‘Please don’t save the wedding date… You are not invited!’

When Riz Ahmed said that the nicest thing about his pandemic wedding was that “you didn’t have 500 aunties hanging around you, pinching your cheeks,” he spoke for a lot of couples who got married during recent times and were grateful to have a legit reason to not invite their not-so-close friends, acquaintances, those nosy uncle and aunties, and almost everyone else they didn’t want to be a part of their nuptials.
However, while the excuse may be valid, the bruising of egos is real. When couples say, ‘we can’t invite you for safety reasons’, what those uninvited guests hear is – ‘you’re not invited because you are not important enough’. The degree of the resulting fallout can range from mild (holding a grudge for the next couple of years) to extreme (like the recent case of an acquaintance beating up a man for not inviting him to his wedding in MP’s Bhind district). Here’s how the pandemic is wreaking havoc in rishtedaaris due to the cropped wedding list.

‘I bought the clothes, booked the tickets, but the invite never came’
Seema Rawat, who got her clothes stitched for a friend’s wedding in Kanpur says she kept waiting for an invite, but it never came. She says, “My friend’s wedding was scheduled in April and I bought my clothes and booked tickets in March. Then, her wedding was rescheduled because of the second wave. She is close to me and another friend. I told this other friend that we can go together as the next date was in July. I kept waiting for the revised invite, but it never came. Recently, through her social media post, I got to know that she got married a month back. She has not even spoken to me since June, and I still can’t get over the fact that I wasn’t invited to her wedding. I guess we aren’t going to be friends anymore.”

‘At least give us the option to say no or make an excuse!’
You may think that people want to avoid attending a wedding, but many feel wronged for not being invited. A theatre artist says his nieces and nephews got married in the pandemic, and didn’t invite him as they presumed he’d feel too anxious to attend. He says, “This nephew always stayed with me whenever he visited Delhi, and then he didn’t invite me to his wedding! When he called me later, he didn’t even apologise. Instead, he said, ‘You should thank me for not burdening you with a wedding invite. I was like, ‘how could you not invite me? Give me an option to reject or make excuses at least!”
Tushar, who works in the entertainment sector and got married in July, says, “Our wedding, which took place in a bubble at a resort outside Gurgaon, cost me a lot of acquaintances and friends whom I didn’t invite. I realised it later when all those people whom I had invited over Zoom for my wedding refused to meet me for coffee or drinks again.”

Wedding invites Become rude & politically incorrect
Not inviting is not the only issue – half-hearted invites are another bone of contention. During the pandemic, due to only a limited number of guests being allowed, wedding invites continued to become more and more politically incorrect. While some asked guests to leave after the varmala and lunch as pheras were only limited to close family, others asked couples to leave their children at home.

Aman Tyagi, who works as a software developer, says, “A college friend invited me for his wedding in April. He told me it will not be a big gathering, but the invite came with a condition to not bring kids because they are not vaccinated. What surprised me most was the PS part. He wrote – ‘Let us know if you can’t make it so we can make other arrangements’. This basically means that he will call another guest in my place. This was my college friend who gatecrashed weddings with me for years for free meals.”

Muskaan, who lives in Dwarka, says she was invited to her neighbour’s wedding but instead of asking her to enjoy the wedding, she was told in advance that she doesn’t need to stay for the rituals and ceremonies. She says, “I was invited to my neighbour’s son’s wedding, but I was told that I could leave after varmala because only family members will be attending the pheras. Why invite someone if you want to insult them?”

Thought you could skip colleagues from the guest list? Do so at your own peril!
A senior corporate head who got married recently, says, “One of my colleagues whom I didn’t invite for my wedding told me, ‘All those years, what were those washroom crying sessions for? Next time when you feel you’re unfairly treated by our overseas team, you know whom not to call’.”

A teacher at Delhi University, who got married in January, says, “My colleagues were so taken aback by the fact that they were excluded from my shortlist that they didn’t stop rubbing it in my face. I know none of them would have attended anyway, but not inviting someone means you’re making it clear they’re not your priority. My colleague once snapped and said, ‘So, you thought we will watch you getting married online?’. Even now, some will comment, ‘Oh right! now you are married. I keep forgetting because I haven’t seen you as a bride’.”