Jaan Aagman 1 Arrival of the Groom's Party
Alex, his family and close friends arrive at the wedding venue in a procession, received by Neeti's family. The Navakar Mantra is recited to mark the beginning of this auspicious occasion.
Varbediyu Water Pitcher for Good Luck Neeti's sister carries a pot full of water and greets the groom's party. In Hindu culture, water represents the essence of all living things and a young woman carrying water is considered good luck. Alex's mother appreciates her welcome by putting a tikka on her forehead and feeding a sweet to her. In return Alex's uncle gives a gift to Neeti's sister.
Ponkhna Ceremony Seeking Good Thoughts
Neeti's mother performs the Ponkhna in which bad omens are dispelled before Alex enters the wedding area. Through her gestures, she welcomes Alex and teases him before she
allows him to marry her daughter. Assuming Alex smiles in his reply, he communicates he is confident in his wishes to marry Neeti. Alex then breaks an earthen pot filled with auspicious items symbolizing the various challenges he will face during marriage. The priest asks Alex to step on the pot and crush it as a sign of the groom's determination to overcome obstacles. Alex is then led to the Mandap by his sister Rebecca carrying metal pots containing lentils and coins to help Alex stay focused on the wedding. The pots are covered with a green cloth signifying good luck and prosperity.
Mangalacharan Auspicious Blessings
The wedding ceremony begins with the Navkar Mantra and a prayer to Shree Mahavir Swami, a Jain Arihanta, also known as a tirthankara. Blessings for Neeti, Alex and all of the guests from Mahavir Swami are requested. An Antarpat (a curtain) is held in front of Alex to keep him from seeing Neeti before she enters the Mandap.