Last week, my sister and I went on a cross country trip to participate in my nephew Geoff's wedding in Vancouver. His now-wife, Sandy, is Sikh, and the Saturday ceremony was lavish, beautiful and completely outside anything I'd ever experienced before. There were dozens and dozens of cousins - from Canada and England. There was also lots and lots of fantastic Indian food - samosas, pakoras and butter chicken, and many other tasty treats I couldn't name. The ladies fashions were so intricate and gorgeous and in so many colours, it was dazzling. The Birring family was so welcoming and hospitable - they made us feel completely comfortable despite our unfamiliarity with all the Sikh traditions. It was stunning, and the images were almost self-explanatory, so here's a photo blog post to sum things up!
The Harris family, with Sandy and Geoff in the middle. From left: Matt and niece Kate and daughters Evelyn (the wee one) and Lila (the less wee one). Joanne (my sister-in-law), brother Bob, Paul and niece Alex and sons Nicholas (in arms) and Ryan.
Sandy, up close and personal. She's a wonderfully warm and obviously beautiful girl (okay, woman - in her early 30s). Note the fantastic detail and elaborate jewelry. She also had intricate designs on both hands in henna.
Here's the Granthi, who watches over the Guru Granth Sahib Ji or Sikh holy book and reads from it throughout the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Geoff and Sandy had to rise and walk around the holy book four times while the Laava, or Wedding Hymns, were being recited.
Here's my sister Sandy, all dressed up and ready to go prior to the wedding. She cleans up pretty well too, huh?
All in all, it was an amazing experience and one I wouldn't trade for anything. Until next week.