Things you should know about a successful Sikh wedding
Sikh culture is all about traditions and spirituality, and weddings make no exception. Traditional weddings are considered not only the beginning of a new life for the happy couple, but also the celebration of a deep spiritual unity, which is why everyone must be aware of the importance of the event. Anand Karaj meaning translation is actually something similar to “blissful union” or “sublime affair”, and this makes us think about a ceremony dominated by mystic music, peaceful atmosphere and religiousness. Apart from this, the wedding also means the reunion of the families of the two grooms, from a social point of view, which is why organizing it is the responsibility of both of them. This can be a real struggle, especially because the celebration lasts more than one day, and all the customs and preparations may take more than one week. There are a lot of traditions to follow and things to plan, even more than normally, so in order to have a successful event, there are a lot of details to take into consideration: venue, music, decoration, priests and so on.
Destination Sikh Weddings are practiced and organized all over the world, and the ceremony is normally developing according to the Sikhism code of conduct. The two people uniting their destinies, together with the wedding party gather in the presence of the Holy Scripture and priests officiating the wedding. Normally, about eight traditional songs are sung, including the four Laav hymns. The Laav is not only a series of entertaining songs, but they represent the four stages that a person must go through, in order to achieve inner peace and deep understanding of spirituality. People all around the world plan and organize Sikh weddings, but there are some things to consider, in order to make the ceremony easier and things go smoothly. For example, after entering the Gurdwara temple, during the ceremony, guests have to cover their heads (furthermore, women should also cover their arms and shoulders). This custom may not be known by all guests, so they may not be prepared for this, which is why you should make sure there are some scarves or handkerchiefs available at the venue, so that everyone is in good condition to attend the ceremony. So make all the arrangements before the wedding, or at least inform as many people as possible about the unusual habits they may not be familiar with. Besides this, religious temples require men to be barefoot, so they will have to remove their shoes, and you have to make sure the floor is clean and there is a specially designed place where men can place their shoes without creating a bustle. In addition to this, they should be informed that they will be sitting on the floor during the whole ceremony: while they have to wear comfortable clothes, you will have to provide cushions or small blankets.
There are a lot of traditions guests will not know, and they may even seem weird, so the best thing to do is to inform them in advance. There will be lots of nationalities and religions, and for this reason there are professional priests, such as Global Chants, who can plan the whole event in a bilingual format.