What’s the Point of a Wedding?

I was at work trying to write a blog convincing business owners to buy our software. And as I sat staring at my blank screen, my mobile screen lit up. It was a message from my classmate. I picked my phone amazed because she hadn’t spoken to me since our reunion at school two years ago. I opened the message and there it was, in shiny font and bold letters, an invitation to her wedding the next day. Come to think of it, almost all of my classmates are either married or engaged to be married. Some have kids, even. It seemed like I am the only one writing about marriage and not, in fact, marrying.

It’s not as if weddings are easy. Apart from having to find the perfect match for your life, weddings are also weird in a way. In the way that they’re the epitome at displaying wealth. And I was lucky (or not) enough to see a few weddings myself.

I’ve sat listening to grooms ramble about the all-important wedding outfit. The bride’s saree had cost him five months’ worth of salary. Plus five additional sarees that the bride should wear on the same day — one for each wedding ritual. I listen because the funniest part comes at the end of that story: the bride wouldn’t wear those sarees ever again — they’re too heavy and uncomfortable for everyday use.

Then come the miscellaneous expenses like makeup and hairstyle, hall and stage decoration, food and lodging for the guests, train or air tickets to and from the wedding location, snacks during the commute, tea, coffee — with Boost or Bournvita for those who drink neither. And the booze. By the end of that list, the couple would have lost two years of their savings preparing for one day of supposed-celebration.

And if that wouldn’t turn them off, the in-laws have their own demands — not actual demands, but more of obvious stuff the couple would need to move into their new home. Some call these “gifts” while some say dowry. “Gifts” include furniture, jewellery and investments, air conditioner and washing machine, and the essentials like carpets, curtains, and pillow cases.

And then comes the big day, the wedding day. The bride and groom wake up from yet another night of beauty sleeplessness to pressure. While the heater gets ready, a final checklist would come to light.

Shopping-done. Extra gold coins, done. A variety of lip-smacking food, done. And after a shower is the “getting dressed for the wedding” part. That’s when they’ll realise: No matter how much they pressed on the buttons on the air conditioner’s remote, they’re still burning up from the heat and beads of condensation sliding from their temples.

A tiny makeup glitch, safety pins that have gone a wandering, borrowed bangles that shrunk overnight, anything could make them cry. And with five pounds of heirloom jewellery, two and a half pounds of designer saree, and the curious case of the missing bobby pins—tensions are high. And when they think it couldn’t get any worse, the bride’s father would walk up to the groom and voice his displeasure about the drunken best man.

If they’d thought weddings are fun and full of life, they’d soon wish to just get it over with.

That’s the problem with a big fat wedding; on the day of it, the bride and groom are no longer love birds. They’re not the passionate pair, but just tired folks who want to sleep.
Weddings are meant to help them start their life anew. It’s a day to celebrate two souls that agree to sacrifice their tastes and the preferences for the greater good. Marriage is a promise they make to themselves to approach one person’s problem as it’s the other’s and drive through it as one.

As for weddings, they’re just a day to deck up in jewellery and spend the day gossiping. There’s no point in them and I’d rather not go to such a wedding, even though I got my invitation on WhatsApp the previous day.

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2 thoughts on “What’s the Point of a Wedding?

  1. Hi Narmadhaa,
    As someone who was a bride recently (and worked hard on downsizing the big fat wedding) and also as someone who never liked going to weddings and had similar thoughts like yours I wanted to pitch in with a different perspective. As a bride: You can get away with a wedding wearing light weight sarees, artificial jewelry, no gifts from guests and be at peace (even enjoy the wedding) the whole time without melting down for each screw-up once you realize that in the end all that matters is you both leaving the hall to start a new life. As a guest: I avoided going to weddings of people I didn’t know or those I knew had involved dowry but there is something about watching a loved one get married, meeting people you wouldn’t on a regular basis and catching up 🙂 (also good food!!)

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    • Hi Janani,

      Yes, I agree, wedding ceremonies can be fun too. This post, though, is a narrative of what I saw in my cousins’ and friends’ weddings. Most of them splurged for a day’s celebrations and didn’t regret it even though they knew it was useless. You’d know, I’m sure, that some parents, too, have the notion that weddings should be fancy. It was a shocker to me, and it made me wonder. But you’re right. A lot of people do cut down material wedding expenses and focus on marriage experiences. And maybe those are the ones who enjoy their wedding and feel light hearted about it too.

      As for being a guest, most weddings make me uneasy because, at times, I’d have to meet people I’d rather not meet. But it’s also a place to catch up with friends. So I guess that’s a balance we have to achieve. Oh and, more often than not, I go to wedding receptions just for the food. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Janani. I appreciate your thoughts. Glad to know you’re one of those people who see the importance of marriage over a big fat celebration. And hearty congratulations on your wedding!

      Like

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