As a groom and a stand-up comedian what a whirlwind weekend having a big fat wedding can be. I’ve wanted to write about it for a while but didn’t know what to say. They’re plenty of tips and tricks style articles on the internet about Indian weddings and Western Weddings but I wanted to take a fresh approach on what makes it truly a good experience as a bride a groom in any wedding where you’ll probably have more than 100 guests all there for you.
How Do You Enjoy Your Own wedding?
So how do you enjoy your wedding? I’ll explain it all below and tactically what I mean, but in a nutshell, you need to expect that things WILL go wrong or late and you need to be present. That’s really it.
And one major tip I’ll end this post on.
What Nobody Tells About Wedding Planning
Billion-dollar industries exist on wedding preparation, but very few talk about wedding execution. It sounds so silly that we work out, research and train but then rarely focus on playing the game. Mainly because with weddings there is usually only one game per life but I mean hey, it still counts to have fun playing.
There’s a joke I remember during our Indian wedding planning experience I kept cracking.
My wife never laughed but I still like it.
“Oh you thought this wedding was about US? no no no, it’s for everybody else.”Intelligent Uncle.
But I love that.
And to enjoy a wedding, you need to focus on everybody else, but also internally…you need to EXPERIENCE your wedding.
As Daniel Kahneman in the NYT Bestseller Thinking Fast and Slow says…you have two selves.
The experiencing self and the remembering self.
A movie that’s 99.9% amazing with a crap ending lets the remembering self ruin the experiencing self because all you’ll remember is that the ending sucked. The memory is all you got and you don’t care that you were on the edge of your seat and laughing/focused for two hours. You just care that you’ll remember the entire experience based on the ending…it sucked.
Using that to recall my own wedding…although we had our own minor hiccups with girls running late and a few food items off from what we ordered (every wedding does)…I remember that luckily I planned to slot in some free time for myself, my wife and my friends and that made ALL the difference.
Being Present Doesn’t Mean Namaste Although It Does Mean More Than Hello
All the planning, all the expenses (where’s that cry emoji when you need it), all the family fun, love, drama (Indian no wedding is complete without it) came and by in a flash.
But in those moments, I made it a point to:
- chat with friends I hadn’t seen,
- family I was getting to know,
- dance to music we were paying a bomb for,
- sneak a bite at someone’s table,
- take a drag, umm swig of that drink…
- and just find time to just sit in the corner and take it all in.
I had a few heart to hearts, cried a good chunk and just realized how lucky I was to be able to experience this experience.
People might see you sitting alone or eating your feed for 40 seconds by yourself…but you SHOULD do that. You’re paying thousands of dollars for flowers so yes…hell yes…stop and smell the roses.
Does that make sense?
We totally forgot to eat all that amazing food we ordered, and you probably will to by the way.
It’s 2019, both my wife and my family are “woke” and modern, but now that a few months have passed I realize more and more, that more than the fireworks, the alcohol and the food….I was just having a good time in the MOMENT.
So my advice to you is:
How to Be Present at Your Wedding
For the love of God…do whatever you have to do to prepare how to be PRESENT.
- Meditate. (meaning, learn to sit without your phone and just look at the wall for 10 minutes a day).
- Work out.
- Learn to let things go. Decorator adding 5% or a last minute RSVP/cancellation came in? Cool, you’ll figure it out.
- Practice dancing and getting on stage at some local open mic or toastmasters for your speeches.
- Ignore that the hotel just charged you $600 for towels you ruined in the Mehendi.
It all doesn’t matter in the long run.
During the Hindu or Christian wedding ceremony (or whichever you do)…actually, close your eyes and enjoy the priest’s chants and fire from the ceremony in front of you.
Breathe it in bro-bro.
You will constantly be pulled in various directions. Photographers and makeup people will take up all your newlywed’s time when you’re not at the events you’re paying for.
But you’re not there for your make-up artists Instagram page OR missing an hour of your reception because you need to take glamour shots outside by the moonlight (do that later).
What good is showing up and looking gorgeous in photos if all you remember when you see those photos are how the band stopped an hour after you entered, and you barely said more than “Hi/Hello” to anybody?
The Biggest Free Hack That Makes EVERYBODY ENJOY YOUR WEDDING
Most couples at weddings, especially those above 100 people seem so busy with EVERYONE that in reality, they’ve spent quality time with no one.
Your friends (even your best friends) think you want to be with family, your family thinks you want to be with friends or your partner, and then aside from selfies and dancing superficially, real connections and bonds aren’t really exercised aside from the shot at that bar.
So what I tell all my friends to do now, and I’m glad we did at our wedding to actually make ourselves enjoy it.
Talk to each guest for 180 seconds.
After a minute and the selfie, it has to get real. They’ll say something like “Ok I’m sure everybody is asking for your attention I’ll let you get back to it” but in reality where do you have to go? THIS is the reason we’re all here right?
But 3 minutes is a long time at the moment, and your college roommate who once upon a time you were best friends with will cherish that moment for a while.
Now do those 3 minutes with 50 other groups of people and you’re good.
Everybody talks about the food, the customs, the pictures, the decoration. Once you have that all figured out, please come back here and read this again.
For wedding planning….why not PLAN…to ENJOY IT.
FULL ONE HOUR PODCAST ON INDIAN WEDDINGS WITH KARUNA REDDY from the MOGRA COLLECTIVE.