Rukhwat – Decorated Items in a Maharastrian Wedding

2011 Feb 28 - by Preeti
In older times, a bride took all her stuff from her family home to her new home with her husband. She would bring essentials (utensils, pots, cups), things to make life interesting (crochet needles, yarn, paint, pencils), and of course clothes.

The Maharastrian wedding has a special place for what a brides brings into the new home and that is the Rukhwat, a bride's trousseau of gifts. On display are gifts from her family, things she made, and even some special clothes. In older times, a flurry of moms, sisters, aunts will help make arts and crafts to put on display. This was a way for the bride's family to show off the bride's homemaker capability and artistic interest to the in laws.

The Rukhwat is displayed on a long table with the beauty of the bride's greatness.

A koli inspired rukhwat table

Today, the rukhwat uses small items to represent the bride entering the groom's family. Most items are made from sugar, milk, flour and are in scale. There can be a beautiful plate of fruit and vegetables or even a pooja thali and handmade crafts.

At my rukhwat we hired someone to create a story of the wedding rituals. Hiring people to create your rukhwat is common to create a 'professional' table but also relieve stress from the bride's family. My mom, an expert crochet artist, lent us her most beautiful crochet pieces for display.

The sunflower

Indian bride's wedding carriage

We also displayed little beetlenut people representing wedding rituals.

A bullock cart and a tortoise (I'm not sure of the meaning of the little turtle)

Beetlenuts used to make little people performing different wedding rituals

You can also decorate around the rukhwat table with rangoli and wow your guests.

Today you can make rukhwat from food items and non food items. Some make crochet "food" or ceramic sculptures. Other brides and families do a mix of real food, ceramics, and paintings. Really, the rukhwat should represent something of your life, tell a story, or like in my case, describe the CKP wedding rituals. All in all, I love this classic tradition that lives on in our communities.