The Unconscious Spending on Weddings

Wedding, a very special event in life, an unforgettable lifetime memory. Marriage is culturally done in some religions while some marriages are custom. Whatever the way, marriage brings a chain of families together, makes a more strong relationship between two families and makes an atom relationship between two persons. The event itself is a big festival for those families. With all family members at one place, the joyous moments mark permanent memory.

However, all those memories come at a cost. The wedding spending which varies from about half a million to billions. In a country like India, the wedding industry is really big with 10 Million marriages per year. It is a $50 billion (estimated) industry in India, maybe more than this number. The wedding industry is continuously growing with an increase in the middle class and more spending on the wedding in India. One-fifth of lifetime wealth is being spent on a wedding. Very few weddings are precisely planned while most weddings are self-planned & informal.

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The marriages of Brahmani the daughter of G Janardhan reddy, Isha Ambani the daughter of Mukesh Ambani, Priyanka Chopra an actress are few notable marriages that are seen as an obscene display of their wealth and status. Janardhan reddy reportedly spent some 5 billion rupees and Ambani spent some $55 million. Such a huge amount of spending shows the extravagance to show of their wealth. Is it really worth spending such huge amounts by sending gold plated invitations, golden clothes, Brazilian dances and celebrity performances?

A destination wedding in Uttarakhand ( June 2019) hosted by businessmen brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta generated more waste or garbage than the total amount spent on a wedding. The post-wedding garbage generated is 240 quintals(24000 kgs) while the amount spent is 200 crores. This drew severe criticism and led to PIL in High court. Many other marriages generate waste on notable quantities which went unreported. This is because of Zero regulation or No tolerance by any institution.

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Marriages in India are self-planned, unorganised and informal. They don’t require anyone’s permission to conduct an event called a wedding. The marriage spending as least as 5 lakh to some 500 crore wedding generates a certain amount of waste which was disposed naturally. Some marriages cause public disturbance by blocking or invading roads. Some marriages waste food. A quarter of the total budget is spent on just-food & catering. It is estimated that 10-20% of food amounting $14 billion is wasted annually in India.

Weddings in India are far away from being nature friendly. The new trends have been continuously evolving. To name one pre-wedding & post wedding photoshoots. The photoshoots were influenced by social media trends. Some photoshoots are peculiar, some drew criticism and some look good. Sangeet has become common nowadays. All these trends are shifting the way of marriage is done culturally.

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Wedding must be a lifetime memory but spending huge money alone is nothing but to show off their wealth. The money is wasted on one day’s exuberance. The decorations are useless to post-wedding. Venues are chosen carefully. If it is in Italy, France or home town makes no difference actually. Lavish weddings within any budget should be worth the money spent. It should give a lifetime memory but not a regret & embarrassment.

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