Wedding planning is hard. Especially if your fiance and you belong to different communities. And for us, striking the right balance proved to be extremely challenging. While my husband Varun* grew up in Delhi, his family are the typical UPwale. On the other hand, my family can aptly be described as the South Delhi Panjus!Culturally, our families were poles apart and that was also one of the reasons that it took us quite a while to make our parents agree for the match.Our first ceremony, the engagement took place 6 months before the wedding. And that’s when the trouble began. The function was planned by my family which did not really go down well with Varun’s side. I had attended Varun’s elder brother’s engagement a couple of years ago and it was an evening of poojas and rasams with the bride in a ghunghat and sitting shyly in a corner. On the other hand, ours was loud and crazy. I wore what I wanted to, danced my heart out and the key to getting our rings was by downing vodka shots (it was a game my cousins planned!). And that night Varun got to hear a lot of not-so-great things from his side of the family.
The wedding prep began and soon we both realised that our families were on completely different pages with respect to everything. And no one was ready to give up! The big decisions kept getting delayed and that did really become a cause of concern for me. It started with the wedding date. Pandits from both the families suggested different dates. Almost a week passed by and my parents felt time was running out. All the necessary arrangements depended on that one date. It wasn’t until Varun and I intervened that the matter was solved. We decided to go with the date that fell on a Saturday as that was the most practical thing to do.Luckily, the ladkawallahs didn’t interfere with the wedding venue or how big or small the affair should be or what gifts they wanted. But there were other things that continued to create a rift. From whose pandit will perform the ceremony to what rituals will be followed to whether I will wear yellow or red lehenga to how the vidaai will be carried out, it was a big mess. It actually came to a point where all I wanted to do was put off this wedding for the next year. It really was getting too much to handle. And all the plans that I had for my wedding were nowhere in sight. From cute wedding favours, photobooth, fun games, my entry, I had so much to do. But with the family troubles I never got the chance to even execute these things. In fact, Varun and I too started having regular fights about the wedding. Every day both of our mums would tell us how the other one refused to listen to them and it was us who got terribly affected by all the drama.
From supporting each other and trying to find a common path we both suddenly found ourselves at loggerheads. We were always trying to defend our parents. It actually became very frustrating. But it’s not just the parents who are to be blamed. We even found ourselves arguing over the tiniest of issues. Things like whether or not we should be coordinating our outfits (we both had totally different colour preferences), the amount we should spend on our photographer and who all to invite from our group of common friends. Also, we both were being too specific about certain details about decor, food and entertainment and it only lead to fights. All the stress took a toll on my health too and despite the pre bridal treatments my face looked dull and unhappy all the time. I mean I was happy about getting married to Varun, but, somehow things were not going as planned. I admit I even gave Varun a hard time regarding what his family was gifting my sister. I was upset to find out they had picked up a saree from a local store while he very well knew my sister’s preferences. Basically, we left no stone unturned to put down the other one and have our own way with things. And the different set of families and cultures we came from just made it worse. Somehow we made it through those 6 months of planning. The wedding went off smoothly. It was surprising to see how wonderfully everything had turned out. But those 6 months after our engagement were supposed to be the most beautiful. Unfortunately, all of us took the wedding planning a lot more seriously than the actual relationships that were being formed. And while everything between Varun and me and our families is fantastic now, I will always regret how ugly things had become.