The Iyer Wedding by Karan

Blog post by Karan Venkiteshwaran

There is a strong reason why our wedding is called the BIG FAT wedding, because we have BIG families, and our sumptuous meal make the guest FAT.
Like any other wedding, even in our wedding, the bride is the focus.
Groom is , well…. Somewhere there on stage πŸ˜›

Our wedding is split into 2 days.
Let me take you through a typical 2 day Iyer wedding.

Day 1

It all starts with the nischayam.
The bride is adourned with a beautiful saree and waits for the groom’s side to come.
Groom comes, once he settles down, he is blindfolded. And then, he just waits.
And waits…
Until all the sweet and savouries prepared from the bride’s side is presented.
Still, the bride is nowhere to be seen.
Finally, the vadhyar (priest) says ‘ponna koopdungo’ (call the bride)
And finally, like a heroine in a female oriented movie, the bride arrives….

After that the mama of the groom and the mama of the bride put a garland on the groom and bride respectively.
Then, there is something called as ‘Paalikai thelikkarath’
I still have no clue why it’s done. There is navadhaanyam and all mamis of both the sides put the navadhaanyam in a particular sequence.
After the some random poojai happens.
The final thing that marks the end of this function is the kaapu.
It’s tied on the right hand of the bride by her father and on the left hand of the hand by his father.

Then, bride gets a new saree from the groom’s side and vice versa.
There is just 1 change in this.
Groom doesn’t get a saree, he gets a shirt and pants instead. πŸ˜›

That marks the end of traditional functions on day 1.

But, in most occasions, that evening the couple all the reasons to smile and shake hands with almost random people for no reason for a function called ‘The Reception’

The people who come to meet have food on time, and the couple, after standing and sitting and constantly smiling, with no food and very less water, finally has something to eat (if there is anything left, owing to our huge appetite) after almost everyone has eaten their fair share of food.

Day 2:

It all starts early in the morning with the groom and bride getting ready for the longest day in their life. And perhaps the most tiring one and the smoky one too!

The first function is the ‘kaashi yaathrai’, where the groom actually gets a final chance to escape
Then, the bride’s father does MBA in marketing and convinces the groom to come back and lead a life just like himself or his ‘sammanthi’.

Finally, after much coaxing, the groom comes back and they welcome him by…..
‘Tossing him in a cradle!!
Groom is almost petrified after this.
Bride watches all this from a corner and laughs at him.
Now, the body builders in the family, the ‘mamas’ of bride and groom have to lift them, as they do maalai maathal, with a background music of ‘maalai maathinal’ (read the song in the voice of MS).
During the time of our grand parents, they used to get married during their teenage. It was easy then. Now… Well you know πŸ˜€

After that the groom holds the bride’s hand and comes back to continue the marital journey.

Then a lot of random poojas happen.

Then the anti climax of ‘dhaara vaathu kudukkal’ happens making almost all moms wiping their noses and faces to hide their emotional trauma.

After that the climax of ‘thaali kettu’ happens.

1bcc078f29e9b3d2b57cbd6ec3aee4b1Right after the thaali kett, there is a series of random poojas again, by the end of which the complete makeup on bride’s face and groom’s face (if any :P) goes off.

The final function on day 2 happens after the lunch and it’s called ‘Nelungu’

This is where all the MS Subbulakshmis, DK Pattamals of both the sides come out.

Before the sing off, there is a series of question and answer and grooming session.
That’s the only, as told by my paatti, was the only chance the groom could touch the bride and vice versa.
They would comb the other person’s hair, apply chandanam and so on.

Bride to groom: Arisi tharen. Paripp tharela??
Groom to Bride: Arisium Parippum tharen, enakk chamach podaraya??

This stunt should be performed only under the supervision of an athai / periammai / Mami only. πŸ˜›

Then, the interesting ‘pappadam breaking’ contest happens.
Bride has an upper hand as she can use both the hands and stand near the groom.

And the groom has a severe disadvantage here. He can use only 1 hand and can only sit while trying to break the papad on their partner’s head.

Grooms always has the disadvantage in this scenario. πŸ˜›

Then, the sing off begins and goes on for hours till one of them has to catch a bus / train the same day..

These many interesting rituals and customs make our marriages grandeur and unique in its own way.

Disclaimer: all the incidents are purely fictional.
Any resemblance to anyone’s marriage experience is purely coincidental. πŸ˜€

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40 thoughts on “The Iyer Wedding by Karan

  1. Buddy
    Fantastic article πŸ‘ŒπŸΏπŸ‘ŒπŸΏπŸ‘ŒπŸΏπŸ‘ŒπŸΏThe research wat u have done and the way u put across the whole procedure of the marriage makes me excited and wanna get married πŸ™ˆπŸ˜πŸ˜œasap……… but u gave me the clear picture Iyer weeding and I am looking forward for some more marriage styles and the customs followed………and next time I want an article abt facts 😬All the best


  2. Good one bro! You just took me back to few of the weddings I attended and cornered my face with smiles. Felt a bit more research on the topic would have added kinda zest to the readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Karan….good one…got me so many lovely memories…. U Missed sapthapathi..where the groom has to hold brides toes nd take seven steps only then the marriage is said to be complete one….but good job karan


  4. Hi Karan

    Guess u mixed vratam and nischathartham together. They are two different rituals. Moreover it’s the engagement that is conducted on the previous day evening. Nowadays just for the sake of convenience we do it as reception , which ideally should happen only after the wedding

    Good attempt anyway. Do learn the meaning behind every ritual so that we can pass it on to everyone and wil surely be of use for your wedding !


    1. Hi Deepa.
      Some of our functions are merged owing to time constraints and that’s why I got confused. πŸ™‚

      Glad you liked the post.


  5. Boss! Oonjal enga? It deserves a parah up there! What with all the ‘colourful rice balls’ being aimed at next probables or super aunties trying to doged them. πŸ˜›

    That aside, beautifully written! Reminds me of all the weddings that we attend and keep saying you are next brother/sister. πŸ˜€


  6. Mr Karan n others,
    You missed out few more things like,
    1. Pongal
    2. Pachapudi
    3. Saptapadhi
    4. Metti (Rings on 2nd finger on both feet)
    5 “Pori” ( puffed rice) idal
    6 Grihapravesh of the bride

    Also don’t write random poojas… You could have tried to find out…


  7. If this is the Karan I know, then I exactly know which wedding is being described here. The cradle was a sure shot give away. I have seen that in only one wedding of which Karan was also a part. Well he was the one who got the cradle there which was a surprise/shock for us. ;p


      1. Hi KARAN ,

        I revisited my Marriage through this article πŸ™‚ Smiles and happiness . Happy moments to be cherished (T&C Apply πŸ˜› ) . You Missed this , After the thali Kattu we have
        1. people ask to Grooms Side _ “Mapila Vandacha Mama / Mami ” to signify the happiness and the notice a new member of that family and i never seen people asking mattuponnu vandachu πŸ™‚ .
        2. Arundathi Kaanal (Though we can see it , for that min Arunthathi would be sparks in eyes of Groom and bride which is visible only to their eyes .


  8. Nice article… πŸ™‚

    Just to add… Since you said you dunno what is paalikai thalikkal..

    The wedding itself used to last over 5 days in olden times, but these days, the rituals are packed into the time available, and most marriages are held over one or two days. Traditionally, the rituals used to begin with a ceremony called β€˜Paligai Thalikkal’, where nine types of grains are placed in clay pots, and watered by 5 or 7 married women from both families. Over the next week, the women water the pots every day, the grains sprout and start growing. This symbolizes the growth of the family, and is considered auspicious. After the wedding, the bride too joins in watering the pot, and finally, the day after the marriage, the newlyweds throw the grains into a pond or river. It is believed that the fish will also bless them for giving them food!


    Keep blogging… πŸ™‚


  9. Very well written and it brought back sweet memories. Actually i had a 3 day wedding… Which included paligai karaikrathu and kattu saadha koodai the on 3rd day… And though marriage is 2/3day event…pre and post wedding functions like mangali pondugal a.k.a sumangali prarthanai conducted before the wedding on bride’s side and post wedding on the groom’s side…


    1. Thank you Aarthi,
      The one I was referring to was the Palakkad Iyer style of wedding.
      Guess it has slight variations based on the region and the local cultural influences.


  10. On the first day as you said nichadartham is done…. Generally it’s done at the temple we th groom is given a set of dress to wear… His brother in law puts Malay, ring or/nod chain and the vadiyar reads the wedding invitation … The groom no his fly sets for the main hall in an open car… The bride comes to invite the groom along with her fly and the saree is given to the girl once thy gets settled


    1. Thank you for the correction Mahalaxmi.
      The location can be either temple or the kalyana mandapam depending on the proximity of former from the latter.


  11. Well written… Brought some memories of a recent wedding I attended! Might post something on malai mathal or the more popular ‘sangeet’… Look out for the post on



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