On a wedding day there is so much going on. For some brides walking down the gurdwara aisle on your wedding day with everyone staring at you can be a very overwhelming moment. We always try to educate our Sikh brides before the Sikh ceremony. These are some of the smallest details which even some wedding planners might not even know. By doing these following things right, we can definitely get better images at the Gurdwara Sahib. We have learned over the years that these small things can make a huge difference in your pictures! Continue to read to learn how to avoid 6 mistakes that most brides make while planning their Sikh Ceremony.
Would you like to know how to improve your wedding pictures
1. Let’s not ruin the first look
In Sikh weddings, the bride and groom would be seeing each other for the first thing at the gurdwara. We want to capture that first look between bride and groom. It is such a beautiful moment between the couple. Wouldn’t you want to remember how your husband reacted when he saw you for the first time as his bride.
Pro Tip – Bride should be the last person bowing down at the Gurdwara Sahib. That ensures that when the bride sits there is no one behind her in the photos.
This way the bride and groom get clean image without anyone in the frame. We even recommend the bridesmaid to let the bride sit on her own for the first time. As that way we can ensure no one is distracting the moment. Same thing applies to groom walking in the gurdwara.
Here are two examples: First image is clear background and second image you can see the bridesmaid helping when bride and groom see each other for the first time.
2. Too many brothers
We understand some brides want to have her brothers stand during the Sikh ceremony. While bride and groom are taking lavaan, the brothers help the bride walk. We highly recommend to discuss that with the gurdwara management where you are getting married prior to your wedding. Some Gurdwara management do not allow the practice, and you do not want to be caught off guard and get affected during your wedding ceremony.
Pro Tip – We recommend to have a maximum of 4 or 5 brothers. Yes, we understand it can be difficult; a good option is you want more brothers included is to alternate during the lavaan. Assign a position where to stand to each brother before the ceremony .
We usually tell brothers to let the couple walk on their own when they are walking behind the Guru Granth Sahib, so we can get some images with and without brothers. We have been in situations with 10+ brothers which makes it very difficult for photographers to get clean images.
3. You don’t need the bouquet
When you are walking down the aisle for your Sikh ceremony, usually the bride is holding a rumala Sahib. It is a religious fabric which bride offers to the Guru Granth Sahib on her wedding day.
Pro Tip – We recommend not to keep your wedding bouquet on you when you are walking down the gurdwara. Reason is, most brides will keep the bouquet on top of the rumala you are holding. Which sometimes can hide the bride neck and it is also hard to handle on top of everything.
We understand the wedding bouquet has sentimental value so make sure you have it with you when we take pictures with your bridesmaid and we can incorporate it in some pictures. Indian bridal outfits are detailed and the bouquet does sometimes makes it more busy.
4. Walking too close
This one is tricky. When you are taking lavaan on the wedding day at the gurdwara, some brides walk way to close to groom. It is very difficult to photograph as you are hid behind the groom. Sometimes the brides are walking so close to the groom behind for the lavaan that our flash lights get blocked and do not reach the bride.
Pro Tip – Walk about two arms length behind the groom which works for most brides. Little separation between bride and groom leaves the bride lost in the shadows.
5. Save yourself with last minute entries
Sikh ceremonies usually are scheduled on Friday or Saturday mornings in Toronto Gurdwaras. During these days, most of the regular sangat may be still attending prayers. There has been times when we are about photograph bride’s dad giving palla to the bride and someone walks in the frame. This can really ruin the moment with bride and her father on the Sikh wedding.
Pro Tip – Please request bhai ji at the Gurdwara to request sangat or guests to wait until the end of the ceremony to come in the front and bow down. You can have a family member or friend to sit in the back and request anyone coming in after the bride to wait to pay their respects to the Guru Granth Sahib.
6. Please don’t blend in
We are blessed that most of our clients in Toronto understand the reasoning behind this idea. We have had numerous weddings in the past where the couple will forget telling their families to not sit behind them during the ceremony. We understand the concept is help bride and groom. You can always assign one person who can come help the couple after the lavaan,
Pro Tip – Please explain to your family and cousins to not sit right behind you during the ceremony. The golden rule is leave about 3 arms length on either side of couple so when we photograph the couple, no other person is in in the frame. Don’t worry we will have enough opportunities to get pictures of your sisters as they interact with you.
Again our intent was not to offend anyone or disrespect anyone. These are some thing we see which can be done to get better images and be respectful to Gurmat traditions at the Gurdwara. Check out some of this blog on things brides miss which might help as well (Link) . For more wedding planning tips, please see our blog section!