Weddings, where two people celebrate the start of their journey together, should be a source of joy and euphoria to all involved. Yet, it often turns out, that weddings are a cause of tension, conflict and anxiety.
How much will it cost? How will every one get along? Will everything happen on time? Are the arrangements lavish enough? What will people think of the wedding? The list of worries is long.
Most Indian weddings actively involve various family members. I like that about Indian weddings. The parents, siblings and friends of both the bride and groom all have an active role to play and some duty assigned to them. In many cases I may not agree with the significance or meaning of the rituals, but it is nice that that everyone has a role in it.
When we were ready to get married, my husband were not keen on a big shindig, but we agreed to it, anyway. In hind sight I am glad we did.
Although the rituals did not have a lot of meaning to us, they were fun and unusual things to do. It made the day memorable. During the saatphere we had an interesting moment, when my brother misunderstood the pundits instructions, and followed us around till the pundit asked him if he was getting married too, at which point he stuck out his tongue and quickly scampered to his assigned position. Unfortunately the camera man edited this out of the video, giving my brother plausible deniability.
Then there was fun stuff, like my friends stealing my husband's shoes, and then, him negotiating with them, to get his shoes back, so he could go home, my sister-in-law trying to block my way to the bedroom and me, unexpectedly, sneaking under the barrier, in my bridal attire, made for a hilarious sight, etc.
I have often heard brides in Hollywood movies say that the wedding day is their day and everything should be just the way they want it. The dress, the shoes, the cake, the décor the location etc. The way we saw it, was a little different.
We have our whole lives to enjoy our marriage together and make all the rules and indulge all our whims and fancies. The rest of the marriage will be just the two of us, and the little people we make. The wedding day, however was a unique opportunity to celebrate our relationship with the extended family, and in our case, some strangers as well. Okay, not exactly strangers, but family friends we had not met since infancy or may be even ever.
Some parts of the wedding were emotional, some were fun, some were unusual and there definitely were some parts where we rolled our eyes, like when I vowed to wash all my husband's cows, but they all added up to a memorable experience, not just for my husband and me but our whole family.
My wedding day was fun for me, not because everything went my way, but because I let go of the reigns and let other people make the decisions, and I just enjoyed what they had to offer. It was nice to see our extended families interact, some of whom might never see each other again. It was the day our two families became one, for better or for worse.
PS: This not to criticize those who organise their own weddings or want it their way. I am just relating my own experience and some of my thoughts, given my personal circumstances.