I started writing this piece right after watching a small clip of a wedding event held in an unidentified city in Pakistan. Fasi Zaki (@fasi_zaka) and another fellow, Murtaza Ahadi (@MurtazaTokhai), shared the video clip on Twitter. Both videos have different lengths; hence, I have shared or uploaded the 28-second clip of Murtaza Ahadi (@MurtazaTokhai).
Pakistan’s relatives come from all over the world during this time of year (Wedding Season) to celebrate the wedding with a week-long celebration that includes a gold-dipped, henna-covered, dance-filled extravaganza practically required for any couple planning to tie the knot.
For Pakistanis, marriage events or occasions are the only opportunities to break away from their mundane routines. But from a monetary point of view, this trend toward extravagant weddings is disastrous.
As a banker, I can attest to the general lack of financial acumen among the city’s residents. Those who put their children’s weddings on par with far more reasonable investments like home, college savings for their kids, or even retirement are not in their right minds. It’s disappointing that there isn’t a movement to remove weddings’ excessive spending as an example of socially acceptable behavior.
the correct background music pic.twitter.com/hQ3Uu9sr9V— MurtazaAhadi (@MurtazaTokhai) December 8, 2022
How extravagant do Pakistani weddings tend to be? A conclusion can be reached by drawing parallels. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, a friend in the United Kingdom got tied the knot with his American fiance, which was a fairly grandiose affair: a wedding with 250 guests and a price tag of around $35,000 (Including all the expenses). Comparatively, that’s less than a couple of months’ worth of the couple’s income and less than the median annual income in North America (USA and Canada).
In the same year, However, a friend of mine got married in Pakistan. Even though his wedding was very low-key by upper-middle-class Pakistani standards, he still managed to spend more than 100 times the average national income of the country. The bill would be more than the couple’s total salary for over a year and a half if they both earned what I do.
From a monetary standpoint, there is no rationale to spend so much on entertaining so many people, the vast majority of whom would rather squabble and grumble than offer true assistance. The adage about foolish spending rings especially true at Pakistani weddings when guests are often expected to shell out cash for gifts they don’t want to please those they don’t particularly care for.
Written By: Jaffar Ali