Wedding traditions in Kerala


There are extravagant weddings and then there are the not so extravagant weddings. Then there is a Kerala Hindu wedding or a Malayali wedding. For those who have had a chance to attend one know for a fact a Malayali wedding is a blink and miss affair. While the ceremony is short and sweet, the pomp and joy of the occasion can be felt during every moment.

However, like most Indian weddings, however simple they may be, is a cost-intensive affair. If nothing, there is the cost of food, venue, decor, apart from clothes and jewellery that the newly-weds wear. There is also lodging charges for out station guests and relatives.

Besides, there are some pre and post-wedding rituals, too, and that also entails expenses. Overall, even a simple wedding cannot cost less than Rs 7 to 10 lakhs, or perhaps more.

How do you plan to do these expenses? From your savings? Perhaps you had saved that up for a grand honeymoon. If you use that up you will not be able to go for honeymoon. And honeymoons are special, and ought to be done soon after the wedding, not years later after saving up. An easy way to handle this situation is taking up a wedding loanthat can cover the immediate expenses of your wedding.

A wedding loan is kind of a personal loan that is given for the purpose of a wedding. Individuals with a salary of Rs 20,000 and above, aged between 21 to 58 years can apply for a wedding loan. You can repay this personal loan in easy installments over five years or less.

If you feel apprehensive about what would be the EMI, before applying for the wedding loan, you can use a personal loan EMI calculator to find out how much would be your monthly installment. You will find a personal loan EMI calculator on the website of any prominent bank or financial institution such as Tata Capital. Just key in your loan amount, the rate of interest and preferred tenure, and you will get an idea about the EMI. Try to gauge if you will be able to spare that amount from your salary every month as wedding loan installment after fulfilling all your financial needs and existing EMIs if any.

In institutions such as Tata Capital, the interest rate currently applicable on a wedding loan is between 11.49 and 19%. The rate is dependent on various factors including the borrower’s ability to pay back, his or her CIBIL score, and work experience, age etc.

Applying for the wedding loan is an easy and no-fuss procedure. You will just have to apply online, and representatives will visit your house to get all the required documents from you. The documentation for this kind of a personal loan is very simple, too, comprising basic KYC papers. 

So, now that you are sorted on the formalities, let’s take a look at the major cost areas in a Kerala wedding through its various functions:

Nishchyam: Nishchyam, which in English means confirmation, is an engagement ceremony, usually conducted at the bride’s house. Though it’s just the exchange if the rings, the family of the bride has to cater to all the relatives as well as prepare a feast for them. Since it is a Malayali wedding, the ring also has to be a gold ring, which as you know can be expensive. The wedding loan taken for a Kerala wedding can ensure that you buy the best ring for the bride or groom without having to worry about the cost itself.

Grand Feast and Temple Visit: A day ahead of the wedding, a feast or a reception is laid out for guests at the bride’s house. The feast can be a Sadya that comprises of 20 items laid out on a banana leaf including rice, Avial, Rasam, Sambar, Parippu, SharkaraUpperi, Pazham, and PaalAdhaPradhaman. This is no ordinary meal as it is a celebration at the bride’s house. Be it decorations, food or even drinks; all this will cost you money. While availing the wedding loan, it is best to take into consideration very small expense that you know you will occur. The only thing that won’t cost you any money will be the blessings that are showered to the bride at home and in the temple, she visits.

The wedding: The nuptial ceremony, which is also called the Veli, happens in the morning. As we said, it’s a blink and miss. However, what you cannot miss is the Saptapadi or the seven steps or vows around the fire or the loud and melodious sounds of drums and music playing while the bride and groom become a couple.

Now you must be wondering where the major costs arise, as there are just a few rituals to be followed. The major cost area in a Kerala wedding, however, is jewellery because one thing that a Kerala bride is known for is tons of gold adorned from head to toe. Kerala being a matriarchal society, and gold signifies a woman’s wealth so it is considered to be a matter of prestige when the bride is doused in gold jewellery.

A major part of the wedding expenses on both sides, therefore, happens on gold. At least 40% of your wedding loan will entail the cost of gold because this is one area of a Kerala wedding you cannot go miserly on. So, when making the budget for your wedding, keep a substantial amount aside for gold jewellery, and add it to the wedding loan component.