If it is peace, love, and respect that you are trying to instill in your wedding vows then this is difficult to do where the Priest has to explain and filter this through noise. So perhaps a quieter environment is of importance.
I don't think that people understand that young people today have grown up in a different period requiring a different level of engagement; for one thing it is extremely difficult to concentrate in a noisy environment.
Practicing total silence throughout the wedding is equally very difficult; children will play, and people will talk but generally if a peaceful environment can be maintained this is within our gift.
But in planning a quiet wedding you must also consider your venue, its acoustics and the music played in the background.
Of course we should not forget our culture and there are wonderful meanings within some of our traditional wedding songs. And there is something quite beautiful in the traditions of Indian women singing wedding folk songs if they can sing well. If they can't sing well my advice is, we need to try and encourage them to understand, but we must never offend people.
Then what music really gives serenity to a wedding? This is something I am often asked. Put simply, it is music that is simple and instrumental, it can be Indian as well as Western music that achieves this goal, but you must like the music. So listen to the music thoroughly that you want to play through your service.
There is a tremendous expectation upon the Preacher to "control" the crowd. Having provided a service, I feel this expectation can sometimes be rather unfair. As a Human Being I can only control my own attitude and behavior; I can perhaps influence the behavior of others, but I cannot control others, nor should I be expected to do so.
Guests should consider the purpose of their attendance at a wedding. Of course my view is simple, we are there for the bride, the groom and the parents; we are there to celebrate the coming together in marriage of two individuals. And we can do this with a little respect for the couple. However, other people believe weddings are for socializing, and to an extent this is true.
A Preacher that demands silence can come across as "rude" and "arrogant" and guests do not expect the Preacher to behave instructively. There are many ways to make a wedding a serene experience. Guests perhaps can be clear on what is expected of them. So how can we all achieve this?
Simple things like ensuring there are enough seats for everyone, and separating the Dining area from the Wedding area can all actually make a difference. Planning is critical, especially for an Indian wedding.
Ushering guests who are standing and directing them to Chairs is an equal consideration. And finally numbers, a sore point, but you have to ask yourselves if you invite anywhere between 500+ guests then you must also expect a level of societal noise.
As we move forwards into a generation that seeks questions, and that wants to attain some spirituality for a short time, on their wedding day, where spirituality is important, then we as people attending the wedding can do our part in making this journey a spiritual one.
In Hinduism there should be no colour, no status or cultural caste system dictating who is at the top and who is at the bottom of the structure. We are all equal in my eyes, but I am all too aware that society doesn't practice this equality.
Everyone is equal in the eyes of good. God forbid the belief in untouchability, for there is no such thing. Either we are Humane or we are not, either we are equal or we are not. Simple. Hence marriage is a personal choice between people and I am often asked about mixed marriages. Are they acceptable? The fact is some Indian people will marry Indian people and some will marry non Indian people, but all these people have one thing in common, the soul, that special spark in each and everyone one; for love has no colour nor divide. So my answer to the acceptability of mixed marriages is simple. It's Ok.