Wedding Advice: Navigating the Family Dynamics in Desi Weddings

Our desi weddings involve input and support from the entire family. This makes our tradition of wedding planning and preparation, a beautiful and wholesome journey right until the very end. However, it often becomes tricky managing everyone’s expectations and demands. 

As you prepare for your big day, it is important to balance the entire family’s dynamics while also keeping your sanity intact! The occasional conflict is only natural. However, it is important to remember your extended family means well and is here to support you during the festivities!

Like always, Shadiyana is here to help you navigate the ups and downs of dealing with tricky family situations. Including nosy but well-meaning relatives during the crucial time of planning your wedding! As an online wedding planning platform, Shadiyana is here to connect you with the best wedding services for every occasion!

Communication is Key

Having difficult conversations early on is the best way to go about starting your wedding prep. It is important to sit down with the elders of your family and hear them out patiently. Your parents and future in-laws may want to fund a massive 2-week wedding affair. But you and your partner would like to pay for your own wedding and keep it intimate. 

These conversations might be difficult and frustrating as there is often a clash of opinions. However, it is necessary to address the elephant in the room early on and have important discussions regarding the budget and setting the dates early on. 

You might finally agree on a wedding date that suits everyone. Then your friend from abroad calls and tells you she can only make it if you shift it ahead. Now what? It is important to consider everyone’s availability. But you also can’t keep going in circles as venues need to be booked well in advance! And the wedding date needs to be finalized for that. 

This is an example of a situation where you might have to make compromises, as you can’t possibly please everyone!

To Invite or Not to Invite

This conversation deserves separate recognition! The elders of our family love the idea of throwing the grandest celebration for the happiest moment of their children’s lives. Even if that means inviting EVERY random person jiska naam tak aapko nai yaad!

Cue the drama! You want to invite your close friends and family, your father wants to send his co-workers an invitation. The wedding date isn't even finalized, lekin aapki ammi ne pooray mohallay mein ja ke announce kardiya hai. And now everyone’s expecting a card! 

These moments might seem frustrating then, but you may look back in fondness and laugh!

Present an alternative solution to your parents. Let them celebrate in their own way but also let them know when you say “intimate”, you mean “intimate”! For this purpose, the mehndi and nikkah events are usually close-knit. Followed by a grand reception so that the aunties can attend THAT event. And tell your husband embarrassing baby stories of you. “Uff itni bari hogai hai, jab mene dekha tha tau pamper mein thi!” 

Setting Boundaries

There is no such thing as “boundaries” in desi families. In fact, if one dares utter the B-word in a family gathering. That they will be met with such incredulous looks and comments. "Ye angraizo ke concepts hain, idher koi boundary shoundary nai hotein!"

Jokes aside, it is still important to effectively and politely get your point across during wedding planning. Let your family know you appreciate their help, ideas, and support. Communicate which aspects you would appreciate their guidance and expertise in. And which aspects you and your partner would like to decide on yourselves!

And don’t cave under pressure! Your phupo might tell you she had saved her wedding clothes for you to wear since she doesn't have a daughter herself. While you might feel obliged to satisfy her, let her know politely that your wedding dress has been selected already. 

Offer that if she allows, you could get it altered for another wedding event such as the Reception. And don’t forget to thank her for saving the dress with such care for all these years! 

Assign Roles in the Family

As your wedding gets closer, their opinions will increase! Your cousins will argue over the music, the dance practices, the clothes. Your brother will find faults in the caterers. And your bhabhi will share unsolicited bits of advice from “her own time”. Apke abbu haar maan ke keh denge, bas jis din shadi hogi bata dena mujhe.

In this situation, we recommend assigning roles so every family member feels included. This sense of responsibility will (hopefully) keep them occupied. So that they won’t have time to comment on other aspects of the wedding preparations!

 For instance, if your cousin loves photography and thinks every other photographer is ”lame”, hire him as your unofficial photographer! This will keep him busy and lessen the “agar mein hota na, tau mein aise na karta” moments.

Family Bonding Activities

Take some time out to celebrate with your family! Set your calendars and planning sheets aside. Hide the guest list from your ammi! And organize some pre-wedding activities.

We recommend a combined family dinner, trivia game night, friendly cricket matches, or a day out somewhere scenic! This can help everyone relax and take a break from the stressful aspects of wedding planning. And can also serve to break the ice between the families and enhance bonding!

Successfully navigating family dynamics during this time can be tricky. But if handled with respect, patience, and understanding, it can be a memorable time for the entire family. Remember, it is not just about the big wedding day itself. But rather the entire journey with your loved ones who matter the most!

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