Jago / Jaago Ceremony Photography – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition

As a Female Wedding Photographer in Birmingham, who also covers Asian Weddings, even though I am not Asian, I often have anxious photographer colleagues who are covering their first Asian Wedding approach me for advice and information; knowing that as I too shoot Weddings from Culture’s and Religion’s different to my own, I would have at some point been in the same position.

After having to have done this a few times, it made sense to write a few blog posts on aspects of Asian Wedding and Asian Wedding Photography.

Jago / Jaago Ceremony Photography – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition

This is a ceremony that happens before the main wedding, often part of a pre wedding party. Often held in a hall, but lower key than the main wedding.


Jaago means “wake up”. Before the days of Wedding Invites and Interactive Wedding Invites relative of the Bride and Groom used to go around their village the night before the wedding days carrying candle lit pots  – before the days of electricity on their heads singing songs as a way of telling everyone that a wedding would be taking place the following day and as an open invitation to attend.

The traditional folk song is “jaago”, so they would encourage people to wake-up and join in the festivities.

The modern day conversation of this will see the family gather at a venue before the wedding, for a pre wedding party. At some point during the evening the main family members will disappear to another room and re enter the main room carrying Jaagos (pots with decorated lights) and Jaago sticks (decorated sticks) , which will be passed from person to person, who will carry them for a little while.


Traditional songs will be sung …and then …its time to PARTY! During the Jago / Jaago – Sikh Punjabi Wedding Tradition people will also share a meal, but then hit the dance floor (and also bar) hard. It is a reason to celebrate and people will do. As a Wedding Photographer, photographing a pre-wedding party, you will be expected to capture

  • Guest entering and being greeted by the family
  • Group shots of as many people at the event as possible
  • Roaming shots of what is going on
  • Venue Shots
  • The procession coming into the main room for the Jago, close ups of the pots and sticks
  • Shots of each person that has the Jago on their head
  • Shots of all the close family members (siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents)
  • Then Party Shots, stopping people on the dance floor periodically to get a shot of them posing for the camera.

Photographing a Wedding or Pre Wedding Party or event such as a Jago / Jaago from Cultures and Religions different to what you are familiar with does not need to be daunting, its simply about the familiarity. There are no restrictions on photography, after having done a few you will look back and wonder what al the anxiety was about!


If you are looking for a Wedding Photographer in Birmingham to cover your Wedding or Pre Wedding Party such as your Mendhi, Maiyan or Jago, contact us for a quote