Whether it's a flouncy white gown or an elaborate lehenga, an elegant reception or a raucous sangeet, weddings absolutely anywhere are nothing short of special. That being said, there are always some things we can learn from the West, and others they could pick up from us.
Lessons from Western weddings
Picture Credit: Aditya Mendiratta Photography
Have you heard some of the speeches at Western weddings? They're packed with heartfelt emotions, a solid dash of humour and often served with a side of touching nostalgia. They help the guests know the couple better and you share a few laughs along the way. Indian weddings could do with that kind of connect too - in fact, speeches have crept into some receptions and mehendis, so here's to this trend picking up. Hear! Hear!
2. The father-daughter dance
In the craziness that is the Indian wedding, the only moments we tend to capture with our parents are where we pose on stage, or when we bid an emotional goodbye. The father-daughter dance makes for beautiful memories and gives you those three minutes alone with your number one guy.
Picture credit: Chris Spira Photography
Picture Credit: Swati Chauhan Photography
3. Incorporating your love story in your wedding
Whether it's the timeline of your love story on a beautiful chalkboard, table centrepieces reflecting your travels as a couple, or a glimpse into your love via photos, incorporating a bit of yourself into your big day, and perhaps sharing a free-spirited kiss along the way, is what a wedding should be about, no matter how scandalized that distant aunt gets.
4. Giving respect to photography
We have a tendency to spend on the fancy venue, the decor, the outfits and then hire a third-rate photographer to cut corners. It's madness. Cut down on that floral montage that nobody will remember, but hire an ace photographer who will give you memories for a lifetime.
5. A selective guest list
Let's face it, with the amount of relatives (and "aunties" and "uncles" who are practically relatives) we have and are apparently obliged to invite, our wedding guest lists almost always run into reams of paper. Yet weddings in the west remain generally tight-knit and small church weddings can be just as gratifying as huge ones.
6. Equality between the groom's and bride's families
There is no dowry or "gifting" expected from one side (read the bride's). Equality between both families is something EVERY wedding should incorporate.
7. Short and sweet ceremonies
Does anyone really want to listen to a pundit drone on for hours on end? I think we could certainly benefit from having slightly shorter wedding ceremonies, no?
Lessons from Indian weddings
1. No seating charts and strange rules
Who needs a seating chart when you are all family and friends? Though things in the West may be more ordered, we're all about the last minute RSVPs, changes here and there, extended family being accommodated. A wedding is not a wedding without some madness there's a lot to be said for "adjusting" and taking everything in our stride.
2. Creative bridal entries
Entering with your dad is beautiful, but we love the level of creativity brides are putting into their arrival in India. Right from lace umbrellas, to chanting pundits to zooming in on a motorbike - it's all about making an impact.
3. More days, more fun
Not only do you need to build the excitement, you need to deliver too! A wedding that is planned for six months and is over in one day? So not fun. Western wedding can definitely learn from our week-long celebrations.
4. Sangeet performances = best type of family bonding
Every wedding needs a family performance -- whether it's a flash mob or a coordinated arrangement. It brings the family closer, lets you shake a leg and make a fool of yourself on stage. Complete fun guaranteed
5. Letting go and having FUN!
Bridezilla, who? Weddings in the true Indian style are all about just surrendering yourself to the craziness and enjoying yourself thoroughly, every step of the way.
5. Quirky wedding traditions
As crazy long as our ceremonies can sometimes be, there's nothing like jootha chuppai or throwing rice at the bidaai to break that monotony and ensure everyone is giggling or reminiscing by the end of the wedding!
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