When doing a wedding of different cultures and religions there are many things one must take into consideration. As a sikh wedding photographer, it is your job to make their culture shine and present wonderfully in the wedding pictures. Thus, doing research prior to the wedding event is crucial. For Sikh weddings, there are many customs and traditions taking place during the entire ceremony and the photographer needs to be quick on their feet so they don’t miss a single glimpse.
There are many small events and traditions taking place at the wedding. It can be difficult to remember all the small things taking place, however, there are a few main rituals that hold a slot of importance in the Sikh culture and therefore these should be kept in mind during the ceremony
The Roka ceremony is the first of the many celebration events that take place during a Sikh wedding experience. It is usually a simplistic ceremony with the families of the couple. It’s considered a formal way of agreeing to the union and celebrating the coming together of two families. The event symbolizes the couple’s closeness and their bond. The Roka ceremony is a great way to introduce the family of the bride and groom to each other and have them mingle. It is a precursory celebration of the engagement of the couple. As a photographer, you can capture the sweet moments of love, care and happiness on this day. Since the actual event won’t be extravagant and too flashy, you can have a chance to capture the raw emotions and get the beauty in simplicity.
There is a lot of music and dance in the Sikh culture, thus the sangeet is an important event. No celebration is complete without the vibrancy brought by dance and song. The sangeet takes place a few days before the actual wedding and it gives the bride more freedom to be her authentic self. This is generally a ladies only event where the females celebrate and express their joy through dance. Since it is a ladies-only event, the photographer also has to respect the traditions and cultural norms during the event. It is best to ask beforehand with the couple on what is acceptable and what isn’t. The sangeet is a great opportunity to capture gorgeous candid shots of the bride and her friends and family.
The mehndi is a 2 part event. In the first half where there are only ladies present and in the second part where the groom is invited. A mehndi ceremony is also a celebration event containing dance and music. On this day the bride and all other ladies present get mehndi done on their hands and feet. The mehndi allows for a whole other dynamic of beautiful patterns on the wedding guests. A photographer will be very prominent during this event as pictures of the bride getting the mehndi done is an extremely important ritual for a Sikh wedding. After the mehndi ritual is complete, the groom and other males are then invited to the ceremony where they celebrate together. This is an extremely busy event for the photographer as they will simultaneously need to capture the bride getting her mehndi done and celebration surrounding her. There are a lot of vibrant colours also present during the mehndi which can add energy to the wedding pictures.
Vatna is another important tradition in Sikh culture. Here the bride and the groom sit together among their family and friends and get Vatna applied to them. Vatna is a paste consisting of turmeric powder, sandalwood and other spices. The Vatna is supposed to bring a glow to the couple’s faces and bodies so they look glamorous on the wedding day. The Vatna ceremony takes place a day or 2 before the actual wedding day and holds great significance in the Sikh culture. Since it is a traditional event, it is crucial to capture the family members applying Vatna to the bride and groom. This is another simple event that doesn’t have much extravagance so it will be ideal for the photographer to shoot the sentimental and sweet moments.
When the wedding day finally arrives there are many traditions and rituals that take place as well. First is the gharoli. This ritual involves the groom where the relatives of the groom will get holy water and carry it on their heads in an earthen pitcher to bring the water to the groom. The groom is meant to bathe in that water to receive blessings for his big day. This is a big religious event that takes place on the wedding day and incorporates the groom and his relatives into the festivities. The photographer can get various shots of the relatives getting the water and bringing it to the groom. This is a great way to encompass the traditional values in the wedding album.
After the families are ready, another big event that takes place before the actual wedding is the Milni. This is when the groom along with his Barat of friends and family goes to the bride’s house. This is a great opportunity to get some stylistic and aesthetic shots of the groom fully dressed in his turban. This is an extremely important moment of the 2 families meeting and greeting each other and showcases their mutual happiness. There is also an exchange of garlands at this time which can make for some stunning shots for the photographer.
After the Milni ceremony, the final wedding event arrives. Here the couple and their friends and family join together for the vows. The ceremony is performed with 4 hymns of Laav performed during the 4 nuptial rounds. Each phase of the nuptials have their own significance and importance and talk about the beauty of marriage between the bride and the groom. Here, not only will the photographer get the chance to get the bride and groom in their traditional wedding attire but also encase the sentiments of the couple and their families.
To conclude, marriage is a beautiful union between the bride and groom and with a Sikh wedding, there are many traditions, rituals and events that take place. As a photographer, it is your job to always stay on your feet and photograph all of the sweet moments that make the wedding ceremony beautiful.
Have a quick 10 minutes consultation within 24 hours