Marriage in the Hindu culture always means an irrevocable, lifelong and spiritual commitment of marriage between two souls. The Vedic invocations and chants begin with asking God to make the bond between the groom and the bride everlasting. Incense is lit, flowers and fruits are offered. An altar is built and the fire is kindled. Offerings and sacrifices are made in the fire.The bride offers roasted paddy grains and then the most important part of the ceremony takes place: the “sath pheras” - the seven steps around the fire. The 7 pheras at the wedding mean: a. Always remember the divine. b. Be faithful to each other. c. Practice as preached in our scriptures. d. Not desert each other during crisis. e. Serve our guests and relatives with honor and dignity. f. Look upon each other with love, compassion and sympathy. g. Keep the mind pure, strong, righteous and virtuous. By taking these steps, the bride and groom pray for the necessities of life such as food, strength, prosperity, good fortune, and a lifelong friendship. The woman vows to be dedicated to her husband and by stepping on a stone, she submits her steadfast loyalty and faithfulness. The husband then puts sindoor/red kumkum powder in the part of his wife’s hair and puts a mangalsutra on her neck to signify that she is now a married woman. They offer milk in the fire and then feed each other some of this. It’s official folks, they are married now and she is now the Lakshmi of his house!