The Big Fat Indian Wedding

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We are all well aware of the pomp and show of a big fat Indian wedding. Everything is larger than life: the song, the dance, rituals, fireworks, festivity and the huge family tree that descends in strength for this extravaganza. What we don’t know is the amount of money and time that is spent unnecessarily on such weddings .You may say that, “You get married only once” (Okay, maybe twice for some people. Excuse my snarkiness) but does that give you an excuse to spend all of yours as well as your parents’ savings? We get it. It is an “Indian wedding”, but chew over this: A wedding is supposed to be a private affair and not a public one so do you really need a guest list of 3000 people? It is a wedding not a multi-cuisine restaurant, so do really needs these many dishes on the menu? Also do you really want to spend so much on the card, which we know usually ends up in the trash can?

In India we spend so much of our emotions, thoughts, time and money towards marriage.So much of which is completely unnecessary and useless. When a girl is born in a family, the parents begin to pool their resources for her marriage from the day of her birth itself. Because “Betiyaan toh paraaya dhan hoti hain” and someday or the other they have to be married off with all the pomp and show that they can afford. The big fat Indian wedding fuels the trend of female feticides because when people see how much they have to spend on marrying off a daughter, they prefer to not have daughters.And once a girl is born,they are killed. If not killed, girls are often neglected in the family.

An Indian wedding is usually organized and sponsored by the family of the bride. So this one family pours in all the money and resources it has pooled over the years by breaking fixed deposits, selling assets and taking loans, to keep their respectability intact, after all “Izzat ki baat hain”.The groom and his family, usually have has nothing to do with it. The groom just comes on a mare with hordes of friends and relatives. Most of the times, the family of the groom has something to complain about, while the father of the bride just nods his head and rushes to get things fixed And lets us not forget about the dowry. Yes, officially and legally demanding dowries is a crime. But a father giving his son-in-law a car and his daughter boxes of jewelry is just his affection and love for them .You can’t tag that a dowry, can you?  Oh and how can we forget about the unnumbered guests that need to be showered by such affection and love too, both on the bride and groom’s side. And this leads to dowry-deaths. The unending demands of the groom and his family, the powerless and forlorn father of the bride and eventually death by physical or mental abuse.

Marriage today is just a status symbol; an unnecessary extravagance and superfluity. It is an issue of self-esteem and community sentiment. Instead of concentrating all of these resources on our marriage, we should concentrate on our wedding day, on making it memorable with family and friends. Most couples complain that they did not get time to enjoy on their D-day. In the sea of hundreds it becomes easy to feel lost, even when you are the bride and the groom.

Can a relationship, built on the foundation of money and greed, ever be meaningful or beautiful? Would it not be better to invest in the daughter’s education instead of saving up for her dowry?  Or give it to her to use to kick-start her new life with her spouse? Instead of that lavish function, why not just have a simple wedding and give the girl the money instead? Why not try making her so accomplished and independent that she is capable of carving niche for herself, and becomes the master of her own happiness. Also why just blame the parents when the young men and women themselves are keen on grand marriages? If the present day youngsters, the bride and the groom, were to stand up and say firm No to pomp and show in their marriage, no dowry and no unnecessary expenses- can the parents really protest? We attend dream weddings and wish to have the same but do you think all this glitz and glamour is worth breaking your wallets for?

Here are some tips to planning a small-scale, memorable and ravishing wedding:

  • Tell your family and friends you want a small, private wedding. When writing the guest list, use lined paper to write numbers on so you’ll know how many guests to invite
  • Set an amount you are willing to spend on your wedding and reception. Be realistic; even a low cost wedding demands a reasonable amount of funds.
  • Choose a wedding location appropriate for smaller gatherings.
  • Large crowds require a menu designed to please most tastes, but when your guests are a small number of well-known family and friends, you can capitalize on this opportunity to serve a menu of their collective favorites.
  • Be Creative. Cut way down on the flowers. Keep the décor simple and elegant.

Have fun. Enjoy the day. Make merry. But with simplicity


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