Words by Maureen Young
We shot Meezy + Sam in a Bowling Alley Romance back in July and were excited about our first 5 day wedding shoot and experiencing a Sikh wedding. This is a landmark wedding for us as it’s our first East Indian Wedding and we’d like to thank Meezy + Sam and their family and friends for showing us a fantastic time!
Sangeet – Meezy
A Sikh marriage is celebrated over 5 days, the first celebration being a Sangeet – celebrating the happy couple through music and dance. Meezy + Sam had seperate sangeets, which took place in the days leading up to the wedding ceremony. Meezy had a ladies only sangeet, where Sam’s mother and his female relatives were guests. While the sangeet may be for the bride, she’s not the centre of attention. The celebration is a dinner (yummy East Indian food!) and an opportunity for the ladies to party! The ladies sang traditional Indian songs accompanied by Indian instruments and joked around, complete with some good natured ribbing of the future in-laws.
Sangeet – Sam
Over 500 guests, including Meezy’s mother and female relatives as well as his guy friends, attended Sam’s sangeet. We were thoroughly impressed with the dance moves as guests jumped around and even got down on the ground while getting their groove on. Like Meezy’s sangeet, there were Indian instruments such as the dholki, a two-sided drum, accompanying the singing and providing a beat for the dancing.
Mehndi – Meezy
On the eve of the marriage, the bride’s arms, hands and feet are adorned with elaborate patterns using henna. Despite the heavy rain, family and friends gathered in the outdoor marquee to watch the ceremony. Meezy’s muscle control was put to the test during the 6 hour ceremony where she had to keep her arms perfectly straight to avoid disrupting the henna while it dried. Legend has it that the darker the Mehndi is, the more the mother-in-law loves the bride. It seems Sam’s mother really loves Meezy as the Mehndi was really dark!
Vatna – Sam + Meezy
Vatna (a mixture of barley flour, tumeric and mustard oil) is a fantastic way for family and friends to get pay back wish the couple well… by smearing them with paste 😉 Meezy’s brothers took full advantage of the rare opportunity to smear their sister with paste without consequences and smeared the vatna all over her face! The laughter turned to tears of joy as Meezy became rather emotional at the realisation that tomorrow she would be getting married.
Choora (Bangle Ceremony) – Meezy
The bangle ceremony is another part of Sikh wedding tradition. Taking place at the bride’s home, the bride’s maternal Uncle and Aunt adorn her wrists with white and red bangles. Kalira (ornaments made of silver and gold) are tied to the bangles as well. As part of the Gana ritual, Meezy had an auspicious red thread tied to her left wrist. This red thread is seen as sacred, protecting her from ill omens.
All grooms look their best on the wedding day. Sam had some help when his uncle used the vatna to give Sam a facial the night before the wedding! As part of the Gana ritual, Sam had an auspicious red thread tied to his right wrist so, like Meezy, he too would be protected from ill omens.
Part II we see the gorgeous traditional outfits and witness a Sikh marriage ceremony as we move onto Day 4!