This is a big one folks, so please give a little extra time for the photos to load, LOL! Since this was a giant 5 day celebration, and we have so many photos to share… AND… that I just watched Kill Bill Vol I & II again… We decided to split this up into two posts.
This post contains moments captured from the first three days of the five day wedding celebration. This is everything leading up to the wedding day. I’ll break down the main ritual points below.
Before I get into this, I must say that Sarnjeet & Bunty, their family and all their friends are pure amazing! Before the celebration even began, we were invited in like family. We were accepted into this beautiful community of people and we never wanted it to end. Indian weddings are a joy to capture for me. I’m not saying they are better than all the other kinds of weddings… bunt kinda, LOL! I sure as hell wish I had a Barat at my wedding!! (next post) All weddings of all types are beautiful to me. The big difference I notice at Indian weddings, Sikh or Hindu, is that it really is a marriage of families. The bond of these two families being joined together by two people in love is so very strong and a pleasure to document. So let’s get on to the celebration…
The first three days are filled with traditions and rituals that usually translate into “let’s party”. Here’s a simple break down… The bride and her family does stuff, The groom and his family does stuff, and then they come together to do stuff. Then they are blessed, safe and ready to get married.
Sarnjeet – The Bride – Her Mehndi, Sangeet, Maiyan & Jago rituals…
- Mehndi – (or Henna) is a paste that is applied by an artist to the hands, arms and feet of the bride and many other women in the family and wedding party. It is said that the longer it stays on, and the darker it is, the stronger the love is between the bride and groom.
- Sangeet – Is simply a party, LOL! It begins with traditional folk songs sang by the women and traditional indian dance into the night. There will be more of these on both sides.
- Maiyan – In simple terms, this is where her family and friends cover the brides body in yellow paste and feed her deserts. The Maiyan is a design made from coloured powder, rice and flour. Vatna (the yellow paste), a mixture of turmeric powder, flower and mustard oil is applied to the face, arms and legs by close family members on each side. This is fun. The mother then performs a ritual and mixes the design with water and leaves two handprints on the house showing that this is a wedding house and to protect the bride and groom for their wedding.
- Jago – Is another celebration the night before the wedding… one last excuse to dance and party. Jago means “wake up” and gets everything in the mood for whats to come. A decorated pot is placed on the dancers’ heads as the night goes on.
Bunty – The Groom – His Maiyan & Jago & Sangeet rituals…
- Maiyan & Jago & Sangeet – Similar to what is explained above but for his Jago, we march through the streets to a relatives house, dance (sangeet) and then head back to his home to party the night away.
Bunty & Sarnjeet – The Bride & Groom – The Engagement Ceremony
- The bride marches into the grooms home, they meet, “get engaged” and of course… party!
So check out the fun below folks! Next up, the wedding day and reception:)