Sikh weddings have many different traditions that are carried out over several days leading up to the wedding day. One of these traditions is applying a paste made of turmeric to the bride and groom called the Maiyan ceremony.
The Maiyan ceremony happens both at the bride’s house for her and at the groom’s house for him. We usually cover both of these ceremonies and ask the couple to time their ceremonies so that we can go from one house to the next on the same day to cover both. In some cases, they choose the same time and we will then have two teams cover each event.
The Maiyan begins with the cousins and sisters of the bride or groom making a colorful Rangoli in the backyard of the home. The Maiyan is always done outside, however, it extreme heat, cold, or rain, it can be done outside under a tent. The Rangoli is usually made up of colored rice or powder that forms the beautiful patten. The bride and groom will then walk out from their house carrying the paste and the dupatta that will cover their heads by their family members during the Maiyan.
Once seated, the family members unfold the dupatta and hold it like a canopy while the family begins applying the paste to the bride or groom. Taking turns, each family member comes up and applies the paste, feeds them either the bride or groom a sweet and then poses for a photo. This ceremony is basically made for photographing because during the paste application there are usually laughs and moments where the bride or groom is trying to avoid too much paste going on them so we can get a variety of fun moments!
Once the ceremony is complete, the now covered in yellow paste bride or groom goes inside to shower and then the mother smears the Rangoli design into a pile and adds water to make a paste. She then places her palm in the paste and then makes an imprint on the wall of their home usually 3-5 times in a row.
Depending on how many people attend this event, it can take 1-2 hours total from start to finish. We also encourage our clients to have us start shooting a little before the event starts so we can capture the building of the Rangoli design, the mixing of the paste, and the gathering of the family members. It makes for better storytelling and images for both their wedding albums and wedding films.