While most pre-pubescent kids receive the “birds and bees” talk, desi children grow up believing the concept doesn’t exist. When they’re 30 and want to have six children, it peeks its inappropriate head, and then it disappears again. Some would say this is ironic, coming from a culture of kama sutra, but that topic is for another time (and perhaps another century).
While it’s imperative to engage with a bride and groom’s family on the day of their wedding, it’s even more imperative to know which topics are absolutely and positively off-limits. Basically, ANYTHING and everything mildly, remotely, or vaguely racy. We’ve all grown up here, and know what goes on, but there is no need to take this opportunity to share the juicy details with the older generation.
So next time you’re at a wedding, think (once, twice, a thousand times) before you speak, and remember these ultimate “no-no’s.”
1. The couple’s dating past: In many desi families, the topic of dating is still very taboo (despite complete westernization and adoption of American dating rules by our generation). Many parents aren’t aware of their child’s dating history. Do not, at any cost, mention how long the couple has been dating (as far as parent’s know, they arranged this wedding!), where they traveled during their romantic vacation last year, or how they were on and off in 2008. Parents needn’t know such things!
2. The bride and groom’s SEPARATE dating pasts: High school sweethearts are hard to come by. A lot happens between the time we’re getting our licenses, fretting over becoming prom king/queen (or , more likely, what we got on our SATs), High School graduation, and getting married. It’s quite likely that these two have their own stories that precede the one they’re now making together. So please spare them the remembrance of their dorky boyfriend from 10thgrade, and let them enjoy their day.
3. The bachelor/bachelorette parties: Wow. I’m having trouble articulating just how catastrophic this could be. There is a Bollywood movie in which a soon-to-be groom is having a bachelor party and dancing with another women, when his soon-to-be father-in-law moseys in (it’s of course a set-up by the other guy in the love-triangle, but Bollywood lessons aside…), and nearly cancels the entire wedding upon seeing this (modest according to Western standards) dance. You don’t want to be the reason this wedding is canceled. Unless you’re trying to sabotage the wedding. Muahaha.
4. The relationship status of others: In most cases, desi parents truly believe that relationships start and end with holy matrimony. Liaisons, affairs, flings, etc. are just not present in their conceptual dictionary. You are doing your friends and acquaintances the ultimate disservice by revealing their personal information to others. The desi grapevine is one of the strongest and most unyielding. So watch watch watch what you say.
Guests, that should keep you prim and proper. Now for brides and grooms, make it a point to debrief all of your friends prior to the wedding. You know the tiffs you’ve told and what would make your parents lose their cool. Discuss this at your bachelor/bachelorette parties when it’s just your boys/girls and when everyone is all ears (preferably before the bubbly is popped).
Let’s keep this wedding on the calendar!
Your Wedding Planner to-be,