Beauty, elegance, and charm are the predominant virtues of any wedding, irrespective of where you see it in the world. Such a wedding is called an Anand Karaj and it takes place in the Gurudwara, in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy Sikh book. Sikh weddings are generally great occasions to have fun, and you just need to be adequately prepared to spot opportunities to enjoy.
Every guide to Sikh wedding showcases how colorful and unique the wedding ceremony is. The wedding is regarded as not a legal contract but a union between souls. The ultimate goal of the Sikh being married is to unite his or her soul with God, and the ceremony endeavors to help both individuals realize this goal. The initial part of the religious ceremony takes place in the Gurudwara.
Pre-wedding rituals for Sikhs
The Kurmai ceremony-
This is the engagement ceremony which kicks off wedding celebrations. The rituals are started when both families read the entire Guru Granth Sahib together, after which the date of the wedding is fixed.
The groom’s family visits the bride’s house, where his mother covers the bride’s head using a chunni.
Mehendi and Chooda
The hands and feet of the bride are decorated with beautiful mehndi designs. Red and white bangles are presented to the bride by her maternal uncle are dipped in milk before gifting. Golden ornaments known as kalires are tied to these bangles.
- Maiya- The bride and the groom cannot leave their homes before the wedding day
- Gana- Red threads to the hands of both groom and bride, helping them tide over bad omen
- Gharoli- Holy water brought from the Gurudwara by the two sisters-in-law are to be used by the bride and bridegroom to bathe
Are gifts given at Sikh weddings?
Guests at Sikh weddings generally do not take gifts unless they happen to be very close relatives. However, there is a ceremony known as “Sagan” which occurs after the commencement of the religious ceremony. This is the time when guests get to gift money to the married couple. This amount is generally of a low value in a local currency, both for the bride and the groom.
These days, a popular modern alternative to the above is to offer the money in a congratulation card and present this to the mother of the groom or bride, based on the side that has invited you to the wedding. If you do not take this route, you may have to queue up at the end of the wedding ceremony to give the ‘Sagan’, and this could be a really long period.
What to wear to the wedding
Men who are invited to the wedding would generally be found wearing Western suits in dark colors such as brown, grey, blue, and others. They are some who may want to wear lighter colors as well. You will find women wearing traditional Punjabi dresses in bright colors, including orange, brown, blue, green, pink, and multiple shades.
Women will have to wear modest dresses. Short skirts, plunging necklines and bare shoulders should strictly be avoided. However, these are certainly acceptable for the Reception, which takes place one or two days after the wedding. Some women also wear shawls and pants to the Gurudwara, and simply reveal a skirt underneath at the Reception. In this way, the same outfit can be used at both venues.
Pure white and black should be avoided at best. Black is considered inauspicious in Sikhism and other religions as well, which is why people stay away from color. However, some men may still be able to carry off wearing black suits. Avoid traditional reds since these are best reserved from the bride and the bridegroom.
When at the Gurudwara for the religious ceremony, both men and women should wear veils on their heads for cover. The idea here is that bare arms or shoulders to be covered. Men can place handkerchiefs over their heads if they do not have head coverings. It is also important that shoes be removed and put into the designated space before entering the auspicious area.
Outfits for brides and bridegrooms
A Sikh bride will typically need to wear a red lehenga or a wedding salwar kameez, both of which are suitable for the rituals. Red is symbolic of auspiciousness and prosperity in the bride’s new life. On the other hand, the groom usually wears a kurta, over which he usually dons an overcoat or an Achkan. The traditional Achkan has been replaced by the Sherwani in today’s times.
The whole purpose of the bride and the groom wearing wedding outfits is to look grand and classy, and that can be displayed through pictures clicked by a reputed wedding photographer. Mixing and matching outfits and accessories are what make these weddings special.