Context: The following is an account from the informant, a family friend. She told this during a conversation at a get-together.
Background: This information was regarding the wedding customs of her village in the state of Gujarat in India. She had firsthand knowledge from her family and her own wedding.
Informant: In our village, it is common and customary to have big joint weddings. Families will get together and plan to have five or six different couples getting married at the same time.
Me: So do they know each other, or are they just random couples from the village?
Informant: Since most people in the village are either related to each other at least distantly or know each other well, people can coordinate without much difficulty. Everyone gets together to help, and my own grandfather helped cook the food in traditional cauldrons. Usually it ends up working well, and is much more economical since multiple marriages happen at the same venue, and the attendees who would have otherwise had to have been invited separately can all come at the same time.
Me: Wouldn’t there be extra attendees because there are so many families?
Informant: No, most of the villagers will come to any wedding that is happening anyways, so the number is about the same as there would be for just one couple getting married.
Analysis: This is a unique way of performing the wedding ceremony that seems to work well mainly due to the close-knit nature of the village, especially since many of the families of those getting married are actually relatives, whether close or distant. It seemed surprising at first because usually weddings are considered to be a special event for the couple, but this style of marriage seems to have more of a social aspect.