Pre-wedding/Post-wedding photo-shoot, wedding teaser, candid photography,
invitation cards, venue, food, weight loss/gain, makeup, and jewelry.
I can add more to the list, but let’s stop before it gets more overwhelming. Marriage is never a child’s play, but a wedding is a completely different game that demands a crew of experts. Be ready to shell our every ounce of your soul, money, and time if you are planning for a full-fledged wedding. The couples don’t even realize how and when they get sucked into a whirlpool of events they had never planned for themselves. And if you happen to be a bride, be ready to get trolled by aunties who will give you unsolicited tips to get fairer, lose/gain weight, learn cooking, and the kind of wedding trousseau you should acquire. Not even one will ask you if you feel ready to get married or if you know what married life entails.
Weddings in India are not for the faint-hearted. You are either into them or you want to stay away from them as far as you can. Don’t get me wrong; this is not an anti-wedding or anti-marriage post. Everyone should do what makes them happy. What I question is the emphasis on the razzmatazz than celebrating a new companionship. Have you ever checked out what Pinterest does when you type “Wedding” in the search bar? The colossal range of ideas surrounding weddings will be thrown at you before you are even ready. You might think you know what sort of wedding you would like to have, but just wait till you get sucked into the rabbit hole called internet, where all your decision making abilities take a hike and you end up with a conundrum of endless choices.
Are people getting married in the ostentatious way for themselves or to placate the ego of everyone involved and invited? What if there were no social media outlets to publicize all the shenanigans, hashtags, pictures, and videos? Seriously, how much of all this projection comprises of what people really want to do and how much of it is a charade to fit in? Because of this excessive exposure of such a private event, wedding market is exponentially increasing with couples and their families not wanting to leave any stone unturned in satisfying every distant relative. Looks like Bollywood caused the spark of fancy weddings and social media fanned the flames, burning down so many forests (read: savings accounts).
Whenever a couple demands to be themselves, and take the simple, practical, and less financially draining route instead, they are shut down. Everyone has individual tastes and expectations. I agree, we all have the right to spend the money we and our family earned the way we want. Just don’t be a puppet in the hands of peer pressure, family expectations, and the exorbitant wedding circus. Do what makes you feel right and happy. Do not let go of who you are. I agree, Indian weddings are not just about the couple. But, let’s not forget that after all it is mostly about them, and their opinions and ways should be considered.
In the end, the wedding is just a party. Marriage is where the real and gritty “after-party” starts. Why not focus on that instead? Why not raise children to be better partners as well? Why obsess over an event more than the life after the event? Why not celebrate things that really matter? Last but definitely not least. Just thing of all the valuable things you can get for yourself if you skip splurging your savings on a week-long wedding party in the name of creating memories and pleasing everyone. You can travel the world, get an MBA, or pay a down payment for a new house. Be smart, take a stand, and start your married life with more money in your account. Let the holy matrimony be what it is and not a huge financial bump on the long road called life.