There comes a moment in your late twenties when you wake up one day and realise … everyone around you is getting married! I have been to a dozen weddings this past year, with each event being completely different from the next. Adelia and Jai’s wedding was certainly no exception.
In December, a few old school friends and I flew to Adelaide for this special wedding. For all of us (including Adelia), it was the first Sikh marriage ceremony (called ‘Anand Karaj‘) that we had been to. We really had no idea what to expect and were excited to experience this part of Jai’s culture.
In stark contrast, it’s the groom who wears a veil for this ceremony! When we arrived at the temple, Jai was dressed to the nines in red and gold with delicate beads hanging over his face.
We dressed respectably for the occasion too. Not going to lie, working out what to wear was a bit stressful! All I can say is, thank goodness for the accurate dress code advice given on SikhiWiki.
I was also very taken by the beautiful saaris worn by the Indian women who attended.
Inside the temple, we separated with women on one side and men on the other side.
The band sang hymns while guests and family members entered and kneeled before the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book).
The bride was last to enter.
During the ceremony, they sung the four Lavan (marriage hymns), with the bride and groom circling the Guru Granth Sahib.
There was a strong emphasis on marriage being a partnership of equals. I really appreciated this aspect because oddly enough, it is not a common theme at other types of wedding ceremonies.
And then … they were married! The newly married couple walked down the aisle to the cheers of the congregation.
We followed them out and enjoyed a formal lunch together.
And as a modern twist, we all went for drinks at a bar in town afterwards. The next day, the celebrations continued at a winery in Adelaide’s McLaren Vale – coming up in the next post!
(Photos by the lovely Jien-Mae)