Everything You Need to Know about a Tamil Wedding!

Bollywood has so many misconceptions about Tamilians that anything and everything in the south belt is Tamil a.k.a Madrasi for them. Here’s a newsflash guys, not every south Indian is a Tamilian.

A Tamilian is a person whose mother tongue is Tamil, a language spoken in Tamil Nadu, duh! From Gounders, Chettiars, and Iyers to Tam-brahms, there are over a hundred different communities and rich Tamil wedding rituals. But if you’re marrying a Tamilian, then there are just some things that you can expect that are common.

Marrying a Tamilian
Marrying a Tamilian

Here’s everything you need to know when marrying a Tamilian

While there are several communities within Tamil Nadu, here are a few common social factors you’re bound to find in all Tamilian weddings

#1. If you know only Vannga Ponga, you can simply say Ponga

Don’t know Vaanga Ponga also? Wow, you’re in trouble. Also, it means ‘to come’ and ‘to go’! Tamilians are very (raised to the power of a gazillion) proud of their language. So if you don’t know basic Tamil and are marrying a Tamilian, you’re in for a wild ride! Here’s a culture that dates back over two thousand years, and is very important to them. Even though you don’t know the language, making an effort to learn it will make all the difference and endear you to them! Consider heading over to youtube to learn some basic greetings before attending a Tamilan wedding.

#2. Get ready to fall in love with Idly and Dosa

No, Tamilians don’t just eat Idly and Dosa! But that is by no means a measure of their love for these delicious essentials. Take a Tamilian away from their home and rest assured by the 2nd week you’ll see them craving fluffy Idlis and crispy Dosai, and moving heaven and earth to get them. If the Tamil wedding you’re attending is serving breakfast, you can best expect either or both of these dishes. 

#3. Rise and Shine Sunshine!

If you’re marrying a Tamilian, forget late-night weddings. Most Tamil wedding rituals take place at the break of dawn and sometimes even earlier. If you’re a night owl, you might want to consider pulling an all-nighter! This community firmly believes in early mornings. So if you want your beauty sleep, tuck in early.

#4. Get ready for the machans and machis

This has now become a gender-neutral pronoun for Tamilians. So, get ready to hear a lot of mama, macha, and machi at your wedding. If you only go by the literal meaning (Mama meaning uncle and Macha meaning cousin), you’re in for the most confusing times of your life.

#5. Fall in Love with the filter coffee a.k.a. Kaapi

Tamilians are known for their amazing filter coffee which to them is kaapi. One sip and you’re in heaven. If you’re a coffee addict, this is your nirvana! You can expect to see Tumblr Davara at the wedding feast, just be careful not to burn yourself

#6. Silk sarees and Gold Galore!

Sarees are close to their heart. If you’re attending a function or even at your wedding, expect most of them to turn up in Kanjivaram, the staple Tamil wedding saree. Kanjivaram silk sarees are revered by Tamilians and it is one of their most prized possessions! If silk saree is the peanut butter, Gold is definitely the jelly. Say goodbye to your solitaires. It’s time to switch to Gold!

#7. Family includes the extended

A Tamilian is bound to have a huge family. To this brood, the family also includes the extended (your aunt’s sister in law would count as extended family). So, if you see 5 aunts, 10 uncles and 11 nieces and nephews, it’s not a ‘yours, mine and our’ situation. It just includes the extended family and if you’re going to become a part of one, then get ready to be showered with all the love and affection that comes with becoming a new member of the brood! Consider getting confused by the numerous relations of a time-honoured Tamil wedding ritual.

#8. Their Idols are their Gods

No, these are not the idols you find in temples. These are the idols that you find in movie theatres. They idolize their celebrities a lot. Speak one word ill of them, especially Rajini and see the hellfire pouring! Also, if you’re not a Tamilian making fun of their culture, language anything else is a big no-no. Don’t be surprised if you overhear conversations regarding which AR Rehman soundtrack is appropriate to feature on a wedding playlist at a Tamil Wedding. 

This list is non-exhaustive and of course, cannot summarise such a complex culture. But maybe it will help you keep up with all the socializing that comes with attending a Tamil wedding!

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