Before the bride and groom enter the wedding area, they have to take off their shoes, because they will be entering a religious area. The bride's side (mostly her sisters and cousins) steal the groom's shoes, so that he can't leave and take their sister away from the family.
And they won't give the shoes back until the groom and his family pay for them, and it's up to the bride's side to decide whether they have been given enough money (within reason)
It can happen in many ways ...
- It can be discreet, the shoes are hidden, and no-one will realise they have gone until it is too late.
- Sometimes the groom's family notices it happening and then shoes are being thrown across the room like a giant game of piggy in the middle.
- Sometimes the groom's side will hide the shoes beforehand and another person's shoes will be put under his chair so the bride's side will take the wrong pair.
- Even better is when the groom's side bring a spare pair and let them keep the shoes they take.
- There are times when it can turn into a stalemate and no-one will budge.
- I'm waiting for the wedding when the bride and groom are literally carried out of the wedding hall, so shoes are redundant anyway.
It is not uncommon to hear this retro Bollywood Number:
Joote De Do, Paise Le Lo from the film Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994)
These old videos are funny to watch after a long time. And put your speakers on a lower volume, old songs sound so loud!
It literally means, 'give back the shoes, and we will give you the money.'
And the girls side are telling them to give the money first and then they will give the shoes.
How else can you make money at an Indian wedding?
- Before the newlyweds leave the wedding hall, the bride's sisters/cousins will stand in front of the car and won't budge without financial incentive.
- In some cases, when they have reached their family home, the groom's sisters will stand in front of the door to stop them from coming in and won't budge until he gives them money.
- The bride and groom are tied together during the ceremony. When they reach home, one of the groom's sisters has to untie them, and won't do so unless she is given some cash.
I love weddings!