THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VARMALA EXCHANGE CEREMONY FOR HINDU WEDDINGS
The varmala exchange ceremony is one of the most exciting and fun-filled moments of the wedding. It is a custom that signifies the acceptance of each other as partners for life. During the ceremony, the bride and groom stand on opposite sides of the stage. The bride’s family members lift her on their shoulders, making it difficult for the groom to reach the garland. The groom’s family members then lift him up to level the playing field. The bride and groom then place the varmala around each other’s necks, signifying their union and acceptance of each other as life partners.
The varmala exchange ceremony is symbolic in many ways. It represents the groom’s acceptance of the bride’s family and vice versa. It also symbolizes the willingness of the bride and groom to compromise and work together to make their marriage a success.
What is Varmala?
The varmala, also known as jaimala, is a wedding garland made of flowers that the bride and groom exchange during the wedding ceremony. It is an essential part of Hindu weddings and is considered a symbol of love, respect, and commitment. Varmala is made up of various types of flowers, and its design can vary based on regional preferences, the couple’s choice, and the wedding theme. The garland’s size can also vary, depending on the height of the bride and groom.
The Making of Varmala
The process of making varmala is a meticulous and artistic one. It requires the skills of experienced florists who carefully select and arrange flowers to create a unique and stunning garland.
The materials used to make varmala include a combination of fresh flowers, leaves, and other decorative elements. Some common flowers used in varmala include marigold, rose, jasmine, and orchids. The choice of flowers often depends on the region and season of the wedding.
The traditional designs and styles of varmala are influenced by various cultural factors. For instance, in South India, varmala is typically made of jasmine flowers, while in North India, marigold is a popular choice. Modern trends have brought new styles and designs to varmala, and it is now common to see a mix of flowers and other decorative elements like crystals, pearls, and ribbons.
The Importance of Varmala in Hindu Mythology
In Hindu mythology, varmala has a significant role to play. It is said that Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, married his consort, Goddess Lakshmi, using a varmala. Similarly, Lord Rama and Sita exchanged varmala during their wedding ceremony.
The tradition of varmala exchange is believed to have originated in the Vedic period. The garland was initially used as a symbol of victory, worn by kings after they defeated their enemies. It was later adopted in weddings as a symbol of love and respect.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Varmala
Consider the Bride and Groom’s Attire: The varmala should complement the bride and groom’s wedding attire. For instance, if the bride is wearing a red lehenga, it would be ideal to choose a garland with red flowers. The garland should also match the groom’s sherwani.
Choose the Right Color Combination: The color of the garland should also be considered when choosing the perfect varmala. It should match your wedding attire. I am an Indian wedding photographer and I can tell you it makes a difference for your wedding photos. Colors have various meanings in Hindu culture, and it’s essential to choose a garland with the right color combination. Red and gold are the most common colors for varmala, but other colors like pink, yellow, and orange are also popular.
Select the Appropriate Size and Weight is very important for Indian wedding photography: The size and weight of the garland should also be considered. The garland should not be too heavy, as it can be uncomfortable for the bride and groom to wear. It should also not be too big, as it can obscure your face and your dress.
Match the Theme of the Wedding: The varmala should match the theme of the wedding. For instance, if the wedding theme is traditional, a garland made of traditional flowers like marigold or rose would be ideal. On the other hand, if the wedding theme is modern, a garland made of exotic flowers like orchids or lilies would be perfect.