A Sikh wedding includes various colourful and exciting rituals that last for about a week. This ceremony is unlike regular Hindu weddings with an auspicious wedding date fixed by the priest. The date for a Sikh wedding is decided after mutual understanding by the family of the bride and groom. Additionally, the wedding ceremony takes place in a Gurudwara in front of the holy Guru Granth Sahib, family, relatives, and friends.
To Sikhs, there is more to a legal alliance between two people at a wedding. It is a harmonious union of souls. Therefore, the ceremony includes various rituals and is filled with energy and vigour. Just lie a Hindu wedding, a Sikh wedding includes various traditions and rituals. However, the Hindus use Vedic texts while the Sikhs use the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib.
Photography moments to capture during a Sikh wedding
Like other weddings, a Sikh wedding also begins with a formal commitment to mark the beginning of the ceremony. Kurmai is performed a week to the wedding at the groom’s home. Today, you can have this ceremony in a hotel or bouquet hall. In the Gurudwara, the Kurmai includes Ardaas or common Sikh prayer, Langer or community meal, and Kirtan or Sri Guru Granth Sahib hymns. Afterward, gifts are exchanged between the families of the bride and groom.
When the ceremony is performed at the groom’s house, the family of the bride comes with gifts including jewellery, dry fruits, sweets, and clothes. Professional Sikh wedding photography service is necessary to document the events. Afterward, the bride’s father or guardian offers the groom a gold ring, Kada or men’s bangle, and gold coins. These are strung with black thread and given to the bride to wear around the neck like Mangalsutra during a Hindu wedding. Sikh brides wear this on special occasions while Hindu brides wear the Mangalsutra daily.
After Kurmai, the groom’s family visits the bride’s house for the Chunni ceremony. This involves close relatives, family, and friends of the bride and groom. The ceremony requires the groom’s mother and aunts to drape the bride with Phulkari Chunni, traditional Punjab embroidery.
Afterward, the mother in law applies Mehendi or Henna on the bride’s hands to mark the engagement. The groom’s family then gifts the bride with various gifts including clothes and jewellery. Merrymaking follows with ladies singing and dancing to Dhol beats while everyone feeds on sweets.
The Sikh groom wears white Kurta with silk or brocade Achkan paired with Churidar Pajama. Modern grooms wear Sherwanis over the Kurta to replace traditional Achkan. Sherwani is highly embellished with beadwork, thread work, and precious stones. The groom can also wear traditional Mojri, embellished slipper. Grooms should have a beard to show allegiance to Sikh faith and wear a pink cloth turban on the head.
Sikh brides wear highly ornate red Salwar Kameez with beautiful embroidery. Today, brides can wear other shades of red and Lehengas for a wedding dress. The bride covers the head with Salwar-Kameez’s Dupatta. Jewellery is paramount including earrings, necklaces, bangles, Payal, Panja, and Mangtika.
This blissful union ceremony happens at the Gurudwara prayer hall during the day or afternoon. The bride and groom sit with the bride on the left side facing Guru Granth Sahib. This ceremony begins with the couple and parents offering Ardass to Waheguru while standing before singing Shabads. An Amritdhari Sikh or someone who underwent Amrit initiation performs the marriage ceremony.
Performing this ceremony requires to explain marriage significance to the couple including the duties of everyone in the sacred union. Emphasis is put on encouraging a pious life that focuses on Sikh tenets. Afterward, the couple bows down before Guru Granth Sahib. The bride’s father places coloured saffron scarf on the groom’s shoulder and the bride’s hand. This marks the union for the couple to take their marriage vows.
After tying the knot, family, relatives, friends, and other guests are treated to a delicious vegetarian mean at the congregational hall of Gurudwara. Afterward, the Roti ceremony follows to portray the bride’s first meal after getting married. The in-laws cover a platter with cloth for presenting to the bride with a cash gift. Afterward, the bride and groom share their first meal as a couple.
Welcoming the bride
The last ceremony involves the bride reaching the groom’s home for the first time after becoming a couple. Here, the bride is showered with flowers and fed sweets. Everyone including relatives and neighbour come out to meet and welcome the new bride and to bless her. A grand reception is hosted to honour the newlywed couple. Guests are treated to a lavish meal followed by immense singing and dancing.
Wrapping up A Sikh wedding is a very colourful ceremony that involves various rituals spanning over a few days. You have to hire a professional wedding photographer who understands the rituals to capture all moments