I am starting a series of informative blogs on Indian Culture – just different aspects of Indian Culture. Since marriages and customs related to them are a major part of the Indian culture… this is the first topic of the post. Enjoy and do post your views in the comments.
In the South Asian cultures, wedding invitations play a greater role than just indicating what type of wedding the guests can expect. The manner in which the wedding invite is presented may actually determine whether the guests accept the invitation or not! Here are some quick rules of thumb to keep in mind when distributing your wedding invitations.
* The first wedding invitation is always sent to the parents of your spouse-to-be. In Hindu marriages it is customary to hold a Ganesh puja and invite the Gods to the wedding. The same invitation is then given to the parents of the opposite side.
* Wedding invitations can be printed in the mother-tongue or English – both are acceptable – as per your family’s beliefs. However, if you intend to invite guests who may not understand or read your mother-tongue it is required that you either print a set of invitations in English (or any other commonly understood language) or place a set of inserts that include the necessary information like date, time and venue of the wedding.
* Wedding invitations are always sent with a box of sweets or some other wedding favour – especially for a son’s wedding. Traditionally, invitations to a daughter’s wedding were not sent with any favours. The reason being that the bride’s parents were already expected to incur large wedding costs and did not need to add to their expense. Most families no longer follow this rule and prefer to give out wedding favours in all their children’s weddings.
* It is customary for the bride or groom’s parents to go personally and invite close family and friends. The task can be delegated to other members of the family like an elder brother and his wife or grandparents even. However, the invitation must be issued personally.
* For distant relatives and acquaintances it is acceptable to courier the invitations.
* Invitations to friends can be distributed by the bride or groom themselves. These invitations need to be given personally or sent by mail depending on the relationship between friends.
* Guests invited for ceremonies other than the wedding reception, like the Sangeet party or the Mehendi , must be invited to the wedding also. It is a serious faux pas to invite a guest for a smaller event and not the wedding itself although the vice versa is acceptable. Also, any guests who have participated in the planning of the wedding must be invited. Guests who have attended the bridal shower or groom’s stag party also are to be invited.
* It is acceptable to print just one set of wedding invitations for both the bride and groom’s side of the family. This is a great budgeting tip.
* Out-of-town guests need to be sent a letter intimating them of the wedding dates as soon as the dates have been finalised. The actual wedding invitations can be sent closer to the wedding date with the rest of the details.
* It is better to print inserts for pre-wedding ceremonies so that you can include them with select wedding invitations. Sending a wedding invite with the details of pre-wedding ceremonies and then not mentioning the ceremony over the phone call is not considered acceptable.
* A follow-up phone call is a must for close family and friends a week or ten days prior to the wedding.