A few days ago, while scrolling down my Facebook Newsfeed I came across the story of a young couple who decided to donate all they had saved for their dream wedding to those who needed it more than they did. According to them, they could get married anyway, without all the unnecessary extravagance in their wedding, but by donating the money, they would be changing numerous lives.

This got me thinking. Why the notoriously luxurious Pakistani wedding?

Pakistanis are super famous for their amazing weddings. And yes, they are fun. Food, chatter, excitement, dholkis,relatives running all around the house, maamis, phuppis and chachis gossiping like there’s no tomorrow. It’s like Eid came way too early. The wedding week is no doubt no less than a maddening roller coaster ride in everyone’s life.

Everything is perfect. Everything is a dream. Everything is grand. But have you ever paused and thought, do we really need all of this? Does everyone really want this or are people just complying with the norm? A lehnga costing lakhs , expensive doli, thousands of rupees’ worth of makeup for a single event, all of this has to be done even if the parties involved do not have enough funds. I’m surprised why banks aren’t providing people with marriage loans as yet.

We, it’s safe to say, are a self-made generation. We like to fend for ourselves. We pay for our own meals, live away from our parents, pay our own bills. We save to travel, split bills at dinners and are independent. Do we really want people we haven’t talked to in years to attend our big extravaganza? The aunty who kept pestering you about about your marriage plans or the Ahmed sahab ka beta who always got more marks than you? Do you want to spend your hard-earned money entertaining people you never really cared about and who probably didn’t even care about you either?

Yes, we share all our milestones on Facebook, with a friend list of people we probably haven’t met in ages, people who’re complete strangers, people you might not even say hi to if you were to walk across from them on the street. But the real life celebration is with family and close friends, isn’t it? Why do we have to turn such a happy occasion into a panic-striken and nerve-wrecking day? It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy getting married or it’s your own sister tying the knot, the insanity of a Pakistani wedding is enough to give the toughest people a nervous breakdown.

It’s a universal truth that the groom and bride least enjoy the wedding. The day which is supposed to be the most special day of their lives is turned into a dreaded exam, only longer and so much tougher. Blinded by the cameras trying to capture their every move, relatives trying to get a picture to register their attendance and their cheeks hurting badly from having to smile at everything and everyone, they couple is more than glad when the ceremony finally comes to an end.

But your day doesn’t have to be like this. It’s your big day; you should be the one deciding what it should be like. Do not worry about the fact that this marriage is the dream of your parents. You should have the freedom to choose how you want to tie the knot.

Yes, ‘log kya kahain ge’ is one of the major concerns of our parents, but in reality, every wedding is rally ground for gossiping. ‘Dulhey ki height chotti hai,’ ‘dulhan ka makeup kitna bekaar hai,’ ‘Is sey behetar khaana tou Khan sahab ki beti ki shaadi mein tha,’ ‘Itna acha damaad inko mil kesay gaya?’ Are these the ‘blessings’ we want on our wedding? Is this why our parents spend their hard-earned money on our weddings? We need to explain to our parents that not everyone can be pleased, so it’s no use thinking about what other people might think.

If you want to have a court marriage to save all the money for a world tour honeymoon, do it. You want to get married with only family and five of your closest friends, do it. You want to get married in a t-shirt and jeans, do it. You don’t want elaborate dholkis, mehendis, and all the other stupid rasmain, slash them off the list It’s your day, plan it the way you want to.

If you’re going to spend money, spend it on something that would be a source of eternal happiness. I’m not preaching about social responsibility but if every one of us gave something out of our wedding funds to those who need it, imagine how this world would change, how much better it would become. If sacrificing the flower shower entrance could help in getting a complete meal for hundred people, nothing could be better for the beginning of a new life, a new future.

I don’t know when I’m going to get married or to whom but when I do, I’m going to make sure that I make someone’s life a little better on my happy day. Let us change the way we celebrate and let us change the way we begin a new life.


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