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Sikh Weddings: A Celebration of Love, Tradition, and Cultural Richness

Royalbindi understands the significance of Sikh weddings and the desire to capture every precious moment of this joyous celebration. Our team of experienced sikh wedding photographers and videographers is dedicated to preserving the essence of Sikh weddings through stunning visuals and heartfelt storytelling. Here, we delve into the beauty and grandeur of Sikh weddings, exploring their rich traditions, ceremonies, and the unbreakable bond of love that unites two souls.

Pre-Wedding Sikh Traditions

Kurmai / Roka:

The Sikh Kurmai or Roka ceremony, a vital step in a Sikh wedding, involves the official announcement of engagement. Families exchange gifts and blessings, blending tradition and spirituality with prayers, sweet offerings, and traditional items. The ceremony ends with a communal meal and heartfelt blessings for the couple’s future happiness. While similar to engagement, the specific customs may vary among Sikh families and communities.

Roka

Taka

The Taka ceremony is a significant event during a Sikh wedding, specifically on the day of the Anand Karaj, which is the Sikh marriage ceremony. Taka refers to the monetary offering made by the bride’s family to the groom. It symbolizes the groom’s acceptance by the bride’s family and represents their willingness to support the couple in their new journey of married life.

Taka

Shagun

Shagun is a ritual where the groom’s family visits the bride’s home with gifts, including clothes, jewellery, and sweets. This ceremony is a gesture of acceptance and appreciation of the bride by the groom’s family.

Shagun

Chunni Chadai

In the Chunni Chadai ceremony, the groom’s family presents the bride with a colourful scarf or chunni, which she wears over her head as a symbol of acceptance into the groom’s family. This ceremony represents the bride becoming part of her new family.

Chunni Ceremony

Sagai

Sagai, also known as the ring ceremony, is when the couple exchanges rings. The families and close relatives gather to witness this event, which symbolizes the formal commitment between the bride and groom. This is a special moment often captured beautifully by an Asian wedding photographer.

Sagaii

Gana

The Gana is another beautiful tradition observed in Sikh weddings involving singing and music. Gana refers to the singing of traditional wedding hymns and folk songs by friends, family, and professional musicians during the wedding festivities. The Gana adds a lively and celebratory atmosphere to the occasion with its melodious tunes and meaningful lyrics.

Gana

Akhand Path

Akhand Path is a continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, that takes place at the bride or groom’s home or a gurdwara. This reading usually takes 48 hours and is considered a way to seek blessings for the couple’s upcoming wedding.

Akhand path

Mehndi

Mehndi or henna application is a common pre-wedding ritual in many cultures, including Sikh weddings. The bride’s hands and feet are adorned with intricate henna designs, symbolizing beauty, auspiciousness, and love.

Mehndi

Sangeet

Sangeet is a joyful event where friends and family of the bride and groom come together to celebrate through music and dance. It involves singing traditional songs, performing dances, and enjoying cultural performances.

Sangeet

Gharoli

Gharoli is a ritual at the bride’s home before she leaves for the wedding ceremony. In this ceremony, the bride’s siblings and close relatives fill a pitcher (Barolo) with water from a nearby temple or gurdwara (Sikh place of worship). The water is considered sacred and is used for bathing the bride. The Gharoli ceremony signifies the purification and sanctification of the bride before her wedding.

Gharoli

Jago

Jago is an exuberant pre-wedding ceremony where family members carry a decorated earthen pot with a lit lamp on the head. They go around the neighbourhood, singing and dancing, to announce the upcoming wedding, spread joy, and invite the community to join.

Jago

Maiyan

The Maiya ceremony involves applying turmeric and sandalwood paste to the bride and groom’s bodies at their respective homes. This ritual is believed to cleanse and purify them before the wedding.

Maiyan

Vatna

Vatna is a similar ceremony to Maiya, where a mixture of turmeric, oil, and water is applied to the bride and groom’s body. This ritual is performed separately at their homes and is believed to bring a radiant glow to their skin.

Vatna

Nanki Shak

“Nanki Shak” is a Punjabi and Sikh wedding custom after the bride prepares for the wedding ceremony. In this ritual, the bride’s maternal uncle (mama) or a respected elder from the family ties a necklace, known as the “Nanki,” around the bride’s neck. The Nanki is usually made of gold or precious stones, symbolizing love and protection. This ritual represents the bond between the bride and her maternal family and serves as a reminder of their love and support throughout her life.

Nanki shak

Sikh Wedding Day Traditions

Chuda Ceremony

The Chuda ceremony takes place at the bride’s home, where her maternal uncle (mama) or an elder relative ties a set of red and white bangles (chuda) on her wrists. The chuda symbolizes her marital status and is believed to bring good luck.

Chuda Ceremony Sikh Wedding

Sehra Bandi

A ceremony where the groom’s family ties a sehra, a decorated veil, to his turban. It is a joyful moment symbolizing the groom’s transition into married life.

Sehra Bandi

Groom’s Arrival

The groom, accompanied by his family and friends, arrives at the wedding venue, usually a gurdwara (Sikh temple). The groom is welcomed by the bride’s family with garlands, and both families exchange greetings.

Groom's arrival

Milni

The Milni is a formal introduction ceremony between the two families. The male members of the bride’s and groom’s families greet and embrace each other as a sign of acceptance and union. This ritual symbolizes the coming together of the two families.

Milni

Anand Karaj

The Anand Karaj is the Sikh wedding ceremony conducted inside the gurdwara. The couple, along with their families and the congregation, sits in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sikh holy scripture). The ceremony is officiated by a Granthi (Sikh priest) who recites hymns and delivers a sermon on the significance of marriage.

Anand Karaj couple wedding shoot

Ardas and Hukamnama

Before the wedding ceremony begins, an Ardas (prayer) is offered, seeking blessings for the couple’s union. The Granthi then opens the Guru Granth Sahib Ji at a random page and reads the Hukamnama, a randomly chosen verse that provides guidance and blessings for the couple.

Ardas and Hukamnama wedding photography

Laavan

The Laavan ceremony is the central part of the Anand Karaj. The couple walks around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, with the Granthi reciting four hymns known as Laavan. These hymns symbolize the spiritual union and journey of the couple. After each Laavan, the couple takes a walk around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Pheras

Ardas, Kirtan, and Anand Sahib

After the Laavan ceremony, an Ardas is offered, expressing gratitude for the successful completion of the wedding ceremony. Kirtan (devotional singing) takes place, with hymns sung to celebrate the joyous occasion. The ceremony concludes with the recitation of Anand Sahib, a hymn that signifies bliss and happiness.

Sikh Wedding Photography

Lavan Pheras

Following the Anand Karaj, the couple exchanges garlands and circles around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji four times, representing their commitment to the four stages of marriage. This symbolizes their acceptance of each other as life partners.

Laavan

Reception

After the Anand Karaj, a reception or wedding party is typically held to celebrate the union of the couple. Family, friends, and well-wishers gather to offer their blessings, congratulate the couple, and partake in joyful festivities.

Reception

Doli

The departure of the bride from her parental home is marked by the doli ceremony. She is bid farewell with blessings and good wishes from her family members.

Doli

Vidaai Ceremony

The formal departure of the bride from the wedding venue. It is a heartfelt and emotional moment as the bride leaves with her new family, symbolizing her transition to her new life.

Vidaai

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Post Wedding Traditions

Welcome to the Groom’s House

The bride is warmly welcomed by her new family as she enters her new home. The family showers her with love, blessings, and gifts.

welcome to the grooms house

Griha Pravesh

The bride is welcomed into her new home by performing a small ritual where she knocks over a vessel filled with rice, signifying the beginning of prosperity and happiness in her new household.

Griha Parvesh

Chauthi

A post-wedding gathering at the bride’s parental home is usually held on the fourth day after the wedding. The bride’s family needs to celebrate and bless the couple.

Chauthi - Group Photo

Pani Bharna

The bride arrives at her parental home after marriage, where her family welcomes her with open arms and performs a small ritual of offering water to the bride as a symbol of rejuvenation.

Entery in the Home

First Visit to the Gurdwara

The newlywed couple visits the gurdwara together to seek blessings and offer gratitude for their marriage. They pray and seek guidance for a blissful married life.

first visit to the gurdwara

Chakki Chadana

Upon arriving at her new home, the bride is welcomed by grinding flour with a traditional stone grinder. It signifies her participation in household duties and nurturing the family.

Chakki Chadana

Pag Phera

After a few days of the wedding, the newlywed couple visits the bride’s parental home for a formal visit. It strengthens family ties and allows the couple to receive blessings from the bride’s parents.

Pag Bandna

Satyanarayan Katha

A religious ceremony is often held within the first year of marriage, where the couple and their families gather to listen to the recitation of the Satyanarayan Katha, a Hindu religious narrative, seeking blessings for a prosperous married life.

Satyanarayan Katha

Anand Sahib Path

The couple recites the Anand Sahib, a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib, together as a form of prayer, expressing gratitude for their union and seeking blessings for a blissful married life.

Anand Sahib Path

Kirtan Darbar

A devotional singing event is held after the wedding, where musicians and devotees sing hymns and praise to celebrate the newlywed couple. It creates an atmosphere of spirituality, joy, and communal celebration.

Kirtan Darbar

Langar Sewa

The couple may perform seva (selfless service) by organizing and serving langar (community meal) at the gurdwara or in their community. It is a way of giving back and spreading love and equality.

Langar and Reception

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Anand Karaj – The Sacred Union

  • Gurdwaras in London: Explore the serene Gurdwaras in the city, where Sikh weddings are held, and embrace the peaceful ambience.
  • Harmonious Connections: Witness the beautiful exchange of greetings and blessings during the Milni ceremony as families merge in harmony.
  • Divine Blessings: Experience the spiritual atmosphere as prayers are offered and the Hukamnama, a random verse from the Guru Granth Sahib, is read.
  • Embarking on a Sacred Journey: Delve into the heartwarming Laavan ceremony, where the couple circles the Guru Granth Sahib, signifying their commitment to a lifelong journey together.
  • The Sacred Bond: Witness the Palla ceremony, where the groom ties a scarf to the bride’s outfit, symbolizing their eternal connection.
Venue and Decor

Adornments and Decor

  • Bride’s Radiance: Discover the enchanting bridal attire, including intricately designed outfits, stunning jewellery, and exquisite makeup trends.
  • Groom’s Grace: Explore the elegant attire of the Sikh groom, complete with a majestic turban, regal sherwani, and complementing accessories.
  • Setting the Stage: Be inspired by the captivating Sikh wedding decor, blending traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics to create a memorable ambience.
Post-Production Expertise

We Have Seen and Captured Many Sikh Weddings;

Sikh weddings in London are a tapestry of cultural heritage, love, and togetherness. With their fusion of ancient customs and modern elegance, these celebrations create an enchanting experience for all. Whether you’re participating as a guest or planning your own Sikh wedding, immerse yourself in the beauty and joy of these ceremonies as they unite families and create lasting memories. London is the perfect backdrop to embrace vibrant traditions and create unforgettable moments that will be cherished forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

More than just a legal union, a Sikh wedding marks the beginning of a spiritual journey together. The couple vows to support each other in their spiritual growth and strive towards enlightenment as one.

The heart of a Sikh wedding lies in the Gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship. Surrounded by the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture, the ceremony takes place in a solemn and sacred atmosphere.

The ceremony is officiated by a Granthi, a respected member of the Sikh community well-versed in the religious scriptures. They guide the proceedings and ensure everything adheres to traditional protocols.

The core ceremony is called Anand Karaj, meaning “blissful union“. It involves:

  • Kirtan: Singing hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, setting the spiritual tone.
  • Lavan: The bride and groom walk four sacred circles around the Guru Granth Sahib, signifying their commitment and unity.
  • Anand: Blessings are bestowed upon the couple, wishing them a life of happiness and prosperity.

Sikh marriage, unlike many traditional ceremonies, views the bride and groom as equals. It’s a spiritual union based on mutual respect, understanding, and shared commitment to their faith.

The ceremony itself typically lasts around 1-2 hours, but depending on additional traditions and celebrations, the entire wedding festivities can extend over several days.

Traditionally, both families and friends from both sides are invited, creating a joyous celebration of unity and acceptance.

Respectful attire is key. Opt for modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Avoid revealing clothing, and remember to remove your shoes before entering the Gurdwara.

Sikh weddings often offer vegetarian cuisine with a delicious blend of Punjabi flavours and regional specialties. Expect a vibrant spread catering to diverse dietary preferences.

The reception is a lively affair filled with music, dance, and laughter. Expect traditional Bhangra performances, vibrant decorations, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Kirtan, devotional hymns sung throughout the ceremony, sets the spiritual tone. The reception features Bhangra, a high-energy dance form celebrating joy and community spirit.

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