, the parents of the bride will perform an aarti, arghya padya (feet washing) and then put a sacred thread for him. He is given a gift. The gift is usually a Sandook ( if not available, cash is used). A Silver Sandook set ( consists of a plate, a small glass, spoon, box to hold religious stamps, the stamps and a thambio (silver pot) these items are to be used for daily pooja )

Anthar Paat (Curtain)

A cloth is now held by two pandits to obscure his view, because the bride will be brought into the hall now and he should not be able to see her.

Here comes the Bride

The maternal uncle of the bride will bring in the decorated bride leading her by the thumb and will walk her down the aisle from the front enterance of the hall. If there are two they can bring her together (she has only 2 thumbs) . If there are several uncles, a sort of relay is done. Traditional music is played by the musicians and the pandits will commence chanting the mantras.

She enters the mantap again with her right foot and her uncle will sprinkle rice on her head and leave her inside. Now as per instructions by the pandit the Garland exchange between bride and groom takes place.

Dhaar Votuchain (Pouring the stream of milk)
also called Kanya Daan ( Giving away the bride )

A silver pot with a gold pendant of laxmi with a coconut placed over it and milk is poured from it on the hands on the bride, groom and several others as per the instructions of the pandit.
The laxmi pendant signifies that they are giving away the girl only and not the goddess of wealth.

Tying the knot

The Mangalsutra from Plate 2 is retrieved and tied around the brides neck. The "bashing" for the bride is now tied on her head. Plate 2 (Lagna Talee) is given to her. Aarti is done and Rice is sprinkled over her as a blessing.

Kankana (Tumeric pieces) are tied to the wrists of the bride and groom. The coals are fetched by the bride's mother to start the fire in the Homa ( sacred fire ). She is gifted by the grooms family for her efforts.

Lye Virkachain ( Pouring puffed rice )
While the fire is being started, the uncles and brothers of the bride will pour puffed rice through their hands until it falls onto a plate held below. The youngest among them will receive a gift called a Lye Shawl ( now a shirt piece )

The Maternal Uncle will place 2 pairs of toe rings to the bride's toes.

7 Pheras
The bride and groom take 7 circles around the fire as per instructions by the pandit.

Going Bananas!
Bride and Groom now feed each other with Bananas.

Var Ubharchain ( lifting )

The uncle and aunt will then attempt to physically lift the bride and groom. (a daunting task!)
Incase this is not feasible, Bride and groom are walked 4 steps forward and 4 steps back by the maternal uncle and aunt or just gently nudged. The 2 pairs are now given an aarti by the other elders present.

Sharage Ghalchain ( Putting the Pallu )
The mother of the bride will now place the pallu for the bride as a symbol of marriage and replace her half moon bindi with a full moon. The groom will tie a five rupee coin (symbolizing this savings) to the pallu of the bride.

Going Bananas again
Bananas are cut up into small pieces and the bride serves them to the groom's family and her own (symbolizing that she has cooked for them). She is given a gift of cash for her troubles.

Keeping the Name
Traditionally the bride would have a new first name after marriage. The name is still kept, but not used. The mother of the groom will whisper a name 5 times into the bride's ear.

Vonti borchain
The mother of the bride will give her a blouse piece, coconut, kumkum and sprinkle rice for the first time as a married lady.

Baagil Dhorchain
The sisters of the groom, unhappy that their brother will forget them once he is married; will stop him from leaving the mantap. They are pacified with a gift of cash from the Groom.

The wedding party proceeds for Lunch.


Aditya B said...

My girl friend sure got freaking scared after reading your post. She is like OMG what if your parents have a problem with it. It looks very complicated. Registered one sounds better.
But i must tell thats a comprehensive blog that you have, guess u have loads of patience and interest besides well managed time.

Aditya B said...

Oh forgot to mention she is a localite in blore, issues being a bit complicated , U know how GSB women consider themselves superior in all aspects..

Unknown said...

@Aditya: Freaking out is normal :) Better to freak out early and get it over with. In case you do decide on a registered marriage, details are below.

Chief registrar of births, deaths and marriages, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, M.S. Buildings, B.R. Ambedkar Road, Bangalore-560001. Call +91-80-22253758 / 22863025.

Make your way to the sub-registrar's office and solemnise your marriage under the Special Marriages Act which is open to people from any religion.
(the groom should be 21 and the bride, 18).

Be prepared to chew your nails for 30 days, the time given for anyone to raise objections.

* The application form is available at the local sub-registrar's office. Or get the format from an advocate.
* Give a notice of the intended marriage to the marriage officer. (For purposes of registering the marriage, normally the sub registrar is designated as the marriage officer).
* The notice should be given at the sub-registrar office where either of the parties has been staying for a minimum of 30 days (for jurisdictional purposes).
* If either is not from this jurisdiction, a copy of the notice is sent to the concerned sub-registrar office.
* Give the notice in duplicate. Take a copy of the notice for acknowledgement purposes.
* The notice is put up at the sub-registrar's office for 30 days, open to objections.
* Subsequently, on the day mentioned in the notice, go to the sub-registrar's office with three witnesses. Sign in the register, and on the marriage certificate.
* You are married now.
* In case you do not get married within three months of notice, you will have to issue a fresh notice, says advocate Victor David, Legal Point, an NGO which offers legal advice.

Documents required:
* Age proof to show the groom and bride have completed 21 and 18 years respectively.
* Address proof - any government document like a ration card/ passport/ driving licence.
* An affidavit saying you are getting married of your own free will, and not under coercion or force.
Fees to be paid:
* Application form - Rs 3
* For the marriage procedure - Rs 10
* Per copy of the certificate - Rs 2

If you are already married and both the husband and wife are hindu u need the following:

1) Three witnesses
2) Five joint photographs of the couple
3) A copy of the wedding invitation card
4) Proof of residence in bangalore of either husband/ wife e.g. RTO
5) Proof of age and identity e.g.: Pan Card, Driving License

You need to visit the Registrar's office.
There is one in Jayanagar. Near Cool Joint. Its not in the BDA shopping complex. Its on a road parallel to cool joint road.

Unknown said...

Btw, Le Concierges will take care making the Marriage certificate, I consulted them recently.

Charge: Rs 875
Age Proof for both
7 Joint photos
1 wedding card
Address Proof ( Rental Agreement will do)

Best wishes to you and your intended!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Dear Rohini,

This is sure one good article i've come across & very helpfull too.

Khushi jalle vajjunu. Usually it so happens that when we do attend weddings, entire lot will be too busy gossiping or hurdking with cousins & frens to catch up on things....

Will surely forward this one to all my GSB frens.....

Warm Wishes,
Swathi B

Unknown said...


Thanks very much for visiting, Im glad you found this post useful. You're very right about most of the ppl not being aware of whats going on until we are actually a part of the ritual.

Amgelain vardik zathana kolchain kasane poora rivaaz assa. :)

Rashmi Swamy said...

Hi Rohini,

First of all , its a wonderful blog that you have created.
Secondly, this GSB wedding rituals, the way you have explained is amazing, incorporating every detail possible.
Just curious, are there any Post-wedding rituals as well??


Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting and your kind comments.
Yes, in fact there are post wedding rituals. Mostly they are coupled with any festivals for the whole year following the wedding.
I've asked my Mom to let me have the details and I will post it when I get the info. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini,

Your blog on the GSB wedding process was awesome. I knew a lot of it but the way you have explained is really good. I am creating a mariage website for my beloved (its a surprise!!)and would like to know if I can use some of the Wedding ritual process you have explaind so well. I will be mentioning that this process was taken from your blog. Let me know if you are ok with it. Thanks and have a nice day. Prashant

Unknown said...

Hi Prashant,

Glad you found the info useful. Its a nice surprise you are planning, pls use the info.

Congrats to both of you!

Do send me the link, if its a public site :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini,

Its a really nice article you have put up. I was searching on Google sites containing info about GSB Marathi Wedding rituals for a relative of mine and came upon your article. It took quiet some time to read but it was worth it. Have forwarded the link to her and hope she benefits thru it. For me it was an increase to my knowledge as we donot realise all the rituals when we attend someones' wedding.

Once again, great work.


Unknown said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for visiting and taking the time to go through it. Its is rather long I agree, I tried my best to keep it as short as possible without leaving out any details. :) I'm delighted that it is of use to your relative.

mallyajiggs said...

Wonderful effort to document the GSB wedding.. was fun reading through it :)

Udida Moorth (Grinding of Gram)
i am not sure of this but these is what i have heard. Marriage in earlier days were when the girl was very young (14-15 yrs). So this is the first introduction to cooking !! i may be completely off track but i think worth a thought :)

Sunil Mallya

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting, glad you found the post enjoyable!
You're probably right about the grinding bit, indeed most of the rituals were done keeping in mind young children who needed to be entertained / and could be easily lifted :D

Having robustly built, 25-30 yr olds lifted by not-that-young-anymore uncles and aunts was probably not what they intended.

I asked my uncles to take medical insurance and lift weights for a couple of months in preparation ;)

There are lot more little things which I have no doubt left out, the post was already very long.
Infact, I just realised that I forgot to add the ring finding game in this post! It has been proof read by so many people, and no one has yet pointed it out!

mallyajiggs said...

I asked my uncles to take medical insurance and lift weights for a couple of months in preparation ;)

-> Was this for your wedding ? ( i don't knw if u r married, just assuming :P )

Come on this is such a big post, now a days Bhat mam forgets rituals.. and u r not bhatin mayi :P hehee.

Unknown said...

@Sunil: Yes, this was for my wedding, hence my motivation for info gathering.
Keshav and I tied the knot around 9 months ago...
This post is part 4 of 4.
You can read 1-3, as well, in case you need more info on engagement rituals/horoscopes [horrorscopes :D ] ; or are in need of a good laugh ;)

Pavithra Pai said...

Good job Rohini,

Very useful to known all the rituals of GSB wedding. It helps a lot to understand the step by step procedures and its meaning especially for younger generations of NRI's, here they get hardly any chance to attend such functions.

We hope to get more of GSB rituals in other occations such as -
Choodi pooja, moongi, new born baby's cradling ceremony, gurbini aarti etc etc.

Mrs. Pai

Unknown said...

Dear Mrs. Pai,

Thanks for visiting! I try to put down all the rituals I perform ( and hence research ).

Next I can promise a Ghrahapravesh before the year is over. For gurbini arti etc. you'll have to wait a while :) ( i got married only 11 months ago ) - we'll need some time :)

I'm also planning to do Janmasthtami pooja and Tulsi pooja.

Ive not done choodi pooja, my Mom hasn't either. So if i can find someone who has, will definitely update.

Anonymous said...

Great job. I can go back to my ancient wedding photos and actually understand what went on :-)
Too bad ( for me) that you are a newly-wed and cannot do a similar comprehensive post on our cradling ceremony. I was hoping for one - first granddaughter is due soon..
Anyway, this is a great resource for me. Kudos!
Padmini Pai
Las Vegas

Unknown said...

Dear Mrs. Pai,

I have got hold of basic procedures for Cradle ceremony, got this from some of my Mom's friends. Pls let me know if you need it, will mail it to you. I would need your email id.

Anonymous said...

Opps - I didn't check back on this blog. How sweet of you to get the details for me. We did our "Palanthun ghalchen" on Aug. 9th, but would love to have your version to make sure I got it right. And it will be useful in the future.
My email is ( I have no idea how to go about selecting a profile, hence the anonymous designation?
Thanks so much

Bhagyashree said...

Hi ,

This is so useful..I am a north indian girl getting married to a GSB Konkani who hails from UDUPI..This was pretty easy for me to understand and picturise..BTW my would be mother-in-law told me the significance of the grinding..It is done to tell the bride that now she is going to have household reponsibilities ( implementing kitchen duties) :) :) Thanks a ton !!

Unknown said...

Hi Bhagyashree,
Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I think you're right on the significance, and we should note, that the groom also does the same grinding ( possibly for him also to get acquainted with the cooking) :D
I did not add any pictures since they were not yet available at the time, and the post is pretty long already.

Bhagyashree said...

Hi Rohini,

I needed some help regarding the registration of the wedding in court..It seems to be urgent..Can I chat with you on gtalk or something?? Or please get in touch with me through e-mail - your help will be much appreciated..Hoping to hear from you soon!!!

mulkikar said...

Hello Rohini,
Thanks for your wonderful narration and presentation. I was browsing to get GSB wedding rituals with narrations and reasoning for each event. I am able to get answers for most of them.
Excellent work. Keep it up.
BTW, my son is getting married shortly. Can I copy your work for his marriage album if you have no objection?


Unknown said...

@ Mr. Mulkikar:
Thanks for visiting, glad you found the information useful. You may use the content of this article for non-commerical use, pls mention my name/blog as author/source.
Congrats to your son and his intended!

sheila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Hi Sheila,

Hearty congrats on your engagement! You've picked a very hot and uncomfortable time to come to bangalore! I apologise for the weather on behalf of my city!

I'm very reachable on mail :

and thanks for visiting this blog!

Unknown said...

Shiela's Comment below was deleted to obscure the phone number.

"Hi Rohini,

I've recently gotten engaged to a GSB guy from Bangalore and am so thrilled to see your honest, insightful advice about wedding preparations. I'm born in the USA (I'm of SB descent myself) but am here in Bangalore for a few months for work. I'm so tickled by your writing, I'd really love to chat with you more. I wonder how to get in touch. If you have time to connect, my no is XXXXXXXXXX. Would love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Jeez! How many marriages are involved in the above post :-P

Unknown said...

@Anonymous: :D Just one! And I believe I may have left out a few other rituals. :D This is probably the real reason people dont re-marry often in india ;)

(This statement is intended to be humour, moral police pls excuse)

Anonymous said...

Do they have any rituals for the first night; like say, bringing in a glass of milk? or do they just do it?

Unknown said...

@Anonymous: Looks like you have been watching too many hindi movies. This blog post is only about the wedding rituals.

People, this is a family blog. Lets keep it clear of inappropriate comments.

nish said...

hiii. . .
that was one hell of an info. . .gr8 job. . well i am a north indian and my beloved is a gsb brahmin. . we'd be gettin married in a couple of years. . i wanted to kno whether there is some specific sort of attire worn by the bride. . i have seen a couple of konkani wedding pics. . i was wondering if wearing a lehenga would be acceptable or not??


Unknown said...

Hi Nishtha,

Congrats to you both!
There are a lot of dress changes by the bride at the wedding ( as you can read in the post ). I think wearing a lehenga should be no problem. Esp. if you start the wedding in it.

The sari/dhoti are said to be needed for the pujas since while participating in any auspicious ceremony, the clothing should be "un-stitched". The original idea was to keep it simple and free of worldly fashions.

Ofcourse we all know that plenty of stitching goes into our clothing dhoti/sari or not. So, people carry on with it for appearance sake.

The traditional nine-yard style is the main feature of the GSB bridal trousseau, and looks very elegant (not to mention hot :) ) if worn well ( I personally like it very much - too bad it can only be worn on very special occasions :( )

Wearing the nine-yard style ( similar to wearing a dhoti ) is an art and one that can be learnt, but on your special day, I suggest you have an expert drape it. To visualize, it would look a bit like a bharatnatyam costume.

nish said...

thanx a tonne rohini. . .

i have heard and even observed that the gsb community is pretty liberal in its views. . .i was wondering if i could get a second opinion from you as to what is the community's take on a "working daughter in law". . my would be in-laws are pretty cool with it but just wanted to know what everybody else might take it as. .


Unknown said...

Hi Nishtha,

I would not generalize on the views and liberal attitude of any community or group of people. And I'm probably not the best person to be a spokesperson for the GSB community or it's M-I-Ls :)

On an average, in my opinion, most M-I-Ls are educated and liberal( atleast those I know are ) and from what I gather, usually working professionals marry other working professionals in our community in arranged marriages.

I have personally heard of only one case of a requirement for a non-working D-I-L and that was because the M-I-L was a full time practicing doctor and needed some one to manage the household :)

In most cases no one really cares, it would be best to ensure that the expectations are set right at the very onset.

Hope this helps,

Divya said...

Hi rohini,

It was great reading this blog of yours.I am Tamil IYER and my boy friend is a GSB.I remember having seen each of the rituals described by you in his Brother's wedding album but when i asked him the significance of each ritual he dint know any.Now that i have read ur blog i can boast to him that i know more abt his community.

Sanjay S B said...

chan gannen assu
i like this post.

Anonymous said...

i am bhaskar pai from bangalore... being a businessman i never got any chance to know about our gsb rituals. It was great reading this blog from yourself. i really thank you for for your effort on this and helping many like me. i got engauged with Sathya rao on 10th of july last month and we are getting married on 16th of october this year. we dont know you but your blog helped me to get knowledge about many things i didnt knew... i hereby heartly invite you and your family for my marriage... at kashimatth, malleshwaram. muhoortham @ 12.15 pm...
once again, thank you.
bhaskar pai.V (

Anonymous said...

hey Roshni, would you be able to share a few pics of the nine-yard saree, as the beautician wants to get an idea of how the saree is worn...or give us a few links to access such pictures as i dont knave an idea how it is to be worn.....thanks

Anonymous said...

hi Rohini,

Could you please share with us a few snaps of the way the traiditional saree is worn...i need to give my beautician an idea of how the saree needs to be draped...would be useful to have some pics, please let me know of any pics available online...thanks....

Unknown said...

@Both Anonymous: Hangon... Im trying to find pics.

Unknown said...

[im] [/im]

Unknown said...

@Anonymous: A quick google search did not yield satisfactory results. I did not like the drapes I found.
I'm attaching pics from my wedding. Drape looked the part, but I have to say it was not exactly comfortable. Ensemble involved pins, bands of elastic (dont ask! :D ) and a pair of leggings.

Sari worn is normal sized (not 9 yard) Mysore silk ( I chose it because thinner the silk, easier the drape; be warned, stiff heavy saris will have you looking like a hot air balloon )

The cream pallu thingie is pre-stitched and embroidered. It is secured with buttons at the back. Traditionally white is the color and they embroider maroon roses on it. I dont like the bleached white cloth they use and I didnt like the pattern either. So I bought cream silk and provided the cloth. I had not much say in the embroidery (sigh). My first choice was gold tissue instead of cream silk. Procuring this proved a problem and I settled for second best.

The length of sari wrapped around the waist is the actual pallu.

Be aware that the cream dupatta thingie will never be used again, and the lady who makes it will ask if she can keep it. So, don't go overboard on the expenses on it.

The sari blouse you will observe is totally hidden from front and back. Don't make the mistake of keeping the blouse simple. You may wear the sari again for a suitable occasion ( house warming is one such occasion - some ppl wear it in the same style with the normal pallu ofcourse )

A word on the hair. I actually disliked this headdress. I wanted plain white flowers wrapped around the plait. But was over-ruled by various aunties. Don't give in! Go with what you like. The headdress weighs a ton and is a pain to wear. And yes, you cant turn or lift your head after its on. :)

Go for a rehearsal before hand. I had a partial rehearsal, I would say go for the full one.

Unknown said...

What it looks like overall :
[im] [/im]

Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton Rohini!! these snaps will help...i've been trying to google since the past few months but haven't been able to get one good pic giving me an idea of how the drape looks...since I belong to another religion and don't have any GSB friends, you were my last ray of hope :)...thanks a lot for the snaps and lovely information on the GSB rituals and wedding prepartions....

Anonymous said...

hi Rohini,

I had a question around the number of sarees worn during the entire wedding...pls let me know..some say its 5, others say its 3....


Anonymous said...

hi Rohini,

I had a question around the number of sarees worn during the entire wedding...pls let me know..some say its 5, others say its 3....


Unknown said...

Hi Anon,

There is no hard and fast rule. A minimum of 3 is needed. I used 3.
Sari 1 - from entry till phool muddi -
Sari 2 - After Phool Muddi till Udida Moorth -
Sari 3 - Lagna Kappad - Wedding Sari -
Sari 4 - After Pheras and before lunch -
Sari 5 - Reception

In my case I skipped Sari 2 ( so I wore same sari till the wedding sari). I wore the last one at the reception.

If you find the time and energy to keep changing, you can wear as many as you like.
Note: you may have to change the jewellery to match the saris as you keep changing them. A way around this problem is to start off with less jewellery. And keep adding them as you proceed.

Minimum needed is 3 (not including Reception).
Some people split wedding into 3 days.
Day 1 - Phool Muddi
Day 2 - Lagna
Day 3 - Reception

This allows for more dress changes.

Malavika said...

I'm getting married soon and I wanted to know what the ceremony is all about....we always go to weddings, but (it's about the fibbing!)never landed up understanding the intricacies....phewww! I didn't know that's what is in store for me!
*worriedd!! :P

Malavika R

Malavika said...

Hey Rohini!

Both of us ( my fiance and I) are based in the US; we have restrictions with respect to time, when it comes to a wedding. I had a few questions:
1. How much time would be needed to shop for the wedding?
2. I believe that after marriage, the girl has to go back to her mom's place on several occasions like in Shraavan amongst others.... can u tell me more abt the same?
Great to know that u are from Katpady, I was based in Manipal for 5 yrs before I moved here a yr ago! Love ur pics btw!

Anonymous said...

hi Rohini..thanks for the info..but are all these sarees given from the girl's side?

Unknown said...


Of the 5, 1 is given from the groom's side. Usually its the reception sari that is provided. ( Note, they can give more if they like ).

Refer the article for : Plate 2 ( Lagna Talee - wedding plate ) is prepared and held by Groom's mother. All the contents are usually provided by the Groom's side.

Most times the shopping for this Sari is done together. Bride picks it out and the Groom's party pays. They provide her with the sari, months before the marriage ( to get the sari fall, blouse etc stitched ). These are returned to the groom's side before the wedding starts. So they can present it ceremonially.

There is no hard and fast rule. In my case I picked out all the saris myself. The Sari provided by the groom's party was worn at the other reception ( We had 2 receptions )

Its all dependent on how you work it out ( who brings/provides what ). At the end of it, you need minimum 4 ( 5th is the reception ) for the marriage. The priest wont care who provided which sari as long as they are present when he asks for them during rituals.

Unknown said...


Dont know how i missed your qns... Sorry about the delay in response.

1. How much time is needed to shop for the wedding?

Depends on what you're shopping for. Im assuming that all you need to buy are YOUR clothes and jewellery. You need to pick out your sarees and the gold (at least the mangalsutra ).


Once the saris are bought, you need the fall, net ( to protect the zari ) and blouse done. This can take time depending on your tailor.
I shopped for this over a few months ( i had lot of time between engagement and wedding )
It can be done in 2-4 days if you've got someone to drive you about.

I bought 1 kanchivaram (Angadi Silk, JP Nagar), 1 mysore silk (Mysore Silk Udhog - MGRoad), 2 benarasi (Calcutta, Patna).

When deciding the colours, useful to check with your mom and sis (if you have one) to ensure you dont all buy the same colour for the same time of wearing.

By one extra Sari and get the blouse made as well - this is for emergencies.

1. Finding the tailor - this is the bigger problem.
2. Give a trial blouse. Take any silk sari you dont particularly care for, and get a simple blouse made by the tailor.
3. Try it on and work out the issues with the fit.
4. Once done, this blouse will be used as the benchmark against which all future blouses will be made.

DO NOT give the wedding sari blouse first. Do not give all the blouses at the same time. ( they can all be ruined - this has happened with people i know )


The blouses will take time depending on the kind of pattern, backlog at tailor, complexity of the design. Mine took months. (The boutique I give my blouses to was busy, I gave complex patterns and the designer was a perfectionist who said she will take time to ensure quality work)

Unknown said...

@Malvika - Part II

The Gold:

Once you've picked the gold, there's not much to do. I took 1.5 hour to pick out 2 mangalsutras at Aabharan. (That included picking out the silver Sandook Set for my husband)
The gold will be made fresh mostly, so it will take time to be delivered.

If you're ordering other gold, picking them out will take time depending on how fussy you are.

Getting old gold polished. Once you're done buying, make a deal with the jeweler to get any old gold polished to make it look nice and sparkly.

Wedding Rings:
This took weeks - no kidding - the groom was very particular about plain and simple and non-shiny. Finally found it in Tanishq.

My ring took exactly 15 minutes - Gili 18carat with diamonds.

The Diamond Earrings:

I already had this (i think we got it done when i was a child ). They are very heavy and you may need a belt to support it. The Stem of the earring is very thick usually, I wore it a month ahead, on weekends to get the ear hole used to it.

Toe Rings and Payal:

If you dont already have them you may need to buy. Hardly takes time. 20 min max. I bought mine in jaipur while on holiday.

Guccha - Waist Key bunch ornament

You dont really need this, I had my grandmothers gorgeous silver one. I got it repolished and wore it. (I also bought one for another sari in plated gold - you can get it in malleshwaram )

Nose ring - (pressing type)
I got this from Patna, my sis-in-law got it from there, lot of variety there. You can get it easily in Malleshwaram or chickpet.

Other accessories:

You will need a Baithala Bottu. (The ornament worn at the centre parting of hair). I bought a gold plated one. If you have a one in real gold, you can wear that. ( I now have one courtesy M-I-Law)

The waist chain will be brought by the lady who dresses you up ( unless you have one in gold already ).

Unknown said...

Clothing for the Groom:

This took time, sherwanis tend to be over the top and getting sober ones is really hard. We finally found what we liked at Sadhvanis - MG Road.
Buy all the stuff ( Sherwani + dhoti + joothi + turban/peta + angwastram/duppata ) from one shop so that you don't end up searching for color match.

We got a stitched dhoti ( worn like a salwar ) in cream mysore silk with zari border. The sherwani kurta was shortened by folding so that it can be worn with dhoti.
It was a single easy-to-remove stitch and took 5 minutes to get it back to full length.

2. Qns 2 - going back to mom's place - I will need to check on this and get back. My parents live nearby and we see them every other weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini,

Thanks for the wonderful decsription of the rituals. I am copying some from here and adding it to my wedding invite card. Hope you don't mind :)


Malavika said...

Thanks a lot Rohini akka, that sure is a lot to do...I'm gonna pay a lot of attention to getting the right size especially my wedding ring :P My engagement ring didn't fit me and had to be cut off coz it got stuck on my finger :P Worse thing is that I had to cut it off in the US (It broke my was a gorgeous ring) my fiance was in tears looking at the amount of pain that I had to go through.... perhaps I must have lost out on wearing that ring and a lot of cuts and bruises but I did go home knowing that I was marrying a wonderful man!

Harveer said...

Hi there. Nice blog. You have shared useful information. Keep up the good work! This blog is really interesting and gives good details. Arya Samaj Mandir in Delhi, Arya Samaj Mandir.

ashwini shenoy said...

hi rohini,

wonderfully written.... if you dont mind could you please share the info of the beautician who draped your saree konkani style....please it would b of great help.....

ashwini shenoy said...

Hi Rohini,

Wonderfully written....If you dont mind could you please share the info of the beautician who draped your saree konkani style.... would b of great help....

Thank you.

Arpita said...

Hi Rohini,
I am getting married in this year and my would be is GSB. I was not aware of the GSB rituals at all. But your document helped me a lot. I am staying in Bangalore, Can you please help me how could I buy the two different Mangal Sutra. THe shop details and whether I NEED to mention any special kind of Mangal Sutra?


Unknown said...

Hi Arpita,

Mangal sutra can be obtained from any Mangalore based jeweller.
The 2 mangalsutra types are "Kaasthali" (gold and coral) and "Daaremani" ( mostly black beads, 2 coral ).
I got them from Aabharan. Bhima may also have. (Any south indian jeweller should have it )

Cheers and congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini,

Very nice blog, very good description. Came here looking for details of the 9 yard saree worn the traditional way. Wanted to wear that for Mangalagowri puja. But reading your description, I see that you have managed to wear the saree in this style using a normal 6 yard Mysore silk saree. I always thought and was told that this required the 9 yard saree. So wondering if you update a couple of details on how to manage this style using the 6 yards. I see that you like the 9 yard style but have you worn it apart from the wedding? Is it very difficult to learn and manage to wear on your own? If it isn't, I would consider buying a nice cotton 9 yard saree to wear. Please let me know what you think.

Unknown said...

Hi Vidya,

Sorry about the late reply, I was out of town. Yes it is very much possible if you are slim of waist and not tall ( less cloth presents a problem with the tall or the horizontally challenged ). The ensemble here was pinned to full length leggings to ensure the folds didnt move. I have to say its very uncomfortable because of the pins and rubber bands.

Nothing else is done, without the pins and rubber bands and with a non-stiff cloth its easily do-able (with less pleats obviously) and the pallu will not come down to your ankles.
Achievable pallu length is inversely proportional to the measurement of the waist.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rohini,

Thank you very much for the information. I did try this out with a normal 6 yard saree just to see if I could manage this. I did not know how to wear the saree in this style (I hadn't learnt it from anyone but just tried it based on what I have seen) and I am not very slim, so was not happy with the result for the reasons you mentioned. So I did wait until I came across someone wearing it well and requested one such lady to teach me. She told me that I would be able to wear this well only with a 9 yard saree, so I did end up buying a traditional cotton 9 yard saree and learnt how to wear it from her. Since I had decided I wanted to learn how to wear this well, I did try wearing it frequently over a number of days.I must say it takes quite some practice to get it looking very neat as well as getting over some hangups! Anyway, I have learnt it well enough now and am looking forward to wearing it for festivals and traditional ocassions this year, encouraged by some surprisingly positive comments from my hubby (I hadn't expected positive comments from him for the traditional style and I don't think he had a clue that I liked this style and would ever find me wearing it). Not sure how fashionable that sounds, but my liking for this style of saree has grown very much and I'm most probably going to buy a few more 9 yard cotton sarees. Thanks again for the information and in a way I'm happy that there are lot of others out there who like this style and this is coming back into use even if for ocassions only.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rihini,

You have explained the full ceremony systematically.I am so delighted see this.
Rajeswari V

Archana said...

Lovey post... I hve just one arguement.. the sherag galche that it pinning the pallu of the bride after the kanya daan is done by the grooms mom and not the brides mom if i m not wrong. pls cross check...

Unknown said...

@Archana: You are spot on! Thats a typo on my part! Thanks for pointing it out!

Anonymous said...

Its a wonderful article. There is no other article on net which describes the GSB wedding so nicely.
Some Queries, hope you will answer them,
What is that "cream pallu thingie", do we get it ready made, what is its significance.
So is the pallu of the saree draped around the waist when the bride comes to the wedding mandap and after the sherag galche is the pallu of saree draped over the shoulder, and then we can remove the "cream pallu thingie" ????
I really did not like the cream pallu thingie, but have seen it in almost all the GSB weddings is it compulsory, is there an option to it

Unknown said...

Hi Rohini,

I am getting married to a konkani-mangalorean i wanted to know what is this sandook plate and how big the plate should be.Can you send a photo of it
and let me know how much the cost of it for buying the whole set?

Unknown said...

@Amrita: The plate set is basically silver puja thali with essentials for a guy to do sandhya vandhan. I dont know anyone who actually uses it on daily basis. except during special pujas or house warming. Keep it small and plain, you will have less trouble later finding a bank-locker that can hold it.
More ornate ones are harder to clean - unless you trust your maid with your silver, i guess you'll be doing this yourself.
It consists of Plate + small bowl+spoon+ various stamps to dip in chandan and apply + 1 Kalash. Here too, keep it reasonable size for your own comfort later.
To see what is Sandhya Vandhan -

There is no hard and fast rule that it needs to be Silver. It can be of copper also. People use Silver because its prettier and to show off :D

Since my husband was North Indian and they usually have all their gifts wrapped and in South India, all gifts are given open so others can see, I chose to wrap it in transparent sheer plastic with a bow.

Unknown said...

@Radhika: Sorry for late response. Answers inline with [Rohini]

What is that "cream pallu thingie", do we get it ready made, what is its significance ?

[Rohini] Yes, we get it made, frankly theres no major significance. Its supposed to refer to a transition from unmarried 'girl' to married 'woman'. My guess is that earlier girls got married quite young and never wore saris till they got married. My grandma mentioned that she used to wear a half-sari.

So is the pallu of the saree draped around the waist when the bride comes to the wedding mandap and after the sherag galche is the pallu of saree draped over the shoulder, and then we can remove the "cream pallu thingie" ????

[Rohini] Yes thats how they do it. It doesnt need to be really done by the mom-in-law. In my wedding, I changed the whole sari and wore a new one normally and came out for the rest of the rituals.

I really did not like the cream pallu thingie, but have seen it in almost all the GSB weddings is it compulsory, is there an option to it.

[Rohini] Yes, I hate it too! :( I dont think anyone wearing it, likes it frankly. Its only the old-aunty-types who insist on this stuff. My suggestion is avoid it if you can without stepping on too many toes. A good way to do this is to talk to the priest who will conduct the wedding and ask him the religious significance in presence of nay-sayers. Usually there is none. :) I used this technique to get out of wearing the hideous green glass bangles.
Nothing is really compulsory in a wedding, its a matter of what you can get away with without making too many close-relatives unhappy.
Best of luck!

Other things to avoid is the horrid thermocol bashing. I suggest you insist that it be made of gold if it is to be worn. That should make people put their money where their mouth is :)

Deepthi said...

Hi Rohini, Great article! I am getting married in a month in Bangalore and we are trying to find someone who can make me wear the kasu style saree. If you still have your contact could you share it with me? Thanks! Would be a lot of help....

Aarti said...

Hi Rohini, where would I get that cream/white dupatta in Mumbai? I tried looking for the readymade dupatta in the shops but did not find any.. :(

Unknown said...

@Deepthi: I dont have her contact anymore, but you can contact GSB marriage halls, they will usually have a list of contacts.
@ Unknown: I dont know where you can get it ready made, I dont think its available, since it needs to be sized. You may have to buy the cloth and get it stitched.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Dear rohini... Can you please upload a video of gsb konkani saree kashta worn during wedding (without sergo or pallu). I am searching it online, but unable to find. Please help...

Unknown said...

@Jui Bhat Hannavarkar:
Alas I have no such video, but it should be no different from the Maharashtrian style. Look for 9 yard saree drapes. If you want to drape it yourself, start with a simple thin saree. I used my Dad's elder sisters 9 yard cotton saree and wore it. Its really comfy once you get the hang of it.
Also the leggings and the pins and elasticbands is all unnecessary. It was needed because the lady who dressed me was concerned about my ankles showing - frankly I thought a bit of ankle and calf peeking out would be nice :D but she was horrified by this and went ahead with her plan.

Unknown said...

Ur article was very helpful.i hav a doubt about the saree..It Is worn in a different style,a white dupatta in the do v brides don't get to wear a normal saree ?

Unknown said...

@Sneha Rao: The white dupatta is choice you need to make. Some people like it, some dont. Personally I didnt like it but others did, I went along to keep the peace. You can wear the sari in the dhoti style with regular pallu too. Or you can wear it in the standard style as well. Its your day and it should be your call.
One of my cousins got married recently and she went with a normal style sari ( not dhoti style ) and no multiple dress changes.
Its really your choice.

Post a Comment

Please do not post ADs here, they will not be published. All comments are moderated.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin