Special Punjabi Wedding Traditions

Roka – traditionally, this ceremony was a meeting of the two families, who exchanged cash and gifts, and then formally gave permission for the couple to meet and discuss marriage. Contemporary couples treat the roka as their engagement ceremony.

Chura – This bridal ceremony is usually held on the morning of the wedding day. The bride’s maternal aunt and uncle present her with a set of bangles to wear during the wedding ceremony.

Haldi – This is a purification ritual performed separately for the bride and groom by their families. Typically, the haldi ceremony occurs a day or two before the wedding.

Jago – This is a fun and festive event that can be seen as the less formal Punjabi version of a more formal sangeet. The word “jago” means “jug,” and during this event friends and family of the couple take turns holding the jago while singing, dancing, and telling jokes.

Sehra bandi – This ritual is performed on the morning of the wedding day at the groom’s family home or accommodation. The groom’s family help his dress in his wedding outfit, particularly the final step of attaching the “sehra” headdress to the groom’s head.

Ghodi Chadna – To ensure the groom’s safe passage to the bride’s town, the groom’s family feeds and adorns his horse (or other transportation), and blesses his travel.

Milni –  The ceremonial meeting of all the men from each of the soon-to-be-wedded couple’s family

Joota chupai – This is a very popular tradition that has been widely adopted across many Indian cultures. Near the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, the bride’s female family members try to steal the groom’s shoes (which he has taken off during the wedding ceremony as required by tradition). Throughout the remainder of the evening, the groom’s family attempts to steal back the shoes. If they are unsuccessful, the groom pays a “ransom” for the shoes at the end of the night.