Its become quite fashionable for people to say that expensive/elaborate weddings are such a waste of money and that the money thus wasted is better utilized if given to any charity. In fact I ended up with an argument with a friend of mine with regards to this.
Of course, I am not suggesting that one go into debts when it come to performing a marriage. Getting into a debt so that you can show-off your status is stupidity. I am suggesting that once we live within our means and save and spend money reasonably (within the means is the key here), weddings becomes a pleasure for all!
I do not believe that weddings are a waste of money. Why?
Here is why: Apart from the life long satisfaction which the couple would get, economy actually improves with elaborate weddings. How? Here is how. Think about spending on weddings this way, lets say 5 lacks were spent (not on loan but on savings).
1. Rs 25,000 on Nalungu (haldi ceremony): You will need haldi/chandan, blouse pieces, coconuts, fruits, flowers, lots of glass bangles, puja items etc. All these are available only at local small stores. You will be going to your loca fruit market to get fruits; local flowers lady to get flowers, local bangle shop for bangles, so on and so forth. So your 25,000 rupees have actually helped these local people (who are lower middle class like flower lady). isn't that a good thing?
2. Rs. 25,000 for mehendi ceremony. Mehendi is done by your local/popular parlor ladies. sweets are bought at a large scale. Juices/drinks are bought at a local bakery. All these small businesses have profited from your 25k.
3. Rs. 1,00,000 for Engagement Ceremony: Lets say 50,000 is spent in buying nice Rings is bought bride and groom. Isn't the jewelry shop making a living out of this? Another 25k is spend again on 1. the last 25 k is spent on lunch/dinner. Isn't your caterer and everyone working form it not getting a livelihood out of it?
4. Rs 2 lacks were spent on wedding: 25k for stage decoration and the hall decoration (flower-wala and the labor cost for setting the stage), 50k for the wedding hall (which includes chairs and stage setup), 25k for band baja and baraat, 70k for catering, 20k for small gifts for guests. You can count how many people had earned their living out of this 2 lacks you spent.
5. The last remaining 1 lack is for the brides cloths, grooms cloths, kaamvali expensis, grocery expenses for relatives, so on an so forth. Here, for how many people have you contributed money/wages?
All this, I am not even including the jewelry cost.
Think about these expenses on a bigger scale. It actually helps the economy grow. The flow in the economy brings the inflation down. the supply grows as the demand grows; as the supply grows the prices starts to fall. Most importantly, once the supply increases, anyone will try and look for better ways of getting things done for cheaper. Do you agree?
P.S: I am not talking about Aishwarya Rai-style-weddings which is nothing but a nuisance to people living around that area. I am talking about us middle -class people weddings.