The unique concept of destination weddings is becoming increasingly fashionable across India, and we at EvenTree find that Kerala is a favoured location for these charming and close-knit celebrations. Going back to a particular, destination wedding that was arranged in Kochi by our team, in the expansive gardens of the Ramada Resort, we bring to you the story of Smriti and Rytis.
Smriti is a Tamil Brahmin girl from Chennai, who whilst studying her Masters in the United States met Rytis from Lithuania, a scientist working in the same lab as her. This cross-cultural romance and their incomparable chemistry was unmistakable from the beginning, and as their friendship developed so did their love. Fortunately for the two of them, their differences only strengthened their bond and their families accepted this union once acknowledging their joyful moments together. Look at the two of them together! – it’s profoundly evident that they’re meant to be.
Although there were two different celebrations, the one that was held in Kochi was spread across two days, with the traditional Sangeet following on to the wedding celebrations on the following day. In a traditional Tamil Iyer wedding, there are several rituals that must be accomplished, and Smriti’s family was clear on what they hoped to achieve out of the wedding in this manner. Hence, our main goal was to execute the wedding celebrations and rituals as they had requested, and we briefly describe to you below the wondrous ceremonial rites that was completed for their wedding.
“Maalai Maatral” – this is when the groom and the bride interchange floral garlands which represents the couple’s binding and togetherness in their marriage to come.
“Oonjal” – directly translated an “Oonjal” is a wide swing, and the customary tradition is one wherein the couple sit upon this beautifully ornamented swing. The swaying of this swing portrays a reminder to the newly-weds that no matter what rocky troubles may arise; resilience must be found within each other to overcome any problems.
“Kannika Dhanam” or “Kanya Dhanam” – this is when the bride enters and leaves the ‘Manavarai’ (the main stage) in surrounding with her family, and she sits on her Father’s lap receiving blessings and gifts before the couple tie the knot.
“Mangalya Dharanam” – is the act in which the groom ties a threaded necklace for the bride to represent their everlasting love.
“Sapthapadi” – this is where the newly-wedded take seven strides in their togetherness to promise and strengthen their vows, around the holy fire created at the centre of the ‘Manavarai’.
“Pradhana Homam” – lastly, this rite is a tribute that the newly-wedded provide a tribute to the sacred fire in a symbolic gesture of their respect for the God of Fire.
Keeping in mind these ceremonial rites meant also incorporating the tasteful wedding décor across Ramada’s lawns, to give Smriti and Rytis a truly traditional Tamil Iyer wedding. Our team at EvenTree truly found it a pleasure to work with this lovely couple and their families to give to them a beautiful celebration of their love together in this intimate destination wedding, and hope that wherever they are they’re leading a beautiful journey together.
Tamil Iyer weddings usually run over two days and encompass a wide range of conventional customs. For further insight into these, stay tuned for the next blog post!