In India, bridal families invite every person they know, and every person who knows someone they know, to their weddings. As a result, Indians spend just about every free moment at a wedding or pre-wedding event.
I attended two weddings in my four months in India. One of my bosses got married in Chennai and she invited me. Another boss’s cousin got married in Delhi and, since I had the loosest of connections to the groom, I was invited to that one too. Both told me to bring along any other white friends I had too.
In the South, food reigns supreme. When you go to a wedding, you eat a massive buffet meal, watch a long Sanskrit ritual that I presume someone involved understands, give a present (often cash), and take some pictures. The wedding I attended was beautiful and my boss smiled happily the whole while.
On the contrary, the wedding in Delhi was not so peaceful. Normally in the North, the groom rides across town to meet his bride on a donkey. This groom did not want to get married (he was only doing so out of parental force) and he refused to get on the beast of burden. When he arrived at the gate, he got in a huge fight with his dad over something I didn’t understand, but involved quite a bit of yelling and angry gestures. Finally, the groom approach and his terrified bride burst into tears. All the men broke off to have a drink and I went to follow but was forcefully reprimanded and told how disgraceful it is for women to drink (if they actually knew me, perhaps I would not have been invited to said wedding). No one was happy except an increasingly intoxicated uncle.
Overall, a wedding in India is a beautiful experience. If you go to one, invite some friends to come along!