My First Sikh Wedding!

My closest cousin got married last month and it was a bit of a different wedding to that which I'm used to!

Click here to watch the vlog or see below. 

The ceremonies actually started a week before the official wedding, with lots of little events in the build up. There was the first of the brides events in Wakefield but I was unfortunately at work. There was also a Sangeet, but again I was at work. It was all organised a little last minute with things being up in the air because of Covid.

The first of the events I attended was the Mehndi. I woke up a little early from my night shift and headed over to the house. Emma was half way though getting her henna done. Originally, she wanted a relatively simple design but ended up going for a more intricate version, which looked almost like lace gloves and socks.   

The rest of the women got some random designs as the henna artist had free reign. Jess got a really pretty one and with me at work the next week, I got a less detailed version. Most people were travelling back to Wakefield afterwards, so it didn’t finish too late. I ended up going back to mum and Jess’ hotel and we had tea in the restaurant there which was quite nice, and the hotel was lovely. 
The next day was a stressful start. I was originally planning on wearing my new eucalyptus dress, but when I sent a picture to Emma it was too short, so then I settled on a black maxi dress. I quickly checked it was okay and then was told not to wear back. I tried on pretty much every dress in my wardrobe and quickly realised I was a slut. There was quite a strict dress code with no shoulders, knees, breasts or heads allowed to be seen, so we all also had to take headscarves. 

When I got to the hotel to pick everyone up, there was a half an hour delay so I had time to change into mums dress, before leaving. Then just after everyone downed drinks, it was delayed by another hour! 
The first ceremony was a Mayan. We had to first put powder paint on a board, then add flour, rice etc, before putting turmeric paste on Emma. I’m not entirely sure of tall the meanings but obviously they have specific meanings like wealth and happiness etc. 
Then was Aunty Susie’s job of turning the powder paint into paste by adding water, then making hand prints on the wall. 

They also had a few little decorations up around the house and thankfully, despite the transport breaking down on the motorway, the cake made it in one piece.

Finally was the bangle ceremony, called the  choora. This was where a set of red bangles was put on the bride by the aunts and uncles. Quite honestly, it was brutal. They were soaked in milk to soften, presumably wood, but so tight. They were meant to be worn up the forearm and slowly get smaller and smaller towards the wrist. However, of course that meant the ones for the wrist were very small and tight to get over the hands. It looked very painful. The aunts were using oil to try and lubricate, but it wasn’t working too well. In the end, most of them went on, but some had to be left off sadly. 
Finally, it was the day of the ceremony. We started bright and early, albeit the bride and groom party were admittedly late. It was a very new experience beginning at the temple. We started with a family standoff, a prayer and exchange of family garlands…a slight fiasco in itself. Then we went inside for breakfast before the ceremony inside the temple. The Sikh ceremony isn’t officially legal, so afterwards, they did some English vows, exchanged rings and then did the registry book. After “donating” lots of money to the temple, and taking lots of pictures it was time to go to the nee hotel and wedding reception. It was absolutely beautiful. 
We got to enjoy the beautiful weather in the garden whilst the bridal party changed. I sadly didn’t get the memo so kept the same dress on, but switched to flat shoes which was fine to be fair. 

The garden was gorgeous. They brought around mini canapés and they were the best I’ve had by far. I could have easily just had those for the meal. They had spoons of mash potatoes with slices of sausages, then cheesy puff pastry, breaded fish with lemon and some prawn cocktails, amongst other things. 

Once pictures were taken and there were some little bits of socialising, albeit the families sadly stayed relatively separate, we headed inside for a three course. It was good, but didn’t live up to the high expectations set by the canapés. 

We didn’t stay there too long before heading back to the grooms family house for the reception. To welcome the bride and groom, we through confetti and then watched them do a couple more ceremonies, from oiling the door and keeping the grooms mother from eating, then finding rings in a tub of milk and petals.  

Finally, there were a couple of more English traditions to finish the day, with speeches, first dance and a father of the bride dance, which was both very sweet. There was also cake cutting, but then every guest member had to feed them a bite of the cake. Luckily, it was yummy!

The night ended with dancing and nibbles. A mix of music between Indian and British pop.