Gujarati wedding have now taken a new approach. Young people want their marriages to be performed in complete silence with a proper explanation in English from the priest, during the ceremony.
Young couples who get married according to the Gujarati ceremony with their partners of Hindu origin or of another denomination wish to understand their wedding ceremony. They feel that if they are asked to participate in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony they deserve a full English explanation. Sometimes even their parents are not able to offer a reasonable explanation on the ceremony.
Most of our Gujarati marriages are an event where 700 – 1000 people walk about talking and socializing with loud bollywood music heard while the wedding is taking place. No one is taking any notice about what is happening in the mandap during the ceremony, and to be honest, they don't care.
It is like a cattle market type atmosphere. It is no wonder our youngsters don't go to Gujarati weddings as there is little for them to learn about our culture and traditions.
Youngsters have now set their minds on a new tradition where the ceremony will be conducted in silence and the priest will explain in English to the couple and the guests exactly what is taking place and why. Some of our middle aged members of the community are finding this difficult to accept, they want to meet friends and socialise and have the variety of food.
Guests who are finding it difficult to accept and ignore the wishes of the young people will find their names missing from the wedding list. The wedding lists for the guests and relatives are getting shorter.
Costly venues are making it difficult to have weddings of thousands of people. So, a small list of 200 friends and family who appreciate the wishes of the young couple by remaining silent during the wedding will be invited to the wedding and the rest will have to settle for an invitation to the reception, if they are lucky.
At Gujarati weddings the Maharaj begins by asking everyone to remain silent during the wedding. Within the first 10 minutes of the wedding around 7% of the guests will go to the bar or go outside if it is a sunny day and have a cigarette. They will talk about the advice they would like to give George Bush if he was to ring them on resolving the Middle East issue.
The couple spend around £40 to £85 per person at their wedding, is it worth having these guests on your wedding list, even if they are your friends and family?
Other cultures have their wedding ceremonies carried out in silence and with discipline. If our Gujarati people go to these weddings they will be at their best behaviour. When it comes to our Gujarati weddings they will run a mock.
Our culture is in the hands of the young people, the y will be taking it forward into the next generation when we are not around. I say let them dictate how they want their wedding to be carried out as it is one of the most important days of their lives.
My support is completely with the young couples, if you want a beautiful wedding that people will remember, get a priest who will explain in Gujarati & English after all its important to understand the vows and commitments you are undertaking. We are simply asking your guests for approx 75mins of their time to remain silent and witness the ceremony.