Mick and Karen’s traditional Sikh wedding in Fresno, CA, was absolutely beautiful! Surrounded by acres of almond fields, fruit trees, and rolling hills, the area provided the perfect backdrop for a wedding. Palm trees lined the road as we drove through fields and fields of fruits and vegetables. I love photographing Indian weddings because of all the celebrations, traditions, and the excitement from both families.

Palm trees against a blue sky

We spent 3 days in Fresno, capturing the memories and traditional festivities of the Sikh wedding. As we photographed the many cultural traditions and events, it felt as though we were part of the family. Everybody opened themselves up to us, showing love, and that truly made our job memorable.

Over the past 8 months, I’ve witnessed the kindness and friendliness of Mick and Karen. Throughout the entire wedding, they placed a lot of trust in us, opened themselves up to creativity, and were just so cooperative. From the day we took engagement photos in downtown Seattle, I knew Mick and Karen were going to be awesome! They make such a perfect couple – Karen has a funny personality and a warm heart, and Mick is hilarious and always so understanding. There’s a sense of calm and peace in their relationship that I can only imagine developed through their years of long-distance. They’ve really established a deep level of trust and understanding with each other, and it stems from their communication and openness. After spending time with their families, I can see where they got these wonderful qualities!


Mehndi (Henna)

Mick and Karen’s Indian wedding was comprised of several Sikh traditions, each of which were performed with happiness, huge smiles, and love. Sikh weddings often occur over the span of several days, traditionally beginning with the application of Mehndi (henna). The photos below show the mehndi being applied to the hands.  Usually, only women will have mehndi applied.

Sikh Wedding Mehndi on Hands

For both sides of the family, the mehndi is carefully and artistically applied onto the women’s hands. The bride’s mehndi is applied delicately and intricately to both hands and feet. Mehndi serves a decorative purpose, as well as the traditional signification of an upcoming wedding. In India, the mehndi was prepared by the groom’s mother, and sent to the bride a month before the wedding. The preparation is a long and tedious process where leaves of the Mehndi tree are hand-ground into a paste. The more thoroughly the leaves are ground, the darker the resulting henna will appear. The resulting paste is then left to sit allowing it to become usable.


Indian Bride Mehndi

Sikh bride having her henna applied before the wedding ceremony. Mehndi is applied to the hand very carefully and can take many hours. Once done, the bride is left with a beautiful, artistic, design on her hands, arms, legs, and feet. This is an Indian tradition that is still practiced today, all over the world.


Groom's family mehndi

For Sikh weddings, women on the groom’s side also apply mehndi to their hands. I love how happy everyone was at this wedding!


The groom’s mom and sister show their beautiful mendhi design




Another tradition is for the grooms family to visit the bride’s family with gifts. During this ceremony, the groom’s mother (bride’s mother-in-law) places a chunni (scarf) over the brides head. This is a sign of respect from the mother-in-law and signifies a lifelong of protection and care from their family. Mick’s family brought gifts and sweets to the Karen’s home. These following are just a couple (of many) pictures we captured for them during this ceremony.

Sikh Bride Chunni

Sikh Bride Chunni Ceremony at house


Happy Sikh Bride and Groom

The happy, cheery, smiling Sikh bride and groom!! They look so good!

Sikh bride and groom photo in orchard

The Gurdwara (temple) where Mick and Karen got married is located among acres of almond orchards. Despite the 100+degree temperature, we took advantage of these beautiful trees. I absolutely love these pictures of Mick and Karen walking through the orchard.


Mick and Karen make such a beautiful couple. These pictures in the orchard are some of my favorite. Even in the 100 degree weather, these two were troopers. Here are a few of the pictures…

Almond Orchard in Fresno Wedding


Bride and Groom standing in an orchard

Sikh wedding photoshoot in orchard with bride and groom


Photo of a traditional Sikh bride and groom, walking through the temple (Gurdwara) after their ceremony.


Traditional Sikh Bride and Groom

I love this photo of Mick and Karen because it’s a great example of the traditional outfits worn by Sikh bride and grooms.

Vintage photo of Sikh bride and groom


Vintage photo of a Sikh Indian bride and groom


Thank you, Mick and Karen, for giving me the opportunity to photograph your beautiful, traditional Sikh wedding!

I’d love to connect with you on Google+ and Instagram (@MandevSidhu)
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  • Karen Sangha

    Wow Mandev, you did such a great job!!! = ) I loved all the descriptions and thank you for all the kind and thoughtful things you have said about us and our families. ; ) I was feeling teary looking through all these. Thank you soo much!

    • You’re welcome, Karen! You were a wonderful bride, thank you!! I’m working on a second post that will show pictures from the sangeet / maiyaan, Anand Karaj, and reception

  • jennifer


  • Jasmine

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple!! And congratulations to you Mandev!!! These photos are beautiful! You can just feel the love and joy surrounding these two 🙂

    • thanks Jasmine. YES, during the entire weekend, they were surrounded by so much joy, smiles, and happiness- really made the weekend special and fun!

  • Mundir

    I don’t know what to say except WOW! Mandev you and Tanvir did a great job capturing all of the moments from the wedding.

    • Thank you!! Yes, Tanvir did an amazing job. I’m really happy that he’s on the team. Since the first wedding, he has been absolutely perfect, and he gets better with each wedding. There will be another post showing pictures of the Sangeet, wedding ceremony, and reception 🙂 stay tuned!

  • Kim

    These are just beautiful Mandev!! What a wonderful way of capturing the happiness and joy both Mick and Karen and the families felt. Love these… can’t wait to see the rest!!! 🙂 Amazing!

  • joseph

    Wow, bro! Another homerun!! Not only were the pictures terrific but so was the verbiage as you captured the essence of the day. I loved the mendhi pics a lot. So vivid! I especially liked the mendhi with Mick’s name written on Karen’s hand along with the sepia Raj & Rani like photo. Awesome!!

    • Thanks, Joe. I want people to understand some of the culture and reasoning behind the traditions. Guests who attend a Sikh wedding will get more out of the ceremony if they know what is happening, and why. Glad you like the pics! thanks so much!

  • […] excitement and joyous traditions.  The photographs in the previous post show their traditional wedding mehndi(henna). The day after mehndi was applied, each family performed the Vatna, Maiyaan, and Sangeet, […]

  • Do-Hoon

    Oh my!!
    Love the colors and liveness of pictures.
    It feels like I’m right there at the wedding.
    Great work Mandev!

    • Thank you Do-Hoon. Appreciate it. One of my most favorite things about Indian weddings, besides the festivities, are the vibrant colors! They have a way of uplifting your spirit and bringing so much joy to the events.

  • Becca

    Colorful and vibrant wedding photography! Good job!

  • […] Mick and Karen’s Sikh Wedding Portrait […]