Guide to Sikh Wedding Photography – Know about Sikh Wedding and Its Rituals

A Sikh wedding is covered by the superfluity of rituals and ceremonies. Sikh weddings are grand fun occasions. The events during the wedding day are huge, vivid and chaotic, with lots of entertainment. To capture all these memorable events in the right way, the photographer for Sikh wedding needs much more patience. At Sikh weddings, the work of a photographer becomes much more challenging and impulsive. Right from the Gurudwara to the reception, photographers need to be very calm and responsible. Here are some of the most important events which are must to be captured by photographers during a Sikh wedding day.

The Barat

The wedding day typically starts early for the Barat (party of people accompanying the groom). The Barat departures from the groom’s house and reaches Gurudwara, which is usually located near the bride’s house.  The wedding takes place in the Gurudwara. Once the Barat arrives at bride’s place, the party of bride side welcomes and receives the Barat. Function begins with Milnea (Introduction) and then the priest (Giani) performs the Ardas and both families share a formal introduction. It normally takes place in the hall area of Gurudwara, which is then followed by tea and snacks.
The Barat is the early day event and the photographer must be ready even before the groom gets ready. Since the Barat is followed by a series of events, it’s better to have a second photographer and ask him to be ready at the Bride’s place.

Anand Karaj (Main wedding ceremony)

Here comes the main event for the photographer. After tea, everyone proceeds into main prayer hall where the formal part of ceremony takes place. It comprises of:

  • Kirtan – The singing of Gurbani
  • Ardas – Bride, Groom and their families join the prayer
  • Palla – The shabad “Palla tanda lagee” will be sung by the Kirtania Jatha.
  • Laava – Both the bride and groom are asked to walk in tow around the SGGS at the set interval four times)
  • Ardas and Sagaan – The parents of the bride and groom followed by other elderly people bless the newly wedded and present gifts/money.
  • Kara Parshad – All are served with the blessed sweet pudding.
The Anand Karaj ceremony lasts for more than two hours. During this time, each event is considered as the sacred one for both bride and groom. It is the most important event during the wedding day and photographer covering the Sikh wedding must be attentive always.

Lunch and Doli Departure

Once the Anand Karaj is done, everyone is served with the variety of foods. The newlyweds will have their lunch. The bride changes into new dress presented by groom’s family and then departs from her parent’s house.
During lunch time, there will be dances and some other events scheduled. Have your second photographer to capture all the key people’s photographs during lunch time and the events. The departure of doli is the most touching occasion of the day.  Make sure you capture all those memorable moments while the bride departs from her parents’ house.

These are some of the most important events held during Sikh wedding day. Some other optional events are reception and some post-wedding events. To be a successful photographer, one must plan and prepare accordingly before the commencement of any event at Sikh wedding.