Prep begins months and months in advance of a big fat Indian wedding, and even the most distantly-connected guest will not think twice about updating his or her wardrobe for the upcoming "event".
From preparations that begin months ago for the bride and her entourage, even the most remote guest will not bat an eyelid before splurging on new clothes. Thanks to the new The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, there's hope that we'll get some respite from this madness. And while there are tons of things that need to stop like the designer bridal lehengas that's only worn for a few hours in its entire lifetime, and the loud jewellery that lies in the locker forever, and fancy venues that no one remembers, and unending guest lists of people who are freeloaders, here are some basics to get the ball rolling.
1. You are cordially invited…
These can range anywhere between a designer box of handcrafted chocolates to iPads with digital invitations. What started out as basic flyer to let people know the date, time and venue has now escalated into something that will offer a peek into the status of the wedding you're goign to attend. (This is also when you have to decide the level of gift you're going to give.)
2. What's the occasion, again?
Three odd decades ago, every community had their set of rituals and functions that were mandatory. But with the advent of inter-cultural and inter-religion alliances with a generous helping of Bollywood influence, every wedding these days rolls into a three-day affair, minimum. And god bless you if every function has a theme. You'll realise you'll eventually end up spending a whole month's salary to win this costume party because #FOMO #YOLO.
3. On a high horse
This ritual has its roots in the belief that the groom should ride a horse to the venue to showcase his manliness, and possibly because horses were the most royal form of transport back in the day. But this ritual in present day has snowballed into people hiring limousines, elephants, vintage cars and what-not to bring the groom zoon into the venue. Chances are that this baraat will block the traffic, annoy passersby, make a complete fool of the groom - but there is no end to this madness #FamilyPressure
4. Exchange of garlands
We don't really want to discourage this because it's honestly the funniest thing we've seen. The bride and groom, armed with an overwhelming, lehenga and awkward smiles are elevated into a stage through a rotating disc to exchange garlands - we can't even explain it, it's ridiculous.
5. The item numbers
Yashraj has set new standards of expectation from dulhan ke saheliyan who just HAVE to prepare a kadak dance on the latest chart-buster. Plus 10 if the costumes can be coordinated. Plus 20 if the choice of song can also get the gathering teary-eyed.
6. Google Maps doesn't always work
People need to stop booking those bhool bhullaiya-type banquet halls that open into each other. Half the damn event goes in guests looking for each other, friends and cousins getting separated, and a lot of unnecessary conversation with people you've probably related to, but never seen before in your life. Of course you could just call them, but the DJ at every wedding is feeling like it's his 'now or never' moment.
7. Around the world in 87 live food counters
Your wedding may be a bit of a circus, but it is not a food count. What's the deal with having to serve 87 different cuisines from sushi to theplas? Have you seen your guests' plates? They're eating butter chicken with pasta. Is that the sort of thing everyone should encourage? Umm, No.
8. Token goras
This is the most ridiculous thing people do - have foreigners dress in skimpy clothes (or even dressed up as a table) greet guests and hand out plates. What does this even mean? We're scared to even consider what might be going on in your head.