Anand Karaj: Planning Advice

From the moment you get engaged (or even before that), it seems everyone has some wedding advice to share. A lot of these tips are helpful! We asked some married Kaurs to share some of their anand karaj advice for those who are about to get married! You might find some ideas to be helpful, or maybe they don’t apply to you. But we hope you find some to be interesting.* This is part 1 of 4. Here’s what they had to say! Thank you to all the women who shared their advice!

Today’s topics: Wedding preparations, hind-sight advice, managing conflicts, and planning tools.

What’s your advice on how to handle wedding preparations?

  • Hire a wedding planner. Plan it with your partner and best friends or even family ~ Anonymous.
  • Do stay calm, everyone will have an opinion and want to get their ideas in. Do your research on your outfit and makeup/hair stylist. Do start early in research, you don’t want to be rushing around and have to compromise. Do ask for recommendations from family and friends. It will give you a good indication on who you can trust. ~ Ravine
  • Initially, it will seem like everything needs to be perfect and you should work hard to make the day special. But towards the end you will realize no matter if the roses came out to be red instead of dark red, your wedding day will be the most beautiful day of your life. Try Buzzfeed for cute wedding tips. ~ Harbani Kaur
  • Do what you and your groom want. Don’t invite people just because you have to. Start planning early. Shop around for better deals on flowers. Have your main tables made by a florist, see if you can afford time to make/assemble your own! Very cost effective, or else you will pay $40-50 a pop per table for your guest tables, totally not worth it! ~ D. Kaur
  • Make clear what you want and let others do the stressing and running around ~ Inderjot Kaur
  • Just let things fall in place. No point in stressing or worrying. Everything just falls in place and certain things happen for the better ~ Anonymous
  • Keep it simple and don’t involve too many people in your planning. Decide what you want and stay focused. I strongly suggest read up our maryada on anand karaj before any planning ~ Anonymous.
  • Have close friends and family  help you; it was great that most of my friends and family took charge. This meant that I could sit back and enjoy the company of my friends and family who had travelled to attend the wedding. Do step back and allow yourself the space to enjoy the pampering and laughter and the selfies. Take time to focus on what really matters, time with loved ones and memories shared. Listening to the elders, the folk songs and getting to dance all the time was such fun. Watching my loved ones together having a laugh was just brilliant…I especially loved the stories behind the traditions and the different superstitions. They added to the color and beauty of the day. All I wanted was everyone to celebrate in my joy and happiness. I wanted everyone to relax and enjoy, the process. ~ Anonymous
  • I throughly enjoyed my wedding it was the best party I attended. ~ Anonymous
  • Keep everything cultural and against Sikhi away from the anand karaj and don’t make it a show. ~ Navrup Kaur
  • You and your significant other should create a joint vision of the anand karaj early and get your family to buy-into it. Also, make sure those who are involved in helping out know their roles and responsibilities. Have someone manage all of the players the day of the wedding. Lastly, plan super early! ~ L. Kaur

What did you wish people had told you before the wedding that would have been helpful?

  • That most wedding rituals are sexist and patriarchal. ~ Anonymous
  • Just enjoy yourself as it’s way to easy to get caught up in what’s going on in preparations. ~ Ravine
  • It’s a great learning experience. So I loved all of it. ~ Harbani Kaur
  • Focus on you as a couple! Don’t spend time on unnecessary details. Parents expect a lot, but at the end of the day it’s you two that will remember the day. Think about what you both want out of it. Plus, too much emphasis is put on the reception, it should be focused on the actual Anand Karaj. ~ D. Kaur
  • Remember your family and close friends are there for you and to make sure things go as smooth as possible, so stop trying to micromanage on such an important day. ~ Inderjot Kaur
  • Don’t eat too much food on weeding day.  ~ Gursharn Kaur
  • Try on your outfit before hand to make sure that you can get to the floor for matha-tek and everything is functional (and there will be no wardrobe failures). ~ Anonymous
  • Don’t drink too much water. ~ Navrup Kaur
  • If the wedding doesn’t go as planned; that’s okay, don’t be upset. Focus on all the positive stuff. The marriage itself and the wonderful time after the wedding with your suppose is more significant. ~ L. Kaur
  • Focus your attention on Waheguru and the spiritual significance on the anand karaj. ~ Anonymous
  • Don’t be too selfish. A lot of our mothers didn’t have the chance to plan out their dream wedding (since most of them had arrange marriages and weddings planned by men) so they might want to help out a lot in yours. Keep one or two things that you find most important to you as things you can’t compromise on and on the rest … be flexible. ~ Anonymous

How did you manage multiple and conflicting visions that people may have had for the Anand Karaj? 

  • Luckily, we didn’t face conflict for the anand karaj as it was mostly all towards the “traditions” of pre-wedding functions. ~ Ravine
  • I took into consideration about what the rehat and our parents had to say. ~ Harbani Kaur
  • We consulted Guru Ji and kept with Guru Ji’s rehet, simple and honoring the lavaan. ~ Inderjot Kaur
  • Keeping it simple. There is so much going on. Stick to the stuff that really matters to you. For me it was making sure the actual wedding was short and sweet. The speeches were saved for the reception. The food was good, and the elders and children were comfortable. ~ Anonymous
  • My husband and I decided on what we wanted for our wedding and we stayed focused. As long as you follow the rehat maryada and keep it simple there won’t be conflicting visions in the first place. ~ Anonymous
  • Some of my male cousins, who only saw importance in standing up around the Guru Granth Sahib to escort me saw this as a opportunity to be in the limelight. They arrived thinking they would be doing that. I told them “no”, this a journey for only my husband and I so, I am not having my brothers stand. They took offensive and did not stay in the divan hall during my wedding. I didn’t care, my real brother were there and he is the only one who matters. ~ D. Kaur
  • My future mother-in law blackmailed me two days before the wedding. She said that she would not attend the wedding if certain specifications of hers were not met. It broke my husband’s heart and mine to have to compromise in such a way. I wonder if we had openly discussed her wants before hand, things would have gone more smoothly. ~ Anonymous

What tools did you use to make planning easier?

  • I had a project diary and lots of spreadsheets; I am a spreadsheet kind of person! ~ Ravine
  • A folder with different colored holders for different things to keep organized.  ~ Harbani
  • Excel. I wish we had Pinterest back then! ~ D.  Kaur
  • We distributed the invitation digitally through an online wedding blog, where one could get all the details about the event. ~ Inderjot Kaur
  • The book on Sikh Maryada for Anand Karaj.  ~ Anonymous
  • Hand drawn mind maps that simple and to the point. There was a main chart list with the functions, and function with what we needed to organize-who was in charge of what part and the time chart next to it. This helped with delegation and with ensuring everything went in a timely smooth fashion. And everyone was kinda happy.  ~ Anonymous
  • I used Google spreadsheets (and shared them with the wedding party) email, phone, and everyone involved with the planning had a binder (schedules, maps, phone numbers, duties) ~ L. Kaur

*Please note, Kaur life does not condone or condemn any of the above answers. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reject the view of Kaur Life. Publication should not be considered an endorsement.


Read Part 2: Anand Karaj Preparation Advice here. Topics include shopping, hair, makeup, and gift registries.