Vivah Sanskar or marriage has the greatest significance among the sixteen 'Sanskaras' or sacraments of Vedic origin.
Arya Samaj wedding rites originate from the Vedas. They are devoid of idol worship. The rituals not only bind the bridegroom and the bride in marital bond of love and respect for each other but also lay down a code of conduct towards the family and society of which they are an integral part. Every phase of the ceremony is infused with symbolic meaning and spiritual significance.
The auspicious ceremony begins with the bride and bridegroom exchanging garlands symbolising their acceptance of each other as their life partner. After welcoming the bridegroom the bride requests him to be seated. She offers him water to sprinkle on his feet and face to refresh him. She then offers water to him to drink.
In this ritual the bride offers 'madhuparka' to the groom. Madhuparka is a combination of honey, ghee, and curds. Before partaking of this madhuparka, the groom sprinkles it in all the directions, expressing his desire to offer hospitality to guests who may come to his home from all directions. It also expresses the determination of the bride to turn any sourness in their relationship into sweetness.
In common language it is called 'kanyadaan'. It is an emotional moment when the bride is given away in marriage to groom by her parents. The groom avers that he is happily accepting her hand.