Considerations for invitees.

We feel it is important for any participant or host family to the factors that effect their own expectations of weddings. It’s a good starter. All wedding ceremonies are about placing two people together. That is the primary objective of any wedding; and in as peaceful a way as possible.

The Hindu wedding is based on prayer, emotion, scenes/rituals. By saying rituals we are merely placing a past historical “time” and act/meaning upon the ceremony; acts which our ancestors took part in through prayer. ​Of course one cannot apply what happened in the past now without some modest modification.

There are many considerations a bride and groom must make, and planning an event can be a big task. Here are just a few considerations. Firstly, you and your family should be happy with who you have invited to conduct the ceremony. This is so so important.

You cannot expect a preacher to be another you could not get. ​A preachers role is not to apply in concrete what happened hundreds of years ago or what someone else has experienced in their life. Families must understand this. The past is the past. And expectations must be real and current. 

So, if it is peace, love, and respect that you are trying to instil into your wedding ceremony then you must also ask yourself how "you" can help achieve this whilst balancing a whole array of other expectations from competing elements and family members.

People often ask me how I maintain peace during an event. The truth is an amalgamation of factors affect peace during a ceremony. Location, your overall budget, people numbers, group mix, and sound quality all have an impact. ​​Here are some tips to help you plan in peace to your wedding event.

Anyone that says the number of guests at your wedding does not affect peace is mistaken. The

more people you invite the greater the chance of "staggered social" noise. It’s not just about numbers alone though.

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The behaviour of guests at a wedding is also very very important. It’s important you tell your guests what you expect from them before your event. Trickle feed this information down from family meetings so everyone gets the message.

Consider putting a small phrase on the invitation about what you expect of guests. ​I have not talked about conduct and cleanliness in the Mandap, but there must be a degree of respect from anyone that graces the Mandap also.

Moving onto sound. The type of music you wish at your event is a personal choice. Some choose live instrumental or singers whilst others use laptop DJ's who co-ordinate sound quality and interject with appropriate Gujerati songs during different phases. Remember also, Bollywood vocal music creates a social atmosphere. A wedding is a wedding; a reception is after. Note the difference and think about the environment created.

The quality of sound, acoustics and the natural interjections of the wedding music supplier also have a massive impact on peace. The questions you might wish to ask your supplier. (A) Are the DJ’s, or suppliers, seated where they can view the ceremony so that they can adjust the sound appropriately. (B) Are they actually focussing on the ceremony or focussing on their phones. (C) When the supplier is setting up are they testing the sound with appropriate music, instrumental or devotional music.

(D) The most influential music suppliers will be watching the ceremony throughout so that they can watch the preacher who may be looking for them to do something at any given time. Focus.  It is not the preachers role to chase themusic  supplier. Mindset. (E) Have they completed a site visit before hand. This affects the number and type of speakers they may want to deploy. Skimping on sound quality is very risky.​

As for equipment, there is no reason these days for most suppliers not to have a professional headset feed for the preacher. Lapel microphones simply do not pick up voice as well and hands are so often used to communicate, not to hold a microphone. Remember, you select your music provider. Some are professional, others are not.

Lighting. This is another factor that affects behaviour of groups at events. Dark environments aren't so conductive to joyful or peaceful events. Bright light allows people to focus better and reduces social noise. Keep the area fresh, lit and focussed so that chatty people might think twice about their behaviours. ​

The Self - how to control the self

Stress for wedding couples, and families is a natural  phenomenon. Can it be beaten though? And if you do beat it, what will your day be like? In order to understand stress related to wedding events one needs to try and understand how it actually ties in. 

In other words, the triggers. Here I talk about three potential triggers. (1) Probably one of the biggest co-dependant triggers is the “self” and expectations. This really is about couples, or individuals, and participants. This bit is about the "me or "self." A desire to create the “perfect” event,  or “best” wedding. Everyone wants perfect or best. What’s that all about them. This just leads to cross indvidiual comparisons when actually there is no need to behave in this way.

 

You see, it’s not necessarily a mentality in the mind of couples or parents, it is partially a mentality created by suppliers touting for work; creating their perception of best or greatness. It’s up to individuals to disassociate from this push. Couples and families also often wonder how family and friends will view their event, especially if their views aren’t positive. The pressure is on how many people will attend your home? How will the home look.

 

The real question, however is, does what others think matter? Control numbers and control a competitive mentality.  Another fatal mistake people make is whilst attending another’s wedding they are secretly comparing and debriefing it. Don’t do it. (2) Planning is also another key stress area as a wedding can appear to be like a jigsaw puzzle, but each element in the jigsaw knows what it must do. Don’t let the jigsaw defeat you. Some people struggle with planning. Easy, get a reputable toastmaster. 

(3) What about the  “auntie” who always knows best. Another trigger. Best advice here is; identify these people beforehand. Every family has  one and in worse  cases, two! Tell them that you appreciate them but on your special days you just want peace and quiet. Be clear what the behaviour you  will tolerate from family members. Often they mean well. But they don’t realise their own narcissism at family events.

 

Now, how to prepare yourself. Perhaps some answers also lie in how we as individuals deal with stress. Metabolism, mindset and fitness are things you can work on before your event. Funnily enough a lack of normal breakfast can affect the mind so in event days just eat a bowel of cereal or toast or something easy going. Stress. Own it. But enjoy your events. Now, this goes for parents and families of couples too. If you can deal with the feeling of eyes watching you and still be yourself and not be affected  you’ve achieved.