Post # 1
I am a Hindu and am marrying a Christian. I will need to have about 6 events to cover everything for the wedding as I’m bound by religious traditions on both sides.
1. Hens Night
2. Sangeet/Mehndi night (this is a day with music and girls get henna)
3. Church ceremony
4. Hindu ceremony
6. Party for family of mine back in India as they cannot afford to travel overseas to come see me (my entire family besides my parents and brother are overseas).
THe scope of this wedding is huge as you can see. A total of 330 guests have been identified (after I’ve limited as much as I possibly can). It might sound crazy but as Indians we get invited to a lot of weddings ourselves and these are people we interact with all the time so we have to invite them.
Me and my fiancee have to pay for the whole thing and it’s stressing me out. Our friends will be invited to both ceremonies and the reception.
I’ve planned to invite just the groom’s family friends to the church ceremony and they will get finger food after the ceremony as the reception is the next day.
I’ve decided to invite my family friends to the hindu ceremony which is during the day. Here they will get a full 3 course meal as this is dictated by tradition. There will also be some dancing after.
For the reception that same night I’ve decided to invite the groom’s side, our mutual friends, and only some of my close family friends to to the reception. Here there will also be a full sit down 3 course meal. Since the groom’s side didnt get a full sit down meal they are invited but since my side already had a meal and some dancing at the ceremony I’ve decided to not invite some of them.
I’m estimating the whole thing is going to cost me 80k and then I have to do another party in India for my family!!!
Do you think the family friends who were invited to the hindu ceremony but are not invited to the reception would be offended? I’m providing them with food and a small party. I really do need to try to save money where I can. In India it is tradition to invite the brides side to the ceremony and the grooms side to the reception and this works because you feed people at both events. I don’t think traditional etiquette applies here as the situation is quite different but I wanted to know people’s thoughts.
Post # 3
I think you need to scrap the Hen’s night, and I don’t understand the purpose of the 3rd reception. You are hosting receptions after each of the ceremonies for those invited, so I don’t understand why you are having people over again the next night to celebrate again.
I do think you are asking a lot of your guests. You are asking for their attendance at 3+ events each. Which is 3 nights out of their already limited discretionary time.
I also don’t think you need to host another party for family in India. I get that they are disappointed that they can’t be there to celebrate with you, but that doesn’t obligate you to pay for a trip and another party to satisfy them. If they are that keen to celebrate with you, they should be organizing something.
Post # 4
Indian weddings are quite different to Western weddings. I think each guest, especially those who are invited to only limited events, would benefit from a little explanation of Indian tradition. Perhaps a separate invite for each event, with a quick 1-2 sentence description of the event and the customary guest list on the actual invite, then assemble a single packet with the relevant invites for each guest? This way, they understand why they received the invites they did, with no mention of the other events. Letting them know there are other events to which they are not invited could be hurtful to some.
if you’re having a wedding website, you should consider assigning each guest a unique ID and password, and controlling the website security so that the guests only see the web links for the events to which they’ve been invited.
@andielovessj this is a cultural thing and if the OP doesn’t follow at least some of these traditions, she will hurt the feelings of many friends and relatives. Don’t judge her based on Western standards because they are not very similar.
Post # 5
@iprasad: have you considered having both ceremonies on the same day? I know it may seem like a bit much but it may make planning as well as finances a bit easier – only 1 venue charge.
Perhaps have the Christian ceremony in the late morning then serve a very simple lunch. Then have the Hindu ceremony followed by the 3 course meal reception. It would be a whole day affair and you would invite all your guests to attend the whole day.
You would obviously have to find a venue that would be suitable with perhaps 2 ceremony spaces and a reception venue.
I also thought about doing this but settled on 1 fusion ceremony. Looking through different blogs it seems that many couples go the route of 2 ceremonies on one day.
Post # 6
@fishbone: I have lived in India twice, so I do know a little about Indian weddings. But I have never heard of a Hen Night as part of Indian traditions. The Henna party yes, but never a western style bachelorette party.
Other people’s situations (not being able to travel to the wedding) do not obligate the OP to host a party she cannot/doesn’t want to.
Post # 7
Thanks all for your input!!
About the hen’s night thing, that was just me putting that in as an event. I’m not really obligated to do it, nor is it tradition.
The reception is just more of a relaxed party that everyone can attend because the other two are formal function.
Please note most people are not coming to all 3 events. The boys side is going to the church wedding, the girls side is going to the hindu ceremony and mutual friends are coming to both. I think my friends understand about coming to both and are actually excited because they get to see a wedding they haven’t seen before.
In hindu religion you have to feed the people that come to the hindu ceremony hence the food there. Normally I wouldn’t have provided food for the christian ceremony but since there is no reception that same night they are getting food.
Also in Hindu tradition you have certain auspicious dates and the only day I’m finding this year is a Sunday. Therefore I’ve had to do the Christian ceremony the day before and the reception on the sunday night as obviously I don’t want to do anything on a weeknight.
I thought about doing it all on one day but that might be just a little too much. The venues are also quite far apart.
It’s good to hear that noone thinks people will be offended about not being at the reception. @fishbone I also like the idea about the explanantion.
Post # 8
@iprasad: So I actually attended a Hindu/Catholic wedding last year. They ended up doing everything on the same day: Catholic ceremony in the morning, Hindu ceremony in the afternoon, then a reception for everyone in the evening (as not everyone was invited to both events). I also think they had a lunch in between, but we weren’t invited to that. I was a little put off that I wasn’t invited to the Catholic ceremony (only the Hindu one) but that’s because I’m Catholic and would have enjoyed seeing that ceremony.
How important is the date? It seems like it would be much easier and cheaper to have it all in one day. And you might be able to invite most people to all events.
But if you can’t do that, definitely include explanations of the different events in the invites. For the wedding I attended, the bride had included what events were talking place and when, but didn’t say anything about what they were so we had zero idea what was going on. This info can also go on a wedding website. She also listed 4 different events, but only marked the 2 or 3 we were invited to. I think my ignorance of Hindo weddings helped here; since I didn’t know what the events were, I wasn’t offended I wasn’t invited to them all.
The other thing I might do is just have the reception on Saturday after the Christian ceremony. Since close friends and the groom’s family are already invited to that and are the only ones being invited to the reception, it seems silly to have them on different days. It would be like having 2 different weddings with 2 different guest lists.