(1) Smile, woman. We didn't drive all the way through the maddening traffic to see you look doped-out and weepy. If you're that glum you probably shouldn't be geting married. Go home.
(2) Brown is beautiful. Really. If we wanted to see pancake, we'd go to dosa camp.
(3) If you liked the black saree you saw at the shop, wear it at your wedding. Anyone who says black is taboo has been irreversibly brainwashed by Queen Victoria who's dead anyway.
(4) If you plan to be in bridal makeup 4 hours into the reception that you invited us to attend, either give us the address of your beauty parlour so we can drop by and murder you, or for God's sake allow us to eat and go home.
(1) Face it, you can't help looking silly in semi-drag with an umbrella over your head. Just go with the flow.
(2) You can smile reassuringly at the bride, and maybe at your friends. Not at all the pretty young things around.
(3) Do not give your friends a "thumbs up" before, after, or while tying the knot. We shudder to imagine what you're implying by it.
(4) If you're a Greencard/H1 groom, try not to talk much. A Banshankari II Stage accent with a West Virginia overlay cannot be taken seriously when you have kohl in your eyes and a fat black dot on your cheek.
(5) You're going to be half naked at the wedding. Please work out. We wholeheartedly agree that your flab is nobody's business but yours. Seriously fool, hit that treadmill and pump that iron. Your wife will love it, and we will too. Unless you plan on saving on lunch expenses by putting your guests off their food for the next month.
(6) We really don't care if you don't understand what the priest is asking you to say. Google everything later. Do not irritate us by asking the priest to explain every line. Lunch is waiting.
Older guest etiquette
(1) Don't swarm the stage during the mangal sutra ceremony. This is the only part of the ceremony anybody has even the slightest amount of interest in. We do not want to fling our rice at your ample posterior. If you're that keen on establishing your importance in the ceremony, hang a sign around your neck.
(2) If you're too feeble to climb up to the stage, cut the drama and sit tight in your seat. Spare us the agony of watching you painfully hobble up the steps to bless the couple, holding up the rest of the ceremony for interminable periods of time. Just let the bride and groom know that you wish to bless them and if they think you're important enough, they will come down to you.
(3) When your beady eye spies a young guest who seems 'perfect for your third cousin's second daughter', shut the hell up. Do not point, glare, whisper or pounce. These are people, not camels at the Pushkar bazaar.
(4) When you see two young people talking and feel the urge to make an entendre-filled remark, slap yourself and go wash your face. You're proving irrefutably that the only thing that's on your mind, always, is sex.
(5) Before coming to the wedding, sit down and think of things to talk about, that do not involve coupling or reproduction. We realize how hard that can be, considering this is all you have ever thought about during your adult life. Make the effort, it is time you evolved. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the number of young friends you'll make, who won't get up and leave the moment they see you coming.
Younger/single guest etiquette
(1) Listen, if you'd rather stay home and not go to the wedding, we understand. We know you have a life and can do with a little less of the marriage pressure, you poor thing. There, there.
(2) It is acceptable to walk away when old biddies with only sex on their minds ask you your age, height or salary. In fact it is increasingly becoming acceptable etiquette to reach out and slap their faces before walking away.
(3) Flirt, flirt, flirt as much as you can. A wedding is the only place you are officially allowed to. Remember to mentally undress the flirtee though. Think kerosene colour pant shirt, faded green salwar kameez, yellow overgrown nails, bajji-pakoda induced thunder thighs and radish breath on a Thursday evening. See if the flirtee is still worth it. And if an oversexed old biddy swoops in and tries to hook the two of you up while you're still deciding, show them your armpit.
(4) If you can't handle all the irritating people, the smoke and the noise, either skid off with your gang to the kitchen, or hole up at a nearby ice cream shop. Nobody cares, besides if someone wants to reach you, you can always ignore them when they call you on your cell.
(5) If you're NRI or ABCD, wipe that perpetually surprised, open-mouthed leer off your face. We don't get it. Try frowning when you're uncomfortable, or grinning from ear to ear when you're happy, like normal people do. That way, we'll atleast know what's up with you.
(1) You're allowed to look good. But remember, you are at your most endearing when you look hassled and disheveled. The guests will take pity on you and leave you alone. If you're all primped relaxed, they will assume you haven't done enough for them.
(2) Delegate, delegate, delegate. Or die.
(3) Honestly, all the wild goose chases the priests send you on, are rubbish. You are allowed to tell them to go fish if you can't do something with minimum effort.
(4) Do not usher people secretly into the dressing room and palm them off with a recycled blouse piece. If you don't have anything nice to give them, just grab their hands and say "ate aa?"
(5) Do not get the audience's hopes up by waggling your finger at the nadaswaram players and getting them to play the getti melam every 43 seconds. One pee-pee-dum-dum during the thali ceremony is enough. Nobody cares about the rest.
(6) Tell the cameraman not to moon the audience everytime he wants to get a closeup of the groom picking his nose, or the bride counting her toes for the 600th time. He's going to scrap all the footage and encase their mugshots in purple circling hearts anyway.
(1) Try and get to the dining room as early as possible, to avoid the feeding frenzy. It doesnt matter if the cooks sigh and grumble that you're early. It will save you and the hosts needless trauma if the diners are spread out through the day.
(2) If you're the host, please get a grip on the number of guests you'e expecting. Make extra food, and make prior arrangements for the left over food to be transported someplace where it will be appreciated.
(3) We like it when you fuss over your guests. Makes us feel less guilty about stuffing our faces while the world outside starves, because you're the ones forcing us to.
(4) Don't be pathetic and hover over your fellow guests to make them finish fast. Go home and eat if you're that desperate.
(5) If there's something you don't like about the food, shut up. This is a one-off thing and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Remember the starving millions outside your door.
(6) Remember to eat everything on your leaf. It is good manners to ask for only as much food as you need, instead of dramatically folding over a leaf full of uneaten food at the end of the meal. Oh and did anyone tell you that folding a used leaf over after a meal is, in fact, bad manners? Well then.
Dress etiquette - women
(1) If you're under 45, wear anything you want. Really, everything from a 9 yards saree to a strappy number looks great on you.
(2) If you're over 50, do not wear anything you want. Really, sarees look awesome on you.
(3) Try not to wear those rather bizarre duppattas around your waists and over your forearms, that tie your arms back all evening. They're pretty but we feel sorry for you and do not want you to be deformed for life on their account.
(4) Do not wear stilettos. Most people in South Indian weddings run around barefoot. Amputees are significantly lower in the marriage market.
(5) It is now acceptable etiquette to wear fluorescent blue hawaii chappals with elaborate kanjeevaram sarees. You'll need to take your footwear off everywhere anyway, so you may as well wear something that won't be stolen. Besides, if it's men you are aiming to attract by dressing up, you can rest assured they won't be noticing your footwear.
Dress etiquette - men
(1) Dude, dress down. Please. Those jigajiga brocadey kurtas only serve to accentuate your thair sadham features and make you look dorkier than you already are.
(2) Leave those filmy man-dupattas that you wear around your neck, at home. They are 5 minutes ago. I will personally come and blow my nose and wipe my sweaty face with them if you don't.
(3) Give those curly jooties to the poor. Even they will probably hit you with them if you do. Wear sensible stuff like chappals or floaters that you can take off and leave at the door without worrying about them.
(4) If you're in Chennai, do not gel your hair. Even if you are an NRI. The gel will trickle down your face and make you look like The Melting Man. If you're in Bangalore, you may gel your hair in the months of December and January. For the rest of the year you will look like Juggy Dee. Nobody will marry you.
(5) The bare chested look is over. Even if you're 68. Especially if you're from my family. We know exactly where all the puliyogare and and panchamritam goes. Spare us.
Alright, go now. And behave.