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Mona & Harm - Traditional Sikh Wedding Vancouver BC
|Mona & Harm - Traditional Sikh Wedding Vancouver BC
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Mona and Harm met at a Surrey Crime Prevention Society where Mona (a graduate student of neuropsychology), and Harm (a Vancouver Police Officer) immediately noticed a spark and attraction between them.
Mona had hoped she would be patrolling crime on the streets, paired with Harm – as most of the girls there were hoping; being mesmerized by Harm’s handsome looks, and boisterous charm. Unfortunately, that expectation of Mona’s wasn’t fulfilled. However, Harm had an idea, and a sneaky one at that! He
managed to obtain Mona’s phone number by telling her that he would be attending her dance competition that she had underway. Harm attended the dance competition which resulted in a few subsequent phone conversations with Mona, but many other life obligations became somewhat of an obstacle that prevented these two from furthering their relationship.
Mona was busy with her education, and Harm immersed in his new career as a police officer. Several years went by before fate once again intervened, and the two had crossed paths once again!
Harm and Mona met up at a coffee shop in 2009 as simple friends, and without any expectations from that meeting. Who would’ve thought that a simple chat over a grande iced mocha would lead them into a new journey together.
The immense attraction between the couple was a precursor to what was meant to be and their initial impressions upon their first encounter was filled with wonderment and awe. As Mona excitedly stated,
“wow! Who is that gorgeous guy?” In addition to Harm’s good looks, his charming demeanour was
sufficient enough to sway Mona off her feet! While Harm was captivated by Mona’s good looks as he
stated, “she was smart, funny and different from the other girls”. It’s no surprise that these two eventually
united, as the chemistry and attraction between them was obvious.
The wedding proposal was a miraculous escapade that enthralled Mona, and others alike. Harm was masterful at his coy way of surprising Mona. They went to a golf course for lessons, and at the 18th hole, Harm placed a golf ball for Mona to putt. As she was about to do so, she noticed that the ball was cracked. She was about to throw it away, but luckily Harm stopped her in time. In that golf ball was an amazing solitaire diamond ring, and Harm knelt down on one knee, and solemnly proclaimed his love, and his proposal to Mona. Mona was so shocked at that unexpected proposal that she literally burst into
laughter, bent over and all! This was Mona’s reply of “yes”, but the onlookers which included some golfers, and the staff at the clubhouse were slightly apprehensive – as they were uncertain of Mona’s answer to Harm’s proposal.
The beauty of the lush golf course filled with trees, calming streams throughout and the glorious majestic mountains made this a very romantic venue for a wedding proposal, something that would be remembered forever! Harm was delighted at the success of his surprise, and
Mona was astounded at how he pulled the whole thing off.
After Harm realized that Mona’s nervous, and joyous laughter was a “yes”, the loving embrace between them was interrupted by roars of cheers and clapping from the onlookers. It was a very romantic prelude to what was to come ahead!
Harm had a little more up his sleeve for Mona, whom thought that that was the finale for the proposal.
Little did she know what was ahead of her; more surprises! Mona wanted to call her friends immediately
to inform them of the big news, but Harm prevented her from doing so. Instead they went to a friend’s
house, and there; Mona was surprised yet again with a room full of people hollering “congratulations”!
The traditional meeting of the bride’s and groom’s families took place in September 2010. This event is called “Takha”. On this day, the official blessings from both families took place for the couple, and it also consisted of solemn prayers. The families, and the couple had made plans for the wedding date, which
was scheduled to be in October 2011. They had chosen this date, as it would permit Mona (a full time graduate student) some time off for the many festivities that were to come.
When Takha took place, an important tradition took place: Mona’s father passed on a family heirloom to the groom – a silver dollar. This same silver dollar was handed down to Mona’s father by her grandfather.
It was done with hopes that one day Harm will also pass this silver dollar to his future son-in-law.
The days ahead were filled with very important cultural, traditional and religious events. They wanted to mark the unity of theirs following the traditional methods while incorporating their own unique
The leading weeks ahead to that special day was encompassed with many traditional and cultural events.
One of these included the bride’s home being entirely decorated in the colours of red and gold. Traditional
folk songs and dance: boliyan giddha coupled with the dholki and dhol (Indian drums) were continuously performed.
The first event of the week leading to the wedding day was the “Mendhi” which meant “henna party”. The women and girls had their mendhi done while folk singing and the “tolki” - a small Indian drum, were accompanied to this event. In the meantime; chefs were busy creating delicious Indian food in the large
tandoors (clay ovens), as family and friends danced throughout the night!
The very elaborate and traditional engagement/bride’s Maiyaan was themed as “Punjab night”. Males
were attired in traditional Kurtay, while females were dressed in Parandiaan (colourful hair extensions), and brightly coloured Punjabi attire. Harm was dressed in a turquoise Kurta, while Mona garbed in a sunny yellow Pakistani/Punjabi inspired “gharora” (a blouse with flared pants). The hall they were in transformed into a mini Punjab ambiance: colourful decorations paired with Pujab props, beds and pillows and brightly coloured linens added that feel of tradition. A ceremony ensued called Chuni, and this was performed by Mona being adorned with beautiful jewellery and a “chuni” (head covering). This ceremony represented the groom’s family giving formal blessings to the bride.
As women sat on the little Punjabi beds, and traditional songs and dance were performed, Mona’s fatherhad another surprise for the couple: he prepared/wrote a song, and sang it on stage, capturing everybody’s attention and emotions. All were moved by this occasion.
The morning of the wedding day, Mona’s mother’s side of the family presented Mona with golden bangles. This ceremony is called “Choora”.
As Harm entered the Holy Temple on the wedding day, Scottish bagpipes and Indian drums were discerned, and the couple’s vision of regalness to their wedding day was manifested. The bride’s side were fashioned and garbed in turquoise attire – the men sporting matching ties, head covers and pocket squares. Mona’s father and brother wore turquoise Sherwanis, and her mother wore a bejewelled ensemble of the same colour. The bridesmaids were equally in turquoise bedecked in Swarovski crystal stones. This colour – turquoise, complimented Mona’s wedding attire of red, making her the obvious centre of attraction in her glorious attire. The groom’s side were fashioned in a cream and light pastel/powder pink accent, which also reflected and enhanced Harm’s rich gold and red Sherwani.
It was simply majestic! As Harm noted, “a sea of turquoise blue”. When Mona made her notable entrance, her father, brother and three siblings walked behind her, and this was the epitome of the day!
When Mona sat down, and her veil removed, Harm’s delight was evident as it was the first time he seen her face that
As most of the ceremony was Sikh based, for the convenience and consideration of those whom didn’t know the language; a translation was provided by projectors on screens.
In keeping with tradition, and Mona’s parent’s wishes: Mona had not entered Harm’s family home until the
day of the wedding. This was done in the following way: The “dholi” ceremony. Mona was carried upon a wooden carriage by her brothers. This awaited her at the end of a red carpet. Additional traditions
transpired, and Mona entered Harm’s home for the very first time.
During the reception, the usual and traditional events were carried off such as; the first dance, and the
cutting of the cake by the couple. But...since Mona was an avid Bhangra dancer, she incorporated the cultural entertainment into the reception. The reception was based on glitz and glam where Hollywood meets Bollywood. The couple laughingly titled their wedding “The Big Fat Indian Wedding”!
Black and white feathers, crystal chandeliers, black and white linens and purple and pink lighting set the stage to this spectacular event. There was a surprise Bollywood dance by the entire bridal party, and they had a MC for the night’s entertainment. There was also a husband and wife team who kept the guests entertained with laughter throughout the night. The entire evening was lucratively planned out to be filled with entertainment, song and dance and laughter. There were photos of the newlyweds in a slide show that depicted them wearing four different outfits, and settings representing their unique personalities.
This extensively elaborate, and ornamented wedding that housed 800 guests, had many traditional pre-wedding events. These included: Mona’s parents visit to Harm’s home, in order to give Harm their blessings on the September 5th, 2011, Harm’s stag at Vegas in August 2011, Mona’s staggette in Vegas in September 2011, The bridal shower in September 2011, in addition to all of the other events mentioned earlier.
The couple chose the temple, and reception hall based on the accommodations needed for so many
guests, and the overall ambiance the banquet hall provided to suit their needs for their regal wedding.
The bride shopped in New Delhi, India where she had custom made outfits for each traditional ceremony.
Much of the attire was adorned with jewels/crystals to make the entire ensemble glitter, and shine.
The groom had his outfit custom designed, and fashioned a three tiered pearl necklace, and a jewelled Kalgi (an ornament worn on the turban), and big white feathers attached giving him that regal and majestic look they sought, and accomplished.
The couple chose the decorator: Raymond’s Decor of Surrey, B.C., and stated, “they did a phenomenal
job throughout the wedding!” They chose Mona’s Flower Shop of Delta, B.C., and stated, “gorgeous bouquets and boutonnieres”. Mona and Harm decided on renting a classic 1930’s Beauford to blend in with their theme. The DJ they hired Aftershock was to customize their wedding, and as the couple delightfully noted, “it helped ignite the night, and he did exactly that!”. To capture this enthralling day, and events the couple did hire a photographer, and videographer.
As wedding favors for the guests, the couple had decided; in lieu of gifts and presents – donations were
made to the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Society of Canada, as Mona’s grandmother had passed away due to this disease.
The couple found it very important to plan their wedding, as they knew beforehand how extensive it would be, and did much research online for various vendors.
The highlights for the newlyweds was the arrival of the barat to the gurudwara sahib with the groom and
his marching uniformed police officers that walked to the beat of the drums and bagpipes. Also the bride’s arrival to the temple of course, and seeing each other for the first time inside the temple. In addition to this; the heart-warming speech given by Mona’s brother that moved the entire wedding party. As Mona
and Harm stated, “seeing the sheer joy and happiness on the faces of our parents and siblings, and naturally...having that first moment alone together as husband and wife”.
There were numerous highlights of the evening, and Harm’s speech was one important one to be noted.
A blooper video of the bride that left everybody in tears of laughter, and many, many more events that will
forever remain a loving, fun filled, glamorous day and evening.
The newlywed’s advice to future brides and grooms include: planning ahead, structuring a budget, being
organized and always communicating with one another. Their biggest concern was to remain on time, and adhere to it. They utilized the computer a lot, and created a web site for their wedding plans ahead of
time so that guests would have access to all information they needed, and it also provided guests to become familiar with what to expect at an Indian wedding.
Harm and Mona did use The Cultural Wedding Planner( contact us to get yours FREE) that enabled them to plan the wedding effectively, and also attended the GRAND Wedding Show where they had mini consultations with a variety of
vendors to kick start their planning.
Admittedly, Harm and Mona wished they took a few weeks extra prior to the wedding to be able to carry
out all tasks and ceremonies stress free. Since they are both very busy people they found it at times challenging to find time to get together, and plan accordingly. They learned to compromise, and learn of each other’s personalities, and finally come to a resolution, and agreement.
Harm carefully planned their three week honeymoon aboard the cruise ship that took them to the Mediterranean. Their stops included; France, Monaco and Italy where they explored the wonderful cities
within these countries. Ending that journey they spent a week in Madrid, Spain before flying off to London
for a few nights.
They recommend taking a cruise, as it allows people to visit the ports of many countries aboard a luxury liner.
Mona’s feelings about the entire event, and in her own words, “I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a
man like Harm in my life. His ambitions drive me, and his passion for life is contagious”.
Harm’s emotions equally touching regarding Mona, “ she is so different than any other girl...she’s smart,
driven, beautiful, caring, selfless and has a big heart”.
The couple are excited to begin their journey together as a married couple, and find that a successful marriage is based on communication, being best friends, and compromising.
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