Read This If You’re Attending An Indian Wedding

Last year, I got married with great pomp and ceremony. It was a magnificent and traditional Indian affair, our magnum opus that lasted all of six days. As a bride, I remember feeling special, emotional, ecstatic, overwhelmed, anxious, in-control and clueless all at once. Soon after, many of my friends and cousins got married, and I ended up attending almost ten Indian weddings over a one-year timespan. One particular group of wedding-goers at each of these weddings caught my eye: the non-Indian wedding-goers, the foreigners. Often a 1% minority in an alien setting with people they don’t know, music they don’t understand or food they’re not sure they can digest.

So this is for you if you’re new to Indian weddings. You’ve been handed the cream-and-red envelope, with a direct invitation from the Elephant God. You’re excited and keen to attend, but also terrified; there are just so many questions! What’s it going to be like, will I get diarrhoea, what am I expected to wear, where do I book a room…don’t worry. Consider this an Indian Weddings for Dummies, or an attempt thereof. Of course, every Indian wedding is different, with personal and cultural nuances. But this is a broad model that generally applies.

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