Sikh Weddings – Ceremonies & Rituals

True to the undiminished splendor and grandeur of Indian weddings, Sikh Weddings are also filled with life, color, variety and jubilation. But at the same time, as a wedding photographer appointed to cover the special event, you have to be careful so as to not to leave any important ceremony without capturing it on your camera.

In case you are a novice in this field, then you can find useful information about how to go about handling the project of covering a wedding of the Sikh tradition. Note that there are multiple ceremonies conducted at the same time at different places. So, it is advised for you to be assisted by one or two more photographers so that every little ritual is well-covered and included in the albums.

It is worthwhile here to begin our discussion by talking about the various important ceremonies in these weddings.

Broadly, we can divide them into 3 parts, namely:

*      Baraat

This is a ceremony well-known and popular among the typical North Indian weddings. This event kicks off the wedding day ceremonies with the groom proceeding with quite a large number of people including friends and relatives accompanying him towards the bride’s place.

The venue of the wedding is a Gurudwara. This is yet another special feature of the Sikh tradition. Both the families introduce themselves, which is called Milnee. The Giani (priest) then initiates the Ardaswherein both families participate in all spiritual fervor.

This is followed by light refreshments like snacks with tea.

*      Anand Karaj

This is the focal point of the entire wedding ceremony, which takes place in the main prayer hall of the Gurudwara. As this ceremony generally extends for over two hours, make sure you are well-prepared with all the necessary equipment.

Make sure you don’t run out of energy as it may affect the quality of your job, which is the last thing you want to happen to a major assignment like covering a Sikh wedding.

In Anand Karaj, there are many rituals observed, such as:

  • Kirtan – Gurbani is sung by the hymn-chanting team of the Gurudwara
  • Ardas—spiritual invocation performed by both the families for the well being and happy marital life of the new couple
  • Palla—the Kirthania Jath renders the hymn “Pallai Taiddai Laagee”
  • Lavan or Laav–here, the couple has to circumambulate the Sri Guru Granth Sahib four times, wherein four separate wedding hymns are sung
  • Sagaan – the newlywed couple seeks blessings to begin a new life from all the elders gathered there
  • Kara Parshad—“Parshad” means “offering to God” and hence the sweet pudding offered to God is partaken by the gathering
  • Langar –this is the wedding day meal comprising delicious and sumptuous items

*      Doli and the bride’s departure –after lunch, the brided ons the attire presented to her and bids farewell to her maternal home. The scenes witnessed here are sure to touch your heart!

So, now you have got a fair idea about the essential ingredients in a wedding of the Sikh tradition. Hope this helps you in preparing well for your upcoming wedding photography responsibilities.