Rituals that are followed in Andhra Nizam Wedding
As mentioned previously, the wedding of Andhra Nizams includes many rituals. Prior to the wedding day, there are some important rituals that take place at the bride’s place.
Mehendi - The first ritual is that of the mehendi. In this ritual, a mehendiwali tattoos attractive designs on the hands and feet of the bride. The mehendi designs are intricate and very fine. Any female relative of the bride can put the mehendi on the bride’s hands and legs. It is said that the mehendi hides in itself the name of the groom and it is difficult to find the same amidst the intricate designs of henna.
Haldi – After the mehendi ceremony, it is the time for haldi. This event also takes place at the bride’s house. Turmeric paste is applied on the forehead, arms and legs of the bride by the female relatives one by one. After the ceremony is over, the bride goes for a bath.
Sangeeth evening – This is a complete lady’s functions where ladies enjoy themselves. There is music, dance, singing and other kinds of entertainment programs including games. The programs involve lots of fun and frolic for the women.
Main wedding ceremony – The coming of the groom to the wedding venue needs a special mention in Andhra Nizam weddings. With his face covered in sehra (floral strings strewn together to make a kind of curtain), the groom comes royally on a stallion. Decked up in all his finery, he is the man of the moment. Even the steed is decked up extremely well in bright colors. The main wedding ceremony is known as the Nikaah. The Maulvi or the Qazi officiates through the process. This marriage (nikkah) is a kind of contract between the groom and the bride, which is bound by Islamic marriage laws. The most interesting part is that the Nikkahnama or the contract is not solely between the bride and the groom; but it is also a kind of commitment between the groom and the bride’s father. The groom presents Mehr, the matrimonial financial gift, to the bride in the form of gold on their marriage. Quranic verses are read out loud in front of the family members of the bride and the groom. Following this, the groom proposes to the bride and she accepts the same. This takes place in front of the family members and the maulvi. The acceptance of conjugal life by the bride and the groom is known as Ijab-e-Qubul or Qubul or Ijab in short.
This ends the marriage ceremony of the Andhra Nizams. However, this is followed by exchanging greetings between the two families and friends. A great party is also arranged for the guests where they can delve into some of the best Nizam cuisines.