A big fat Indian wedding is all about people, glitter, fun, and a show of wealth — which can quickly turn into a nightmare for the bride if she’s an introvert. Here are nine things that may make an Indian bride wonder why she ever wanted to get married.
1. Rituals and rituals and rituals
There are so many rituals observed at a big fat Indian wedding. The main wedding ceremony takes a short time — hardly half an hour. But every wedding ceremony is preceded and followed by many time-sucking rituals. The number of these rituals varies, but any wedding ceremony lasts for at least three days. A bride and groom have to dress differently for every ritual, and that’s quite a task.
2. Endless shopping and outfit changes
Imagine the burden of looking different for every ritual. The groom needs a new dress, footwear, a watch, glasses, and a piece of jewelry. But that’s not the case with the bride. The bride has to wear a new dress and matching, new accessories with it. Her list includes bangles, a neck piece, earrings, a nose ring, anklets, bracelets, footwear, hair accessories, etc. Her shopping list goes on and on. For example, if she buys five dresses, then she needs five different sets of the above-mentioned accessories. For an introvert bride, shopping for her wedding can be a Herculean task.
3. You can’t even be alone at home
Relatives arrive at your house three or four days before the wedding, and sometimes even a week before. Weddings are all about socializing, not the actual wedding ceremony. Whether your house is big or small, every room becomes filled with relatives and their bags. Watching people sleeping on your terrace, your balcony, and even in the hall, your home basically becomes a local hotel. There’s nowhere you can go to be alone to recharge your energy.
4. Lots of small talk and forced pleasantries
As the host, you have to make small talk with every relative. You meet relatives you didn’t even know existed. This also means talking with relatives you don’t like. You have to greet them and say you’ve missed them, even when you haven’t.
5. A free drama show
Expect drama at a big fat Indian wedding. A distant relative will get angry that he is not being respected enough or that the host is ignoring him. His sweet dish plate is a little less filled compared to the plate of the person he is sitting next to. As the host, you have to make him happy and fix things. And things like two hot-headed relatives getting into a fight over something trivial that has happened two or three years ago is the last thing you want to deal with on your wedding day.
6. A carnival of sounds
With so many people staying at your house, your sacred introvert place becomes a noisy carnival of sounds. Children play and shout in the hall like it’s a playground. Women chatter in the kitchen while more people talk and laugh elsewhere. And no wedding is complete unless ear-crashing music is played over large speakers. Whether it’s a small ritual or the actual wedding ceremony, loud music is played at almost every moment.
7. You’re the main attraction
The real problem comes on your wedding day. When a bride enters the wedding hall, all the eyes are glued to her. How does she look? What has she worn? How does she act? Does she blush? She’s supposed to be a blushing and happy bride, but she’s not supposed to show it too much. Every little detail is on display. Even a “small” wedding will have at least 500 guests.
8. Mechanical actions
By the end of it all, you doubt that you are still human! You talk mechanically, stay patient, and have answer the same questions over and over. When it comes to posing for photos with every guest, you might as well sub in a cardboard cutout of yourself. There are certain instructions you have to follow precisely for every ritual. For example, a certain piece of cloth, which is tied around the wrist, has to be a specific color and has to be tied in a specific way. So you follow every instruction precisely even though you or anyone else don’t know the exact reason behind it.
9. You wonder if it’s all worth it
Big fat weddings are all about extravaganza. Money is splurged on gifts and decorations and wedding preparations. You might find yourself wondering why can’t you wear the same neck piece with all your dresses. Or what’s the need of such a heavy and costly wedding Lehenga? Do we need so many gifts? Couldn’t all this money be put toward a good cause or personal savings? You start feeling guilty that you are a part of all this extravaganza.
When everything comes to an end, an introvert bride might feel like she has woken up from a nightmare. The best way to avoid this nightmare is to opt for a small, private wedding.
But if are stuck with such a wedding, remind yourself that this too shall pass! And, even though it can be exhausting, your big fat Indian wedding might just turn out to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
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Image credit: @padreryan via Twenty20