Khush guide to a Punjabi wedding

Khush guide to a Punjabi wedding

Love, laughter & four eternal vows for life

ARTICLE BY : Hanisha Sethi


Traditionally, Punjabi weddings can be large, glamorous affairs, and who doesn’t love a good celebration? Full of parties, masti, and beautiful vows, brides and grooms commit to each other as equals.

1. Chooda ceremony

The Bride’s mama (maternal uncle) will give her a set of 21 maroon and cream chooda, (bangles), which are purified with milk and rose petals before she slides them onto her wrist. Chooda is a vital part of a Punjabi bride’s solah shringar; one of the 16 ornaments a bride wears to accentuate her beauty.

2. Jaago

Jaago literally means “wake up”. Centuries ago, relatives of the bride and groom would go around their village on the night before the wedding day with pots on their head that were decorated with oil candles, singing and dancing as an open invitation to attend the wedding. Now, the tradition is still alive today, with the party lasting well into the night!

3. Milni

A Punjabi marriage is also about the union of two families. Milni, literally means ‘meeting’, and is how both families are formally introduced before the ceremony. The groom arrives at the Gudwara with his family to meet the bride’s relatives. The father of the groom will embrace the father of the bride, and other family members follow. Garlands are exchanged, and it’s customary to try and lift the other person completely off the ground!
4. Juti Chupai
Just before the wedding ceremony begins, bridesmaids steal and hide the groom’s shoes before the wedding ceremony begins. To get his shoes back, the groom gives the girls rings called ‘kaleechris’ along with a good sum of money!

5. Anand Karaj

This translates to ‘Blissful Event’.  The bride enters the gurdwara with her close male relatives. The couple both bow and sit in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.  Before the ceremony begins, Ardas (a prayer) is spoken for the success of the marriage.?

6. Lavans
The four wedding hyms of lavan represent the four stages of love, describing the development of marital love between husband and wife, while simultaneously signifying the love and longing of the human soul for God. Guru Ram Das Ji, the fourth Guru, wrote the Laava, and these are sung as the couple make four rounds around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji with the bride following the groom and holding on to his palla (scarf).

7. Ardaas
Once married, the congregation will stand, press their hands together and recite an Ardaas, a humble prayer that takes place at the beginning or end of any religious ceremony. This moment is followed by Hukamnama, a hymn selected at random from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Afterwards, Sagaan and barfi is given to the couple and the families are congratulated.

8. Grand Reception
After the Gudwara ceremony, the newly weds, friends and family head to their chosen wedding venue for an evening of dancing, partying and celebrating! A lavish meal is enjoyed with lots of dancing and bhangra, and a grand cake cutting ceremony.
9. Doli Muklava

This marks the bride’s change of residence. Guests sing sad farewell songs as she says goodbye to her relatives and throws puffed rice over her head. The meaning of this, is to convey good wishes for her parents to thank them for everything they have done for her. She traditionally departs in a decorated doli carried by her brothers (or a fancy car!).  Her mother-in-law prepares to greet the newly weds at home, and welcomes the bride with a glass of water which is circled three times around her before offering it to her, as a symbol of her acceptance of her newest daughter.


Photography: Sunny Dhiman, Sai Digital

As seen in Khush Wedding 25. Buy this issue here



Tags : Punjabi Wedding  Wedding Guide  
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