A few (many) years ago, I sat in Red Square at WWU, observing my fellow students scurry past one another and file into brick buildings. They rushed to secure a seat in perfectly arranged wooden desks. So many different people from around the country, and world, gathered in a small town for four five years to secure a better future for themselves. I played this little game in my mind where I’d envision each student with an imaginary arrow projecting in front of them designating the direction of their travel. These arrows were always crossing each other, but not necessarily connecting. We’re always crossing paths with others, but how often do we actually connect with them? But then, you’d see people who did connect, in fact it happened all the time; perhaps in a classroom, maybe through an introduction by a mutual friend, at a party, in line to get a slice of pizza, or even because a brave person had the courage to say ‘hi’ to a stranger. All around me, there were so many connections happening, and it was fun to see.

I’ve photographed quite a few multicultural Indian weddings and it’s not everyday that an Irish-Japanese/Chinese bride marries an Indian Sikh groom. But then again, it’s not everyday that you connect with two people who become more than a couple you’ve photographed – but instead your friends. It’s these connections with people that give me so much energy – people like Kelly and Jessie, and their families. And it’s an even greater honor to photograph two people who have connected with each other, just like these two.

I met Jessie and Kelly during the Fall, in Ballard, for an engagement session and I immediately loved them both because they have this calm, cool, kindness and a down-to earth vibe that makes you want to keep hanging out. You know when you meet someone and you think they’re so damn cool, and then later you meet their friends & family and it all makes sense? That’s how it was for them. Their families were so much fun, and they welcomed my brother and I like family, and it really made our experience incredible.

Like many Indian weddings, the festivities spanned three days – the first day was the ladies Sangeet (the bride applies mehndi to her hands), followed by a traditional Sikh ceremony at the Bothell Gurdwara, and then a civil ceremony/reception at Sodo Park on the third day.

Here is blog post 1 of 2.

The Sikh Wedding Ceremony


Asian bride mendhi henna on hands at beach in Seattle

asian bride getting ready for Indian Sikh wedding in Everett, Mukilteo

Indian-Asian bride wearing pink lehenga

tying red turban on Sikh groom in Seattle

Sikh Groom on white horse during baraat

Sikh groom rides a white horse during his Baraat in Mukilteo, WA


removing groom's sehra

A Sikh groom may wear a headdress, called a Sehra, which is made from flower garlands or white beads. Before the ceremony, the Sehra is removed.


Bothell Gurdwara Wedding Photos

The bride enters the Gurdwara’s darbar and sits next to the groom, in front of, and facing, the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book)


Indian wedding photography Seattle

To start the Sikh wedding ceremony (Anand Karaj) the bride and groom stand, along with their parents, while the priest bestows a prayer and blessing called Ardaas


Asian bride at Sikh multicultural fusion wedding in Seattle

happy bride and groom at sikh-asian fusion wedding

Indian Asian Fusion Multicultural wedding photography

The bride’s father places one end of the scarf worn by the groom into his daughters hand signifying that she is now leaving his care to join her husband


Indian fusion wedding at Sikh Center of Seattle

The priest will recite a stanza from the Granth Sahib, followed by Kirtan (music & singing). During the music, the bride and groom will walk around the Guru Granth Sahib – this is called the Laavan, and is repeated four times. The four stanza hymn describes the progression of love between husband & wife, which is a representation of the progression of love between the soul (bride) and God (groom). During the walk around the Granth Sahib, the bride will be helped by her family members or friends to signify their support.


happy indian bride smiling during anand karaj ceremony

happy Sikh groom smiling during anand karaj ceremony during Indian wedding in Seattle

Indian wedding photography Seattle

Bride and Groom stand for one final prayer / blessing, called Ardaas, which concludes the Anand Karaj Sikh wedding ceremony


Asian bride wearing beautiful pink Indian lehenga at Seattle beach

Indian Wedding Photography Everett - groom standing on beach

Sikh bride and groom holding hands

Stay tuned for part two of this wedding – the civil ceremony at Sodo Park.

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