Hello there Desi Brides!
Happy Thursday and it’s nearly the weekend!
So here it is the third blog post in the series “This Desi Bride Gets Married” If you missed the other two you can find them here
So today I’ll be talking about the Gurdwara ceremony from my wedding day. I had a traditional Sikh wedding which involved a beautiful Gurdwara ceremony at Swindon Gurdwara.
So here it goes…
I only got a few hours sleep on the day of 24th May 2015 – my wedding day, which doesn’t surprise me at all as it was the biggest day of my life!
So I got up at around 4.15am and had breakfast with my immediate family and some guests that had been staying over at our house. It was really relaxed and chilled and to be honest I felt really at ease, I then had a quick bath and waited for my makeup artist Ravita Pannu to turn up.
Once she turned up she did my mums hair first and got her all sorted and then we started on me at around 5.45am.
In hindsight I should have asked Ravita to come earlier as I completely under estimated how long it would take (2 hours) and I didn’t give my morning photography shots enough thought. I thought that half an hour would be enough – wrong!! It was more like an hour! So tip number 1 Desi Brides – block out 1 hour in your wedding itinerary for wedding shots and photography!
Whilst I was getting ready there were a few little hiccups -nothing massive but people popped into my room and kept telling me bits and pieces about the wedding. It wasn’t anything crazy or something that had gone wrong, its just that I could have done without the interruptions, but all in all it was all good! So tip number 2 – perhaps get ready at a hotel or somewhere you can’t be disturbed! Part of it was my own fault because as you know I am a complete and utter control freak so “letting go” was frikken hard for me, but I knew in my little head I had to and thank god I did on the wedding day! So I was ready by 7.50am and then went down to have my family shots.
Here are some morning shots and apologies these are from the iPhone!
We stuck to immediate family, bridesmaids and few of my extended family members only, but again for this part I really should have allowed an hour which was a slight oversight on my part but hey ho all my family all arrived at the Gurdwara on time and so did I and I can’t really complain because I managed to get some really lovely shots in the morning and I had paid a lot of money for my photography so I’m glad I got my money’s worth even though we were slightly running over schedule.
The crux of everything running on time was the Baraat arriving on time. I would say that this is one of the most importnant elements of your big day and timing of the Baraat is crucial. Luckily for me my Baraat was at the Gurdwara for 9.30am which was Ah maaaazing! That year of nagging my in-laws and husband and sister in law over whatsapp like EVERY finally worked – YAY! I’ve seen weddings, especially Sikh weddings go to pot because the Baraat arrived at like 10.30am and this really cuts into and shorten’s the reception which is one of the most importan things like everrrrrrr! So tip number 3 – nag your husband to be every day to make sure his Baraat arrives on time (OK maybe not every day but in my case it definitely worked – haha)
Of course once the Baraat arrived I was seated in the “secret room” in the Gurdwara so that no-one could see me. I was chilling/relaxing in that room for a good few hours with my beautiful bridesmaids. It sounds so odd but as soon as I got into that room from the madness of the morning I felt calm and relaxed and it was so nice and peaceful to spend some time with my bridesmaids that morning and hearing all their comments whilst they were peering from the window taking a peek at my groom, I did also take a sneek peek but I didn’t see my husband 🙂
Then the time came, my heart skipped a beat, I felt nervous and shakey. My cousin and brother had come to collect me for the actual wedding ceremony. I think like any other Desi Bride the most daunting part of walking down that Gurdwara aisle is not tripping up on your lehenga and my lehenga was VERY VERY heavy and I was fretting about this months before the wedding. I had crazy thoughts that I would trip up and even thought about the crazy concept of my lehenga falling off. I was reassured by my family of course that this wouldn’t happen and RP tied my lehenga very tightly and she gave me full confidence that my lehenga wasn’t going anywhere at all – which of course it didn’t. I felt completely comfortable walking down the aisle in it. Tip number 4 here Desi Brides – you know what they say – practice makes perfect so make sure you practice alot in your lehenga and also practice sitting down and standing up. I know this sounds insane but at the end of the day YOU need to make sure you are 110% comfortable walking, standing, sitting in your lehenga!
So how was I when I was walking down the isle? I think every bride is slightly nervous and I was the same but I remained really calm and collected and I didn’t want my nerves to get the better of me. I knew I kinda had to act like the “shy bride” so there was minimal smiling from me! Walking down was absolutely fine – PHEW! OK I know this sounds very cheesy, corney and crazy but as soon as I sat down next to my husband any feelings of fear, nervousness and worry just banished! Really they did. Must be true love hey?
As you know we had a Sikh wedding ceremony called the Anand Karaj so this involved 4 phere which meant we had to circle the Guru Granth Sahib 4 times. Yep you guessed it, it meant that I had to walk around 4 times and sit down and stand up 4 times as well. I think the most nerve racking bit was the bit when you have to stand up, you don’t want your outfit to get caught in anything, but luckily for me my lehenga was really well made which meant that the netting underneath it was so strong it whipped into shape every time I stood up which meant none of the bridesmaids sitting behind me had to do anything. Another thing that was slightly making me nervous was making sure that me and my husband were in rhythm of each other, by this I mean that he was standing and sitting down slightly before me, but thank god everything went really really well and there were no hiccups like the image below – haha!
I also had my bhabhi holding me during the Anand Karaj and she was my support throughout and like the organised freak I am I had conversations weeks before the ceremony with her so I was totally comfortable with her holding and supporting me. So tip number 5 Desi Brides – get organised and select the right person!
So the ceremony went smoothly and quickly, and there it was – WE WERE MARRIED!
I was sooooo happy marrying the man of my dreams and really relieved that it went well. The next part was the sagan which is when all of the older guests give the bride and groom money in the Gurdwara. To be honest there was much debate about the sagan before the wedding and how long it would take because it has been known to take like over an hour which delays things normally for the reception, but luck was on my side (thank you god) and ours only took around 40 mins – 20 mins saved which was amazing! Me and Dav were out of the Gurdwara by 1.30pm and we also managed to get in our Gurdwara photography shots as well – BOOM!
It was so lovely walking out of the Gurdwara and being greeted by some of our family members as a married couple, this is a feeling I will cherish forever and ever – thank you god 🙂
So we got into the Dav’s car (just the two of us) and we were whisked away to our venue in Cheltenham. Again me and Dav just chatted and talked about the whirlwind of events that had happened on the morning of our wedding and how we were both feeling. Again it was so so surreal! But it was sooooo lovely to feel at ease with my wonderful husband and I think there was a moment of silence whilst we were driving to just soak it all in and live for the beautiful moment that was our wedding day…
Next blog post will be about the glamorous New York inspired wedding reception and also a video! Can’t wait to share it with you Desi Brides 🙂
Feeling stressed and frustrated with your wedding planning? Want to hire someone to help with your wedding? Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to help!