Striving to be the rule- Ethics for wedding guests.

The Bible is filled with analogies and parables relating to weddings. Yahweh was the bridegroom to His people Israel, in the Old Testament. Jesus begins His public ministry at the wedding feast of Cana and punctuates His parables with analogies of wedding processions, banquets and bridesmaids.

Looking at the Gospels, one can draw from it an ‘ethics for wedding guests.’ Why do we need such ethics? Simply because we have reached a stage where common courtesy has disappeared, and the focus now needs to shift to that which should have been the obvious.

All exceptions not withstanding, one must admit that a certain culture of disrespect has crept in at wedding celebrations. This culture of disrespect has now become a cycle of acceptable behaviour and one that seems to raise no eye brows. I am irked and so I write with the hope that somewhere this discourtesy will be frowned upon with many thumbs down of disapproval.

Weddings today are an expensive affair, and while I continue to advocate for a debt free marriage (not to be read as don’t have a celebration), I hope that we will cut our coat according to our cloth. Given the fact that an average celebration runs into a couple of hundred thousand rupees, it stands that for most people, a wedding celebration of two and half hours amounts to several years of scrounging and savings.

For those who transcend beyond the social pressures of wedding celebrations, the reception is a special dream, cherished by many a bride and groom. Years of planning, years of saving and hard work and coordination all dissolve in a ‘two and a half hour whirlpool’ of time, that just disappears in a jiffy. Just like that, several thousands of rupees have all been spent in less than 150 minutes.

So that brings me to the ethics of the wedding guest. Do we then not have an obligation to be an integral part of the celebration in every way; from the religious celebrations to burning a hole in the dance floor?

Assume the total guest list has two hundred and fifty people (that’s a low estimate), and the total cost of the wedding is four hundred thousand (also a really low estimate), your host ends up paying 1600 per person, or a whopping 2,666 rupees per minute for a 150 minute celebration. This is the minimum. A family of five could cost your host a cool ten thousand g’s. That’s reason enough to be respectful when we get an invitation.

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