Today, we have Arpan from The Event Decor Company sharing her expertise and knowledge on planning an outdoor Sikh wedding in Toronto.
Arpan from The Event Decor Company:
Outdoor wedding ceremonies are beautiful – there’s no doubt about it. In addition to the considerations that go into planning an outdoor wedding, there are additional unique criteria for outdoor Sikh wedding ceremonies or Anand Karaj. Here are 5 things to keep in mind.
Outdoor Sikh Weddings
The Anand Karaj is a religious marriage ceremony involving the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, a holy book of scripture in Sikhism.
The Guru Ji must always be kept at an elevation from the sangat, or congregation. Also, hung overhead is a fabric called the Chandoa Sahib which marks the holy space.
1. The Setup is an Absolute Must for Outdoor Sikh Ceremony
Some venues have structures, such as gazebos, which can be converted into a Palki Sahib providing a designated sacred space for the Sikh wedding ceremony.
However, if your Sikh ceremony will be in a backyard or another open space, you will require a temporary structure to create a palki sahib. There are many options you can choose from and your decor company can help design one for you!
2. Guest Seating for an Outdoor Sikh Wedding Ceremony
During the Anand Karaj, all attendees are seated on the floor for a duration of at least 40 minutes. In a tradition Sikh ceremony at a Gurdwara, the flooring is carpeted to make comfortable seating – there’s no additional thought required!
In an outdoor Anand Karaj, the floor space may be grass or concrete – not very comfortable to sit on!
Consider installing carpet underpadding and/or carpets to help create a comfortable seating area for guests. The padding can be covered with sheets to look cohesive with the ceremony space. For additional comfort, you can place pillows for guests to sit on.
Talk to your decor company to see what options are available.
3. Sun Protection for an Outdoor Sikh Wedding
One advantage of an outdoor Sikh wedding is the natural sunlight illuminating the ceremony. However, sunlight requires sun protection! In addition, the midday sun can be quite bright and quite hot!
Some things that can help make the ceremony more comfortable include setting up a tent or some overhead coverage, and providing parasols or paper fans.
4. Decor for your Outdoor Sikh Wedding Ceremony
Your decor company will guide you through the process of selecting your decor. Here are some things to consider:
- Florals: Think about whether you like the floral decor. A floral Palki Sahib looks beautiful outdoors, especially when surrounded by greenery. However, if there are already a lot of flowers around the venue, consider more fabric draping.
- Colours: Deciding the colours for your outdoor Sikh wedding decor will depend on a number of things including your outfits, the time of year, and the colours in your venue. Work with your wedding decor company to choose a complimentary colour palette.
- Sun cover: As mentioned, you may want to consider protection from the sun and this can be done through decor. Utilize overhead draping or large overhead umbrellas to provide some sun cover.
- Consider the lighting: if possible, think about where the sun will be during your ceremony and position your tent or Palki Sahib to make sure the light is helping illuminate your wedding day photos.
- Signage: Outdoor wedding venues are often open and don’t have a clear floorplan. Outdoor wedding day signage can add some decor and be a helpful tool for your guests to know where to go.
5. Other Considerations for Outdoor Sikh Wedding Ceremonies
While this list is not necessary for any outdoor Sikh wedding ceremony, considering these tips will help create a great experience for guests attending your outdoor Anand Karaj.
- Shoe storage: Guests must remove their shoes before coming into the Anand Karaj ceremony space. Consider setting up a designated area for shoes, perhaps a shelf, to help keep shoes organized and the ceremony area clear.
- Hand wash station: Before coming into the ceremony area, guests may want to cleanse their hands. If you choose to have this, make sure to set this up away from the ceremony area.
- Refreshments: If you Sikh wedding is happening outdoors on a hot summer day, it would be a nice touch to have some refreshments close by for any guests that might need it. This could be set up on a table near the shoe shelf.
- Langar: Following the Sikh ceremony, guests will invited to partake in langar. Most venues will have an indoor space where this lunch can be hosted. For a home ceremony, think about having a separate area from the tent where lunch can be hosted.
Also, check out our blog on Outdoor Wedding Venues Toronto and All You Need to Know Before Planning an Outdoor Sikh Wedding Ceremony.