While I was browsing through some Facebook profiles, I increasingly saw some glamorous photo shoots pasted on most of the cover pages of people. Look closer and you’ll see them holding slates of ‘save the date’ written on them or making some Bollywood like poses in exotic locations. It made me ask some impending questions, where are our weddings headed? Why are we slowly drowning ourselves into the wedding as an event rather than the institution of wedding itself!
To answer these questions, a few questions were asked from our audience regarding their views on why the Big Fat Indian Wedding is getting bigger by the day. Not surprisingly the answer which got the highest votes was the need to show off to others (43%) followed by the impact of Bollywood on our weddings (16%) and then commercialization by wedding vendors (13%).
If we look a little deeper, perhaps Bollywood and commercialization are just manifestations of our need to show off. People need different ways to enhance their supremacy amongst peers which are seen through different ways like emulating Bollywood & weddings of the rich & elite. Wedding vendors have been quick to spot the growing interest in Indian weddings and are floating different wedding trends each season for people to grab on. No wonder the Indian wedding industry is pegged at $40 billion and growing at a whopping pace of 25-30%.
What happened to the times when our earlier generations got married in their homes? Were weddings less fun or happy occasions then, compared to the grand affair it has become now? Women used to dress up in a dainty red saree and men in the best suit or dhoti-kurta they owned, and there used to be lots of dholak, sangeet, dance and ceremonies to celebrate. Some people might argue that the disposable incomes of households have increased manifold over the years, but does that mean that a large percentage of that should go as expenses? The kind of money currently getting spent on weddings, if invested, could be easily used to build a house, open up a business and give financial stability and security to the couple.
And anyway, all married people would agree, that marriage is much more than that one day event, as immediately afterwards, when all the fanfare ends, begins the period of adjustments, understanding, fights, money management, emotional management, balancing both sides of the family and last but not the least family planning.
Life changes after marriage, and it hardly has any link to how much you show off on the D-day. No matter how big the wedding is, there will be people who will always appreciate and there will be people who will be always judgemental and critical irrespective of the grandeur.
To sum up, its time to introspect and respect the institution of wedding by celebrating the union of two families and not an occasion to celebrate an obscenely high-priced event!
Are you ready to bring this change?