German citizen Dens and U S citizen Liza, both the children of Malayali parents from Thodupuzha and Kottayam, entered in wedlock recently in Germany according to Knanaya catholic tradition .Germans follow an old Bavarian tradition right after the church ceremony. When the couple exits the Church there is a log on a sawhorse and the couple has to cut the log in half! This is to symbolize the first tough tasks of their future they can accomplish together.Dens & Liza too followed the Bavarian tradition.
Lisa (Chicago, US) and Dens (Hagen, Germany) first met at the Knanaya Catholic Convention in Dallas, Texas, in July 2010. After the convention, mutual friends and family suggested that they would be a good pair, so they started talking and officially dating from January 2011. In the following months, Lisa and Dens talked almost every day via Skype and in July 2011, Dens made it official by proposing to Lisa in Barcelona, Spain.
The planning process for the engagement and wedding were a bit difficult since both lived in different countries. Skype and Google docs definitely played a key role in communicating and keeping everything organized and Lisa and Dens’ families helped with much of the planning as well.
The engagement was held at St. Mary’s, Lisa’s local Knanaya parish in Chicago. The reception was held at the Holiday Inn with about 450 guests in attendance. There were dance performances from both sides of the family and a video skit including people from both Chicago and Germany.
The mehndi and chandam charthu were held together at a local hall in Hagen, Germany 2 days before the wedding. These traditions are held with the closest family and friends and signify purification of the bride and groom before marriage as well as receiving the blessings from family members.
The wedding was held at Dens’ local parish, St. Bonifacius in Hagen, on August 11, 2012. There were about 300 people from both Germany and America in attendance at the wedding. Archbishop Abraham Viruthikulangera, fondly known as ‘Bishop Uncle,’ came from Nagpur, India, to preside over the wedding. The ceremony was in the traditional Kerala Syro-Malabar Rite, but the couple made sure to include certain parts of the mass in German and English as well. The wedding reception was at a nearby hotel and included all the Knanaya traditions as well as some American and German traditions. The parents and siblings of both Lisa and Dens gave speeches.
There were performances from friends and family as well as a game organized by their bridal party. Dens surprised everyone, including Lisa, by singing a song before their first dance began. The night proceeded with hours of dancing, with many guests staying up until breakfast time the next morning.
Needless to say, it was a beautiful wedding surrounded by close family and friends and filled with faith, tradition, culture and so much fun, happiness, and love.
In a Jain wedding, the squandering of large amounts of money or time on the wedding itself is not acceptable. Usually, a Jain Pandit conducts the ceremony. Even then, in some cases, Brahmins are also allowed to do the honours. The traditions of Jain marriage traditions vary. But they usually include the use of fire.
Rituals like Vagdana or Pradana Vagdana refers to the informal agreement between the parents of the prospective bride and groom regarding their marriage that is followed by the ritual of Pradana where the bride is gifted ornaments.
The Laghana Lekhan ritual involves a puja held at the girl's house during which the auspicious time of the marriage is determined.
Sagai and Lagna PatrikaVachan refer to the engagement ceremony where the groom performs the Vinayakyantra puja. And he is gifted with a gold chain, a ring, clothes, coconut, sweets, and money.
Matruka Sthapan/ Kulkar Sthapan are prayer sessions held in the bride/ groom's homes respectively to seek the blessings of the heavenly bodies to ensure the happiness and the fertility of the couple.
Mandapa-Vedi Pratishtha refers to the construction of the mandap at the bride's home from where it is transported to the marriage venue.
Before the baraat (groom’s arrival) procession begins, all the ladies of the house, including the groom's mother apply tilak to his forehead after giving him a headgear. This ceremony is called Ghudhchadi.
Vara Ghoda is another ritual which refers to the groom sitting on the horse and leading the baarat procession.