- Sejal: An EC engineer, currently employed with Wipro; born & brought up in Ahmedabad; details on her blog, and Facebook profile.
- Pulkit: A CS researcher, currently deriving wages from HP Labs; a native of Ahmedabad; more on his Facebook profile and here.
The ‘theme’ we followed:
Small is beautiful. Simple is sensible.
Wedding venue: Arya Samaj (Mandir), Ahmedabad. Our first choice, though, was the Marriage Registrar’s office.
Spectators: Immediate relatives (around 20 from either side)
Events: Just the marriage ceremony, followed by lunch in a nearby restaurant [No reception, music night, etc.]
Exchange: After a number of requests/arguments, we managed to ensure minimal give-and-take of gold and gifts, but couldn’t avoid the exchange totally.
Why simple marriage?: Nah, there was no ulterior motive of saving up money for a grand honeymoon or something :).
- Expensive marriages have almost become a compulsion, due to the fear of what ‘people’ will think otherwise. We wanted to emphatically disobey this unwritten societal norm that pushes plenty of families onto hefty loans or the abandonment of a daughter’s education.
- Because the expense is predominantly shouldered by the girl parents, costly marriages (along with dowry) prompt parents to prefer a son over a daughter (whose birth is tantamount to decades of cost cutting).
- We wanted to steer clear of fire crackers [for the sake of asthma patients and scores of small kids who labour in the hazardous surrounds of cracker units], food wastage (which is enormous in marriages), and excesses such as decorative lighting.
- A guest list boasting 500+ invitees does NOT foster relationships. We’d rather invite friends/relatives home in separate clusters, for a meaningful interaction.
Getting the parents on board:
We kept reiterating how this was as an extraordinary opportunity to help correct a deep-rooted trend. Still, there remained resistance, as anticipated. But, with time, seeing that our resolve was unshakable, they increasingly softened their stance – so much so that they now brandish the marriage theme to their new acquaintances!. The key is strong-minded persistence: Don’t fall prey to momentary emotions, and stay committed to the right thing. Another crucial tip: don’t raise hell at the last minute, break the news early!