Saturday, March 10, 2018

Inflated Desi Weddings

I was reading an article on cheap weddings and how a couple managed to get married on $4000 in a city where the average wedding cost was $27,000. That led me to think about our own desi weddings and how and why the costs are so inflated, and what we can do to lower the cost of a wedding so it is easier for everyone.


I think this is the no. 1 reason for a desi wedding to cost so much. I have seen a growing trend, particularly among second generation Canadian Bangladeshis, to have a smaller wedding. You simply don't have to invite your father's office colleagues whom you don't know, and whose kids don't for sure know you.

I personally feel you should invite only your close friends and relatives to your wedding. Relatives always should get priority, simply because they have a right over you, followed by close family friends. A typical wedding guest list for the average couple shouldn't really cross 100 people (at most).

This also has to involve a change of mindset of everyone, particularly the elderly.

"Oh, did you hear so-and-so is getting married, and didn't even invite us! How dare they?"

Well, if they are not close relatives of yours, they don't really owe you a wedding invitation (and even then, it depends on how close a relative). If I hear so-and-so is getting married, I simply wish them well, even if they didn't invite me. I love to give the example of a close Companion in Medinah getting married, and not inviting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He didn't take it to heart and in fact gave him some valuable wedding advice that is passed on to this day. If the Prophet was living in a Bengali community, I always joke, he would be attending a wedding every day.

"Oh, how can you NOT invite the Prophet?"

This is a big lesson for us. It shows us that none of us should expect a wedding invitation and it also lessens the pressure on the wedding couple to have a big feast.


Some of us who got married ten years ago, or more, now like to say we were lucky we got married before the Instagram age (aren't we old!) and Facebook was in its infancy when we got married. So much of weddings that we attend now seem to have, for lack of a better word, accessories, that make for a good Instagram picture.

Any wedding cake will not do. It has to be seven layered with two of the layers as separate cakes. Dessert is not some desi sweets - you MUST have a chocolate fountain so people can say WOW. A wedding car is not just any car - a limo or Hummer will not do any more - now you must get a super car. I have attended weddings where the car was a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari.

You MUST have a Photo Booth now - it's a standard. AND a wedding hashtag. After all, we have to check the social media after to see everyone getting 'tagged'. #XwedsY2018 There's no risk you will offend anyone you haven't invited because of course you have invited EVERYBODY.

I mean it's all nice if you can AFFORD it. And that's the key word. AFFORDABILITY. Your wedding should not be a burden on you.

What are some of the ways YOU think a wedding cost is inflated in our communities?