My Big Fat Indian Wedding (In America) | AJ+

I’m getting married. There’s going to be
hundreds of wedding guests, huge plates of biryani, henna’d hands, and a handsome groom. But this isn’t my wedding. My wedding’s not for another six months, and before
the aunties pick me apart, I’m trying to figure out how to do things right. You
see, the arranged marriages of our parents’ generation look really different
than relationships now. And weddings aren’t just a party – they set the tone
for what our futures look like as hyphenated Americans. Hi, I’m Shreen. I’m Indian American. And this is my fiancé, Soheb. He’s also Indian American. We’re in
the middle of planning our traditional Indian wedding here in the U.S. And when I say ‘traditional Indian’ I should say ‘Muslim.’ Because in India, there are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and more. And they all have different wedding traditions, which are
intensely debated. Making the wrong call could lead to family boycotting your
wedding day. — It’s complicated. First point of contention: the dress. This is my little sister, Yasin. Today she’s helping me shop for my wedding dress. So this would be really nice for your Sangeet or your henna. There are so many dress options for brides these days. I could wear a traditionally red lehenga, like this. A super modern fusion one, like this. Or something in between. What do you think of this? — Ooh, it’s pretty from the front. What does it look like from the back? Oh my God, it’s backless. What would mom say if I wore this? — She wouldn’t let you wear it. I think if I were a Hindu or Sikh bride, I could totally rock this. But for a Muslim bride, it would just be too scandalous. Would you ever want to wear something like this? — As a bridesmaid? As a bride. — I don’t really want to be a bride. How come? — I don’t really believe in marriage. I think that there’s just so much pressure on, like, of course you’re going to get married, and we’ll find a person to be this placeholder. And I just don’t see that for myself. Weddings are such an insane capitalist industry. You could take that money and be part of a way to a down payment on a house. — Yasin, if you don’t get married, you’d be the first woman in our family to opt out of marriage intentionally. That’s pretty cool. — That’s super cool. Because then it’s like, what does that open up for my life? My sister has a point. But getting married is at the core of my Indian identity. Before me, almost all the marriages in my extended family have been arranged. The aunties would get together and swap details on
wedding resumes to find the right match: someone with the same religion, language
and status. But I never wanted an arranged marriage. My fiancé and I have
what’s called a “love match” which means we found each other without involving
our parents. And we waited until we were in our 30s to get married. Which is
really old in Indian standards! And just because our families are both Indian
doesn’t mean they have anything in common. They don’t even speak the same language. — Yeah, like mine. They speak Gujrati. Kem cho [How are you]? And mine speaks Urdu. I don’t understand a word of what your family says. And it only gets more complicated if you marry outside the culture. Enter
Jessica and Hardeep. Her family is German and Christian. His family is Punjabi and Sikh. We both met each other on the online game “World of Warcraft” and we met each other killing monsters. He would send something in Punjabi and I’d have
to translate it. – Oh, wow. And then I’d something in German and then he’d have
to translate that. Jessica and Hardeep kept their relationship secret from his parents for nine years. I am the first in my family to marry someone who is not Desi. — And that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal. — Who did your parents want you to marry? So my parents wanted … a perfect scenario would be someone Desi, from Punjab, who’s Sikh, speaks Punjabi, and is familiar with all the traditions. — And you brought home … A white girl. It was definitely difficult to be the secret. I had told him numerous times over and over again,
you need to tell them. And he’s like, ‘I don’t wanna be kicked out and I don’t want to lose them.’ I mean, I can totally understand that. If you look back at 1940s, 1950s, you didn’t even see who you married. Your
parents just went over to another parents house, they talked to each other
and you were engaged, and you didn’t even see your bride or the groom. Me, I’m just the complete opposite of that culture. I’ve decided everything. When he finally got the courage to tell his parents about Jessica, things got so heated that they stopped talking for a while. My dad was fine with it right away. But my mom, she’s more traditional and she was more stuck on, “Oh, you should marry a Desi girl.” But, eventually she came around. I can understand Jessica and
Hardeep’s situation because my older sister Yazi also married outside the culture. Tell me about some of the traditions that you grappled with when you were wedding planning. — Well, I really wanted to make sure that the ceremony reflected us as a couple, that our partnership is a partnership, and it’s an egalitarian partnership. So, for example, we had a woman officiate our nikkah. Which was a big deal. — Which was a big deal. In Muslim weddings, the nikkah is when we sign the Islamic marriage contract. In Sikh weddings, couples circle the holy book four times to get married. And during Hindu weddings, they take seven steps around the ceremonial fire. Modesty is so important. Even in Bollywood movies, for the longest time, there was never ever kissing, and like the couple’s faces are so close together, but they would never kiss. During the wedding ceremony, we did not. We walked out and we had a private moment to ourselves, and our first kiss was right there. — I’m struggling with that. It does feel like a loss to me. How come? — I’ve been watching movies for 30 years where, after you seal your union, you kiss. To me, getting to stand up in front of all our friends and family was a sealing of our union. —I’m not sure if we’re going to kiss on our wedding, but I really want to. Something that Soheb and I really want to have is dancing, but dancing can be a bit of a taboo in our community. So why is that? Would it make you uncomfortable if we pulled you onto the dance floor? What about if we pulled amijan [grandma] and baba [grandpa] on the dance floor? What my mom is saying is that you probably wouldn’t see this at a Desi Muslim wedding. But this is Jessica and Hardeep’s wedding, and Punjabis are known for dancing. Soheb’s parents, by the way, also have reservations about dancing at our wedding. Yazi got married and I’m next. So, of course all eyes are going to point to Yasin. What are your thoughts on Yasin not wanting to get married? What does that mean? So if I don’t change my mind? But mom, that’s kind of interesting, because you are divorced, and you and dad, your marriage didn’t work out. And you’re so happy being a single, you know, independent person. So why is marriage so important for Yasin if we’ve seen that the marriage can be quite flawed? Even my grandpa, who we call baba, is trying to change Yasin’s mind. — So you think I’ll change my mind? — What if I don’t change my mind? There’s one more thing I haven’t talked to Soheb about yet: the maher. It’s a Muslim marriage tradition of a cash gift the groom gives the bride. It’s the opposite of a dowry, which the bride’s family pays the groom and is common in Hindu weddings. On Jessica and Hardeep’s wedding day, we saw something lighter. Hardeep was blocked from entering the gurdwara until he paid Jessica’s family to step aside. I’m really nervous to talk to you about the maher because it feels totally anti-feminist to choose a number, negotiate that number, and then like expect my partner to pay for it. And it just seems really old school. —No, I think you get to use it, like you can … that’s your money. You get to use that the next day if you wanted to. Have you heard that there’s a number that is the traditional number to give as a maher? — Yeah, it was. So there’s a way to calculate what that maher would be in today’s terms. What’s the equivalent in the present day? Scroll, scroll, scroll. In dollars, it is approximately $396.70. — Yes! And then it ends with, “And Allah knows best.” — Allah knows best. He knows the bestest. I think it would be helpful to understand the process, if you talk to my mom or my sisters. Or my dad. – Or my dad. — Yeah. Or your dad. – Hi dad! Asalaam walaikum [Peace be with you]! How you doing? So, pop-pop, I have some questions about maher. Why is that important? What would the minimum be? I don’t know, that sounds like a lot, dad. I feel like I’m earning, so why would I ask for so much money? $10,000 is reasonable, in your opinion? Used car. Okay, pops. Well, thanks for your advice. As I’m making decisions about our wedding, I now realize that it’s OK to switch things up. Culture evolves and our perspectives will, too. On our wedding day, Soheb and I will be reinventing Indian traditions to fit our American lives — even if it doesn’t please the aunties. Oh, and back to that whole kissing thing … Cool. So we’re doing it? —Sure. Yes! Really? — Yeah. If you want to kiss at the wedding, we can kiss at the wedding. I do. Thanks for watching our video on Indian weddings. Let me know what conversations you’re having about tying the knot, or not tying the knot. Don’t forget to subscribe and let us what untold stories to cover next.

100 comments on “My Big Fat Indian Wedding (In America) | AJ+”

  1. Shreen Khan says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for spending time with me as I plan my hectic Indian American wedding! Have you had to deal with cultural pressures in wedding planning or your relationships? What’s a cherished tradition in your culture? And what are some traditions your family feels strongly about but you want to break?

  2. TheRedsun111 says:

    So the host is a Mulsim Indian and her future husband is a Shik?

  3. Purple Stars says:

    Yazi’s wedding dress was gorgeous!!!

  4. La Luna Bohemia says:

    This was so great! I’m Latina and my fiancé is Marathi.

  5. Adeel says:

    what is a hyphenated American???

  6. Punit Modi says:

    You guys are way over analyzing this whole thing.

  7. Ashwin Thayaparan says:

    Thanks for forgetting to include Sri Lanka as part of desi in the caption at 3:41 jheeze guys lol thanks a lot

  8. gurmehar singh says:

    7:06 best part

  9. Desiree Thomas says:

    I love this!! Please do a follow up of yalls wedding! 💖

  10. AkalkiFauj Official Channel says:

    8:45 what the what!!!????

  11. Yumna H یمنہ says:

    These people don’t know what they are saying!!!! Ahhhhg should have picked a more educated Desi for this! They could’ve explained it much more better!

  12. Nika says:

    Every culture has a few archaic traditions. Modernizing certain aspects about your wedding is not a specific to Indian-American community thing. It feels like this presenter is grossly out of touch with what is happening in India. The cultural evolution is uniform in most places across the world. Most people are open minded these days. In fact, I've found Indian-American families to be more orthodox than people back in India because these NRIs try to clutch into every aspect of what they consider as "Indian culture" rather than folks in India who are now much more open-minded.

  13. Je m’en fou says:

    She’s so cute and original like a breath of fresh air!

  14. Lxxrt says:

    Damn Shreen's family so liberal, really chilled out , and they are all look like great people

  15. Tom Sebastian says:

    This video is more stereotypical than the stereotypes.

  16. Tom Sebastian says:

    This video is more stereotypical than the stereotypes.

  17. rehana pothiawala says:

    As an Indian Muslim woman about to get married this is an awesome segment to watch! Looking forward to the rest of the series 💕

  18. Level 4 Helmet says:

    They met in world or warcraft pepega

  19. shees khan says:


  20. Scoobmagoo says:

    My boyfriend is Pakistani from Pakistan. I am an American white Christian. We have been dating for years. I scared for his family to find out.

  21. Ritika Ritu says:

    All the men would've super supportive, sayin stuff like "oye hoye, gori chitti!"

  22. Time Pass says:

    Sorry guys , I need to clarify this. Mehr need not be money itself , it can be anything what the bride asks for to give her hand in marriage , and there is no min or max , it’s upto her!! Thank you for your time ,

  23. Veritas Est Lux says:

    So, the White guy is "woke" because he simply married a MUSLIM woman ( a different faith) who as a "true" Muslim relies on the Quran as divine authority ; the same Quran that affirms to the world that being lesbian/gay or an apostate is bad, forbidden, and is punishable under Sharia law. Yeah, sure he's "woke." lololololol

  24. edith rugolo says:

    Ohhh my goodness you guys are beautiful and amazing 😉

  25. Teemo says:

    maher can be a couple of bucks too.

  26. The Pun isher says:

    Lol she knows nothing about hindu tradition. I bet she also don't know there are different traditions of marriages changes state by state.

  27. Akhil P says:

    My mom would prolly faint if I brought home a white girl lmaoooooo but like at the same time…. It's lit!

  28. Yumna Alam says:

    omg i need more!!!

  29. praneet matkar says:

    2:05 absolutely right she is right

  30. Joe Mama says:

    Feels like a waste of money

  31. Let's Explore says:

    Yes, Muslims have our own traditions

  32. Khans Kitchen says:

    Very nice

  33. Abia Sheikh says:

    The kids of different religon couples suffer because what religon will they follow

  34. Kirti Singh says:

    I m indian Hindu 😍😍 nd I lv our culture nd believe on arrange marriage😍

  35. Maverick Garad says:

    I would not call pakistani desi, they identify themselves with Arabs, mughals.


    The "desi" culture shown is North Indian culture, and honestly not even completely North Indian culture. It is more of Punjabi bollywoodish culture.
    India is so much more diverse than just the "desis"

  37. Kim Desai says:

    Shreyas wedding was a super hit hit 😃😃😃

  38. chrysanthemum says:

    May god bless them both! The bride is so beautiful omg🥰

  39. Parizat Labannya says:

    Hindu religion not permits for dowry. In Veda its mention clearly. But its our personal choice someone showed it as our religious ritual. In veda hindus must respect thir mother, sister, wife, daughter and every women at society. If we don't maintain it then this is our problem. So please never ever told that kinda thing if you have lack of knowledge about the topic.

  40. Abhra Rohatgi says:

    Love seeing new perspectives on Indian weddings. Thanks for making this and I loved it!

  41. Ranveer Randhawa says:

    It's Punjabi wedding.. Not Indian 😂😂😂

  42. storm raider says:

    When you talk about dowry ,it's forced thing

    But in hindu marriages both side give gifts like st gift is give by groom side to bride side in form of jewellery , clothes and other things then and them bride side represent it to groom
    later all collected and given to newly wedded couple to support them in life
    It's ancient tradition to support newly wedded couple

  43. اوس ابونار says:

    Somehow you treating the religion as culture you can take any part of it or give back things you don't like because at the end of the day in Islam god gonna I ask us about anythings we have done and things we don't follow whate god said to do so it's not just like I want this part and I don't want this part.
    Sorry for my bad english

    And congrdulation for your marriage🌷🌷⚘

  44. bh knowledge centere says:

    You donot seperete hindu and india because hindu greek pronauncition is India.Hindu itself frm holy river sindhu.parsins use to say hindu

  45. SMS TAMIL says:

    I loved watching this video … so nice:)

  46. Wolf Lauren says:

    Can somebody answer please.

    A Christian male and Hindu female has to get married in a Hindu way?
    I've never seen the other way around. Maybe I've just never seen it, though it does?

  47. Stephanie Rachelle says:

    Well, I guess I understand now why my boyfriend is so avoiding me meeting his parents over the past year T-T Funtastic

  48. E HA HA Productions says:

    If ur Muslim, your Pakistani. If you beg to differ, tell Pakistan to reunite with India; then we will let you call yourselves Indian Muslim

  49. Mehrin Rashed says:


  50. Fiona Dewils says:

    I wanna see your wedding!!!!! Please get a descriptive video like this made and upload it to YouTube! Thanks

  51. dhruvsingh rawat says:

    I love dadajis confidence!!

  52. Mormet Nazim says:

    Shreen looks Like Manpreet Toor little Bit

  53. Jessica P says:

    Omg. I can relate so much. My name is Jessica and I met my bf, Sahil, via Destiny… the game 😆 I’m American and he’s Punjabi. I’m constantly trying to learn Punjab in hopes to one day communicate with his family. I sent him this video right away haha!

  54. Mustafa Musa says:

    I am Sudanese and while Islam is the majority religion we have different tribes with different traditions and it is hard but most marriages in Sudan are multi-tribal but some tribes just don’t go well together and it gets really complicated and I wish I could have some of it change

  55. Sharon John says:

    So did your Guju fiancé convert? Usually that happens when one marries a Muslim right?

  56. Glameow The Calico says:


    Oof my country is here

    (North of Saudi then go right)
    It is bahrain

    (Dont worry, I am fluent in English)

  57. Shahid Parwer says:

    So nobody is gonna talk about that baby at 7:20???

  58. zoala001 says:

    We have Meher in Iran. families agree on different Meher but the grooms family dont pay anything to the bride's family before or after the wedding. The groom just agrees on an amount and if the couple gets divorced, then the girl can get the Meher to continue her life after the divorce without any economic problem. Women have the right to ask for it during her life even if she doesnt want to divorce but usually nobody asks to get the money.

  59. kung-fu hustle says:

    You’re sister definitely makes sense. Weddings today are over rated

  60. Zunairah Badar says:

    but kissing is haram is islam

  61. جزائرية في فنلندا says:

    They are beautiful sister 😍 Mashallah.

  62. Kuldeep Manak says:


  63. Ashley Rehal says:

    It’s not “Seekh” it’s “Sikh”

  64. chester14rw says:


  65. shaid H says:

    Jessica looks like a man

  66. Jown Manzano says:

    more on travel vlogs when u get vlogs…food reviews…make up reviews…but daily life experience will do..🙂😍😘

  67. Debo Datta says:

    Gujarati and Urdu are pretty similar languages…I speak Hindi (same language as Urdu look it up), English and Bhojpuri and I can understand 75-85% of Gujarati pretty well. She either doesn't understand Urdu well or is exaggerating for the video same as the "A hindu or sikh bride could wear this" comment there are extremely orthodox Hindu and Sikhs just as their are orthadox muslims.

  68. Chloe Ngyuen says:

    Our weddings are the BEST! period .

  69. Felicia Rodrigues says:

    That was a great segment. Good job

  70. Soumyo Mookerji says:

    jejeje marrying at the age of 30 is not an Indian tradition, well am 42 and single still. Gracioso¡

  71. Harjot Singh says:

    i hope i also meet someone on pubg

  72. Manjeet singh Manjeet Singh says:

    Wow punjabi

  73. Lotpoti says:

    such a well told story.. which is also very personalized!

  74. Anna Khan says:


  75. rohit kalyan says:

    You guys are so much in love. If there's ever a hiccup in your relationship, please revert to this awesome romantic video. Toooo cute couple. Congrats n loads of love from myside.

  76. Daisygirl1217 says:

    Good for you. I respect traditions, but I also respect allowing a person to make up their own minds about how to go about with life. Parents raise their children, protect them, feed them, guide them and so on. But when it comes time that they are 18/19 ish, you need to let go and just let them fly without you telling them what they should or should not be doing or believing. You can advise, but do not demand. Let it be.

  77. Mohammed Khaled says:

    The best wedding i've ever seen was the one in Braveheart… simple yet full of love

  78. Golden Pearl says:

    "let us wait and see" my aunt was 50 when she got married so I guess you can wait a very looong time

  79. LaniaLost says:

    What tasteless obscenity! The desi community is full of image- and status-conscious brain-dead morons who lead this kind of vacuous indulgent life. The worthless kind of human infesting the planet. The conversations in this vid are vomit-inducing. Please — don't call yourselves Muslim, and do Allah a favor by leaving Islam — you make great atheists, or better still convert to another belief system. AJ+ — the National Enquirer and Daily Mail of the Arab world.

  80. Darlene Hardy says:

    I love this video

  81. HappilyIndian says:

    Hey, very nice video 💕

  82. Fatima Ali says:

    My husband took back half of my mahar to pay Bill's 😔 and stole my gold bangle

  83. Facts over Feelings says:

    didi aap bahot sundar lag rhe ho ❤️😍

  84. Hanami Alix says:

    They were so cute together

  85. Vishal Singh says:

    Why Muslims don't dance

  86. Tiffani Farrington says:

    I bet she’ll change her mind about getting married

  87. nested bird says:

    30 is not old in india either

  88. Hindu Pantheon says:

    desi (south Asian)

  89. M N says:

    what a great video !!! Thanks for sharing… its awesome to know that your going kiss on your wedding day !! Best wishes !!!

  90. bella beam says:

    Loved the modern dress

  91. naz b says:

    Why is every programme that represents Muslims in the West so whitewashed?

  92. Nimue Fate says:

    I can relate to the German and Punjabi couple (laughed when he said white girl.) My fiancee is Vietnamese/Chinese and family is Buddhist. I'm mostly Irish and my family is Christian. His folks were hoping he would bring home a nice Asian girl (preferably Viet or Chinese)….he brought home a white girl (I'm seriously pale as heck).

  93. Mm says:

    They’re so modern yet still worried about the “ heir “.

  94. firdows randeree says:

    Meher is not tradition…


    I'm Polynesian (Hawaiian) and husband is Italian/Irish from NY, so yes HUGE difference even though we are "Americans"

  96. meow ? says:

    yeah .. because you did everything to stick with your culture but when it comes to kissing .. oh yaaay lets kiss xD dense fuckers.

  97. Sanket Bagul says:

    Well, I'm Yasin of my family!

  98. Norah Miriam Chehab says:

    Its annoying how they keep pressuring her sister to get married

  99. Norah Miriam Chehab says:

    Today's mahers run around 8k to 25k in most families that practice it. One can ask for Koran, a symbolic maher. The maher also belongs to the woman not her family.

  100. Joseph Fernandez says:

    Call yourself American

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