Sikh weddings are among the most beautiful weddings of them all. Attending one is like entering a palace decorated with colorful decorations and filled with friendly people whose outfits are even prettier. But then, all this physical splendor is complemented with festive dances, rituals, and other celebrations. All in all, attending a Sikh wedding is like watching a virtuoso performance at the most beautifully decorated theater. But one wedding that we had the pleasure to photograph recently went over and above all expectations…
Sonya and Maulik, the stars of today’s post, traveled to Rochester from California in order to hold their wedding ceremony close to where Sonya’s family lives. Despite the long distance, much of Maulik’s family and friends from CA joined them here in Rochester. Their two-day celebrations started with a reception at the Italian American Community Center on Friday evening. Maulik and Sonya had a beautifully decorated pedestal prepared for them. As they sat upon it, their family and friends joined them there admiring their beautiful outfits, sharing their love, and gifting them with presents. All of that was to express their happiness for having Sonya join the family and for the couple’s engagement in general. Eventually, Sonya and Maulik were relocated to the center of the room where, surrounded by all their guests, they watched beautiful performances that included energetic dances by their friends’ children. As the evening unfolded, so did the energy in the room. Soon, everyone started dancing to the rhythm of the ceremonial drums. One would think that with all this splendid decor, colorful outfits, and celebrations, it couldn’t get any better.
The second day of the celebrations was the early morning ceremony. The day started with the groom’s procession, Baraat, which involved the guests escorting Maulik to meet Sonya’s family. The amount of vigour in the songs and dances sure warmed everyone up on that otherwise cold day. Upon Maulik’s festive arrival, Sonya’s and Maulik’s families began the ceremonial meetings, the Milni. Once the greetings were over and everyone warmed up with a cup of tea, Maulik and the guests proceeded inside the temple. There, in silence, the crowd awaited the bride’s entrance. When the door opened, all heads turned back to witness the majestic bride in her majestic dress. The ceremony proceeded with prayers, songs, and music as everyone carefully observed the couple and smiles and tears of happiness filled the room throughout.
This was one of the most beautiful ceremonies that we had the pleasure to photograph. We loved the couple’s beautiful attired decorated with so many details. And we loved how fantastic they were to work with and how very welcome they and their families made us feel. Sonya and Maulik, we wish you the best on this new path of your life. May this beautiful ceremony be the beginning of even more beautiful times ahead. Cheers, Kamil and Taz.