Inviting For The Sake Of Inviting

Summer’s here, well maybe not quite as far as the weather is concerned, but definitely with regard to the Asian wedding season.

Weekend after weekend slips away as yet another invite from an extended family member or family friend from the community drops through your letterbox and you wonder how on earth you are going to get out of going. It’s not easy.

This year isn’t so bad for us, but as I was talking to a friend the other day about how over the next three months their entire weekends are to be taken up with weddings of people they do not know, I recalled our experience when we got married. That year, we had about ten weddings to go to, mostly of people we didn’t know. Our entire summer flashed before our eyes and all we had done was eaten the same food week in week out, got dressed up in our heavy saris week in and week out and congratulated people we didn’t know or know us. It was really exhausting and rather boring. The worst was when we had to go to represent the family because our parents could not make it and we did not know a soul.

I wondered then as I wonder now, why do Asian parents feel the need to invite everyone they have ever known to their child’s wedding? I had the same thing happen to me at my wedding. We had nearly 1000 guests and I do not blame anyone who thought it was pointless attending my wedding if they didn’t know me.

I know that weddings are one the greatest milestones in an Asian person’s life but it often feels like this is the one opportunity parents feel the need to show off and tell their world, “look at us, our child is getting married, aren’t we are good parents”. I have also heard that for many parents, they feel that their relationships with their family, community or friends will be hampered if they do not invite them to their child’s wedding.

I love this emerging trend of smaller intimate Asian weddings where you are connected to the bride and groom and therefore look forward to going to a wedding and are not just attending to keep the parents happy.

Much of this trend is because marrying couples are choosing alternative locations to the local community centre or school hall, where the capacity is limited. Therefore, parents do not have the option to go wild with inviting for the sake of inviting.


14 Comments to “Inviting For The Sake Of Inviting”

  1. Goodness bunty I remember having to attent unlimited weddings it is boring. I hardly attend any now as I am out of the country so often but yes wedding food is tedious and at Muslim punjabi weddings vegetarians are usually ignored. I am only a selective veg so manage but it’s not nice seeing my sister have to make do with rice, raita and salad.

    Agree that small weddings would be better and the families concerned should be more confident about doing what they want.

  2. My perfect wedding would have about 10 guests at it… There were 1000 people at my cousin’s wedding and he only had one table for his friends! How impersonal.

    But I have a question! Why do you go to these weddings? Is it bad to rsvp that you can’t make it?

  3. I was quite lucky. I ensured that all my friends came to my wedding. If my parents are inviting everyone they know, so am I. I have to say, our friends had a ball, but that was because they knew us and wanted to be there.
    Gujarati weddings only have veggie food so Bubbly, you and your sister would have a feast there.
    Vakeel Bibi, I don’t think it is bad to RSVP as say you can’t make it. However, often there is pressure of families i.e. parents and in-laws. One has to choose battles wisely!!!!

  4. It’s true. While we are on this topic. It is now beginning to
    extend to childrens 1st birthday parties. When some grandparents get involved they feel every person who may have a remote link must be invited. Specifically for this reason I’m in charge of the guest list for my babies party. For how long I don’t know. Other friends have cancelled parties due to the ‘elders getting involved’ and calling random people. It never stops!! X

    • This is so true Coondal Zulfay. 1st birthdays are massive and the child always cries because they cannot stand all the attention!!! Nobody is doing it for the child only for the grandparents!!!

      • Yes my nephew is about to have a huge birthday bash he will be 1 and potentially sleep through the entire thing but I think it’s more for the whole family to celebrate and an excuse to get together.

        I heard these parties can get out of hand too. Last time I was in Delhi I witnessed a first birthday on a colossal scale with event managers, band, several hundred guests. does that kind of event produce brats?

      • Oh dear Bubbly. Was it a celebrity party or just a regular person?

      • It was just a regular party and there seemed to be one every night.

  5. Ah, I see. I live hundreds of miles away from home so manage to dodge a lot of weddings and birthday parties!

  6. Daniel Craig only had 4 people at his wedding the cheapskate! Actually, that would be my ideal too.

  7. I have just been sent an invitation to a 1st birthday party and I have no idea who it is from!!!!

  8. Boooooring – I wouldn’t care if people want me to attend their kids party- time to rebel! We are adults isn’t the joy of being one that we don’t have to please anyone but ourselves?

  9. It is surely one disadvantage of married life that you are expected to do the whole in-law social. My mother-in-law even goes to the “trouble” of advising me what I should wear!

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