Five Crazy Things to Expect Before a Typical Indian Shaadi

From annoying aunties to drive-you-up-the-wall shaadi shopping, there’s a lot you don’t know about pre-wedding craze

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There’s a lot they don’t tell you about wedding planning – before you actually face it. (Photo Courtesy: YouTube screenshot)

You have to love the big, fat Indian wedding. There’s dancing and food. There are slurring uncles, annoying aunties, people who think they’ve become better dancers two drinks down and some people who order things from outside the buffet because that’s how they roll. (They should be made to pay for those extras.)

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of planning that goes into making the Indian wedding as grand and as awesome as it looks on that day. But nobody tells you these things. There’s a wedding coming up in my family and I get to watch the entire process from close quarters.

Here’s what they don’t tell you about wedding planning.

Hotel Hopping

Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur in Delhi before Shahid Kapoor’s wedding. (Photo: Yogen Shah)
Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur in Delhi before Shahid Kapoor’s wedding. (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Once the couple is sure about each other and the parents are okay with placing their bets on this union, the hotel hopping begins. This is where you go to hotels that could be potential wedding venues and have a look at the property.

One person from the hotel team usually takes you around. By the 3rd hotel, someone needs to pee and they wait to be shown a room and use the toilet, collectively embarrassing everyone on this hotel hopping spree.

By hotel number 4, you can no longer remember what the ballroom looked like and frankly, you don’t give a damn.

Clothes Shopping

Everyone lugs around to the designer stores. (Photo Courtesy: Pinterest/Wed Me Good)
Everyone lugs around to the designer stores. (Photo Courtesy: Pinterest/Wed Me Good)

Both bride and groom start off wanting designer clothes. So everyone lugs around to the designer stores.

The men of the entourage make themselves comfortable on the sofa at every store. The women look at a few outfits and ask the price. They then decide if selling a house would be worth that lehenga. Once everyone confirms that they would prefer a roof over their head instead of a bridal lehenga, the store is abandoned.

Outside, the bride and groom come back to their senses and decide to stick to stores that give you good stuff at a budget.

Photo Cropping

Wedding photography and its importance has gone through the roof. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/storiesbyjosephradhik/">Instagram/StoriesByJosephRadhik</a>)
Wedding photography and its importance has gone through the roof. (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/StoriesByJosephRadhik)

Somehow, wedding photography and its importance has gone through the roof. People don’t just want pictures of themselves. There are also pictures of the couple’s shoes, clothes, makeup and socks laid out in pretty poses.

Then, of course, a picture of the couple through a frame. Then, the bride looking up, wearing jewellery. Of the groom wearing his watch, staring into space. Of the couple holding hands. Of them jumping, attempting to be silly. What? These are stock pictures?

Not at all, as every photographer will tell you.

Train Spotting

As exhausted, jet lagged guests step off, we invite them with much fanfare, throwing garlands around their neck and dancing as they stare on wearily. (Photo: iStock)
As exhausted, jet lagged guests step off, we invite them with much fanfare, throwing garlands around their neck and dancing as they stare on wearily. (Photo: iStock)

Travel arrangements are possibly the biggest nightmare of wedding planning. Most of us will have people coming from all over the world. Obviously, the elders from the US will have to have someone receive them at the ungodly hour of 4 am. Those coming from the UK will need to be checked in early into the hotel. The guests from Chandigarh are coming in by flight. Those from Goa are coming in by train.

And of course, as these exhausted, jet lagged people step off, we invite them with much fanfare, throwing garlands around their neck and dancing as they stare on wearily.

Food Chopping

Food tasting is eating the stuff the hotel gives you, then telling them what you didn’t like. (Photo: iStock)
Food tasting is eating the stuff the hotel gives you, then telling them what you didn’t like. (Photo: iStock)

It’s not a wedding till you have guests burping in satisfaction. So food is obviously super important. And getting good food involves tasting a lot of dishes. With the couple busy with pre-wedding stuff, this responsibility usually falls on the shoulders of the sidekicks – like me in this case.

Food tasting is eating the stuff the hotel gives you, then telling them what you didn’t like – giving them a few seconds to sulk before suggesting they abandon that dish and attempt something else.

It’s a lot of fun to have the chef glowering at you. No, really.

(Mansi Shah is founder of the blog Damsel in Destress which reviews experiences as varied as spas, books and plays. Mansi is, by her own admission, “clueless” at 30 with an easy penchant for humour.)

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