The marriage proposals comes in different ways, from family and friends, from the marriage brokers, marriage beureaus and now a days, both the bride's and groom's profiles are registered with various matrimonial websites. The families will finalise a proposal considering all aspects like the horoscope match, social status, financial security etc. The preparations for the marriage starts from here.
In many of the families, there will be an engagement ceremony before marriage. This also differs from family to family. Some of them will conduct a ring exchange between the prospective bride and groom at the engagement ceremony. But in some other families, there will be a formal interchanging of letters between the families. For example, in Nair community marriages, the NSS Karayogam people from both the sides will assemble at the bride's house and the parents of both the bride and groom will exchange letters regarding the time and venue of the marriage in the presence of the Karayogam officials. A feast will be conducted there after.
Arranging a wedding is a very big task and should be done with great care in order to avoid any confusion at the time of marriage. There are many things to be remembered and done while arranging a marriage. The Hindu customs put more responsibility on the bride's family.
The following are a list of things to be done for a wedding :
* Book a hall/auditorium or a temple for the marriage. This should bedone as soon as the marriage is finalised and the dates are fixed because if your marriage falls on a day which has a good 'Muhurtham', then all the halls and temples will be booked by people in advance.
* Arrangements should be made for a good catering team for the wedding feast.
* Book a 'Nadswaram' team also for the wedding day.
* Arrange a good photographer and a videographer in advance.
* Marriage halls or the temple where the marriage takes place should be decorated. Arrangements should be made for the decorations and the 'Mullapanthal'.
* Booking for fresh flowers for decoration and for the bridal make-up should be done. Also, to welcome the groom, there should be a fresh flower garland and a bouquet.
* 'Ashtamangalyam' should be prepared for welcoming the groom and his party. Ashtamangalyam should contain eight items which include 'Valkannadi' (Mirror with a tail), Kerala Mundu, Kajol, Kumkum, Sandal diluted in water (Kalabham) etc.
Invitation cards should be printed in advance and all the invitations should be finished atleast before 4-5 days before marriage in order to avoid last minute rushing. A list of invitees has to be prepared and classify them. Some of them should be invited personally, some others can be invited on phone and email after sending out invitation card by post.