8 Steps of a Tamil Hindu wedding (Kalyanam)

Tamil couple with Ayar

The wedding is a unique part of every culture, similarly, there are several wedding cultures in India. Tamil weddings are similar to Hindu weddings, but the dress sense makes them distinct. Their priest determines the day and month of their wedding by their horoscopes.

1.     Aalathi 

Before leaving the house for the wedding venue, a woman rotates a platter of lights and their blessing things (prasad) three times for the bride (manamahal) and the groom (Maya Pillai) to stay away the evil eyes and ensure a successful start of a new journey.

2.     Kanyathanam

Kanyathanam is considered the most significant part of their wedding; this is the time when two families ensure that they become one by expressing their acceptance of each other. Bride gives her entrance into Mandap where rituals begin. The bride’s mother pours water from her hands while the groom’s father recites their traditional mantar.

3.     The Koorai Sari

Saris are the national dress of India. In Tamil weddings after Kanyathanam, the bride wears a beautiful traditional Kanchipuram red silk korai sari embroidered with golden thread and beadwork, which is gifted to the bride by the groom. A beautiful flower bouquet and a smile on her face greet her groom at the wedding. Tamil wedding outfits are a huge importance of the ceremony.

4.     Tying of the Mangalsuttar

As part of the ceremony, the groom laurels the Mangalsuttar around the bride’s neck. Mangalsuttar is a beautiful gold necklace, often considered a part of the bride’s soul. The couple is married now. Guests and family pray for new life and shower flowers as a blessing. There is something so emotional about the music surrounding the environment. This specific part is called Ketti Mellem.

5.     Kumgumam

In addition to her mangalsuttar, she also has a bindi on her upper forehead between her hair, which is the befitting of a married woman. It’s time for the groom to place the red bindi (vermillion dot) on her forehead. The red bindi is made from red lead, which is believed to bring both luck and prosperity.

6.     Maalai Matral and Metti

Now the garland exchange ceremony starts, firstly the groom puts on the garland for the bride then the bride does it. Lastly, both exchange the garlands simultaneously to show equality in their relationship. The priest then pours rice on the groom’s hands; the groom makes them fall into the hand of the bride. She presents this rice to God through fire and prays for a healthy, prosperous, and successful life. Groom then puts on a toe ring on the second finger of the feet of bride.

Guests, parents, and, elders pay blessing to them; everyone comes, congratulates them, and presents their gifts, showing their love and praying for a successful journey.  

7.     Nalangu: games

All Hindu cultures or Hindu weddings include games as part of the fun and laughter. People like to play games to enjoy the moment. However, the most popular game is finding the ring hidden in a tub full of fresh, fragrant water poured with fresh flower petals. Who finds the ring first is the winner.

Sometimes couples fast for the day of the wedding. They break their fast by feeding each other.

8.     Manai Pugu Vizha

After completion of all rituals, the couple goes to the bride’s house first. This ritual is to make the bride feel comfortable. It takes three days for the bride to relax enough to convince them to leave the bride’s house and move to the groom’s house. The bride’s side welcomes them with Aalathi.


Having tamil music is a must at a Tamil wedding, you might be interested in some tamil wedding bride entrance songs. Check out what we believe are the best songs for a Tamil bride the aisle to.


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