Anand Karaj: Wedding Day 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 3 of 4: Wedding Day Advice. Here’s what they had to say! Thank you to all the women who shared their advice!

Today’s topics include: How to handle the wedding day, unique things at the anand karaj, memorable moments, unique things at the reception and advice on a strong Guru-centric marriage.

Read Part 1: Planning Advice here. Part 1 topics include wedding preparations, hind-sight advice, managing conflicts, and planning tools.

Read Part 2: Prep Advice here. Part 2 topics include shopping, hair, makeup, and gift registries.

What’s your advice on how to handle the wedding day?

  • “Get plenty of sleep the night before,” Anonymous.
  • “Don’t forget to smile and if things get over whelming, just close your eyes and do simran. Make sure you have those that you are comfortable with around you. Discuss your needs with your main helpers on the day,”  Ravine.
  • “Start your day with a mantar, do an ardaas, and all will be good,” Anonymous.
  • “Don’t drink too much water. Pee before you leave for the wedding site. Have a sister or BFF carry a emergency kit,” Harbani.
  • “Make sure you take time to eat! My husband and I had nothing till we got home, after the doli! People kept on coming up the our table and taking pictures! This was totally not cool. Make sure you let your photographer know what poses you want before the big day. I did not, and was not happy with the small variety of poses I got,” D Kaur.
  • “Relax and enjoy it!” Anonymous.
  • “Enjoy your wedding like you would enjoy your friends’ wedding, “ Gursharan.
  • “Do ardaas and ask for Waheguru’s guidance and blessings before you start the day,” Anonymous.
  • “There is always a lot of advice given out. I would suggest sitting with someone you trust and go through the nerves and fears of the wedding day: the actual anand karaj and feelings and anxieties that you may feel. Work them out before hand and breathe relax and let go. It’s not in your hands just flow with it. It’s a very emotional time. As well as being physically exhausting,” Anonymous.
  • “Focus only on Guru Maharaj and the act of the lavan. Try to remember the anand karaj is a spiritual act with you your Guru and jeevan saathi. Learn the meaning of the laavan da paat,” Navrup Kaur.
  • “Be mentally present and absorb every moment. Show love and appreciation towards those who mean the most in your life and to those who helped out,” L Kaur.
  • “Before leaving your home, take a minute alone to do ardas, just you alone with Guru Sahib and just enjoy the rest of the day: like the princesses in fairytales, but you are actually living the real deal,” Inderjot Kaur.

What unique things did your anand karaj have?

  • “My mother read the lavaan. My family had an amazing kirtan darbaar before the anand karaj. It was a small family gathering: so very close knit and warm,” Harbani Kaur.
  • “My husband and I recognized that this was a journey for just us so, none of my brothers stood. It was my husband, me, and Guru Sahib,” D Kaur.
  • “80% of our guests were non-Sikhs and 4 cultures were represented. They left the anand karaj mesmerized by the entire experience, thanks to having a bilingual ceremony pamphlet which outlined every step so, those who were not-Sikhs could feel part of the ceremony and get the meaning of the lavan,” Inderjot Kaur.
  • “The kirtan jatha and the bhai sahib who read the anand karaj were from Harmandir Sahib. Having them all at our wedding was the best part for me. I felt truly blessed,” Anonymous.
  • “Coordination between us during anad karaj. Our anand karj happen at same gurdwara where Guru Arjan Sahib’s anand karj occurred, “ Gursharan.
  • “I wore a light gold wedding suit. We had Guru ka Langar. We invited a small crowd of close friends and relatives. Our wedding cards were on A4 coloured paper tied with red ribbons,” Anonymous.
  • “We had no meat, sharab, or party. We had kirtan for 3 hours after the lavan. We had a fruit bar, horse and carriage,” Navrup Kaur
  • “Our close family and friends did the lavan, the kirtan, the sikykia, the ardas ect. Both sets of parents gave the palla to me and my husband. We both held kirpans.  I designed my own wedding suit. My husband and I sang a shared shabad together after the wedding. We stood during the reading of the lavan. We did not include anything that was anti-reaht. It was alcohol-free,” L. Kaur.

What was the most memorable & meaningful thing you remember from the sikhiya or hukham?

    • “To always keep Waheguru in your heart and mind. To do your paat and remember everything happens by the grace of the Guru. Your husband is the crown on your head and to always protect it,” Ravine.
    • “The key to a successful marriage with the Guru and your husband is ‘sehaj’ and ‘santokh,'” Harbani Kaur.
    • “The hukham was memorable, and when the ragis sang ‘Poori aasa ji mansaa mere ram’ the idea of two souls becoming one became so evident. We both felt it and were so happy to have been able to reach this stage of enlightenment in our lives together,” D. Kaur.
    • “Guru Sahib reminded both my Singh and I that we both are called to be the soul-bride,” Inderjot Kaur.
    • “I remember the huknama on my wedding day and I felt Guru Ji’s blessing on my anand karaj,” Gursharan.
    • “Be each other’s support in hard times and good times,” Anonymous.
    • “What was magical was that I had a friend explain to me the meaning of each lavaan before the wedding. So when I was going through them, they were very meaningful/special for me,” Anonymous.
    • “That naam is the key to happiness and without it we are nothing,” Navrup Kaur.

Did you do anything creative at your reception?

  • “We tried to cater to people’s allergies and had plant-based food readily available,” Anonymous.
  • “Our reception was vegetarian and we had no alcohol. We had a huge variety of food from English to Indian (including pasta, chips, noodles, chocolates fountain, and fruits stalls). We also had pre-starter drinks and snacks,” Ravine.
  • “We had loads of performances by our family members,” Harbani Kaur
  • “I had a slideshow made in honor of my dad, with loads of pics of just the two of us during our father daughter dance,” D. Kaur.
  • “We had no alcohol and all vegetarian food. We had games to include everyone like a conga line, longest married couples dancing contest, and varied music reflecting the cultures present,” Inderjot Kaur.
  • “The reception was at the Gurdwara. All relatives were invited and we had Guru ka Langar together,” Anonymous.
  • “After the dinner and desert, we served tea and coffee. There was an ice cream stand for the kids,” Anonymous.
  • “We did not have a reception as we believe it to be anti-gurmat,” Navrup Kaur.
  • “We had a classical singer play sitar and sing Punjabi wedding songs, we had breakdancers, my husband’s siblings did a rap, my sister and brother in-law were the MCs, the musical playlist included classic songs from my university, we had a chocolate fountain, and fireworks. The reception was at an aquarium so guests got to pet stingrays and starfish.” L. Kaur.

In your opinion, what makes a happy, strong and Guru-centric marriage?

  • “Try and live life by the grace of Guru. Do good deeds and try and do paat and simran,” Ravine.
  • “Respect for each other, patience, contentment, and remove ego. Take an extra step towards him and he will take two extra towards you,” Harbani Kaur.
  • “Praying/doing simran/meditating on the naam together daily. It’s an amazing experience,” D Kaur.
  • “Talk about it with your Singh before finalizing everything. Make it clear where you stand in your Sikhi and how you both would raise your future children,” Inderjot Kaur.
  • “Keeping everything simple! The simpler, the more relaxed you are, and the more beautiful the wedding is,” Anonymous.
  • “My opinion would be make Guru happy on this day and you will always have a blessed marriage. Conduct your marriage according to the Rehat Maryada. Have a simple wedding function and Guru ka Langgar served to all . My opinion is to have no dowries, no alcohol, and no meat. My idea was to please Guru, not ‘people’,” Anonymous.
  • “Have a wedding day where you follow Guru’s hukam. No meat, sharab, dancing etc… Just meditation on naam to strengthen the marital bond,” Navrup Kaur.
  • “We like to participate in our shared joys of Sikh together: seva, being camp counsellors, reflecting on all the good things Waheguru has provided, nature walks to revel in Waheguru’s beauty, kirtan, meditating, donating time, money and skills. I suggest you do anything together that reminds you of the divine and love. Also, communicate clearly and often, and always speak sweetly,” 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.

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