The reason Indian weddings are considered ‘big’ is that they are just that – BIG. Big on bling, big on food, big on the alcohol, on the dancing – and big on the guest list.
The Guest list is one of those wedding planning tasks that is not glamorous at all – busting your brain to try and figure out if your Dad’s second cousin should be invited is not all that fun. (The answer to that, by the way – is yes, so the cousin AND his family are invited.)
Ever since the wedding date was finalized, which was in November 2011, there have been innumerable versions of this guest list. It has morphed from a rough jot-down of names on a scrap piece of paper to beautifully designed, colour coordinated excel sheets, that clearly indicate how many guests are to be invited to each event.
I take this evolution to be a confirmation that the wedding is indeed getting closer. I expect this excel sheet to further evolve – my darling Mother is Master of the Excel!
But coming back to the guest lists – it is a trickier task than I had taken it to be. Somehow, the straightforward, clean lines of excel transform into this churning web of relationships and behavior. The entire extended family’s’ inter-personal dynamics come to the fore when planning the list – it might be fun if you are in the mood to gossip, but not all that fun when you are in the mood to FINISH THE LIST ALREADY!
Things that regularly came up in discussion amongst my family while planning the list:
- If we invite an entire family, will they ALL come, or leave some people at home?
- If we don’t invite so-and-so Aunt to one of the events, will the other invited Aunt call her to gloat?
- What will we tell so-and-so Aunt if she asks why she wasn’t invited (yes, I can totally picture her asking that – angrily!)
… and so it goes on.
We are yet to finalize this list – and on and on it morphs.
It’s a crazy experience to say in the least – In the end, I always give up and leave it to Mom to decide. Even a Bridezilla needs rest! So until the next version of the list is printed – this time even more beautiful than before, I will not worry about it. The list WILL be finalized one of these days!
P.S – I think I know what the solution to these problems will end up being: Just invite everyone to everything and hope they don’t ALL show up to the pre-wedding events! (as if!)