I never knew Sikh weddings had bridesmaids until recently when my Sikh colleague gave me the honor. I didn’t know what to do first, so I asked around and even went online to find out what bridesmaids do in Sikh weddings.
Do Sikh weddings have bridesmaids? Yes, they do. They don’t just look good for the D-Day. Their main role is to support and assist the bride is having a beautiful wedding. The bride considers them as her ‘pillar of support’.
Not so many people usually get the chance to be bridesmaids in Sikh weddings. Consider yourself lucky if you have to play that role. To make the most out of it and enjoy the day, consider the following tips.
When it comes to Sikh weddings and what bridesmaids have to wear, one simple rule applies – the brighter, the better. Although and the other bridesmaids will most likely wear coordinating lehengas and saris, you’ll be free to show off your sartorial exploits for the rest of the events.
Plan ahead to buy or even borrow a Sikh bridesmaid attire for the different events that precede come after the D-Day. Accessorize with sparkly jewelry or a bold scarf If you have to stick to Western apparel. Be sure to avoid white or black colors.
Be Prepared For A Ton Of Guests
The Sikh wedding usually features several guests. Prepare yourself for at least 250 guests to attend. Try your best not to get overwhelmed by all the guests. The main attention will be the bride but expect people to also look at the bridesmaid. Once in a while, you may feel like all eyes at the event are on you. This is normal, so stay calm.
Whatever happens, don’t let tension take the best of you. You may witness the groom in all Sikh magnificence riding on a horse or even an elephant if you’re lucky. Sit back, savor the moment and revel in all the excitement that comes along with it.
Have A Bridal Touch-Up Kit
Wardrobe malfunctions happen even at weddings. The best you can do is have an emergency kit. The kit shouldn’t be limited to items that can fix wardrobe malfunction issues alone. You may want to include some aspirin or paracetamol in the kit. Other than that, ensure that your emergency kit includes bobby and safety pins, lipstick, makeup brushes, and refreshment items like tissues, mints, and deodorant. The bride will also be grateful that you’re prepared.
You probably don’t know this, but a typical Sikh wedding reception is where all the fun happens as far as Sikh weddings are concerned. Bridesmaids and groomsmen may have to showcase their dancing, singing, and acting talents at the reception.
You may be asked to choreograph dance moves with other bridesmaids to medley the bride’s favorite music hits. Chances are, you’ll enjoy bonding with the other bridesmaids as you rehearse more than even the actual event at the reception. Lifelong friendships can be born out of the rehearsal, which could be filled with lots of joy and laughter as you learn new dance moves for the big day.
Support The Bride
You’ll be her pillar of support throughout the wedding. Remember, the wedding can be exhausting for the bride. The best you can do as part of her support team is to keep an eye on her. You may have to do this throughout the festivities. This is why you should have enough rest, as already explained. You’ll be surprised at how often the bride’s needs get overlooked. The other bridesmaids probably think the maid of honor has everything under control. Like the bride, the maid of honor may get exhausted too and will most likely look up to the other bridesmaids for support.
Understand The Basics
You don’t have to understand everything before the wedding. Note, though, that there are ceremonies in Sikh weddings that are reserved for the bride, the bridesmaid, and other female members of her family. A good example of such an event is the chunni charauna, which happens after the engagement.
During chunni charauna, female members of the groom’s family will visit the bride’s house. Since this is usually an all-female affair, the bridesmaids will participate. The groom’s mother will cover the head of her future daughter in law with a chunni. She will also present her with clothes, jewelry, and other assorted gifts. For good omen, fortune, and luck, the groom’s mother must apply little Mehndi on the bride’s palms.
The Milni Ceremony
This is yet another ceremony that calls for active participation of the bride and the bridesmaids. During the event, the bride’s family dances and welcomes the groom’s family with sagan or special gifts. In some cases, friends and relatives of both families embrace and exchange garlands.
It is, without a doubt, the most emotional moment in a Sikh wedding. The bride bids goodbye to the family during the Vidaai. She does this in the company of the bridesmaids. As she bids farewell, she throws back a handful of puffed rice over her head. This signifies the wishes of prosperity for her home and her parents.
It mostly happens after the wedding. The bride may ask you to accompany her with the groom to her home for the first time as a married couple. You will then be received with gifts before the event starts. The main highlight during the Pag phere is usually the feast organized by the bride’s family. By this time, the bride will have won the respect of her parents for bringing honor to their family by getting married to the Sikh way.
Sikh weddings last for several days. Some can last for a whole week! This mostly happens in India, where traditional Sikh weddings are still popular. You don’t have to worry so much if you’re in the West, where Sikh weddings take just a couple of hours. Either way, have enough rest before the D-day.
Remain energized so that you can take part in all the wedding customs which involves food, drinks, and lots of dancing. In a nutshell, Sikh weddings can be a marathon. With that in mind, pace yourself and hydrate. You may have to take naps before the day. Ultimately though, the preparation will be worth it because you’ll certainly enjoy the wedding.
Don’t Assume Anything, Ask Questions.
This applies even to Sikhs. Sikh weddings may have standard procedures that cut across the board in all weddings. Each wedding is different, though, as far as the couple’s preferences are concerned. Ask questions where you’re not sure of something. Learn about the schedule of events.
Keep in mind that Sikh wedding ceremonies hardly have dress rehearsals. To stay in the loop, identify a point person who can freely ask questions. The best person in such circumstances is mostly the maid of honor or the wedding coordinator.
Be sure to stay calm. That way, you won’t stress out at the last minute before the wedding. As already mentioned, Sikh weddings are elaborate and usually involve lots of customs and rituals. Expect a few hiccups, which is normal even in non-Sikh weddings. Expect last-minute changes too. Whatever happens, take a deep breath, smile, and go with the flow.
Western Sikh Weddings
Sikhs in the western part of the world usually have a hard time celebrating Sikh weddings the way their counterparts in India do. Time is, more often than not, a huge impeding factor. Budget needs also play a huge role. There is also the fact that trying to convene friends and loved ones to gather and enjoy the big day isn’t usually easy. Because of all these factors, Sikh weddings in the West usually take just a few hours. Make no mistake, though. You’ll still have to play your role as a bridesmaid. Support the bride, be there for her big day.
Sikh weddings aren’t just colorful. They’re also fun. The fun part isn’t usually guaranteed, though, unless the bridesmaids and the groomsmen show their support and turn up for the bride and groom. Show up for the lady of the moment. Look nice, smell nice, and show your support. You’ll all live to remember the day.