Indian wedding etiquette 101.
By Tanya Shah
The universe knows that every Indian wedding requires a ton of preparations, and when it comes to a destination wedding, you might as well be packing your entire home for a few days. Elaborate outfits and six-inch heels are just the beginning of a long list to look your glamorous best for an affair that will be packed with food, friends, a little fatigue and lots of fun. And so to survive a week-long festivity, Masala shares a few tips and tricks that will keep you going.
Disclaimer: No aunties or uncles were hurt, insulted or picked on while writing this article.
Runway or Run Away?
Make sure you dress to the nines or even to the tens! At an Indian wedding, everyone becomes a fashion critic, so you better pick your best stylist-approved outfits paired with some slightly painful but classy jewellery and footwear. Aunties and uncles, and of course, those young fashionistas, will be charged and ready to judge, so be prepared for some compliments as well as criticism — you may even notice some eye-scans from head to toe. You can either turn heads in awe or disapproval, so choose wisely which you want.
Eat and Greet minus the Greet
At an event, 90 percent will be filled with people you (don’t really want to) make small talk with, and the best hideout is the food section. So if you are tired of telling people why you are currently unemployed or unmarried, rush over to where all the yummy catering is, because what can give you more happiness than some daal makhani or gulab jamun?
Chai with Chacha
Yes, you may feel like you are on the Koffee with Karan couch, shooting out answers to multiple questions thrown at you. You know the usual: What do you do?
How much do you earn? Are you married? Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?
Can you cook? If you are sick of being on the hot seat and want to avoid giving live updates on your life, then make sure you make your rounds in a timely manner. After dedicating a few minutes to one person, tell them someone’s looking for you and make a quick exit. Remember, you are not getting a fancy hamper for this rapid fire round!
Beware of the Matchmakers
If you are of a ‘marriageable age’, be prepared for some unsolicited advice, comments and linkups. As a bachelor or bachelorette, you will find that you have so many well-prepared wingmen or women with all the details of other single youngsters, eagerly waiting to set you up. If you aren’t specifically looking to be introduced to a potential beau by some uncle or aunty, turn around and walk away as soon as the marriage questions start flowing in. It may start with the usual “you’re next”, but before you know it, they’ll be setting you up with their bua ke bete ki beti. Beware!
Remember me (not)
As intimate as the affair may be, it is certain that you will come across some uncles, aunties, or elders who will ask you to tell them their name. That’s right — not your name, their name. The popular “Remember me?” moment started many years ago and lives on until today. What’s worse is that some people take it personally when you don’t remember them. So to avoid hurting any sentiments, simply nod and smile, and then excuse yourself by politely saying that someone is looking for you. They’ll probably forgive you then.
It’s not you, it’s me!
In the midst of all this madness, don’t forget to give yourself some undivided attention as well. Make sure you have worked out well in advance for the strength and energy required during the events. While there, keep hydrated, energised and try to get as much sleep as possible. Make good use of that ‘do not disturb’ sign. Also, if you’re at a destination wedding, chances are it’s by the beach, so sneak away to the sands to get some calm. However, if there’s a beach party going on, better luck next time!