Punjabi Wedding Guide | USA Indian Wedding | 2019
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Are you a soon to be Punjabi bride or groom?
Big fat Punjabi Wedding in America or Canada on your mind?
Aunties and Uncles telling you a million things but you need a "for dummies" sort of approach?
Oh Balle Balle!
Ok sorry I had to.
In this post I'm going to explain five hacks on how to have a great Punjabi Wedding in North America, be trendy but also traditional (turning into our catchphrase here!) and also impress your American or Canadian hometown with your Punjabi culture swag.
Basically have the best Punjabi wedding ever while also keeping the fam jam happy!
Punjabi Weddings and Indian weddings are dope and there aint no denying it!
So let's go!
1. Learn the Basics even if Mom/Pop got it Handled
Regardless if mummy/daddy are going to handle all the customs, get on Wikipedia and learn what a Roka or Haldi ceremony is (e.g. engagement announcement and good luck), why it's a big deal (is it a money thing or just a cultural thing for your specific family) and what ceremonies are important to your Grandma who is coming out of the village.
At Punjabi weddings the older folks, even the ones you may rarely see are a stickler for customs so make sure you keep them happy too! Ironically, the wedding isn't just about you!
It takes ten minutes to learn your Punjabi wedding customs so get on it! Or simply ask your parents :)
2. MONEY and GIFTS and EXPENSES. UGH.
What do the groom parents pay for?
What do the bride parents pay for?
Who should buy the jewelry?
Who do we need to have gifts for?
Are wedding gifts needed?
Even if both sides say "no gifts, are they still going to get gifts? What if we're empty handed? Will somebody be insulted.
This happens at Indian Weddings in America, Canadaa, Australia and elsewhere across the world.
ALL. THE. TIME.
Discuss it openly before hand, because otherwise somebody will feel hurt during the wedding.
Yes it's awkward...but ask your in-laws (or have your partner ask) should anybody expect anything. Do we need gifts for your cousins? For your parents?
Are we agreeing no gold and gifts or Saris...or should we buy 10/10 from each side?
I know it's not the best part of our culture but it's one of those things.
Even if you say no gifts, people will give you gifts.
Even if you say no cash, people will give you cash.
Best Advice if it's something you and your wife/husband can openly discuss...have all 4 of your parents sit down (or just you two go to bat for each side) and SET IT IN THE OPEN.
The last thing you want is her family giving you all this gold and you're like..."wait I thought we said...oh were just saying that...oh boy."
3. SANGEET IS A BIG DEAL
You are Punjabi after all.
LEARN THOSE DANCES. It's never been easier to virtually learn amazing dance moves customized for your Punjabi wedding.
Yes you'll have to surprise her with a dance bro.
In the middle of all that wedding planning, you have to take a week, and learn a dance.
4. LEARN SOME PUNJABI
As we talked about in our Gujarati wedding guide, there is nothing Indian's love more than to see someone who speaks their local language. Hindi is the most widely used language in India, but it's a huge controversy within India where people fight all the time about what the "National" language is. (Ironically they fight in English).
So learn some Punjabi!
At the very least, when you're giving your speech at the reception thanking everyone, or after the wedding ceremony at the mandap (or when the Hindu wedding priest gives you the mic) - try to say:
Ki Tu Apni Sari Umar Mere Naal Bitayengi" (Will you be mine forever?)
5. DON'T YOU DARE PLAY HIP HOP ONLY
Indian American weddings are interesting because one or both of you grew up in America. You love Drake and the Chainsmokers. You don't watch Bollywood movies but you'd always hear those shows on TV from your parents bedrooms. You only eat dal and sabji and paratha because Mom tells you. Also all that yogurt and dahi....umm don't you know milk is a conspiracy of the dairy industry and it's all about almond milk....DUH!
I agree with you.
I hate milk too now lol. It gives me gas.
But just like Bollywood is so cheesy, one good movie sometimes just makes you want to go get married tomorrow to the love of your life.
You'll feel the same way when you see your entire family dancing to those old school Bhangra tunes and lifting you up and cheering (and sweating).
You're not gonna get that moment with DJ Tiesto.
Save the techno and hip hop for after the aunties and uncles are tired.
Right now it's Daler time bro.
Need entertainment for your Punjabi wedding or a Punjabi DJ in California or America? We're the leaders on the west coast and travel the world. From Bollywood to DJ and Emcee, contact us now.
Ajay Manaktala is one of the best Indian Wedding DJs in America who has personally DJ'd and produced over 1000 Indian weddings in his 20+ years of being in the sound and lighting business. Him and his company blog extensively on South Asian events on this blog as well as on Quora.