Today I will write about ‘Yet Another Big Fat Indian Wedding‘. This wedding took place over last weekend in southern part of Bangalore.
Both the bride & groom are my relatives. Hence I was forced to take leave from work to look after the pre-marriage arrangements and rituals that usually take place in hindu community. I have to say, this is one of the costliest weddings I have eye witnessed so far. Starting from the shopping of silk sarees, golden ornaments, silver articles, air-conditioned wedding hall and a wide variety of food items to please the guests… No compromise what so ever! Everything was hyped to its max, some called it a show off while others termed it a one time affair that should be remembered for life time.
Through reliable sources, got to know that the overall expenditure for this wedding amounted close to a whopping 35 lac rupees! Whoa… don’t get exhausted just for this, some of the pics I have posted here should make you believe it. Some salient highlights of this wedding include a handful of politicians in the form of guests, an extremely pleasing instrumental orchestra by ‘Amrutha Varshini’, wide variety of delicacies & flowers to welcome everyone etc., Fruits and Vegetables decoration was surely a feast for eyes. I can’t remember all the food items, snacks, fruit juices, salads, desserts etc., that were served. What bothered me more was that atleast 40% of the food items were either simply un-necessary or over served. I shall try to post more pics of this wedding when they are made available to me.
All was good, but one thing that really went deep in to my thoughts was – do we really need to spend like this? Is it really worth to spend so much of money for the sake of showing off? When do we realize to understand the value of money? Can’t we be more happy by spending this with the ones who are in need of money, which can make their lifetime considering the enormous amount of money being spent for just a couple of days? I don’t have answers for all these questions. But certainly one thing that keeps pondering my mind again and again… Is it really required to spend money like this in the name of ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’… Do you have an answer?
Weddings should be celebrated with grandeur and it should be an extraordinary affair to be the most memorable in a couple’s life. I would rather suggest that instead of Big Fat Indian Weddings, a fully furnished flat or a residence be gifted to the couple so that they could start their lives journey all by themselves. This way they will bond better and live without the interference of families and relatives. These couples would be the most happiest couple.
Absolutely in agreement with your suggestions Fiona! Good thought.
sai kumar mahadevan says
at the end of the day its a personal decision, some people feel splurging makes it memorable, if it does we cant stop them… because thats how they roll
See Bee says
To add to my point of how our cultural behaviour has a strong relation to our history can also be seen in African-Americans. Considering they were not given the same rights and privileges and whites, and are still trying to be on par with them in terms of access to education, healthcare, wealth, etc, it makes sense why it is mostly African-Americans who like to pimp their rides and bling their clothes. Any Snoop Dogg video or music lyric drives home the whole “I used to be poor but now I am not and here is proof” thinking.
See Bee says
You ask a very pertinent question, for which there is no specific answer and it is especially ironic since there is so much poverty in India.
Most people (including myself) cannot help avoid big weddings as parents insist on doing things the “traditional” way (which means inviting the whole world, people you have probably met just once in your life). I had to fight hard with my folks to ensure the guest list did not cross 250 people from our side. Real hard.
My mother says the lavish Indian wedding culture stems from the fact that in the olden says people wanted several “witnesses” as there were many cases where the groom was already married, or the bride has some serious physical ailment, or something else that would be been considered a social stigma, where you could stop the wedding in time (A grand-aunt of mine almost married someone who was already married!) And one way to ensure the wedding guests /”witnesses” attended was by serving good food and giving away gifts. Over time I suppose it became a war of the Joneses and the opulence and extravagance only kept increasing.
But I still cannot figure out why people insist on having big weddings in this day and age, especially since ample “investigation” on the boy/girl is done before the engagement. What is most annoying is when children themselves insist on this lavishness – nowadays I see sangeet parties in South Indian weddings and over-the-top engagement parties (the most pointless of them all). The culture of showing off and competing for status has been in existence in our country for a long time and will not go away soon – I mean how different is it from 20-somethingers competing to buy a bigger car or tv so that they are “cool”? Don’t our politicians get away with the worst of the worst by donning 2-lakh rupees worth malas? I guess this habit stems from an insecurity that ‘I used to be poor but now I am not and here is proof’ – and only when the poverty rate in our country disappears and when all sections of the society have access to the same resources and benefits, only then will this insecurity disappear, and then we might see simple weddings.
35 lac rupees is kind of the slightly upper middle class wedding! I have heard of a lot of weddings going into crores.. of course the pinnacle being L. N Mittal’s daughter’s wedding in the palace of Versailles!
But yes.. it is a question I have asked myself a lot too… what is the big deal about the weddings? But I observed that it is just as bad everywhere else in the world… I saw weddings being held at the castle of St. Angelo in Rome and in the Queens abbey in Normandy!
Annapurna Hiremath says
Hmmm..!! cant say much??!! Weddings in India is something that can go on as a never Ending debate. Right from Dowry to the muharat of suhaag raat!! Tough one to crack!!
PS: By any chance is that Sindhoor convention hall? It appeared from the pic like that!
Well said.. Welcome to my blog Annapurna! yes, it is the Sindhoor hall near JP Nagar 6th phase.
Was it an Andhra wedding? No offense meant to anyone, but having lived there quite a bit, I feel they have a tendency to flaunt during weddings..
Even with all other weddings, I agree that there waaay too many unnecessary expenses. I once attended a wedding where the bride’s family did not make wasteful expenditure, and I still found all arrangements comfortable and exemplerary..but guess what? Belonging to the guy’s side, I heard all the back biting remarks that there was too much “kanjoosy” with the wedding! God, give me a break, I thought!
Yes it is, but in Bangalroe!
I have witnessed such back talks complaining at each other on both the bride and groom sides. It is always the groom’s side which keeps complaining about any damn thing!
35 Lakhs for a wedding? As a Punjabi that is almost offensive 😛 That’s like the cost of one function. Agree with you though, absolutely ridiculous the amount people waste on/at weddings.
Thanks Khamba for your comment. Welcome to my blog!
I am glad you are blogging about this and hundreds of people are reading this… I guess it high time people realise the value of money, people, place and things. If they do then we wont see wastage like we did on you 3rdpic….
This is a never ending topic and people can argue for ages regarding this, for parents its a prestige issue even people who dont have money borrow money to get their daughter’s and son’s married and when people who have more money they spend all they have its termed as show off … think about it even that poor fisherman is trying to show off in his own way but the diffrence is what’s show off for him might not meet your basic standard of living.
Creating awareness and young people becoming more sensiable is the only way out… I got married 2 yrs ago I remember putting my foot down in every possible way i can to cut wastage down. I dint invest on a 20K wedding saree as i knew i was moving abroad and i was never gonna wear it for god know how many yrs. I am so proud of that dessicion, today i can use those saree for my friends and family’s weeding rather than letting it sleep in the cupboard. I said a big No to lavish jewellary and only got what I like and I have never worn that in 2 yrs after my wedding….
So is the money spent really worth it….. people think about it..
Srividya, welcome to my blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, every word you have put in makes sense. One needs to evaluate all the expenditures carefully before deciding on. Most of the times, our expensive investments on such occasions is simply abandoned over a period of time.
Well…I love spending money on par with what I earn… mere earning is not my cup of tea…!!! If I earn enough to afford luxuries then I will definitely go ahead and njoi those luxuries..!!!! Okay I agree there can be cases of more than required spending esp at weddings…but then the organising people must hav thot abt the whole budget thingy before putting up something so lavish..!!! Personally if I can afford ac hall, I will hire that!!! I would definitely have lavish and grand affair , if I have money to pay for it… and for me its not ‘show-off’ but Njoing my hard earned money!!!! I dont believe in too much sacrificing and too much saving!!! :P:P:P
Is that an illustration of the sarcasm at its best?
All this is nothing but gaudy show off of wealth, If they invest the money instead, they’ll be better off.
You got a point… but invest for what? to multiply that excessive money again?
Why not? Multiplying that amount is better than blowing it off on a wedding 🙂 Maybe a better house or car could materialize down the line with that investment?
Very good question, Mohan…I think in these cases, the bride and the groom should be the people putting their foot down and saying such ostentatious showoffs is unnecessary…Especially where the money spent is ultimately a wasteful expenditure..In these cases, I like the Western concept of paying for your own weddings, so rich parents might pool in to make your life post-marriage comfortable, but wont create disgusting displays of their wealth and clout….
hmmm don’t you think that is what makes us stay different from the west? But it makes a strong sense and the need to follow their wedding ceremony expenditure concepts 🙂
Display of extravaganza in marriages is like cancer which has spread all over the country. During my recent journey around Delhi and Punjab side, I observed that the marriages are held in resorts with lot of decorations and sumptuous display of pomp & show, modern games for children and variety of foods to fill the belly. Their expenditures may be far more than 35lacs!
hmm i don’t know what to say about those resort marriages.. matter of prestige it is for them I suppose!
This is Desi Style of marriage 😉