Having Desi Bridesmaids at Your Wedding: Yay or Nay?

2014 Feb 23 - by dulhan
When I first moved into my college dorm I was firmly convinced that all the wonderful friends I would make would be my friends for life, and all my girlfriends would be my future bridesmaids.

At the time I was willing to overlook that distinct lack of a bridesmaid tradition in Hindu weddings - I just figured I could make it work.

Venu & Alok's wedding by IQ Photo Studio.

I am not so sure anymore.  Hindu and Punjabi wedding traditions are pretty rigid. Part of the reason why I would have an Indian wedding in the first place is to honor these traditions and the history they embody.  That means leaving out a lot of the decidedly 'Western' traditions like bridesmaids.

That is not to say that it cannot work.  We have showcased many lovely Indian weddings that have made the whole bridesmaids look work really well.  I have also been to Indian weddings where there were like a half dozen bridesmaids following the bride around in perfectly matching saris.  The groom also had his groomsmen who did a dance at the reception with the bridesmaids.

And they were awesome.

But besides the appeal of having an aesthetically appealing entourage and a few extra dances at the reception, the bridesmaids and the groomsmen serve no religious purpose - they are not allowed to stand near the couple at the ceremony as traditionally only the couple, the parents of the couple, and the priest are permitted near the havan.

I also fail to see why any Desi bride would want a bunch of bridesmaids - why do you want even more people weighing in on your dress or your planning process?  Who wants a bridesmaidzilla complaining or throwing a tantrum over the dresses picked out for them, when you can perfectly avoid them? Don't we have enough drama going on during an Indian wedding, that why add more?

Or can bridesmaids insulate the bride from the drama? Help her make the best decisions. Be a shoulder to cry on, when your bridal lengha has sticky, black stains after arriving back from the dry cleaners?

Fusion Weddings

BUT, having an entourage of girls (or guys) dressed to match you would be great.  It's like having your own 90s Bollywood backup dance time.  Case in point:

Bridesmaids/groomsmen are another way for fusion weddings to demonstrate the marriage of multiple traditions. Say your spouse-to-be is Christian or Western, the gender-matched entourages are a nice nod to that side of the wedding.  You could even dress them in Western dresses or saris, depending on the ceremony.

If you want your wedding to be more traditional, with possibly less bridesmaid-induced drama, then feel free to opt out. But if you can't stand the idea of leaving your best girlfriends out of your Desi wedding (the one event they've probably been looking forward to since you guys bonded over your mutual love of the dining hall's soft serve machine), then dress them up in a sari and let them dance you into your newly-married life.

via Every Road Leads Somewhere

Either way, a wedding is a wedding is a wedding.  It'll be beautiful as long as you are happy with it.