Secret Wedding Blog

Is it impossible to keep everyone happy at an Asian wedding?

March 16, 2014
Punjabi Hindu Fusion Wedding

Whenever I’m doing anything, literally anything, cooking, showering, blogging, driving, I always have to listen to something. Whether it’s a podcast, audiobook, my spotify playlist, or just my standard Bollywood music, I love it. I was listening back to Nihal on BBC Asian network where he was discussing the topic –

Is it impossible to keep everyone happy at an Asian wedding?

Back in the day the bride and groom’s families would invite pretty much everyone they know – hence why Asian weddings are usually full of hundreds of people. In these weddings, it’s not culturally acceptable to not invite your aunties, uncles, cousins etc. This topic arose because a bride walked out of her own wedding in India because the groom’s side were presented with chicken when they demanded mutton by the bride’s family. She walked out, and never returned!

Personally, I don’t think it is possible to keep everyone happy at an Asian wedding. There are so many Asian weddings, especially during the summer aka wedding season. If you’re living in the Asian community, you can be expected to attend weddings almost every weekend. That’s why some of my many cousins in Derby, can’t stand weddings, they go to them so often, it becomes a chore.

One listener phoned in to say “It should be a privilege to get invited to a wedding, it’s a privilege to get invited to a non-Asian wedding.” Non-Asian weddings are selective about who the bride and groom really want there, so when you’re invited, you know you’re invited to help them celebrate their big day. Not just because your grandma knows the groom’s mother.

Punjabi Hindu Fusion Wedding

Luckily, I live outside of the ‘Asian community’ so I don’t get invited to a wedding every weekend, so when I do get invited, I absolutely love it. I still have the love for weddings and especially as I’m invited to those who want me there. When I receive invitations because it’s obligatory, I rarely attend those weddings.

I attended my friends Beth and Lawrie’s wedding in Cornwall and that was very friends based. The night before, the girls had a slumber party and the boys had a poker night. It was lovely. I got to meet people I didn’t know so when it came to the wedding day, we all knew each other. This wedding allowed me to interact with the couple, spend quality time with them on their special day. They knew I was there. At some very large Asian weddings, the bride and groom may not even know who you are. Or that you’re even there!

Another listener even said that Asian couples are fooling themselves because the wedding isn’t about them, it’s about the 600 guests attending, ensuring they enjoy themselves. Nihal pointed out that this is such a cultural difference, as you’d never say that about non-Asian weddings. Which I most definitely agree with.

Punjabi Hindu Fusion Wedding

With all the money spent on weddings and the year of planning, it should be up to the bride and groom at the end of the day. One listener rang in to say that her nephew had a multicultural intimate wedding with only about 40 guests and that was one of only Asian weddings she attended where everyone was happy. No aunties moaning about the food, the bride’s attire, the decor etc. They invited only who they really wanted there which made the day perfect. Some people will of course be annoyed that they aren’t  invited but that is the action you’ll need to take in order to have happy guests enjoy your wedding day with you.

I personally think that in order to have a wedding enjoyed by all is to have a smaller wedding, you don’t need to invite your mum’s brother’s wife’s dad’s cousin. It was done in the past, but in order to control these Asian weddings, keeping them small is a win win for everyone. Plus think about the money you can save to spend on something else like your honeymoon!

Since originally writing this post, I’ve seen a number of smaller Asian weddings, which has been great. The bride and groom have decided to wash away the tradition of inviting hundreds of distant family members. Mainly because they have more of a say in their wedding now. For instance my parents didn’t have a say in their wedding and I know for mine, I’ll be able to have my own decisions to make – 100%. Times are changing and couples are prioritising what’s important to them.

Do you think it’s impossible to keep everyone happy at an Asian wedding?

Photography: Jo Hastings Photography | See more from this Punjabi Hindu Fusion wedding here

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