“The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” (Mishkat). As quoted by a well known Muslim scholar, Maulana Tariq Jameel from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
With a Burkha policy in place in some parts of Pakistan (apparently promoted by the govt.), we think it’s high time that officials direct their attention to more glaring social inadequacies that serve to place a burden on the nation’s economy.
For starters: What about the lavish wedding culture that has invaded Pakistani culture and continues to grow bigger (not better), depending on which side you’re on!
However, the most significant and hence the most distinguishable chunk of this lifestyle is desi weddings. People, especially belonging to the middle and elite classes, have made it compulsory to put up a perfect image of a “wealthy household” by spending blindly on lavish weddings.
The expensive decor coupled with a variety of food and of course, the hankering to get dolled up by the top-notch makeup artists only strengthens the roots of this complex system.
According to a survey, most of the renowned Bridal salons charge no less than PKR 150, 00,000 – 3,00,000 per bride. Apart from that, the bridal dresses, too, cost more than PKR 2,00,000 and if they are being designed by famous brands, the cost can rise up to more than PKR 10,00,000!Where do we get the money to fund that! And could we not put this money to a better, more socially viable purpose?
Moreover, the traditional 3-day function of Mehndi, Barat, and Walima isn’t limited to 3 days anymore but is prolonged by never-ending Dholki nights, Sangeet Night, Bridal Shower, etc.
“I have been attending such functions, many of them hosted by my own family members. It’s not just about spending huge sums of money but also we have to deal with the pressure that comes if we don’t live up to the image of an “upper class” family,” confess many rich people ‘struggling’ through the facade they’ve created.
The other side.
Although some people may find this culture appealing and alluring, a large majority still disapprove of such extravagance.
Many of them still think that it is more rational to keep such gatherings as simple as possible. The reason might be different though. For example, some may think that the wedding would bring more bliss to the marital alliance between the couple while others may find it hard to spend so much considering their financial situation.
“In my opinion, the government should impose a ban on such extravagant weddings because firstly, it is not what our religion demands and secondly, a country which is almost on the verge of destroying its economy, should take inventive measures to put a stop to this limitless spending.” A young college student shares: “The considerable amount of food that gets wasted at such events is horrific. For a third world country, which is already fighting its way through a food crisis, the government needs to devise a plan to stop people from wasting food”, she added.
Apart from that, the age-old culture of amassing and giving a heavy dowry is so embedded in our society that it places an additional burden, especially on the bride’s family. Though social media has played its role quite well in propagating awareness about how the dowry culture defines the whole wedding context and how it should be condemned, the empirical steps which should be taken are not helping much. In fact, different online organizations for example, “Mawazna” have been set up to assist couples to take personal loans in order to arrange their big day, feeding into the vicious cycle.
What does Islam suggest?
Many Islamic scholars have provided deep insight into such events. According to the teachings of Shariah, the arrangement of a simple Nikkah ceremony with close relatives is the only correct way to conduct holy matrimony.
Convinced much? Because we have for you:
3 Wedding Ideas That Might Make Your Wedding More Pocket Friendly, & Set New Trends!
You decide if they’re Innovative Trendsetters or Outlandish ones? We’re kinda rooting for them!
Recently, however, young couples have decided to break the painstaking stereotype of this ostentatious culture.
1. One such example is the wedding of Recircle co-founders Wasma Imran and Mahin Khan who tied the knot on 30th December 2018 in Lahore. Their definition of a perfect wedding was quite unique as the couple decided to have an “eco- friendly” wedding. The function took place at a Lahore farmhouse.
“We asked our catering service to use 19-litre Nestlé bottles and fill them in metal dispensers so that no one-litre plastic bottles rested on tables. These big Nestlé bottles are sent back to the company yo be recycled,” explained Wasma.
2. Another unconventional wedding trend was established by a Food writer and a voice-over artist, Aneela Shaikh Bhatti who married her spouse with just 35 people in attendance and bought a car with the wedding fund.
“My wedding was very different from the vast majority of matrimonial festivities that take place in Pakistan. For starters, it wasn’t a week of celebrations. I mean if it’s considered to be the cultural norm here to have three events just for an engagement, then mine surely wasn’t normal at all,” said Aneela.
3. A new trend of collective weddings also known as “Ijtamayi Wedding” is also working its way up to the society where couples who cannot afford their weddings are called upon, provided with basic necessities needed for the wedding to take place, for example, a simple bridal attire, food etc and the Nikkah is done in an undemanding and manageable way.
Apart from that, people have been seen actively donating funds for such weddings to take place. An online organization collecting funds for such purpose is “Ehsaas Trust“.
The Role Of The Government?
Previous governments have set wedding policies; from limiting dinner to one main dish, to power saving options where we had to call it a wrap by 9 or 10 pm. However, these policies were over turned perhaps due to public pressure from certain quarters who love to throw lavish weddings in our culture. (Some of these quarters might have hailed from the ruling classes as well?)
Where the government is taking into account the implementation of the new burka policy upon young girls in KPK, indirectly dictating them what to wear and what not to, they might also want to look at some major factors that are playing their role in deteriorating the country’s economy.
A bill in the parliament reorganizing tax policies regarding expensive weddings can do much damage control than asking young girls to cover themselves up to avoid imminent sexual harassment.
Walk The Talk Influencers!
From recycling to single mothers, women’s rights to ‘Me Too’ movements, you have taken on a cause, so let’s see some action on the lavish weddings front too! Perhaps if the govt. doesn’t step in, the influencers should. When are you getting married Fashionistas? Make sure you show us the preps on your media handles and make sure they are simple, budget-friendly, yet ‘fun to follow’. We love to see you set new trends, how about taking on this cause as well!
This is Mahnoor Majid from Lahore. I am currently doing A levels from LACAS JT. In pursuit of my love for the literary world, I started writing everything I see. I am an ambivert trying to bring out the best in me. I don’t really believe in being inspired by someone but my goal is to become a better version of myself. As for everyone, “The world is a much better place when you give away a part of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. “