Sikh weddings are joyous and elaborate ceremonies celebrating the union of two souls in the Sikh faith. Rooted in rich traditions and customs, they are known for their vibrant colors, music, and heartfelt rituals. Pre and post-Sikh wedding rituals usually last for several days.
If you’re planning a Sikh wedding, we’ve put together the wedding’s different elements in this simple guide to help you understand and appreciate this special occasion. You can also ensure a smooth and memorable experience on your big day with our Free Sikh Wedding Planning Checklist, which can be downloaded, customized, and printed.
The roka ceremony marks the official announcement of the wedding and the mutual acceptance of the couple’s union by their families.
This formal ceremony occurs before the engagement, where the couple is announced soon to be married.
The groom’s sister puts a red scarf or palla around his neck onto his shoulder, while the bride’s father puts dry fruits into this cloth and a kara on his wrist. Then, the couple exchanges garlands.
The bride and groom exchange rings before their family, close friends, and relatives.
Shagun and Saha Patr
The bride’s family organizes a wedding invitation with gifts to inform the groom’s family regarding the start of wedding preparations.
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This reading of Guru Granth Sahib takes place for 48 hours. After that, kirtan is performed, ardas are made, and Karah Prasad is distributed.
This ceremony involves applying Mehendi or henna on the bride’s hands and legs. Her sisters, cousins, and friend can also join.
Ladies close to the couple sing and dance at night.
The night before the wedding day, the bride and groom’s relatives, villagers, and neighbors sing songs and dance with diyas and decorated pots.
Wedding Day Ceremony
A priest ties a pure, sacred thread (mouli) to the couple’s hand.
Kalire is tied to the bride’s hands to symbolize lively life and fertility.
A colorful square rangoli is prepared on the ground or floor by the couple’s maternal relatives.
A turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom’s cheeks, arms, and legs separately.
The bride visits a nearby temple to be poured with pure and sacred water. After taking the blessings from God inside the temple, she returns to her home.
The groom worships a pink turban cloth that is wrapped around his head. The sehra is tied to his head, allowing his face to be partially visible.
The groom rides his horse to enter the wedding venue with close friends and family dancing during the procession.
Agwaani and Mihi
The bride’s family welcomes the baraat, greeting and meeting each other. There’s also an exchange of gifts or the groom’s relatives offer money called milhi.
During this ceremony, the groom and bride exchange garlands.
The couple sits around the sacred fire. The bride proffers the groom a bowl of water. He then splashes some droplets on his feet and body and drinks the rest. He takes a sharbat called madhuperk and showers some and slowly sips it.
The bride’s father puts her hand on the groom’s, asking him to treat her well with all his love, respect, care, and security.
This prayer of four vows confirms the Sikh wedding. One end of the bride’s dupatta is tied to the dupatta on the groom’s shoulder. Then, the couple takes four circles of Guru Granth Sahib.
The bride’s sisters and brothers hide the groom’s shoes and demand money in exchange for those.
The bride says goodbye to her family and be with the new one.
The couple becomes together after the wedding in the groom’s house.
The bride is introduced to the relatives and neighbors of the groom.
The groom’s family throws a grand reception party.
The couple is invited to the bride’s house for a small gathering the day after the wedding or the reception.
The Wedding Attire
The bride traditionally wears a vibrant red or maroon lehenga adorned with intricate embroidery and jewelry. The groom typically wears traditional Sikh attire, including a kurta, churidar, and turban.
All guests are served with a communal meal. The menu usually includes vegetarian dishes on biodegradable plates or banana leaves.
A Sikh wedding involves beautiful and elaborate ceremonies, offering a glimpse of rich culture and traditions. You can use this guide to understand all customs and rituals involved in the wedding. And with a checklist in hand, you can keep all details on track.