The months of October to January mark the beginning of the festive and wedding seasons in India. Weddings today have become more opulent than ever, a spectacle of sorts, with families trying to outdo each other in the field of pointless spending. In India, traditionally, the bulk of wedding expenses are borne by the girl’s family. So if you’re getting married anytime soon, or if anyone in your family is getting married soon, take some time to think about the kind of wedding that you/your family intend to have, and consider the following:
Can you afford it?
A wedding is a one-day affair, which is why it makes zero sense to pump your life’s savings into it. If you have to spend more than 40% of your total savings into your wedding, then reconsider your plans and see if you organise something simpler, like a register office wedding followed by a meal or a party with family and friends.
Who are you impressing?
Indians, as a race and culture, are thoroughly preoccupied with the opinions of people who are of little or no consequence to them. A grand wedding might be fun for those in attendance, but rest assured that it will be stressful for the ones who are organising it, as well as the ones who are actually getting married. Having said that, if you are the one getting married, and if it has been your dream to have a big wedding and if you can actually afford it, then go ahead.
Don’t buy more gold
There is a lot of jewellery shopping that is done when there’s a wedding in the family, with the notion that the daughter is sent to her in-laws’ house with “wealth” of her own. Gold, when bought as biscuits or bricks are a mediocre investment at best and are completely useless in jewellery form. If you really want your daughter to have wealth of her own, invest the money set aside for jewellery into mutual funds or a fixed deposit instead. Jewellery will most likely collect dust in bank lockers.
Spend on yourself
If you’ve been saving for your wedding, well done! Instead of spending the money on those around you, why not spend it on yourself? By keeping the wedding simple, you can spend the money saved on a new vehicle, a nicer honeymoon, gadget upgrades, or even a designer saree or lehenga that you couldn’t have afforded otherwise.
Split the bill
The primary reason female foeticide is rampant in rural areas is because the girl child, is considered to be ‘expensive’, and consequently, a burden. Tradition dictates that the girl’s family bear the brunt of wedding expenses, but if there’s anything that history has shown us, it’s that tradition can be stupid. Have an upfront conversation about your money situation with your partner-to-be, and talk about splitting the bill for the wedding in a way that works best for both of you. Talking about money with your partner isn’t embarrassing, and shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. After all, you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with them! If you can’t be honest now, then when?