Prabhjot & Ardith’s Indian Wedding!

Prabhjot (PJ) and Ardith were united in a traditional Indian ceremony on a Saturday morning at the Sikh temple just outside of Mishawaka.  The event began in downtown South Bend where PJ was to get dressed in traditional garb and undergo a few traditional rituals before entering the ceremony on a beautiful white horse (Crystal!), bearing a sword.  The process of affixing the turban was particularly fun to see.  It was remarkable how much time it required and how precise PJ was about the tucking of the end of it to ensure that it stay tight and look exact.  It was a room packed with color and excitement and it was a lot of fun to see.  Once everything had been done and PJ was ready, the trip was made out to the gurdwara where PJ mounted a beautifully adorned Crystal and rode to the entrance with a drummer leading the way and a train of family surrounding and following.  Once there, a prayer was said by the priest and then 8 garlands exchanged between significant counterparts from each family before Ardith was brought out and she and PJ exchanged garlands (called Jaimala.)  The ceremony was officially underway and everyone then entered the temple together to share tea and breakfast.  After tea, PJ entered the sanctuary with all the family and guests while Ardith remained outside in another room.  PJ bowed and was seated and everyone else also was seated before Ardith entered, bowed, and was seated next to PJ.  A series of ritual exchanges symbolizing the transfer of the bride from her family to the groom then took place before a prayer and series of 4 walks around the alter with PJ leading the way and Ardith holding onto  the the shawl which had earlier been passed to PJ.  After the first trip flower petals were passed out to the guests and following the fourth trip the petals were all thrown upon or toward the couple.  After each revolution the couple bowed toward the alter and the holy book and were seated as the ceremonial singing and readings continued.  Following the throwing of the petals everyone stood for prayer and then a pudding mixture called Parshad was handed out to each person, concluding the ceremony, PJ and Ardith leading the way out of the sanctuary.  Immediately following the ceremony another tradition called Shagun took place on the steps into the sanctuary.  Each attendee gave gifts and fed sweet bits of food as a blessing to the seated couple.  And to bring the whole marriage ceremony to a close, everyone shared lunch.  It was so full of rich, colorful tradition and grandeur that it was a remarkable thing to witness and at times a challenge to photograph rather than just observe.  It was a fantastic experience and we are honored to have been there to photograph it as well as excited at some of the wonderful shots we got!  The Singhs and the Johnsons made us feel so welcome and the entire affair was completely void of any sort of pretension or stuffiness despite the traditions and rituals and we want to thank them for a wonderful experience!  Enjoy some of what we captured below!

7 thoughts on “Prabhjot & Ardith’s Indian Wedding!

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