In the millennium of progress and liberty we still see families draining their bank accounts for the big fat Indian wedding. In the age of Badrinath ki Dulhania we are seeing a tortoise-like exit from the culture of dowry. The traditional wedding has a lopsided expense sheet where either the groom or the bride is seen bleeding money. It is important we reassess our traditions and make necessary modifications to fit our claims of progressive thinking. So let us ask the rhetorical question: Should the bride and the groom split the wedding cost? Yes! Why? Read on.
1. Independent individuals
Both of you are financially independent, earning the bucks and earning your living. It is only fair to divide the expenses between yourselves. It does not matter if traditions require the wedding to be taken care by the bride’s side and the reception by the groom’s. It is a union of two sides and that must not turn into a tussle between them. Take responsibility for the life decision you have made and own up to your share of the damage. And the only share that makes sense is the equal one.
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2. Unfair divide
Our customs and traditions don’t always fit into a logical framework. Sorry, I meant mostly do not fit. Sorry again, rarely fit! The bride’s side in the old traditions have to bear the cost of the wedding which includes the ludicrously priced rituals, guests from both sides and often a hefty amount of dowry or ‘gifts’. The bride’s father is the typecast victim of giant expense as the groom’s side are entitled to royal treatment. Everything that goes wrong in a wedding starts from this biased split of money bills. It is a common notion that money creates irreparable rifts in any relationship; marriage is not immune to that.
3. Retiring traditions
Your parents are either retired or on the verge of it. It is a social heredity that passes the burden of an expensive wedding to the shoulders of ageing parents, as if inflation is not enough to trouble their retired life. The decision of two young, responsible and earning adults should not be governed by unequal customs. Rather than pushing your parents to break their fixed deposits to fill the plates of guests, why not take up the expenses yourself and split it to to cushion the shock? It should not be a competitive show of wealth where both parents stretch their budget beyond sense and cloud their future with debts. The expense should preferably be borne mostly by the bride and the groom; one should cut their coat according to the cloth.
4. We are family
You are now one big family and what can consolidate the bond more than splitting the fat wedding bills? Remember Ross and Emily getting married and the parents fighting over the expenses? That wedding was troubled even before Ross said the wrong name at the altar! Yes, but this is India! So? You will face the googly eyes from relatives and acquaintances. But you will get that no matter what. So why care about the social construct around your wedding? Go ahead and set an example of becoming one family.
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5. Because it is cool to not be sexist
You wanted what Virat and Anoushka had at Italy right? Guess which side paid for it? Yes. Correct guess, they split the expense. You want the glitz, glamour but most of all you want the smile they bore. Now for that you need to be in love and happy. Though I cannot help you with the former, happiness at your wedding comes with minimum tension and bitterness that can come from the long drawn process of an Indian wedding. One marvellous way of minimising unhappiness is to get your accounts sorted like adult individuals, not as the bride and the groom side. It is cool to not be a sexist in the time of calling out male entitlement and patriarchal social structure. It would be rad if you could throw away the sexist rituals and concentrate on the more essential celebration of the wilful union of two lives.