Everyone held their breath as Vikram and Maahi entered in a heart shaped capsule that was dangling on a crane. The "Varmalas" were brought in by elephants, as the bride and the groom landed on a revolving stage for the ceremony. And if this was not enough to awe their guests, a helicopter hovered above bringing down a rain of rose petals on everyone. Naina was excited for her elder sister Maahi as she always wanted a wedding that would enthral everyone and be memorable for ages to come.
Today's weddings are not just about two people being tied in 'holy' matrimony and celebrating it with friends & family. It is a lot of pomp & show where sky is the limit. Foreign dance troupes, themed pre-wedding parties, exotic destination weddings, five star menus with cuisines from all corners of the world, and what not. People splurge without a second thought only to show off their wealth.
For some that wealth is ostentatious and they spend only to match other's weddings.
When Maahi told her parents about plans for her wedding, they were startled. Clearly her plans were clocked at five times the budget her parents had planned for. When they tried to reason with her, she said "Apparently you don't love me" among tears.
When they failed to knock some sense into her, they told her that they would spend only their share of the budget and the rest Maahi & Vikram would have to chip in. Like their peers, Maahi and Vikram were young and did not have enough savings. They both decided to take a huge personal loan each.
The wedding seemed to get over in a blink. But the ominous EMIs stuck around like a magnet. Whatever they earned seemed to be sucked in by their loans. They couldn't save for the future nor could they spend as they would like to. Infact they depended mostly on their credit cards as they never had enough to spend.
Because the interest rate on their wedding loan was so high the balance never seemed to reduce. Soon they felt stifled and constrained. So much was the pressure of repaying the loan that they had frequent tiffs and were not able to plan a family as there was no room for an additional member in the family budget.
Two years had passed and Naina still remembered Maahi's wedding as if it happened only yesterday. "I have to top that with a wedding on the moon", thought Naina. When she told her parents about her plans for her wedding, once again they were rattled.
They spoke to Naina at length and quoted Maahi's example. Thankfully Naina saw the light and threw her extravagant plans out of the window. She did not want to kick start the next chapter of her life on a wrong note. She decided to observe frugality and take only what she could afford to repay in future without being severely affected.
They did their math on how much they could spend and how much they would need to borrow. Rohan picked a small personal loan for the wedding which marginally affected their post wedding budget.
At the same time, Maahi and Vikram were not able to get another personal loan for low CIBIL score. They now realised that financial planning is the key to avoid financial woes after wedding.
If one politician in India will have her way in the parliament then there would soon be a cap to sumptuous wedding expenses, most of which can easily be avoided. This MP has recommended that if anyone spends over 5 lakh rupees on a wedding then they would be taxed 10% on that and that fund would be used for the welfare of poor.
Whether that proposal becomes a law only time will tell, but opulent weddings can be worked upon for sure. Often people are influenced by other's marriage parties and take hefty loans to fund their own. They often trip over their own dreams after that and fall face forward.
To avoid all of that plan your budget scrupulously, stay grounded and stay sorted from the beginning.