The Big Fat Indian Wedding
Director, Probus Insurance Broker Limited
Marwari weddings have always been the talk of the town owing to their lavishness. However, with the nuclear family system firmly established now, it is almost impossible for people to make elaborate arrangements for weddings without professional help. Moreover, the younger generation is already ditching the traditional approach and opting for comparatively frugal weddings.
Indeed, going for a simple wedding not only saves energy and money, but also allows the guests to sit down and enjoy the occasion peacefully. Even the flowers used for the occasion can be offered to patients in hospitals and the excess food donated to food banks or shelters, thereby making everything a part of the happy occasion. When it comes to weddings, I feel one should give the excess money and surpluses to the needy, which will ultimately uphold the prestige of the family. After all, a person’s greatness is based not on what he has, but what he gives.
Founder and Creative Director, Flying Elephants Design
I come from a traditional Marwari family and have seen a lot of money being spent on elaborate wedding functions and parties. Although it is a lot of fun, I believe that in today’s age, the enormous sums spent on weddings can and should be better utilised, because of ever rising expenses and higher standards of living. The whole gamut of wedding celebrations has evolved through the generations, and with every new generation, there comes a sense of responsibility to safeguard traditions. It is good to see the newer generation striving to create a balance by spending mindfully and having fun at the same time.
In my line of work, families and couples are now more open to having only e-invitations, rather than printing elaborate and bulky wedding invites. Sweets and chocolates are being replaced by keepsake gifts that are both a reminder of the festivities and are functional. New-age couples really want to leave a lasting impression on everyone.
Entrepreneur and Curator, A Humming Way
Marwari weddings are not just about lavish spends, they also make way for friends and families to come together, create memorable moments and celebrate the union of their loved ones. And if that does not justify the display of opulence, see it in terms of how it boosts a country’s economic growth—the big, fat Marwari wedding creates innumerable employment opportunities, right from wedding planners to labourers. Thus, it is safe to say that a big section of the economy is dependent on these huge wedding expenditures.
One might argue that the money invested on lavish weddings could have been put to better use, but I always believe that building good memories with loved ones is priceless. And if one has worked hard to earn that extravagance, why not?
Travel Designer and Founder, Totravelwith.com
I personally believe in small weddings where the couple gets married in the presence of people they actually know and enjoy being around with. Although following traditions in a wedding is a great thing and brings the family together, having a balance when it comes to spending money on such occasions is also important. Large weddings are held to display a certain monetary status and to keep the society at large happy, which was common in the past, but is really not required any more.
Recently, my cousin had a small, private wedding that took place at our hometown, Alsisar. It was the first wedding that was organised at our haveli after more than 60 years. Only immediate family and close friends had been invited. The three-day event gave all cousins, relatives and friends an opportunity to bond and mingle in the presence of elders, whilst observing and enjoying traditional Marwari customs, rituals and cuisine. It was one of the best weddings I have ever attended.
Founder and Chairman, ORVI
Undoubtedly weddings in India are known for their grandeur and hence the very apt moniker, ‘The Big Fat Indian Wedding’. The Marwari community is no different; we have been celebrating weddings in the most magnificent way since time immemorial.
I feel that this being an once-in-a- lifetime occasion, it justifies the spending. This is because in our country, weddings are all about celebrating the union of two individuals and their families. More importantly, it is an occasion where the entire family comes together. With changing times, weddings will probably become the only occasion where immediate and extended families come together after long periods of time
Having said that, today’s generation is more conscious of how and where they spend. With the younger generation taking the lead on what a millennial wedding should be, I feel they are successfully treading a balance between tradition and extravagance and managing to stay rooted, yet not dated.