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BLING, BAAJA, BARAAT!: Bizarre things at Weddings

by Shradha Aswani

With lessons you can learn from them!

By Kripa Singh

Strange things happen at weddings. Emotions are high, alcohol is (usually) flowing; hedonism is at its peak. Add in the hundred-year-old traditions and voila: you have a recipe for madness. As a wedding planner, I’ve witnessed many bizarre incidents; stories that will not only leave you gobsmacked, but hopefully wiser from the interesting life lessons that come with them.

The M.I.A Guest

Imagine 400 guests and one goes missing. As you’d expect, upheaval ensues. During a wedding in Phuket, the bride’s brother went missing for a full 12 hours. We scanned CCTV footage, called every guest room, and the ceremonies were put on hold. The search parties were just setting off when we finally got the call. A florist had called to inform us, “There’s a 6-foot man nestled amidst the flowers.” The bride’s brother had been found sleeping in the storage room, in a blissful but very drunken stupour.

Lesson #1: Don’t drink too much but if you do, don’t ruin the flowers.

The DJ Who Saved the Day

A DJ’s goal is straightforward: get people on the dance floor…unless it’s a wedding hosted by two cross-cultural families who refuse to accept each other’s differing tastes in music. Most of the cross-cultural weddings I have witnessed have been incredible, with everyone happily embracing each other’s differences.

This peculiar Punjabi and Marwari wedding was an anomaly and the DJ had to bear the brunt. While the groom’s side demanded solely Punjabi music, the bride’s side insisted on Bollywood.

Top 100 hits. The tug-of-war continued till the guests were yelling at each other. The DJ had to act swiftly to avoid a fi ght breaking out. He negotiated a middle ground by allotting each side their requests in alternate turns. Just like that, the DJ’s role went from getting people on the dance floor to precariously balancing two cultures in order to save a marriage.

Lesson #2: There will always be differing opinions. Sometimes you’ve got to learn to dance to each other’s tunes

The Locked-Away Bride

Even Thailand’s heat isn’t enough to get rid of cold feet for some couples. At one wedding, a nervous bride-to-be locked herself in the bathroom and refused to attend her own sangeet night. It was only after a lot of convincing, deep breathing, and a couple of glasses of wine, that she eventually agreed to make an appearance. The bride reapplied her lipstick, put herself together, and marched straight onto the dance floor.
By the end of the evening, she admitted it was sheer nervousness. Fortunately, she was just the locked-away bride and not the run-away kind.

Lesson #3: Sometimes life can be overwhelming and it’s tempting to run away or hide from what seems daunting. Find the courage to show up.

The Wilful Groomzilla

Brides have a reputation for throwing tantrums. But Groomzillas are also a very real phenomenon, and are often a product of excess alcohol. At a wedding in Bangkok, a very inebriated groom refused to participate in his varmala ceremony. The man of the hour kept everyone waiting for over two hours while he partied with his friends. The baraat celebration took place on a boat, and even after almost all the guests had disembarked, the groom and his friends remained reluctant to make a move. It was only after immense coercion that he finally agreed to grace everyone with his presence. The impatient guests couldn’t have been more relieved.

Another Groomzilla insisted on doing a 45-minute solo dance at his sangeet. To add to the horror of the bride, it was an impromptu, freestyle performance. As you can imagine, he didn’t receive a standing ovation.

Lesson #4: Although the limelight is on you, don’t get too self-absorbed. Appreciate that your wedding guests have made the eff ort to be there for you, and be considerate of them and your partner.

Kripa Singh is a wedding decor designer and aesthete with a love for good books, dogs and a cup of tea.

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