The White Punjabi Bride
My Big Fat Punjabi-Sikh Wedding Story: Tori & Raj
Updated: Jan 8, 2021
In this series I will share with you stories of other's, who like myself, have married into the Punjabi Culture and celebrated their own Big Fat Punjabi-Sikh Wedding. Though firstly there is some confusion around the difference between a Sikh and Punjabi Wedding merely because many weddings happen to predominately be Punjabi-Sikh Weddings.
Therefore to clarify, Punjab is a state of India in which many different faiths exist not only that of Sikhism. Which means not every Punjabi Wedding will necessarily be of the Sikh Faith, celebrating the same wedding traditions. Sikhism is a religion that originated in the state of Punjab. So whilst majority of Punjabi's are Sikh's, not every Punjabi will be. Hence why many weddings will be Punjabi-Sikh Weddings given they both are of the Sikh Faith and were born a Punjabi. Though even a Punjabi-Sikh Wedding can be referred to as either just a Sikh Wedding or Punjabi Wedding.
Even so, the rituals and traditions of a Punjabi-Sikh Wedding can vary greatly between regions and family. Therefore even the most common traditions can differ in how they are celebrated and is usually a personal preference as to which traditions are participated in. Though for the most part many are quite similar.
My Big Fat Punjabi-Sikh Wedding Story
Tori & Raj
Way back in 2009 I started my first job at McDonald’s and Rajwinder was my trainer for my first shift; he was so nice and friendly. We didn't see much of one another at the start as he would always work night shifts and I would work day shifts. My sister also worked there with us and one day she told me to stay away from him because he had a crush on me. So I took more interest in who he was after that.
We began seeing each other at work more and then he eventually added me on Facebook. We talked for hours on end and formed a relationship online. On Valentine’s Day 2011 we started dating. Fast forward to July 2013 we had a Punjabi Sikh Wedding in New Zealand at the local temple. Then in 2015 we welcomed our little boy to the world on our wedding anniversary. As a family we follow the Punjabi Sikh lifestyle and love it!
What Was Involved In Planning Your Wedding?
We decided to invite Raj's parents from India for a holiday so they could meet me after a year of talking on the phone. Once they arrived they loved me and asked my husband to marry me while they were in New Zealand. So we planned our wedding quite fast to ensure they could be there with us to celebrate. Unfortunately Raj's other family weren’t able to attend but we had to sacrifice that so his parents could be there.
I let my mother in law pick my wedding lehngha as I was leaning towards a pink or peach colour but she preferred the traditional red. So I let her choose and I was happy with what she selected in the end. A couple of days before the wedding I had my bridal mehndi applied. I had a very simple day before our wedding while Raj celebrated the Vatna Ceremony.
What Traditional Pre-wedding Ceremonies Did You Celebrate?
Unfortunately I didn't really have any pre-wedding ceremonies to celebrate apart from having my bridal mehndi applied. At the time I didn't know much about Punjabi Wedding traditions. If I was to do it all again, I would have our wedding in India so I can experience all the customs and traditions of a Punjabi Wedding. But regardless of that I'm just happy I got to marry Raj.
Describe Your Wedding Day
Our wedding day came around and I slipped into my beautiful wedding lehengha choli my mother in law chose, along with bridal jewellery, which included the bridal chooda. We only had around 100 people witness our Anand Karaj due to it being in a temple. Most of my family and friends were able to experience a Punjabi Marriage for the first time.
Afterwards our reception party was massive at a Punjabi Restaurant. I wore a traditional bridal Punjabi Suit that my mother in law brought with her from India. We incorporated a first dance into our reception but unfortunately we both completely forgot about a cake. The celebrations went until the early hours of the next morning.
Since then we have been to India twice and have always thought to throw a wedding party for Raj's friends and family to attend. So we plan to do so next time we visit.
Any Advice For Those In An Interracial Relationship Who Are Planning Their Own Big Fat Punjabi-Sikh Wedding?
Go for it ! It’s an amazing culture to be a part of and Punjabi’s are lovely people. Take time planning the wedding and remember to have fun.
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*Images are courtesy of Tori and are original copyrighted content and cannot be used without the express written consent of Tori.