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Families, who are not financially well off, prefer to take hefty loans for marriage celebrations.
Let’s dive into the topic, without wasting any more time.
Before jumping onto the main issue, we need to first answer three important and relevant questions.
Celebration before Birth. Have you ever seen a family start celebrating before a baby takes birth or rather before they know the sex (girl or boy) of the baby? No! Why?
Because the extent of the celebration always varies and starts only after the SEX of the baby is known.
Actual Question. When we don’t celebrate before the actual result of a major event of our life is out, why do we consider it normal to spend our life’s savings in celebration even before our daughter’s or son’s wedding night?
Calculation by Birth. In India, as soon as a family is blessed with a baby, the imagination of the family members shoots up immediately to reach the new-born baby’s wedding (which will happen after 25+ years!)!
If it’s a Boy. ‘God is great! Now we can just sit and relax. The son will bring home a dowry and the wedding expenditure will be managed by (sucked out of) the girl’s family.’
On the other hand, if it’s a Girl. The family feels as if God has cheated them and they start preparing for the next kid (hoping that it would be a boy so that the wedding expenses and the dowry transactions even out).
Some major questions that still hit the family are, ‘What if a dowry is asked for the girl’s wedding, and how much?
How would they manage to collect that dowry?
How will the wedding expenditures be taken care of?
Tirupati Priest’s Dare-Devil Stunt. An Indian confectioner made sure that his daughter truly was the golden girl on her wedding day by covering her in gold jewelry worth more than Rs 4 crores.
The man, who was not named, nevertheless came under fire after it was revealed that he needed a policeman to guard him and his daughter as they arrived at the wedding in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Great Ambani Saga. According to a report on NewsX, the estimated cost of Ms. Isha Ambani and Mr. Anand Piramal’s wedding is around Rs 724 crores ($100 million).
Interestingly, this equals the wedding cost of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1981, 38 years ago.
If someone has the money to spend, NOBODY SHOULD HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH IT AT ALL. It’s their money and they have the full right to spend it the way they want. They have toiled hard to accumulate it!
As soon as the girl and the boy say ‘yes’ and decide to go ahead with the proposed marriage (more so in the case of an imposed arranged marriage), the families on both sides immediately swing into action and try to copy the Ambanis.
Money Matters! Now when this match is finalized, the topic of discussion is diverted towards the amount of money that needs to be spent for the engagement and the wedding ceremony (dowry too) and who will pay for what.
A virtual film-set shoots up on the scene.
The girl’s father is, by default, made the ‘Producer’ who spends all the money.
The boy’s father is the ‘Director’ who pulls most of the strings.
The boy’s mother starts preparing herself for the new entry in her life, the daughter-in-law.
The girl’s mother just hides behind the scenes as a ‘spot-boy’.
The major calculations for the preparations start, as mentioned below:
(a) The Celebration of the Engagement. Venue setup, buffet layout, and most importantly, the engagement rings.
(b) Wedding Ceremony. The main wedding ceremony along with other related ceremonies such as Mehendi, Sangeet, and so on (depending upon the kind of family) are the major sources of emotional and financial stress for the girl’s family.
Again there is the venue set up, buffet layout, mandap, a stage with throne-like chairs for the bride and the groom, and so on. Mind you, in some families, the wedding preparations and ceremonies stretch up to two months!
The ground reality of the situation is that while performing all these ceremonies, the girl’s family (and to some extent, the boy’s family too) starts letting money flow out like water over all sorts of expenditures.
Irrespective of all the meticulous planning a family tries, the expenditure always shoots up beyond what’s in their hand.
India is one of the world’s largest consumers of gold, and Indians spend massive amounts of money to buy gold jewelry for weddings.
More recently, several wealthy Indians have been seen sporting clothes made from gold thread.
(c) Guests too! The culture of spending has roots that go deeper than this, for even the guests who’re merely there to attend these ceremonies start wondering months in advance about what they would require for the big day.
Depending on whether it would be the summer or winter season, they would buy new clothes for the whole family.
Rapidly growing kids who have outgrown their last-purchased fancy clothes will demand new ones.
‘The gift’ is the next tricky boomerang.
In case the family decides to give money or ‘Shagun’ in a fancy envelope, another million questions crop up about how much would be an appropriate amount?
Some people even maintain a register where they record the details of the gifts or money given by families when they attended a wedding on this side.
So, when one of these guest families becomes the host, the records are consulted, and it becomes a straightforward game of tit-for-tat!
(d) Total Expenditure. A crazy amount of money gets spent by the girl’s family, the boy’s family, and the guests attending the wedding ceremonies, and all this currency gets busted even before the commencement of the couple’s wedding night.
Mind you, the wedding night, the basic litmus test for the newlywed couple to figure out their compatibility for the rest of their lives, is yet to happen!
But all their family’s savings are gone, spent away for a brief period of merry making.
Not a single rupee is left for the bride and the groom!
(e) Bollywood Influence. Blockbuster Bollywood movies, such as “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” by the renowned film director Sooraj Bharjatya, influence Indian families to emulate the setup, the clothes, the jewelry, and what not in the best possible way.
However, the film had actually earned crores by spending money on that wedding ceremony for the silver screen, but the stupid families, by copying the wedding theme as shown in the movie, took on terrible debts.
(f) Destination Wedding. A destination wedding is an opportunity for the couple to celebrate their wedding at a gorgeous destination of their choosing, away from home.
Couples get married in stunning locations all over the world, such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and Europe.
If someone has the money, like Bollywood celebrities, a destination wedding is a blind option.
The industry of ‘Destination Weddings’ is a different game altogether and it costs a bomb!
Double Standards. Throughout a girl’s life in India, she is brought up with lots of restrictions, with respect to her freedom of social movement, the money in her hand, her choice of education, her willingness to do certain jobs, have friends, etc.
Instead of spending on the girl’s education and other life-improving activities, a girl’s parents prefer to save money to put up a grand show for her wedding celebration.
Most times then, a girl finds herself confused at the sudden change of her parents’ stand from being miserly to extravagant spenders!
The same father who used to ask her hundreds of questions before handing over any money to her for her requirements, suddenly starts spending his life’s savings to the tune of millions for her wedding?
Is this ‘fatherly love’ justified? No! It’s cowardice on the father’s part who is more bothered about his fake social image than what is good for his daughter!
We are sorry to use terms like ‘an ass’ for a girl’s father, but this is the truth.
After he has successfully made an expensive show of the forced arranged marriage, the bride’s father may as well tell his daughter this right before the wedding night:
“My dear daughter, although I always counted the money before giving it to you for your basic expenses, I didn’t count any money today while spending for your wedding ceremony with an arranged husband that you will sleep with now.
Whenever you asked me for money, I always counter questioned you to be sure that you would not be wasting it, but I never asked any such questions from your arranged husband’s family while spending on expensive gifts (under the table dowry) for them!
Although I didn’t spend enough on your education, just now I have busted millions of rupees to celebrate your wedding!
My dear daughter, today I am asking you to stop worrying about any future requirements that you might have because I have already spent millions on your wedding and the dowry/gifts for your arranged ’in-laws’!
I can assure you that you will not have to worry about anything from this moment on. In case you need anything, please request your ’in-laws’.
Relax now and prepare for the next big game with your arranged husband, who is eagerly waiting for you with his pants down!
BEST OF LUCK, MY DAUGHTER! BEST OF LUCK!”
Most Indian families (especially those of girls) end up taking on the burden of loans while preparing for and executing the lavish wedding ceremonies.
Families seeking loans for weddings are widely accepted in India and even the banks clear such loans comfortably.
Many a time, the real hardship and financial burden are realized after the wedding ceremony gets over.
In case the family has more than one daughter, then even God gets stressed over the great post-wedding issues. But the main question remains unanswered. Are such wedding loans worth it?
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