A Sikh wedding brought hundreds to Revelstoke in August

Meet in the middle: Hundreds met in Revelstoke in August for a Sikh wedding

If love is about compromise, then wedding locations have to accommodate both parties — that is why Gurneet Chahal, who’s from Edmonton, and her husband who’s from Osoyoos chose to get married in Revelstoke, attracting one of the biggest crowds for a wedding in the town’s history.

Traditionally, Sikh weddings are held “on the girl’s turf,” joked Chahal. When it was time for Chahal to decide on a wedding location, she told her planner that she wanted somewhere outdoors and in the mountains. With families coming from east and west, Chahal wanted to minimize the travelling for their guests and chose somewhere (sort of) in the middle.

Part of the decoration hung by Duerks at the Revelation Lodge. (Jessica Duerks)

While the location helped with convenience, Chahal had her own connection to Revelstoke that made the location ideal.

Growing up in Edmonton, Chahal and her family would hit the road every summer for road trips.

“We would flock to the mountains following my dad’s lead every single summer and Revelstoke was one of the first spots we went road tripping,” said Chahal.

Taking in all the local attractions, Revelstoke was a hit for Chahal and her family immediately, and they would return year after year because they enjoyed it so much. Sadly, her father passed away a couple of years ago.

With the goal of an outdoor wedding in the mountains, and a connection to Revelstoke, Chahal’s planner landed on Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) in August as the location for their wedding.

For those who aren’t familiar with Sikh weddings, they are a big event — spanning multiple days with various elements. So, when the guest list for Chahal’s wedding was set at 300 people, it was considered a smaller event. Still, setting up for it was an enormous effort that tapped several local businesses.

Part of Duerks' decoration. (Jessica Duerks)

One of the local businesses hired was Jessica Duerks of RockIt Events. Duerks is a wedding planner and decorator. For this event, she worked with the wedding’s lead planner to help decorate the Revelation Lodge at RMR, which meant building some of the features — including the Palki. The Palki is a structure that covers and protects where the Guru Granth Sahib sits, which is the main text for Sikhs.

The Palki wasn’t what challenged Duerks the most.

“Definitely the underlay. It was one of those things where I was like ‘oh, my gosh, I didn’t expect it to be such hard work,’” said Duerks.

White underlay covering the Revelation Lodge patio at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Jessica Duerks)

As part of her decorating the Revelation Lodge, Duerks covered the outdoor patio with white fabric underlay. In all, she estimated that she laid 3,000 square feet of fabric on the patio.

Duerks also partnered with Terra Firma’s Kitchen, who made 200 donuts for a donut wall that Duerks created.

This was the first Sikh wedding that Duerks had a hand in, but she enjoyed it.

“Oh, my gosh, it was so fun. Just being able to see this small little peek into their culture and get to experience something different than all the weddings I’ve done,” said Duerks.

Like any wedding, food played an important role. Paramjit’s Kitchen –aka Pam’s Kitchen– provided the food for several of the events that took place outside of RMR.

“[The food] was very, very popular with our family. It was nice having that sense of home through cooking that’s provided with Indian food for big Indian weddings,” said Chahal.

As the events of the wedding wound down, sitting at the Revelation Lodge and looking over the valley, Chahal was left with a happy and tearful thought about her dad.

“I just felt like his energy was most present in Revy, which is really weird to say, but it just didn’t in that moment, in that spot.”

(Dawn to Earth)

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