Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The wedding bling thing....

K and I went out of town for a wedding this past weekend. It had been a long time since I attended a traditional lavish desi wedding and it was fun to break out the makeup, the sari, the jewlery. This particular desi wedding lasted five days (seven if you include the bridal shower and dholki parties). Most desi weddings last at least three days. First the mehndi where the bride gets henna applied and there's oodles of dancing and singing. The second day is normally the shaddi (wedding) and nikkah where the couple officially weds followed by a reception with cake and ring exchanges and speeches and dinner. Finally is the ruxati where the bride and groom are escorted by the guests to the limo and the bride hugs her parents and relatives and everyone gets very weepy (including me. I dont care if I dont even know you. A father tearing up and I am a big mushy mess of tears). The third day is the valima hosted by the groom's family. Its basically dinner and a party. We desis love to party.

So I'm sitting at this wedding...looking at the lavishness... the henna decorated cake and the mango kulfi and I comment in awe at the fancy schmancy factor and I learn that the bride had $100,000 to play with. Now if you've got the means to spend it: lucky ducky! (which I'm sure this girl did so this post is NOT a knock on her) But there is a concept at least in desi culture to "one up" the next person. This is probably not as bad in the United States but in Pakistan its a real problem that grew so out of control that the government had to step in and ban dinners. The "one upping" got so bad in Pakistan/India that people were leaving daughters unmarried rather than pay for their wedding. This is one of the unfortunate cultural reasons the birth of a daughter is not treated with as much joy as the birth of a son. The wedding and the "jahaiz" (an abonimable cultural practice where the girl's family offers up goods and money to the groom's family upon the wedding) can financially cripple parents who have no choice but to play along with the cultural ways in order to secure their daughter's place in society. Someone close to me once commented about an auntie I know with five little girls. Very casually she said "it wouldn't be so bad if one or two of them just died..." upon seeing my horrified expression she tried to justify her remark "Can you imagine how much the weddings will cost? Just one or two! Not all of them ofcourse..." Such is the way we women bring each other down.

I've seen parents refinance and double mortgage homes. Max out all their credit cards. Dip into retirement plans. For a four hour event. And to put salt to wounds that these dollars leave the divorce rate among the desi community is sky rocketing so high that some folks I know have not yet paid off weddings before divorces are finalizing.

Its a mixed bag. My wedding was certainly not cheap but I love the memories despite K's pointing out quite rightly how we could have spent the bling on a down payment or a nice snazzy BMW... What's your take? If you're married what kind of wedding did you have? Did you break the bank or stay in your means? Do you regret it or appreciate the way you did it? If you're not married what're your plans?

43 comments:

Amani said...

Woohoo...I'm the first! Well, let me say this, some of the practices you mentioned, like offering gifts to the groom and his family were banned in Islam. In fact the bride is supposed to get a dowry/ maher in traditional Islam. I'm sure you know that already..that's for those who don't.Did you get a dowry, Aisha?

Anyway, my husband and I had a smallish wedding. We got married outside in a Rose Garden at a Botanical Garden. The reception was in an indoor room at the Garden. It was beautiful, at least I think so hehe...I got a ring set as a dowry...I wore a lavender embroidered Lehenga Choli, my friend's mother baked the cake it was topped with real flowers ;-) I enjoyed the wedding and I wouldn't change a thing...

Aisha said...

Amani yes its a cultural practice for sure. Maher in Islam is indeed given by the husband to the wife. Not the other way around. I heard in India this practice is coming back because of the crazy amount of female fetuses aborted there is a shortage of women. So the demand to marry a girl is now up with men willin to pay high dowries to find a bride.

Your weddin sounds gorgeous. A botanical garden!!! Was it here at Piedmont Park??? Are you Pakistani or Indian? Just curious :) I was wondering what your family thought of the wedding. It sounds terribly romantic :)

Shabina said...

here's my problem - i dont want a big lavish wedding, but i dont want to leave anyone out. which means we'd have to invite lots of people, but somehow make it not lavish. i think we pulled that off with my older's bro's walima, AH (it was at a masjid in dborn). so i guess we shall see iA...

ps...my mom is one of four girls. to minimize costs, she and her sis got married in one shabang! hehe, good thing i dont have any sisters... :)

mezba said...

Having attended a lavish, simply lavish wedding recently ... i have to say if you can afford to spend it good on you, but if you cant, then don't! Easier said then done ofcourse. I was talkin with a cousin as to how much a marriage wud cost. Casually she said it would be $X. And I was in for a shock as I had assumed it would be one fourth of that.

I wud rather buy a condo than spend on a wedding

mezba said...

The above is me. I hav to figure out how to change my sign in name back. All I wanted was to change the name of the blog.
Mezba.

koonj said...

My wedding was frugal. I wanted it to be more so, but my parents wanted to do as much for me as they did for my siblings. My brother's was the big wedding because "everyone expects to be invited to the son's wedding." For mine, we actually only invited (M&F) "representatives" of families. ie not all cousins attended. So it was more like a party than a wedding. I'd wanted this for a long time. I did not have a list of specs about how the room should look etc.
And happily, the ban on food was on at the time, so we only served beverages and snacks. Food is a waste of money at shadis. My outfit was nice (average compared to others), but we sold it immediately afterwards. I got a couple of small jewelry sets and borrowed - yes, borrowed my bhabhi's nice jewelry for the shadi. No gold bangles. No honeymoon. :( After the first couple of days, we stayed in a cheapo hotel.

As for gifts, they were in proportion to the wedding :) Which is ok. We didnt mint money out of the wedding, and we didn't break the bank. Why bother? A small memorable party with those you love is better than a big gaudy show-off affair. I'd feel bad if I made my husband or my parents spend a bunch of $$ on a party. I dont know if I'd feel differently if we were rich, but we're not.

Jacob Mathai said...

Indian weddings are a circus sometimes. I feel like everyone enjoys it except the bride and groom sometimes. "Keeping up with the Jones" - taken to a new level !

Mona said...

i had a pretty good wedding, i wouldn't say it was small and it certainly wasn't huge or very lavish. we traveled to India to get married, since most of our relatives are based there. that alone cut the cost by half, if you don't count the air tickets.
i didn't spend too much on jewelry or fancy shalwar kameezes that i wouldn't wear anyways.
i'm just happy it wasn't extravagant, it was just right. it'll be a year in two weeks, alhamdolillah.

Maleeha said...

My wedding was big enough - about 250 or so people. The valima was bigger since Sabir's parents have been in the area for decades and have TONS of friends mashAllah. My family was newer on the block.

My mom definetly didnt break the bank but she wasnt too frugal either. (She's like that with everything.) For somethings she went over the top - like my wedding dress. My mom's friend got it made in Pakistan and when it actually arrived everyone hated it. But it was expensive, so I said I would wear it, and I didnt think it was that bad anyway. (My cousin suggested I could wear her old dress - I was like umm no...) My mom though I was disappointed and got another one made for me. I thought that was sweet, but really too excessive. I didnt ask her to do that. But we cut cost in other ways (not a lot spent on flowers for example).

I always thought I wanted a big wedding until the day of the wedding. Then I realized how foolish I was. I would much rather have had a smaller one. The best part about it was having my whole family together. It was the first wedding on my dad's side, and I had never seen all of my dad's siblings together in one place. That was nice.

See how long this comment has gotten? I could write about this forever. Great topic. and you're looking lovely in that sari mashaAllah.

oh and lets not get into how I bawled my eyes out at the rukhsati. such a drama scene.

Chic Mommy said...

wow, first of all, you look gorgeous!

as for the bling at the weddings, I've seen it so many times it's nauseating.
Who cares how much jewelry one gets or if they get a BMW in jahaiz.
There was too much drama at my wedding unfolding between my side giving too much and his side, just demanding stuff they had no right to demand. for example, my MIL would say, "I didn't give you a dinner set, because your mother is supposed to give you that." Let's just say, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have married into this cheap ass family. They are very "show sha" type of people and know how to take, but are very stingy when it comes to giving.

TwinTopaz said...

how was the food??

i miss all these shadi key kahney.. :(

Muslim Wife said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

Hehe, I already have a post on this whole idea: )

But in response to your post, two ahadith come to mind:

The wife of the Prophet, salallahu alaihi wasalaam, Aisha said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

‘Whomsoever seeks to please Allah by making people angry, Allah will protect him from people;whomsoever seeks to please people by making Allah angry, Allah will leave him to the people.’[Tirmidhi]

Unfortunately "our" (desi) people are so wrapped into this idea of one-upping the next, that at the end of the day the weddings, etc. are only done for the sake of people and not for the sake of Allah, as we are commanded to do.

And of course, the words of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasalaam, “The best marriage is that which is made easiest.”


It is no surprise that when we leave the commands of Allah and the way of His Messenger, salallahu alaihi wasalaam, that the barakah is completely void from our affairs. May Allah protect us all, ameen.

sonia said...

i side with definitely not lavish. i agree aisha ashani's wedding sounds really romantic. i wish i had thought of it:) but wedding is a 'status symbol' as is upgrading a house with useless amenities, or buying an expensive car with not much resale value. i constantly think about why people pay so much money for say an apartment on park avenue which would be cramped and ugly instead of getting a nicer place elsewhere. true, there is the distance and convenience issue but a lot of it is status also. or paying more money for shows, clothes etc that are brand name. economics is all about human psychology.

Aisha said...

Shabs, I've heard of the multiple weddign thing. I guess it is cost effective but still. :( I dunno. Even if your wedding is small it should still be *your* day right?

Mezba, your blogger account man! Hope you get it fixed soon :). But yeah you should spend what you can. Not more..

Koonj does any part of you regret not having the honeymoon, jewlery of your own etc? for my wedding I really wanted to keep it to only the people who I knew really cared for me and not just ppl coming for free food and gossip about the bride's outfit and how good the food was or bad it was. It ended being about 200 people but most of them really were people we were fond of. I agree more is not always ebtter.

Maleeha, this may sound weird but I feel like its okay to spend a bunch on the wedding dress to make it perfect :) I guess b/c a) it will be in ALL the pictures b) you can wear it again. I mean not crazy loads but you should be happy. That is sweet that your mom got you another one. Were you a maroon bride?

Chic, wow :( All that sucks the joy of the whole point of it all doesnt it? The marriage. I think sometomies people forget that a wedding is the means to a wedding. Not the other way around. Its a perspctive issue. Your inlaws need to get some! btw my next post is tentatively about inlaws. Im sure you'll find it interesting :)

Twin, food was top notch:)

Muslimah, I'll have to check it out then when I get home insh'allah :) You're right. Weddings are about other ppl. Not about the real heart of the matter. Its a REAL shame when people are not marrying their daughters because they can't "afford"i t. I mean ofcoursey ou can afford it. A nikkah is free in a masjid and the follow up feast can be simple. I wonder if its a punishable sin to not let your child marry b/c you dont have the money. A lot of times though its not the parents fault. No guy will take a girl who can't bring money to the table. Its a real shame.

Jacob, and Mona welcome to the blog and thanks for commetning:) Jacob I think I dont even remember how my wedding was first hand. It was such a blur. It all came back to me in retrospect. It is about so much more than just the two involved! Mona is your husband from India or did you go simply for the wedding? Happy Anniversary!! :)

Sonia. Yes it is about others... so people will talk and marvel. I guess its natural but when you are killing yourself for that image its quite sad. Have you seen "house of sand and fog" they show the father putting on this image at his daughters wedding of a real royal man. And he works two jobs, one cleaning on the side of highways, the other as a gas station attendant. The wedding thrown in the movie was one he probably remained in debt for, for many years. The things we do to seem more than we are. Who are fooling? Or are we only trying to fool ourselves, if only for a moment?

Baraka said...

Salaam Aisha,

Frankly I hate the concept of spending lots of money on nuptials.

I don't care how much money someone has, it's just sick the wastage & one-upmanship that goes on. It sets impossible expectation for families and standards for society and in the end benefits no one. Not only does it lead to prejudice against daughters/women but charity is not even a concept that is mentioned at most of these events.

Basil & I wanted to get married on a beach in Mendocino with only our closest friends & family present (no mor ethan 30 people).

Because I was marrying an American though my parents felt it was really important to have a "proper" wedding in Pakistan.

We begged them to keep it small, at the house, with no more than 100 people. Instead it ended up being a four-day extravaganza at a lavish hotel with 500 people.

I got a dowry that I have never used, fancy clothes that are just sitting in my closet, gold jewelry that I never wear. I feel sick everytime I look at all that.

Yeah my dad paid for it & he can afford it, but that's not the point. Honestly it was for appearances and society, not for Basil & me. I'd much rather have a downpayment for a home together and a sizeable check to a charity of our choice than a four-day party with a bunch of people I don't even know and who aren't interested in much beyond gossiping about what everyone else is wearing and how much food they can chow down.

Thankfully though, he & I had our barefoot beach wedding, where we wrote our own vows, just the two of us on the night of a full moon some months later. Now that is a memory that I will treasure forever.

And all it cost was the gas getting to the beach in Marin.

Warmly,
Baraka

Baraka said...

Looking good by the way! :) (masha-Allah!)

Aisha said...

Dear Baraka

part me of me wonders if another reason your parents wanted to throw you a big celebration like the others was to make sure no one thought they were upset with you for marrying a non-desi? I wonder that because my friend married a non-desi and had a quiet reception at home with twenty friends. Everyone talked about how the mother did this b/c of their deep shame at their daughters "harkath"... lol.... Which wasn't the case but its how it was portrayed. They compared this daughters wedding ot he others of the family.. Anyways that is still having a wedding for the sake of people's talk and opinions but in some ways lets the world they inhabit know that they are proud of their daughter and her choices.

But you are so right about the dowry stuff. I didnt get a dowry per se. My parents are against the whole giving the groom things at the marriage and Kashif's family is not about that either. But I do have a ton of clothes I have yet to wear... and jewlery that only sees the light outside the safebo once a year (if even). Maybe I should sell some of it and donate it. I don tknow. Its not a bad idea..

Thanks for the compliments lol :) I just love wearing sari's. I hardly ever have the chance!

wayfarer said...

My inlaws took care of everything so i don't know how much it was. It was four days, the first two pretty small gatherings, the last two, lots of people. The oneupsmanship is just downright crazy. Makes no sense.

Leela said...

I eloped and I had no choice. Our parents did not approve. I still do wish I could have had the wedding I always dreamed of growing up but I would rather have what I have instead of a a big grand wedding and not this.

Aman said...

I don't really enjoy weddings, my sister's is this month =P
I would go with the BMW.

mystic-soul said...

My vote is for very simple marriage and spend money as down-payment on house or on something good.

Kashif is absolutely right.

Maleeha said...

Aisha, I had a red wedding dress, a darker red than the one the bride is wearing in your pictures. I love red, its my favorite color. My valima dress was a dark greyish-pink. I've re-worn my valima dress a few more times, but never my wedding dress. Its way too fancy! Maybe I can rework it or something to make it more wearable, but as of now its sitting in a box.

I think whoever mentioned that the wedding is not about the bride and groom is right - in the end I had to do a lot I didnt want to do to please my parents. But I understood that it was important for my parents to have things a certain way, and I accepted that. Seeing them happy really magnified how happy I was.

I also think that we should be more understanding of those that choose to spend a lot of money on their children's wedding. Sometimes it is obvious that the family does it to one-up the previous wedding in the community. But sometimes parents just want to do everything they can to make their kids happy. I've been to fancy weddings where I know the parents to be really good and sincere people. And I'm not hinting that my wedding was one of those - we cut costs maybe more than I would have liked ;)

Huda said...

Hmm, you know on the gold-you-never-wear thing, my mother has actually been downsizing her gold lately because you have to pay zakat on it once you have more than a certain amount... and that gets expensive, so she feels guilty about it. :)

Aisha said...

Wayfarer what happened on each day? Was it mehndi/nikkah/shaadi/walima I guess?

Leela whatever gives you the end result of a happy marriage is more important than the wedding I'd say:)

Aman- interesting. You should tell your sis, I wonder what she will say ;)

Mystic welcome back

Maleeha how funny I also wore my walima outfit but never the wedding one! LOL. That's quite interesting.... and you are right, just b/c its a fancy wedding doesnt mean they are trying to one up anyone necessarily.

Huda is she selling it then? I didnt knwo youc ould even do that in the US with your gold!

momyblogR said...

Wow, what a beautiful picture of you...

All of that I didn't know. The money part of it and "one upping" the couple before is just incredible. Even if my parents wanted to do something of that nature, I would never allow it. For them to be put in financial stress just for the sake of "keeping up with the Jones'" would kill me. AND, I'm the oldest of three girls with one older brother, so my parents would have had it bad.

If I was handed that kind of money for a wedding, I would not spend it on a four hour event, like you said. I would have put a down payment on a house and invested the rest to start a nest egg. BUT, keep in mind I am now 41 and think differently about money matter things.

Still, I met my husband when I was 25 and still had not desire for such lavishness. I was with him for 5 years before we married and lived with him for 4 of those years. When it was time to marry, we eloped. It was THE most incredible 5 days and I wouldn't change any of it for anything.

Nobody knew until after the fact but honestly, both sets of parents were just relieved that we finally made it "right." :):)

I suppose such a day is a very personal/couple kind of choice. I vote to each his own, just please keep things in perspective because the choices that are made effect so many others.

Tee said...

An entertaining and informative post as always. You know what I like about your writing? You don't assume that we're all on the same page with you. You explain things without being condesending and allow that others are going to have differing opinions. That is one of the many things that makes you a good writer.

I really enjoyed the glimpse into this cultural world. I have to admit I have always been easily awed by anything Pakistani/Indian. The mendhi, the colorful saris and decorations, the dancing. I loved the wedding scences in the movie, "Bend it Like Beckham" for those reasons. It's all just so beautiful. I can't imagine how much fun it is to attend in person!

I liked the story you shared about what the friend said to you about the 5 daughters. That is such a clear example of what it means in the culture to have a daughter - the stress that comes with it.

I had a boyfriend from Bangladesh at one time. We met one time and it was a long distance thing for like a year. At one point he sent gifts to my family - clothing mostly - some pretty skirts and such. He asked if in return I would send gifts to him to send on to his family in Bangladesh.

I was a teenager with no real financial obligations so it was fine with me. I really like buying gifts for people. I asked him what types of things each family memeber liked. He said I couldn't go wrong with gold jewelery. So anyway, I had an Indian friend at school who I told about this after I had sent it and she put her hand to her mouth and gasped. ROFL. Then she explained what a dowry was.

At the time I wasn't worried because I was "in love" anyway, he had already said he wanted to marry me and we were far away from each other and I was young, etc. Anyway - that relationship was ended by me later (another story for another time! LOL.) He was a nice guy though.

Anyway! As for weddings - Carlos and I did it at the courthouse. We didn't even have wedding bands yet and I most certainly was not wearing a wedding dress. The wedding was just kind of a legal thing we had to get done for immigration reasons. We didn't have the time or money to do it fancy.

I never dreamed of a big white wedding as a girl anyway. My Mom has always said it's the marriage and not the wedding that matters.

We've been married for 8 years now. We think that on our 10th anniversary we'll do something special like a family dinner somewhere nice and maybe renew our vows. Maybe a weekend away. That's good enough for me.

I don't have anything against people that spend a lot of money on their weddings - it just seems like such a waste to me. Like, have you ever seen that show "Sweet 16" on MTV? How awful is that? The money the parents spend on their spoiled children!

Anyway - to each their own. Whether the wedding is simple or expensive, it really is the relationship that matters in the end.

Tee said...

PS - The photos are beautiful. You look fantastic!

Maryam said...

Salams!

I don't remember if I've commented before but I've definitely been lurking around for a while :)

I'm glad you touched on this issue...my family is made up of precisely 5 girls and a bunch of feisty girls too so my parents have had to put up with their share of "people's talkings" and yes, my dad went into debt after my first sister's wedding etc.

I find this aspect of Pakistani culture really repulsive, all the show-offing we feel we must do when around our people. I'd love to have a small wedding at a beautiful location in San Francisco but I fear I'm headed for one of the regular desi-wedding locations...:-/ Plus, being the youngest of the five fiesty girls, I don't know if that's going to mean, "Alhamdullilah, last one let her do what she wants" or "Last one must go out with a Bang!" I'm hoping it'll be the former!!

Thanks for writing this! :)

Maryam

Zak said...

I'm not married..but i think it depends on
1) The Kind of changes that will occur after the marriage..if for example there is a relocation associated with it ..i think a big wedding is not neccessary its better to spend more on setting yourself up
2)You can have an expensive wedding and it can still be a bad wedding..quality is important and so is attention to detail.
3)If you are a guy..you can be pirncipled and reject the whole dowry thing..but many gals families consider that a grave insult (i speak from experience..a few friends tried it..and were rebuked by their in laws..and accused of "shaming" them)
4) I have also seen gals who had their hubbies so tightly wound around their fingers that it was the guy who ended up paying through his nose both during the wedding and after.

Personally, I'd want a big high quality wedding..I'd wanna tell the world! I draw the line and being pushed into debt though..

jhantu said...

I am not married but my view points are well enlightened here. would like to know your opinion on this though

Zehra said...

Salaamz Aisha,

what an increadible post and interestingly enough, my fiance and I are trying to get ready for our wedding next year as well. We haven't decided on a specific date as of yet but it's most likely going to happen in august. However, I was having the EXACT SAME discussion with my parents and my fiance. Pasha (my finace) and I are both insisting that we want a very small wedding but of course it's difficult for our parents to see eye to eye with us. Personally, I would prefer something like a nikaah at the mosque and then serving dinner at our house or something afterwards but the prospects of that happening are highly unlikely since my parents already have about 230 people on the guest list. I completely agree with you when you so rightly pointed out that people spend a fortune just for a four-hour event and buying gold jewellery and jahaiz for their daughter. Before any of the wedding preparations started, I had no idea how frustrating and taxing preparing for the wedding would be. Pasha and I were always under the impression that it would be a relaxing event where people would mingle and have a good time until it boiled down to all the details of the shaadi. So Pasha created a shaadi blog:(http://theshaadi.blogspot.com/) for both of us as an outlet to vent out all the frustration. *laughs* Anyway, it's always a pleasure to read your blog and if you have any advice for our wedding next year and how to make it less stressful, I am all ears. :)

pixie said...

I plan on having something small. I just want the day to be relaxed with family and friends. Nothing crazy or expensive.

Cindi said...

I'm glad you posted on this subject. I'm American and married a Pakistani. We had a VERY small very modest wedding without any lavishness, he didn't want anything from his culture and I didn't know anything about it. I found out later how lavish these affairs are and was upset. I was upset because it was my brother-in-law and we were having to cough up thousands of dollars we didn't have so he could buy things for the wedding and the bride. I asked my dh where these things were when we got married. It made him mad but you know I got absolutely nothing from his family and it didn't bother me until I realized they expected me to spend money, lots of it, for their weddings! I'm still fried about it because then it was his two sisters and they just never seemed to have enough. I say if you can't afford it then keep it simple but have been told that in Pakistan this is frowned upon. What the heck? Why should this be happening? I noticed above and already knew as a Muslim this is frowned upon. I didn't even ask for a dowry when we had our Muslim marriage (married in a civil ceremoney first). Still have not really had anything from his family. A few times they sent outfits that never fit right despite having my measurements. Everything desi I have I found on my own! It's disgraceful to put other family members through the stress of forking over money they don't have or shouldn't be forking over in the first place.....so for those of you planning to marry take a hint from this disgruntled family member, keep it within budget and it's NOT necessary to spend thousands to have a happy marriage!

Aisha said...

Wow what great comments and so long! :) I may have to break up my comments in seperate boxes, lol.

Mommyblogr: you eloped!! I learned something new. How romantic! :) Did you end up doing a renewal of your vows later on in a big ceremony or decided against it? I never would have guessed! :)

Tee, aww thanks for saying that about my writing. It means a lot. You know I think its been at least a year since I've been reading your blog. So it means a lot to get a compliment from you :) About the daughter thing (killing them b/c of the wedding) I guess I know why she said it but it doesnt justify it. I mean how are women going to rise above this type of opression if we don't disparage it. If we play along what becomes of us? It is sad though that parents have to feel pain over the birth of a daughter b/c of her wedding. It SOO should not be that way.

That is HILARIOUS That he had you buy gold jewlerly for his family in Bangladesh!!!!! I wonder what he was meaning by it. This is truly funny, lol.

Tee how do you feel about having the courthouse wedding? I REALLY hope you guys will renew your vows for an anniversary and do a wedding type of shindig. It doesnt have to be pricey. I've been to fantastic low cost weddings. Sometimes they are the most endearing b/c thins are more meaningful and done by the people themselves. Mom bakes the cake. Grandma sews the gown, etc. Its been really sweet from what I've seen.

And I HAVE seen "My super sweet 16" and its really sick how much money is spent for spoiled brats. And you see them cry about not etting the exact shade of gray on their limo. I dont quite understand it.

Aisha said...

Salaam Maryam, thanks for delurking :). I think as the younest (knowing what my youngest sibling can get away with) what you want will be the way it is :). Like I said earlier less really can be more. Parituclarly desi weddings were you know a whole bunch are just there for the food and to critique your outfit and makeup. I think the problem with #'s at desi weddings though is that desis are just tooooooo connected. I mean we had 200 or so people at our wedding but EACH person was absolutely essential. There were no people we invited that we didn't know well! lol

Zak, wow you have seen girls family get upset at not wanting dowry? Alhamdullilah with Kashif and our family it didn't even come up. It was assumed that there would be none of that. I guess its hard to imagine a girls family getting upset but I'm sure it can happen. And you've seen desi guys pay for the wedding? These must not be the same guys marrying girls offended that they can't give a jahaiz! lol :)

Jhantu will check out soon:)

Aisha said...

Zehra!! I checked out your site mash'allah you are very pretty and you guys make a great couple :). Weddings are only fun and mingling for the people not involved in getting it together lol. I think 200 is a normal amount at desi weddings. Its the smallest I've ever seen. That's how many were at mine and it was considered a "small" wedding! I think in some ways if the parents want to do a big wedding I mean its okay they raised us and if doing so brings them joy that's fine. BUT yeah when its done with the intention to "one up" the net one and when it involves falling deeply into debt... its not right and as children we should do our best to explain this to them. Hmm advise to help the wedding be less stressful. Hmmmmmmmmm I could write a book or something on this topic, lol! But one thing I will say is that the wedding day will fly be. Those four hours will be the fastest of your life. Soak up the moment it iwll be gone forever once its over. I wasn't all abotu the big wedding and was so dazed and confused I barely remember my wedding. Try to enjoy it and SMILE for the camera :)If you have any Q's feel free to email me :)

Pixie you got it right girl :)

Cindi that made me REALLY sad to read that. Does your husband protest spending this much money or does he do so willingly? What does he think about the fact that you are upset? IS the wealthiest in his family and they rely on it for that reason? That is wrong. A happy marriage does not need a fancy wedding. I almost wonder if people in Pakistan b/c so many are in arranged marriages that are destined to be just mechanical situations (not b/c they are arranged marriages necessarily...) that the wedding is just given all the more emphasis. I dont know. Its wrong. I'm sorry you have to go thorugh that.

momyblogR said...

LOL, nope, no renewal. I just came home and told everyone that I went away to change my last name.

I was GREAT! Maybe one day when the kids are older and we are at a different point in our lives. For now, it's just perfect. The way I look at it, I'm his either way. :)

Tee said...

Courthouse weddings get the job done. That's how I feel about them. LOL. It obviously wasn't very romantic, but I never imagined getting married in a stuffy dusty old church either. I'd like to do it in Autumn under some big oak and maple trees :)

MIL has said before she doesn't considered us married because we didn't "do it before God" - which is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. God is everywhere. Of course being that MIL only reads the parts of the Bible she likes, she wouldn't know that.

Besides, even if we get married by a Pastor in the Protestant church, she still won't recognize it because it wasn't done by a Priest in a Catholic church. (rolling my eyes)...

OK. MIL rant over :D

Zak said...

Aisha actually the reverse..the girls family who insisted on a dowry are very happily married..and it was a love marriage. The one where the guy paid for everything happens when if you'll excuse the term..the guy was whipped!

Baraka said...

Salaam dear,

I think that did play a part - wanting everyone to know they were just as proud of an American son-in-law as the two Paki ones, but my thought was:

Anyone who was going to gossip was going to regardless of the scale of the wedding. People who are there for spectacle and not out of affection don't care about the family or couple, they're just taking notes to squack abotu later.

Maybe that's cynical...I've just been to too many desi weddings in Pakistan I guess.

I'd much rather have a small wedding with sincere people I know are absolutely thrilled for us and love us dearly, than have hundreds of people I don't know gawking at us like a curious exhibit of Desi Girl marrying Amreeki Man.

We do have great photos though! :)

Hugs,
Baraka

sami said...

If I am allowed to have my way, I would rather prefer a no-frills, simple nikah in a mosque followed by a small party for some of the closest friends and relatives. No reason why the total expenses should exceed INR 20,000.

Unfortunately the parents and the relatives take marriages so seriously that it requires a lot of effort to convince them for anything but a lavish affair. Marriages of children are like the last highs in the parent's lives; it would be so cruel to deny them their [sort-of] last wishes.

I can only hope that somehow I will be able to put across my point of view in front of my(and bride's) parents and get them to accept it.

Bee Amma said...

Nice post! :) Ermmm i actually have sleepless nights thinking about my wedding, i defo do not want a big one, im the kinda person that gets embarrased if people throw me something for my birthday and i am defo not one of those people that would organise something for my own bday and invite ppl to it, that just feels weird. So as for wedding, yikes, sounds awful but i would really rather not have alot of my entended family there, tho sadly i know that is not possible. I would like a nice small little wedding in a mosque, minus the rasams like joota chupai and dhod pilai etc.

~ruthie said...

i dont know if this was mentioned, but i was watching "whose wedding is it anyway" on style network the other day. and one of the couples wanted to have their wedding and reception at this really fancy schmancy hotel ball room--which cost $140,000 not including the food or decorations or ANYTHING else! and the comment was, "of course, the cost of the ball room does take a significant chunk of the brides $300,000 budget." it's so unfair that so many people have excessive money to waste on things like this (not that a wedding is a waste, but extravagance is) when so many people are living at or below poverty level, barely scraping by. sorry, didn't mean to get on a high horse about it---but it's just crazy.

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