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The 15 Lac Taka Question: World Tour or Money Sucking Wedding Traditions?
The 15 lac taka question
World tour or money-sucking
By all means, I’ve never been married, so you
might ask, ‘What could an amateur possibly know
about how I want to celebrate the biggest day
of my life?’ Yes, I probably don’t know enough to
pass judgments on people who do, in fact, like
lavish, ostentatious weddings (passing
judgments is again not what I’m trying to do).
But I do know one thing: I can’t imagine spending
every penny I have saved, or every inch of money
my parents saved for me, on a single event
(okay, 3 events since we are Bangladeshis, and
we always seem to have n+3 events for every n
(where n= main event)).
A single event where out of 100 possible things,
probably 6 will go according to what the brides
want, 30 according to what your chacha-
chachi-fuppa-fuppi want, 60 according to ‘what
would the 400 guests who we barely know
prefer?’ and 4 according to the grooms (Men,
I’m truly sorry for this one). For a middle class
family in Bangladesh, the average wedding comes
at a price tag of around 12-15 lac BDT. We are
still talking about a single wedding right? Yep.
Back in the days when our parents got married,
this amount to be spent for a wedding would
have been unimaginable. But think about it.
Weddings today are hardly about getting
married. Today, they are about renting the most
luxurious venues; they are about wearing the
most pricey dresses you’ll probably never wear
again; they are about spending around 30K on
makeup that rarely ever makes you look like the
beautiful person you are (at least upfront); they
are about hiring the most qualified (and often
expensive) photographers who make you look
somewhat okay despite the makeup fiasco. So,
where’s the wedded bliss?
Today, as guests leave a wedding, they
disapprovingly talk of the 50k dress and the
overly done makeup the bride looked at best
‘mediocre’ in (the guests are not pleased). They
pass judgments on how it would have been better
if the groom was a ‘tad’ bit taller (the guests
are not pleased). They scoff at the chicken
that obviously lacked enough salt (nope, still
not pleased). They criticize the decorations,
the music and all the arrangements which
somehow are never good enough (the guests are..
see where I’m going with this?)
The point I’m trying to make is simple: The
400+ guests who attend your wedding will never
be pleased. But wait a second. Weren’t most of
the extravagant arrangements you made done
for pleasing these very guests? Showing off at
a wedding (at times going well beyond your
capacities) just so that society gives you that
nod of approval which really has no value at all in
the couple’s marital happiness, is something
that not only leaves the ones paying for the
events physically and financially strained, but it
also makes zero contribution to the young
Now think about the alternate scenario. The one
where you *ahem* don’t spend a fortune for a
single day. The possibilities are endless! Exhibit
A: THAT euro trip you’ve always wanted to take,
but could never save up enough for? Have a small
wedding with your family and closest friends
(translation: actually have fun), and use the
money to travel the world. Wouldn’t that make
for one heck of a good answer to the question-
‘So, how did you celebrate your wedding?’ Ans:
‘Ah nothing too loud, just travelled the world
with the love of my life!’ Heck yes!
Exhibit B: INVEST! Or better still, start a
business together! Anything can give you a
better future than an overpriced wedding.
Exhibit C: Save that money. Put it aside so you
can buy a house a couple of years down the lane.
Or even better, go for that masters degree you
I think if both the bride and groom want a
wedding that’s small and simple, they should get
to have that wedding without society looking
at them with those judgy little eyes. Because
some 20-30 years later, you might not
remember all the things you did at the wedding,
but you will most definitely remember all the
things you wanted to do, but couldn’t. The
wedding should celebrate the humble beginning of
the couple, and most importantly, the wedding
should be about what the two people want.
Couples should be allowed to create their own
definitions of happy without worrying about
what people will say. The people aren’t the ones
the couple will spend 50 years of their lives
with! I say, break out of the societal
stereotypes. Get married at a masjid/church/a
nice backyard, throw a party later for your
friends and family (maybe separately, just
saying), and then pack your bags and have the
greatest wedding reception amidst the Swiss
Alps, or gaze into infinity while watching the
Northern Lights. Fantasy much?
I say it’s not worth having the
money-sucking wedding traditions