HYDERABAD: Vedic weddings are making a comeback in the city. From a plethora of rituals rooted in rich Telugu culture to the decor transporting you to a setting from centuries ago, these weddings could soon replace the trend of big fat Indian weddings.
A few weeks ago, popular couple Vaishnavi (daughter of well-known interior designer Padma Reddy) and Anmol got hitched at the ancient Sri Sita Rama Chandra Swamy Temple in Ammapalli near Shamshabad. The who’s who of Hyderabad such as Sudha Reddy and Elahe Hiptoola, among others, were in awe of the decor. They couldn’t stop themselves from sharing pictures of the temple decked in ethereal decor.
Explaining what a Vedic wedding is, Satyanarayana Murthy, the mukhya archaka (head priest) of the 800-year-old Ammapalli temple, shares, “In simple words, it’s a wedding that follows every single ritual and tradition written in the Vedas thousands of years ago — right from what the bride and the groom are to be dressed in, down to what minute and second of the day they are to enter the venue.”
He says people are looking to God a lot more these days because the “success rate of marriages today looks bleak.” He lists Ganapati puja, Gauri puja, Paalu-perugu (milk-curd) Sampradayam, Jeelakarra Bellam, Kanyadaanam, Maangalya Daaram, Thalambaraalu and Arundati Nakashtram as some of the many rituals that these weddings include. “Even the menu here is different — no non-vegetarian food, with a variety of curries, pappus (dals), sweets and pickles,” he adds.
Vividh Wedding Planners were the guys behind the breathtaking decor of the recent wedding. M Vamsheedhar Reddy, the managing director of the company, shares how they went about the decor: “We melted sambrani (myrrh) for the entire place to smell heavenly. We used no artificial lighting — just torch fires at the entrance and diyas throughout the venue. We held the Ganga aarti and got priests under 15 years of age, all the way from Varanasi, to chant the mantras. The drummers who played the traditional tunes while the groom tied the thaali, were all from Kerala.”
According to Vamshee, the Covid-19 pandemic has inspired people to prefer Vedic weddings. He says, “The pandemic has made people look for meaning in everything that they do. What once was an opportunity to show off wealth has now become an intimate affair. Hosts want to enjoy the ceremony without stressing over the nitty-gritty of the event.” He adds that these weddings do cost a bomb.
Another couple from the city — Yuthika Raju and Nirav Varma — took the Vedic wedding route in 2021. Yuthika shares, “My love for Indian temples and its culture; one of my favourite films Murari being shot there; and wanting people to come to a grand venue without logistical issues; were reasons I chose to celebrate my big day at the temple. Devika Narain, my wedding planner, ensured that every element of the temple was put to good use.”
For example, they had planted banana trees and other shrubs that brought forth beautiful flowers, a month in advance, to give something back to the temple, against using it as just a venue. “We worked around the number nine to represent the nine elements that form the basis of everything according to Hindu mythology, each detail epitomised the temple’s culture. The palette was borrowed from the aarti and mauli; bells and temple flowers were used to adorn the entire landscape. Over 12,000 diyas were used to light the stepwell.”