Let’s take you to the astounding land of spices which is renowned as God’s own country’s for its natural beauty, its pristine unspoiled forests, its rivers, its back waters, the oceans and the irrepressible western ghats. A traveller’s tropical paradise, this state has few industries due to trade unionism, but a vibrant tourism sector. It is also one of India’s largest foreign exchange earners due to remittances from expats.
While the northern part of India, celebrates the nuptial ceremony with a lot of pomp and show, a typical Hindu Nair wedding in Kerala would be a simple yet charismatic affair which has no elaborate rituals and few religious compulsions. So if you want to go minimal go Kerala! and discover the Nair wedding.
The auspicious month of Chingam that is September is generally chosen for the wedding ceremony to take place and the day time is usually preferred over others. Kerala is one of the few states in India that has a matriarchal society where inheritance is not through the son but through the daughter.
Traditionally, all the ceremonies used to take place at the bride’s ancestral home but with the changing times, a convention centre or a temple is preferred to suit the convenience of both the families. The nuptial arrangements begin with the quintessential task of horoscope matching followed by Muhurtham which means fixing a date for the marriage by consulting the priest. Nishchayam or the engagement ceremony takes place after the horoscopes is matched indicating the announcement of the confirmation of marriage.
So on the wedding day, the bride looks no way less than the celestial nymph with her enchanting beauty glowing more than the heaps of golds she is decked with generally. Her hair is neatly braided or tied in a bun with jasmine flowers adoring the pleats.
Traditionally, she would wear a set and mundu the lower garment on her wedding day which is also called the Kerela Kasavu Saree which is a plain white saree with a golden border in rich texture but the new age brides make their day special by draping Kanchipuram Silk Sarees in vibrant colours to accentuate their beauty. The sarees exemplify grandeur and the shimmering fibre makes the bridal couture as the undisputed queen of textile. The sarees may have zari embroidery, zardosi or kundan work to multiply the beauty of the ensemble.
The groom shines with simplicity and charm the guests in his wedding ensemble comprising of a white mundu-the lower garment which has a golden zari border circumference around it called Kasavu and a silk Jubba which is basically a high necked kurta. Some grooms might even go the traditional way by wearing seasoned shirts for the wedding. The shy smile on the face of the groom is enough to enchant the guests.
Coming to the most magnificent part of Kerela weddings, is the amount of gold jewellery that the bride dons on her wedding day. She will be decked in layers and layers of necklaces and other ornaments from head to toe, giving Disney’s Uncle Scrooge a tough call. ‘Nair’ women traditionally wore a necklace shaped like the ‘serpent’s hood’, mothiram (finger rings), Kolusu or Padasaram (anklets), Kachappram (gold or silver waist chain), Jhimki (earrings) are some of the ornaments that increase the beauty of the bride four folds, but is the myriad of necklaces which the Kerela Hindu bride dons on her wedding day which make her look like a goddess.