Tamil Weddings: A Complete Guide on Customs and Traditions

A Tamil wedding is a grand celebration that encompasses a series of rituals and ceremonies, each laden with symbolic significance and spiritual meaning. They are enriched with timeless culture, colours and rituals. Many couples from different cultures or even countries tie the knot by following Tamil wedding traditions, as they wish to get married amidst a beautiful ceremony that will stay with them and their guests for a lifetime. The eccentric beauty of Tamil weddings is that they love to stick to their age-old costumes and traditions rather than having a luxurious affair. 

This blog will guide you through almost all the relevant traditions in Tamil weddings and how they are more mesmerising than any other wedding rituals.     

Pre Wedding Rituals Of Tamil Wedding

Lagna Pathirikai- The Horoscope Matching

Lagna pathrikai
Image Credits: Kalyan Shastra

While you are getting married, compatibility is the cornerstone of a harmonious and fulfilling relationship. In rich Indian culture, Lagna Pathirikai, or horoscope matching, holds immense significance in determining the compatibility of two individuals. It is believed that a harmonious match can bring about blessings, prosperity and happiness that can last a lifetime. The names of the bride and groom, the family members, the wedding day and the precise hour of the wedding should all be stated clearly in the Lagna Pathrikai.   

Panda Kaal Muhurtham - Engagement Ceremony

After the wedding is finalised between the families, Panda Kaal Muhurtham is done in Tamil weddings. The ritual is practised by the two families together in a temple or a special pooja at one of the homes. It is to seek the blessings of their deity for a wedding without any obstacles and for the protection of the couple. It is mostly held a day before the wedding    

Pallikal Thellichal - Cleansing of the Wedding Venue

This pre-wedding ceremony is not merely a tradition but a symbolic expression of hope and aspiration for the couple's future. The Pallikal Thellichal ritual is a testament to the deep-rooted connection between Tamils and nature. The earthen pots are adorned with turmeric and sandalwood paste in intricate designs, and once the adornment is complete, inside each pot, navadhaanyam or nine different grains, are placed along with a bit of curd. This ritual in Tamil weddings represents the seeds of prosperity and abundance that the couple is about to sow in their lives.  

Naandi Shraddham - Ancestor Homage

The Naandi shraddham in Tamil weddings is a heartfelt tribute to the ancestors, seeking their blessings for a harmonious and prosperous union between the bride and groom. This ritual serves as a bridge between the present and the past, acknowledging the role of ancestors in shaping the lives of their descendants. During this ceremony, the bride's or groom's family invites ten brahmins, who are treated with the utmost respect and offered a traditional South Indian feast. They can invoke the blessings of the ancestors upon the bride and groom, seeking their guidance and protection for their future together. 

Sumangali Prarthanai - Prayer for Married Women   

Sumangali Prarthanai
Image Credits: Weddingz

In Tamil weddings, Sumangali Prarthanai is a beautiful ceremony that gives importance to reverence, blessings and the spirit of sisterhood. This is a ceremony that honours the spirits of the ancestors and seeks their blessing for the bride’s prosperous married life. The bride's close relatives and family friends wear nine-yard Madisar sarees to perform this ritual. After completing this ritual, the bride seeks blessings to watch Sumangali.    

The Engagement Ceremony

Nichayathartham - The Formal Engagement

In Tamil weddings, the Nischayathartham ceremony stands out as a beacon of love, commitment, and the joyous promise of a shared future. This South Indian wedding tradition begins with an offering to Lord Ganesh at the bride's home. First, the bride and groom exchange the garlands and then they exchange the rings. This ceremony is a celebration of the beginning of a beautiful journey that will last forever. 

Blessings from Elders 

Tamil weddings have the most cherished and timeless wedding traditions. Blessing from elders is not only a tradition in Tamil weddings but also among all the regions of the Indian subcontinent. Before the start of a new chapter in life, seeking blessings from the elders can be the best thing you can do. It is a celebration of family, a testament to the enduring values that bind generations together and a cherished reminder that the blessings of elders are a priceless treasure to be forever cherished.       

Mehendi and Sangeet

Application of the Mehendi on the Bride’s Hands

Mehendi Ceremony in Tamil wedding

Mehendi, one of the most celebrated wedding rituals in Indian weddings, is held a day or two days before the big day. It is a celebration of love, joy, and the anticipation of a new beginning. Mehndi ceremonies using henna paste have been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries. The bride will be adorned in her finest attire and take her place amidst her closest female friends and relatives, each eager to etch their unique designs on her hands and feet. This mehandi ceremony is more than just a pre-wedding ritual; it is a symbol of the rich heritage of Tamil weddings.     

Sangeet - Singing and Dancing Celebrations

Sangeet Ceremony
Image Credits: Artfoto

The Sangeeth ceremony is a prewedding extravaganza with a series of music, dance, and laughter where families and friends come together to create a prelude to the grand union of two souls. This ritual in the wedding celebration is a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. The Sangeeth ceremony is more than just a night of music, dance, food, and laughter; it is a night to create memories that will live on in the minds of everyone who attends. 

9 Tamil Wedding Day Rituals

1. Mangala Snanam

Image Credits : Shaadidukaan

Mangala Snanam in Tamil weddings is a ritual that has a connection with the threads of tradition and spirituality. After the pre wedding ceremonies, parents started to send Tamil wedding invitations to all the close family members. This sacred bath performed before the wedding day marks the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of the bride and groom. Turmeric, sandalwood and kumkum are used to prepare this sacred bath. With every splash, the bride and groom are cleansed of any impurities, both physical and spiritual, preparing them to enter the sacred union of marriage with hearts and souls renewed.   

2. Gauri Puja

Gauri puja is performed by the bride to the goddess Gauri, the embodiment of virtue, fertility, and marital bliss. This ceremony is simple and profound. The idol of the goddess Gauri is adorned with kumkum, turmeric powder and rice, representing prosperity and auspiciousness. After the bride dresses up in her new bridal sarees and other necessary preparations, the priest guides her through the rituals, ensuring every step is performed with utmost reverence and sincerity.    

3. Kashi Yatra

Kashi yatra is a unique Tamil wedding ritual that is a light-hearted yet symbolic act that adds a touch of drama and humour to the otherwise solemn affair of matrimony. Amid the wedding mandap's grandeur, the groom unexpectedly announces that he is ditching the wedding in favour of a spiritual journey to Kashi. Taken aback, the bride's family tries to entice him back with promises of blissful marriage, and finally, the groom gives in, prepared to enjoy the joys of matrimony.

4. Pada Puja

As soon as the groom arrives at the marriage mandap, the bride's parents wash his feet with sacred water blended with kumkum, milk, and sandalwood. The flower petals will then be used to dry his feet. 

5. Maalai Maatral

Malaai Matraal
Image Credits: Focuzstudio

Maalai maatral is a symbolic act that marks the union of two souls with the exchange of flowers. It can be seen as a declaration of love, a symbol of the sacred union that is about to be formed. Firstly, the garland will be placed on the shoulders of each other. The air hums with anticipation as the garlands are exchanged three times, each time signifying a deepening bond and a commitment to a life shared.  Here the brides can choose the latest saree blouse designs to pair up with traditional gold sarees and this will definitely give a regal elegance.    

6. Oonjal 

Image Credits: Pinterest

The ritual oonjal in Tamil weddings symbolises the harmonious balance of new beginnings. The women of the family sing oonjal pattu songs and swing the bride and groom in that rhythm. The family's older members feed the couple milk and bananas and wish them a happy marriage. As part of the ceremony, the bride is believed to be Radha and the groom to be Krishna, and their feet will be washed with milk.     

7. Kanyadanam

Image Credits: Focuzstudio

Among various Tamil wedding ceremonies, kanyadhanam is a pivotal ritual. This South Indian ritual is believed to be the sacred transition of the bride from her parent's care to the guardianship of her groom. The bride sits on her father's lap and her hand will be placed on the groom's, symbolising the transfer of responsibility and the commencement of a lifelong bond.    

8. Muhurtham

Image Credits: Weddingz

After the kanyadanam ceremony, the groom's parents present the bride with a nine-yard Indian silk saree, which symbolises their acceptance of the bride by their family. Look at the saree worn by the above bride, this golden Kanchipuram saree will be draped around the shoulders of the bride and the groom will apply vermillion to the bride's parted hair. The bride will then change into the saree the groom's family gave her. The thaali is blessed by the priest and the groom ties the thaali around the neck of the bride. The two knots of the thaali are put in by the groom, while the groom’s sister puts in the third and final one.     

9. Saptapadi

Image Credits: Ptaufiq photography

The bride and groom hold each other's hands and go around the sacred fire seven times. The Vedic mantras will be chanted by the priests, which are the seven sacred vows of marriage. This ritual marks the beginning of the couple's journey as husband and wife. Next, the groom holds the bride's left toe as she begins to step over a grindstone. This represents the solidarity of their union.  

Post Wedding Traditions

Reception and Feasting

The reception is a joyous celebration of love, family and friendship. The groom and bride make their grand entrance by wearing their post-wedding attire. The guests are treated to a lavish vegetarian spread.    

Grihapravesham - The Bride’s Entry into Groom’s Home

Image Credits: Dream Catchers

Grihapravesham is the auspicious entry of the bride to the groom's home, where the groom's mother performs aarti, a fire-purifying ritual to ward off evil and invoke divine blessings. Then the bride is introduced to the family deities, seeking divine guidance and protection for her new life.   

Traditional Tamil Wedding Cuisine

The Tamil wedding cuisine is typically a vegetarian menu of sumptuous meals. The feat will be served on plantain leaves, which start with rice, dal with ghee, sambhar,  vatral kulambu, paruppu urundai kulambu, vaththa kuzhambu, rasam and mixed vegetable kuruma. You can also have other wide varieties of food items, including curd, buttermilk, appalam, soup, dal vada, payasam and pudding. These are some of the dishes that you can have at Tamil weddings and they are a testament to the rich heritage and deep-rooted traditions that make Tamil weddings an unforgettable experience.   

Tamil Wedding Sarees and Jewellery

Tamil wedding saree and jewellery
Image Credits: Wedding Bazaar

In weddings, the bride is the embodiment of all elegance and cultural heritage. Kanchipuram sarees are known for their rich hues and intricate craftsmanship, which are mostly worn by brides on their wedding days. This red Kanchipuram sarees symbolise auspiciousness and prosperity, and the shades of red, pink, gold, green, and blue are draped with precision, emphasising the feminine form. The pallu of the saree is adorned with intricate designs and tussels to add a touch of elegance. To give the traditional bridal look, traditional ornaments with complementary hairstyles for sarees are perfect.     

Tamil Wedding Attire For Groom

Tamil wedding groom attire
Image Credits: RVR Pro Photography

Look at the gorgeous white saree with golden borders worn by the bride. When the bride's attire exudes elegance, the groom's traditional grab reflects refinement and sophistication. His ensemble typically comprises a silk sherwani, a long coat-like garment that extends to the knees.

The sherwanis are available in rich hues of gold, cream or brown, embellished with intricate embroidery and brocade work. Under the sherwani, the groom wears a kurta, a loose-fitting shirt and churidar-fitted trousers that taper towards the ankles.

Be the Epitome of Beauty with Khuuba Sarees

Indian weddings are renowned for their vibrant traditions, and Tamil weddings epitomise this cultural richness. Every custom, tradition, and ritual is carried out with the utmost devotion and prayer. The attire for the bride and groom, as well as the whole family, will be chosen according to the traditions. Kanchipuram sarees are a perfect way for the bride to express the heavenly grace and elegance she exudes.

Khuuba, Sydney's premier provider of Indian wedding dresses, offers an extensive collection of traditional dresses, silk sarees, Indian wedding sarees, and bridal sarees. With Khuuba's exquisite sarees, brides can effortlessly reach the dream wedding look they have always envisioned.


1. What are the post-wedding rituals in Tamil weddings?

Following the marriage ceremony, the bride is brought to her husband's home. As the newlyweds stand at the door to enter the house, aarti is there to greet them.

2. How many days is Tamil wedding?

A Tamil wedding used to take four lengthy days to complete, but now all the festivities are finished in just two. The day before the wedding, the bridegroom arrives by her side, accompanied by his family, friends, and visitors. This marks the start of the wedding festivities.

3. What is the bride's Griha Pravesh procedure?

In the Griha Pravesh ceremony, the bride, in a beautiful Kanchipuram silk saree, enters her new home and performs traditional rituals like stepping into a vessel filled with rice or applying vermilion on the doorstep, symbolizing her entry and acceptance into the new household.

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