Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu Wedding

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For this week’s wedding feature we are all smiles and beaming to write about a wedding that is so culturally diverse in the rituals and traditions that were performed. The bride is a very good friend of ours from college, a quiet, calm and smart kind – yet a really fun person to hang out with.

Theirs was a marriage fixed just a few hours after they met for the first time, and the rest, they say is history. :) Prasannaa is a happy go lucky person who loves his bikes and cars, enjoys travelling, and wouldn’t say no to a good party. Mookambika works as a manager at UCO Bank, and loves singing, swimming, photography, writing short stories and anything to do with finance.

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding


The couple’s wedding had a mix of Telugu, Tamil and North Indian influences. They had a mehendi function, the groom’s side hosted a Sangeet and he himself came in style with a baraat. Talking about the big day, Mookambika gushes, “He rode a white horse to the reception hall and everyone (my parents, his parents, all our relatives, guests and friends) danced like crazy on the road.”

Baraat-Mookambika  Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Baraat- Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Baraat- Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

The baraat

While the Kanyadaan was conducted in Telugu style, they tied the knot in true Tamilian style. A lavender coloured theme was decided on for the wedding, so right from the bridal saree to the lighting, everything was in shades of Mookambika’s favourite colour. Once the traditional ceremonies were over, they played a lot of games, sang and danced to their heart’s content. After which, light music was organized and sung by close friends of the couple, and a PowerPoint presentation featuring childhood pictures of the bride and groom was shown.

The rituals

Pre Wedding Rituals

Baraat (or Jaanvasaam  in Tamilian tradition)

In North India, the groom rides a horse to the wedding venue, escorted by a large and joyous procession of his family and friends. Professional musicians accompany them, playing wedding music (usually dance numbers). The groom is expected to carry a sword, and sometimes there are fireworks as well. This procession is called the ‘baraat’, and the people in it are called the ‘baraatis’. A wedding in the family is a reason for great joy, which is why the baraatis go with the groom, taking him all the way to where his bride awaits, celebrating the occasion by dancing their hearts out all along. Elders of the bride’s family receive the baraat at the Wedding hall.

Ganesh Pooja

The bridegroom performs Ganesh Pooja in the mandapam or wedding hall just before the marriage ceremony. Worshiping Ganesha, the elephant-headed God is an important part of most Hindu rituals as he is revered as the remover of all obstacles.

Ganesh Pooja

Wedding Rituals

Mangala Snaanam

This refers to the ceremonial bathing of the Bride and groom during the auspicious hours early in the morning of the wedding day. Post this, both are given the clothes for the actual wedding ceremony.

Pre-Marriage rituals

Pre-Marriage rituals

Panda Kaal Muhurtham

A small ritual that takes place at both the bride and groom’s house, it is done customarily to invoke the blessing of the family god (yes, different families have different Gods :) ) who is represented by a bamboo pole so that the wedding proceeds without any hassle.

At Mookambiga’s wedding this was conducted in the marriage hall itself.

Panthakaal Muhurtham

Panthakaal Muhurtham

Paalikali thalippu / Palli podrathu

A ritual performed by the birde’s family, it involves decorating seven clay pots or bamboo baskets with sandalwood paste and kumkum and then filling with nine types of grains. These pots are then sprinkled with water by five or seven married women from both sides. The day after the wedding when these grains have sprouted and grown enough, the Bride and Groom immerse these pots into a pond/ lake / river so that the fish in the pond may feed on the grains and bless the couple abundantly.

You can see here the clay pots from this wedding, with full grown plants that sprouted from the grains.

Paalikali thelichal

Gauri pooja

After the bride gets dressed up for the marriage, she offers her prayers privately to Goddess Gauri, who is none other than Goddess Parvathi.

Legend goes that Sita (Ram’s wife) performed Gauri pooja everyday when she was in King Janakar’s house, and it is believed that it is because of this puja that she was able to get a good, handsome, and magnificent husband like Sri Ram.

Before the wedding, the bride performs Gauri pooja to thank the Goddess for answering her prayers and finding a suitable groom just like Ram and also seeks her blessings.

Kaashi Yatra

This is an interesting ritual and adds an element of colour and drama to the whole occasion. After the mangala snaanam, the groom pretends to leave for Kaashi, a place of pilgrimage  in North India that has the highest reverence among the Hindus, to devote himself to God and a life of prayer. He carries a walking stick and other meager essentials with him to imply that he is not interested in becoming a householder. The girl’s father then intervenes and requests him to come back to the mandap to accept his daughter as his life partner. He compels him to fulfill his responsibilities as a householder and thus follow what is written in the scriptures. The groom relents and returns to the pandal, where he is received by the bride. 

The groom returning from his cancelled Khashi Yatra

The groom returning from his cancelled Khashi Yatra

The bride’s brother or cousin brother perform Paatha pooja for the Groom

Thamizh- Telugu wedding Marriage hall

Kalyana Pandal

Wedding Ceremony

Paatha pooja

The groom performs Paatha Pooja for the Bride’s parents

Bride's uncle making her wear the toe ring

The bride’s maternal uncle makes her wear the toe rings. This are not to be removed until one year after the wedding, after which they are changed to new ones.

Parents reciting mantras into the groom's ears

The groom’s parents chant gayathri manthra into his ears before the rituals of the wedding begin.

Gayathri Mantra

Om Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha, Thatsavitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasaya Dheemh, Dhiyo yo Naha Prachodayat.

It’s Meaning : Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Goddess Gayathri is closely linked to Goddess Saraswati (the Goddess of education) and Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth) and is considered to be the Goddess of all the Vedas.



Mangal Suutra

The Mangal Sutra

Tying the knot

Tying the knot

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

The bride and groom look at each other’s faces in a mirror after the knot is tied, signifying oneness from that moment.

Placing kumkum on Mangal Sutra by the groom

The Groom blesses the bride’s mangal sutra with Kumkum

Marriage ceremony

Marriage ceremony


Post Wedding Rituals

The groom shows the bride the double stars of Vashista and Arundhati as an ideal couple, symbolizing marital fulfillment and loyalty.

Arundhati was the wife of sage Vashishtha, one of the seven sages (saptarishis). Her loyalty towards her husband was so strong that no other man could even think otherwise of her. It is this remarkable loyalty and love towards her husband that made her an ideal example to be followed by newly-weds. For a story first told in a time when wives were first prescribed the practice of ‘pativrathya’, there is no moment better than in the marriage itself; to impact the idea of unwavering faith and intimacy between them, in their minds.

They are seen as ‘double stars’, which are two stars that move around together, gravitation-ally bound to each other.  Like this double Star, the couple are expected to be together for ever.

Arundhadhi Nakshatram paarpathu

Post wedding ritual | Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

If the couple had one requirement, it was to have fun, fun and truckloads of fun and making sure all the traditions were kept. Since it was the first wedding of the generation on both sides of the family, they joined hands to make it unforgettable for Mookambika and Prasannaa. Quoting the bride, “Every member of the family took a responsibility in performing the marriage, so it was a collective effort.”

The Reception

The marriage hall

Leading to the reception hall

A Setting in the marriage hall similar to the one in Tirupahi with lord VishnuA Setting in the marriage hall was similar to the one in Tirupahi, with Lord Vishnu

Marriage hall decorThe reception decor

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Birdesmaids - Manap pen tholigal

The Manapen Tholigal (or bridesmaids)

Moving on to the meaty details, the bride was dressed in a beautiful silk saree from SM Silks and jewelry from Tanishq. Manju, a bridal makeup artist, dressed and decked her up for the big day. The groom wore a designer suit by Syed Bawhkher. The wedding décor was done by Coddissia Group.

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Black Book For The Indian Bride wishes this Salman Khan fan (him) and Amir Khan fan (her) all the best for a fun filled married life!

Mookambika Naidu weds Prasannaa C Murli | A Thamizh- Telugu wedding

Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Indian Wedding

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For our second post on the series titled Friday Wedding Features, we head down south to Kerala. Nileena Babu, the bride, is a close friend of ours from college who fell in love with the charming mister Shantin Joy. The wedding followed Roman Catholic Syrian Christian (RCSC) customs and was held in the Thrissur district of Kerala. It was a huge celebration for both the families, especially since the bride is the only daughter and the groom is the only son.

Now a little bit on their story. Nileena and Shantin met through family friends, and got to know each other better with time. Like most romantic tales, the couple turned into lovers from friends. Eventually their families met and everything fell into place.

Following the RCSC tradition, the couple first had an Orapeer ceremony which involved only close family. Orapeer is a Malayalam word meaning ‘to fix’. This is the day when the families from the bride’s and groom’s side come together to decide and announce the wedding date. After this event, the engagement ceremony followed.

Here’s a sneak peek:

And then came the wedding day where they exchanged vows in front of family, friends, and of course God. Celebrations followed, marking the day as the most precious and important day of their lives.

We loved their adorable wedding video even more:



For the engagement, Nileena and Shantin went with a Peacock Theme. That is, the stage, the wedding hall, and the bride herself were done up in hues of peacock blue. There was a Paatu Kutcheri (music performance by professional singers) and dance performances for the reception. The function was organized by Rain Maker Events. Oh did we mention Nileena wore a Sabyasachi Mukherjee? She looked stunning. The brilliant diamond-sapphire neck piece was from Adona Diamonds in Kochi. The groom wore a sherwani from Manyavar.





After a very ethnic engagement function, the couple decided to keep their wedding on the modern side.  The bride wore a gown which was custom made at No Ordinary Bride (Bangalore), and the classy diamond neckpiece she wore was from Adona Diamonds. She picked up her shoes from the Aldo store in Bangalore, and she hired Renju Aluva to work on makeup and hair. Meanwhile, the groom was clad in Armani. Enough said.



Bridegrooom: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding


Bridal Makeup: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding


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Wedding Ceremony: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding<br />Wedding Ceremony: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian WeddingWedding ceremony: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding

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THE RECEPTION737264_10151134067310876_1040162323_o









Nileena also chose some of her best friends to be her bridesmaids, and all of them looked spectacular in their red evening gowns created by Tailor Bird in Kochi.BRIDESMAIDS


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Outdoor Shoot: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding



Outdoor Shoot: Nileena weds Shantin | A Roman Catholic Syrian Christian Wedding


We wish Nileena and Shantin a very happy marriage and all the best for an awesome future together!


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7 Tips For Planning a Beautiful Indian Wedding on a Shoestring Budget

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Indian weddings are known for their pomp and splendour. Tell your family you want a no fuss ceremony and reception, chances are they will vehemently oppose the decision. There even might be some drama and crying on cue. Also, it has now become the norm for Indian brides to contribute to their wedding fund. Putting two together, couples today have to host a grand wedding event with 1000 odd guests and pay for it. Here are some tips to make this work without drilling a major hole in your pocket:

1. Prioritize Your Wedding List.

Make a list of key wedding elements that are really important to you. With your partner, discuss the list and eliminate items that you could do without. The point is that, it is your wedding day, and you will be too busy smiling for photographs and greeting guests and feeling too squiggly to be bothered about that orchid centrepiece that turned out to be blush-pink instead of baby-pink. Invest in a good photographer who will capture moments that make for memories, or a great makeup artist who can make you look like a princess in those memories. Once you have revised your list, set a budget and stick to it.

2. Plan Your Wedding During Off-Peak Times.

Now this is a trick that will work if you don’t have important family members living abroad as the wedding season in India often coincides with the NRI season (December-January/June-August). You can save a lot of money by opting to tie the knot on a summer’s day in April, or a breezy beautiful afternoon in October.

3. Rethink Your Guest List

Ouch. It almost hurt even thinking about it. But then, since you’re out to save some money a smaller guest list is the best way to go. The bigger picture here is that it’s more important to have a few people who truly care about you on your wedding day as compared to a large crowd of strangers- as is the case for most Indian weddings. Did you know that you are charged per plate for the reception? And did you know that there are folks who drop by just to pry, socialise, and of course, eat? Give it a thought.

4. Go Tech-Savvy.

Call in a web designer friend or an acquaintance who knows a photoshop trick or two, and create your save-the date/engagement announcement card online. This will save you guys a lot of cash considering how much postal services cost these days. Your guests will even appreciate the effort that went into customising and creating your little online space just for them.

5. DIY Wedding Invites.

Plenty of websites give amazing design ideas for wedding cards. If you have a quality printer and some creativity, you can easily make classy invitations in no time. By doing this you will only land up spending for good quality paper and ink.

6. Seek Help From Family & Friends.

It can be trying to have a tonne of family to entertain at your wedding and the days preceding it. Make the most of this situation and have them roped in to do little tasks. Your Martha Stewart enthusiast aunt would be flattered to bake your wedding cake, and your girl-cousins can catch up on all the gossip while sewing flowers for garlands. Give your list of favourite tracks to your little cousin brothers and ask them to make a mixed CD. Having a large family is probably the best part about being an Indian!

7. Personalize Your Wedding Venue & Service

Fore-go hotels as they come with plenty of hidden costs and taxes, particularly for weddings. Instead, use your community hall, park, or the backyard of your home, and trust a decorator to deck it up into a beautiful venue for your big day. Also, this allows you to use your own caterer- which is by far a better option than cold hotel food that has always disappointed. Most family run catering services have an incredible reputation and charge a reasonable rate.


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