The Essential Guide to Sikh Weddings: Bridal Attire and Jewelry

2015 Jun 23 - by Shriya
The Sikh bride dresses up extravagantly for the wedding and its related ceremonies. Since the act of marriage is seen as a spiritual journey to connect with God, the bride is supposed to look her best, including wearing makeup and extensive jewelry.

Dress

A typical Sikh bride will wear a red salwar kameez or lehngha to the official wedding rituals. While sarees are still worn, they are not as popular as traditional Punjabi attire.

From Sumisha & Amin's Sikh Wedding

The dress must be red for the Anand Karaj, as the color symbolizes prosperity and auspiciousness in the bride's new married life. Embellishments such as beading are common as well.

Dupatta

A bride always covers her head and shoulders with a draped dupatta whlie in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib, in the temple or gurudwara where she is to be wed. The dupatta is pinned discreetly with safety pins or worn freely, as long as the hair is covered for the main ceremony.

Ranihaar

This long necklace is heavy and ornamental, often made of gold. The elaborate design of the necklace is part of the extravagant attire worn by the bride to dress herself up as her best on this spiritual day.

Gold Bangles

Photo via Lin & Jirsa Photography

Along with the red and white choora bangles gifted by her family, the bride often wears gold bangles to add flair to her accessories. These bangles are often slim and simple, without extra jewels or designs to detract from their elegance.

Rings

The Sikh bride wears an engagement ring after her official kurmai and continues to adorn this ring on her wedding day. After the marriage rites are completed, the bride will also wear a seperate, simpler wedding ring - often a gold band.

Tikka

From Shubhra & Piyush's Wedding

A pendant tikka is the most common head accessory for a Sikh bride, with the styles varying from elaborate to simple, depending on the bride's preference. The tikka is tied over the hair and under the dupatta so that the pendant shows from beneath the cloth.

Nath

Photo via Robin Saini

A bride will also wear an ornate nose ring, gifted to the bride by her maternal uncle. The size and style of the nath may vary, but it is often embellished with pearls or other small jewels.

Chooda

The red and ivory bangles gifted to the bride during the pre-wedding rituals are worn on the wedding day and for a few months beyond - to symbolize her status as a new bride. These bangles are typically ornate, with embedded jewels or carved designs, but the colors are constant for all Sikh brides.

Kaleere

From Arsh & Balraj's Punjabi Wedding

The kaleere are two gold or silver plated, dome-shaped ornaments that dangle from the bride's wrists, often attached to the choora. These can be further embellished with beading or string, but are generally made of lightweight materials so as to not overburden the bride's wrists.

Check out the rest of the series here:

Introduction

Engagement

Pre-Wedding Rituals

Wedding Traditions

Post-Wedding Traditions

Bridal Attire and Jewelry - You are here!

Groom's Attire

Food and Desserts

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