Last Sunday, I attended an official registry for my cousin. The registry took 20 minutes and it was very cute. Now although my cousin was officially married, in the eyes of my family, she was not. See in our family, you have to go through all the rituals before you are considered by your relatives as married.
I assume for an English wedding, you would get married, go to a bar and celebrate the occasion; nice and simple. However, before an Indian wedding, we have to go through a lot of events and it begins with the engagement. So what exactly goes on at an engagement? Story time
Once the registry concluded, the engagement began. Everyone was escorted to a room where we socialised together with some drinks for about 1 hour. Sounds cool right? Yeah, it is. It’s what comes after that may surprise you. So after some relaxed drinks, everyone is seated in the main room and the first problem is, ‘Who sits where’. Uncles and aunties frolicking around, trying to organise tables and I’m there thinking, “This isn’t a seating plan, just sit somewhere for heavens sake”.
Once all seated, the starters comes out. Now normally, this part is cool but this time, oh it was so crazy. We were only served vegetarian food since the groom’s family are vegetarians. This left the kids on our side being fussy, not eating anything. So in the end, they were actually taken to, are you ready for this? McDonalds! They straight up left the engagement and travelled to McDonalds. Isn’t that mental? I would be seriously offended if this happened at my wedding.
As the children satisfied their hunger with a Big Mac and fries, the engagement resumed. The bride and groom’s own family sat together and performed some rituals which took about half an hour. Truthfully, I have no problem with these things but there are so many little details in there that must be followed. For example, everyone must be in the room when the bride enters, including the missing kids who roam around or run off to McDonalds. Also, the bride must be walked in with certain objects and specific people and in a certain direction. It’s all so intricate that it creates more work.
Then the photos! The bride and groom took personal photos with every single family, and there were probably 30-40 families in the room so this took approximately 1-2 hours (bear in mind it takes a while to set up each photo and there’s just other extra details).
Then on to the main courses, which of course the children were not interested in. And during all this, we had kids just running around playing tig or whatever. It’s more like a playground at times.
And then finally, on to the best part, the dancing. It took it’s time as it started at half 4 but this was the time to just let loose. Unfortunately, because it started so late, most families had left by 5 so the dance floor was a little quiet. But that didn’t stop me.
Engagement over at 6:30. So what can I conclude from this? Well, if you ever attend an Indian Engagement, do your best to get through the stress in the middle of the day, then reap your rewards with bhangra. And even if the food is not great, do not substitute it with a McDonalds!