Feature image: m-bot
I love how excited people are to learn about India’s culture when they visit. I am often asked for advice on where to eat the most local food, how to interact with locals, and what areas are the best for off the beaten path travel. Sometimes foreigns say how they wish they could be invited to an Indian wedding and experience Indian wedding traditions.
My friend and fellow blogger, Tempesst, recently wrote a guest post on Hippie in Heels about her two months in India and mentioned that getting invited to an Indian wedding was the absolute highlight of her trip to India.
Experience Indian Wedding Traditions
When I was backpacking, I wasn’t lucky enough to be invited to a wedding, although tourist season time usually is wedding season time. That’s why I’m introducing this new company run by a lovely couple in Rajasthan, called Enjoy Indian Wedding.
It’s basically a service where you can pay to go to someone’s wedding! It’s great for you and for them as weddings DO cost a lot of money here in India.
The thing about India is that “guest is God” is their motto, so you won’t ever feel out of place. People are generally excited that strange foreigners are at their wedding and will want to talk and share with you all evening long. You can even join the wedding ceremonies.
image source jit bag
If you’re worried about what to wear to an Indian wedding, don’t. This is your chance for real traditional henna, Indian makeup, and a sari draping done right.
In case you don’t know, Indian weddings are an outrageously incredible event: “They are grand and exotic, colorful and loud. Big families, friends, relatives participate and immerse into 2-3 days long programs. Inviting 500 to 1000 people in a typical Indian wedding is a norm.”
The ticket cost ranges, based on how extravagant the wedding is. The inclusions can also be changed as each couple decides what works for them. You can also spend less by choosing to just attend one day of the wedding instead of the whole sha-bang.
Here is the base of what is included although some couples choose to add more:
- The tourist can enjoy full access to all rituals and ceremonies at the wedding venue
- Unlimited photography
- Unlimited food and drink that is served to all wedding guests over 2-3 days.
- On top of this most of the wedding hosts also offer SURPRISE complementary services
image source: William J Sisti
It’s a pretty interesting concept, and I asked the owners what made them decide to do this, as it’s pretty unconventional.
“We did this to showcase best of Indian big/fat/fab weddings, rich culture & traditions by letting foreigners attend any of the selected weddings available on Enjoy Indian Weddings website! Additional services can be added seemlessly in the future to scale up and provide a full fledged luxury wedding experience.” –
I wondered what it was that made the couples want to list their weddings on the Enjoy Indian Weddings website and let someone they don’t know attend their wedding to party and learn about Indian wedding traditions. I wanted to know what was in it for them. So, a couple that is listed now was happy to be interviewed.
I asked them what their main incentive was for signing up:
“This might sound surprising, but we have always dreamt about having friends & colleagues from a foreign country. We saw weddings, where foreign people attending their known peoples wedding in India & it really takes us by surprise that it really brings much more joy during the functions, because the foreign guests are totally unaware about the culture & so they get completely involved in the functions, have fun & at the same time the local guests also enjoy to the fullest. So, while inviting friends & sharing the similar thought with one of my best friend Suyash, he told me about an company working on similar concept. We without taking a moment asked him to contact them & plan some guests for our wedding. We are not concerned about incentives, rather we will be happy to host Foreign guests for our wedding & explore our culture.”
Well, that answer was too nice! But, this is the type of mentality that most Indians would have about letting a foreigner come to their wedding. We are totally clueless about the customs of Indian weddings which I can see would be quite comical to the couple to be wed – and if they’re like me, they like to teach their ways to someone else. It’s always fun!
When I asked them if their friends and family were concerned that strangers would attend the wedding, they said “No, we are not at all nervous. Rather, we are extremely excited to welcome the guests. Talking about the friends & Family, we are sure that they are more excited than us.”
When I asked what they will be doing with the money made from wedding ticket sales, the hubby said he was taking his wife on a honeymoon to Europe, which was her dream.
When I asked about people sharing the photos on Facebook or with friends back home, they were more than okay with it, stating how surprised they were how foreigners were so nice asking before taking a photo, saying the “nature of foreigners really amazes them”.
What I love the most about this service is that the Indian couple gets something out of it as well as the foreign guest. In fact, I’ll be attending a wedding with Enjoy Indian Weddings soon! I’ll share my experience learning about Indian wedding traditions and enjoying the party on a blog post soon and tell you all about it. So, what do you think? Would you try this service?
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That’s a cool idea. I would definitely join something like that if I had the chance. Have fun at the wedding you will attend, and I’m looking forward to reading about it and seeing the photos.
Dear Jennifer, if you like this idea, you may want to check out the original startup http://joinmywedding.com/ who introduced this concept to the World two years ago. :)
What a grewat idea! If given the chance, I wouldn’t mind paying to participate in an Indian wedding!
It would be a great opportunity to get an inside view of the whole event, and be treated as a guest rather than just a tourist. Possibly just a day though rather than the whole shibang lol! And the young couple would get a little bit of income, and no doubt prestige, at having people from across the world, attend their nupitals.A win-win for all!
Yes, it really does seem like a win-win all around – it’s pretty cool!
Dear Jennifer & Victoria, if you like this idea, you may want to check out the original startup JoinMyWedding who introduced this concept to the World two years ago. :)
I have been to so many Indian Weddings for free and it is definitely an awesome experience. Such a great idea if you don’t happen to have an extended Indian family.