A grand wedding or a happy marriage, what’s more important?

Published: April 5, 2015

It all started with the jora (the dress). Our weddings are structured around dresses, dresses and dresses, especially the ‘shaadi ka jora’ (the wedding dress).

A model presents a creation by designer Zara Shahjahan during the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Bridal Week in Lahore on October 12, 2013. PHOTO: AFP It all started with the jora (the dress). Our weddings are structured around dresses, dresses and dresses, especially the ‘shaadi ka jora’ (the wedding dress). It all started with the jora (the dress). Our weddings are structured around dresses, dresses and dresses, especially the ‘shaadi ka jora’ (the wedding dress).

I have strongly felt that as members of an educated community, we must show a sense of responsibility and bring about a change to dismantle some of the weird and complicated constructed norms that bring about no good, but instead intensify wrong trends in our society. One such trend is weddings becoming a status symbol.

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Weddings in Pakistan are a waste of money and resources. What made me write about Pakistani weddings is the sense of waste, the lack of depth regarding serious and more important concerns in marriages, and the useless traditions we have been following since ages.

I feel shameful when it comes to our wedding institution and traditions related to it. These wedding practices have stripped away the real essence of marriage. Instead of helping to create a steady foundation of a happy relationship throughout our marriage, we focus our energies on the weak standards of weddings.

A wedding in Pakistan is a multi-day event that includes decorationsperformances, gatherings, food, traditional ceremonies and a lot of other festivities. Hours of work and huge amounts of money are spent to arrange an attractive wedding, but there is barely any attention paid to the marriage itself.

Everything is set to look amazing but in making the wedding perfect and attractive, we conveniently forget about the bond of holy matrimony. Everyone, including the couple, pays attention to external beautifications but neglects the factors that actually build a marriage and make it work. Nobody thinks what will happen once the marigolds and roses fade away and the pricey wedding dress is forever locked away in a suitcase.

It all started with the jora (the dress). Our weddings are structured around dresses, dresses and more dresses, especially the ‘shaadi ka jora’ (the wedding dress). The whole event turns out to be revolving around the jora not the jori (the couple). Instead of focusing on the jori, to see if they are suitable for each other, we drive ourselves crazy focusing on everything related to the jora, the costly and gaudy wedding dress.

During one of my proposals, a major topic was the shaadi ka jora for the in-laws as well as my own family, but I was the least concerned about it. I think it is absolutely irrational to spend a huge amount on a dress that is worn just for few hours. I was satisfied to wear just shalwaar kameez or a pishwaas and churidaar pajama, with a a good cut and vibrant colours, because if you know how to carry a dress, it does not matter how simple and inexpensive it is.

Yes, it should be new, elegant, stylish, and neat but does that mean it has to be worth hundred thousand rupees and above.

My head began spinning when I came to know that the boy’s family intended on buying me a dress worth a lot of money. I protested. I was not at all willing to put on a dress which cost the same amount as seven dresses put together.

I thought I would be the same person in a Rs. 20,000 dress (though a Rs10,000 one would have done too) but nobody seemed to understand that, not even my family and close friends. I had to fight and they kept me quiet by saying I was making an issue out of ‘just a dress.’

My answer was,

“Exactly! It is just a dress.”

The matter went viral and my cousin screamed,

Kya? Saada suit? Dulhan ko dulhan lagna chahiye.

(What? Just a simple dress? A bride should look like a bride)

And later some aapa jumped in and said,

Shadi ek baar hoti hai”

(We marry only once)

A friend would try to tempt me by saying,

Zindagi mein sub se khoobsurat isi din tou lagna hota hai.”

(This is the day in a girl’s life when she has to look the most beautiful)

Blah blah blah, all these arguments were too weak for me. I did not give up. At some point, it felt like that this marriage would not take place.

But my protest worked, so they allowed me to wear whatever I liked on the day of wedding, but on the second day, the Valima, I was supposed to be on display wearing a gharara (skirt) worth a hundred thousand and above, or else I was told that,

Werna unki naak kat jayege”

 (Their honour will be forsaken)

This made me think,

“Logon ki naak kitni kamzor hai, choti choti baaton pe kat jati hai. Agar meri kat ti tou is per ke mein ne kisi ka haq maar lia, mein ne kisi ki na haq dil azari ki, ya mein ne be adabi ka muzahira kia.”

(How weak is their standard of honour? It shatters on such trivial matters, I would have only questioned my honour if I had usurped someone’s right, if I had hurt someone or if I had been uncivil.)

Well, I was saving their money, but if they wanted to spend it, then okay, that was up to them. I decided to do my own thing. As an Eastern girl, I too had imagined myself looking pretty, wearing a beautiful, colourful dress on my wedding day, but my education had taught me to say no to such useless things.

This strange fascination with dresses has perhaps been brought about due to the media coverage. It has come to the point that girls believe that all the external preparations will complete them and their marriage.

Girls, relationships are not made like this; they need internal preparations and that is what marriage is all about. In the act and celebrations of getting married, we forget the true meaning of marriage; wedding becomes important than the marriage itself. It seems that the whole wedding culture works to dampen the spirit of marriage.

My young students speak to me about how they want to change, but their elders and people around them never listen and eventually they surrender to their manipulations regarding marriage. We can bring about a change with a little extra effort by saying no to these useless social norms that are neither in accordance with our religion nor moral principles.

There is no denying that the consumer culture entices us, but as educated people we need to stand against it with confidence and set our own civilised healthy norms. It is a form of struggle when one can afford all these luxuries but one does not indulge because one wants to set a tradition which makes the institution of marriage in the country an easy, real and happy celebration. My point is to make weddings relatively simple, decent and happy.

Do not make it a burden.

It can be all fun and celebrations if you have genuine relationships. Play music, dance, eat, wear beautiful clothes, get a nice make over, take photographs but try to cut down on the luxury. Marriage is the real deal; the wedding is all about construction. Weddings poison the personal and social relationship by its connection to appearances.

My second big objection is the lavish spending on food at weddings. What is the point of spending a huge amount on people who can already afford such food, why not invite people from the less privileged strata of the society and allow them to indulge in these luxuries?

They will be really happy, they will remember us and their prayers will matter. Or if not this, then arrange a small drawing room gathering or garden party with just close family relatives and friends of the couple. Why a battalion of extended generations of relatives?

I do believe that a lot of people want to take steps to eliminate such customs but they cannot stand up to the criticism of society. We must take this responsibility, for we are the privileged ones.

Our attempts tend to focus not on concept of marriage itself, but on practices inflected by the wedding industry. We need to propagate this idea as much as possible that the lavish, extravagant and wasteful wedding culture of Pakistan is industrially produced and not a recipe for happy marriages.

Now the wedding industry has become a full-fledged ideology promoting extravagance, luxury and mindless adherence to appearance resulting in anxiety and stress and it is furthering the gap between the rich and poor. This puts pressure on those who cannot afford such extravagant lifestyles.

The fairy tale kind of wedding just raises fantasies and unaffordable expectations in girls, it never guarantees a perfect marriage.

Our goal should be to restore the true meaning of marriage and celebrations. I had to say no to a long range of expensive wedding dresses, since I believe we must not go on display, but rather look normal and decent, because going on a display with costly designer items, to me, is cultural cheapening and moral degradation.

All pretty women out there need to understand that simplicity is beauty.

Yes, you can accessorise and make yourself up, but do not be overly made up and do not hide yourself behind artificiality. Five inch heels, trying to walk perfectly in stilettos, wearing French chiffon, carrying a smoky eyes look with artificially upturned lashes will not give you any credit if you do not have the consciousness of what it means to be beautiful from within. As a matter of fact, the whole wedding show reminds me what Betrrand Russell calls,

“The blind hurry of the universe from vanity to vanity.”

As young and educated individuals, we need to show a higher level of awareness in order to inspire others to step out and struggle for a better way of living. It is time for the younger generation to change perspectives and take an initiative to make lifetime togetherness the priority, and not waste time and energy on lavish external settings.

Instead of investing in dresses, customs and luxuries, why not invest in relationships?

Let’s not forget that the couple needs to build an entire life together.

Sonia I. Farooq

Sonia Irum Farooq

The author is a Lecturer in the department of English, female campus, at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. She is also working as a coordinator of the Critical Thinking Forum at the university. Currently she is pursuing PhD from Royal Holloway University London, UK.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • SS

    so finally did you wear their jora worth a lot?Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Great blog. Although it will fall on deaf ears. These days the argument is “I have the money, it is mine, I have the right to spend it the way I want”.Recommend

  • Dr Muhammad

    Brilliant !

    This trend has got more of a pre-partition cultural history as Islam discourages such norms.
    Materialistic pursuits stain our “Qalb” and it is an antagonist force towards peace of mind.Recommend

  • Agreed

    Well written !
    We really need to get rid of all the stupid ceremonies, and limit the wedding to be a simple and enjoyable affair for the couple.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    Totally agreedRecommend

  • Vikrant

    Grand-wedding or ‘Happy Marriage’ (if the latter still exists in this day and age!)…. ?? Hahaha… it is like asking a new cricket player whether s/he would prefer a T20 career (or even an ODI career) to the dreary world of Test-Cricket — supposedly the ‘Real Thing’ we are told!! Hahahaha…. I am still laughing, and can’t stop!Recommend

  • Abuzar Jamil

    Young and educated women like you should promote this frame of mind because in my little experience, large chunks of wedding expenses are consumed by women and their wishlist.Recommend

  • anon

    So true. I got a fancy wedding but the marriage itself not so fancy i really wish that this thing was understood by my parents back then so i wouldnt have ended in divorceRecommend

  • Farhat Tahir

    agreed .There is need of change in sicial norms!Recommend

  • Sajid

    Good reading … If I was a girl I could have been convinced. I strongly doubt on girls though because they live in fantasies. Such marriages are short-lived as is now common because
    The higher you fly, the harder you fall.Recommend

  • Let the Subaltern Speak

    This is an extremely problematic article. Lavish weddings for those who can afford it are actually good for society, they fuel local economy, they support local businesses such as flower vendors, catering staff, decorators, tailors, etc.

    Your views are juvenile and ill though out.Recommend

  • akbar

    lol, why write blah blah blah. Ruined a good going blogRecommend

  • Haris Javed

    Aptly put, but unfortunately rarely followed.Recommend

  • outlander

    Marriages fail when there is difference of social status, wealth, education, or age. Our society needs to learn how to really make matches. I hope common sense will prevail some day.Recommend

  • Zaid

    Yes!Exactly this!im from financially well family and we all fancy expensive marriages with limousines etc etc,but i will break all those stupid unnecessary rituals and do my wedding in a very simple and clean way.Insha’Allah :DRecommend

  • Parvez

    Excellent…..you’re talking common sense ….but at shadi time some-how-or-the-other common sense flies out the window. I personally know people who could afford a ‘ bash ‘ but chose to have a simple affair without any waste. But here we are talking of people who are lets say ‘ well off ‘. Lower down the ladder, I suggested to my office messenger that he should not borrow money to feed his whole ‘ mohala ‘ for three days…….and his reply taught me a lesson. He said ‘…Sir, people like you can get way with a simple ceremony and a small dinner. If I did that I and my children will never hear the end of it, especially from my family .’Recommend

  • Aimon Shahbaz

    Excellent article. Actually it’s quite amazing. Really impressed with your thoughts and commend you to put these beautiful thoughts on paper to inspire others!
    People are really conscious about their status symbol that of they don’t have a grand wedding it would be a matter of honor. I’m personally so against all these customs. I heard that one of my relative had to sell his house just so that his eldest daughter of the four he had, could get married. Even though he earned very good from his job, he arranged such a grand and lavish wedding somewhere in Clifton that the whole family had to shift to a rented house. I was literally stunned by his stupidity.
    I’ve decided that whenever i get married, it will be on the terms of simplicity and decency not lavishly wasting money for a single day who’s gonna pass very soon just like any other day but leave you troubled for the many upcoming days.Recommend

  • fze

    Only and only happy marriage! For my marriage I chose a very moderate dress and that also in pink and not in red, I refused to have fake lashes and my nails done. I refused to have mehndi done on my hands or anywhere because I believe I’m not a wall for deco art. I asked my parents not to have too much halla gulla on my wedding. After 10 days of my marriage I was back to work because everyone gets married, what’s so special about it. And thank God everything paid off and in my 110% arranged marriage I found my soul mate and the happiness I was looking for. I cannot thank Allah and my parents enough for finding such a gem of a person for me and would like to marry him again and again and again…. but without ‘taam jhaam.’Recommend

  • Jay

    Thank you very much for bringing this topic up.
    I do not live in Pakistan and have come back only to find that I no longer follow what is customary here and often called as abnormal by my own family, saying that I will bring shame and dishonor to their name if I don’t follow their practices.

  • M omer

    Why can’t we have both a grand wedding with a happy marriage, ? :)Recommend

  • Adnan Mujib

    Nice article very well said.Recommend

  • Shumaila Hussain Shahani

    Glad to know I am not the only one against this trend of our wedding industry. We can have simple, small weddings respecting all wedding traditions that are meaningful. Plus think about the couple, most of them are not comfortable among the ‘batallion of extended generation of relatives’. Thank you for writonh about it.Recommend

  • Fareed Sheikh

    very nice article. I would like to ask from this writer either she is married or not? if yes how her marriage went to what extent she took a stand to bring change in such norms?Recommend

  • bilal nawaz

    very nice article Sonia keep up the good work..i hope some day ppl will actually think like you.. :)Recommend

  • Syeda Ali

    Excellent write up. I fully agree with you on this.
    However one of the biggest issue for me if I tried to implement the same would have been an uneasiness in my in-laws who already had many issues with us. So I couldn’t even see my bridal dress, leave alone its price. Brides can not do much in a situation like this as this spoils the environment between the two families. But if they have a say, which I mostly see girls nowadays do have, they should do it as simply as they canRecommend

  • Ayesha Murad

    Finally someone wrote my mind. Kudos Ma’am. I have heard exactly the same arguments at my wedding Recommend

  • zain ul Abidin

    Yes you are right…our approach become so materialistic…I think the same way but every time i talk with my parents about this idea they replied in the manner u have mentioned earlier that what people would say and nak kat jaye gi and all that…

    But the most difficult part is to change this as u will not find a single person standing by your side…Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Zabardast ! May ALLAH help us to eliminate these artificial RITUALS and help us to make aware our parents, this fact ! Ameen.
    God bless you , You have saved so many lives i must say !Recommend

  • Samira Khan

    I strongly agree with the writer and have already thought of getting married in as simple way as possible InshaAllah.Recommend

  • Concerned Person.

    I don’t really comment on any articles but surly this is issue that need to be address. Such a waste of money. Keep it simple help any needy with that money. This culture need to end. I have seen even poor and middle class families following this custom and wasting all their life savings just to show off. Nice job lady :)Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed


  • Nida

    Dear writer i stand for the same cause n made our lives rather spending on shadi… But people wont let you live.. It’s been 2.5 year and i am still listening all those taunt “shadi koie esi hoti hai” no one in our society apriciate the fact what we achive and again victims are girl only. They suffer by their in laws and need to face all the circumstances alone. Recommend

  • True Story

    Nicely written! BEing a newly married person..I want to admit that I greatly regret being obsessed with my wedding day..cz all my wedding day prep has proved compmetly useless in starting my new life and relationships..I wish I had prepared for my married life instead..Recommend

  • Sana

    Very well written
    Absolutely agree with the writer but I would like to know what percentage of people who on survey opted for a simple wedding have really followed it in real lifeRecommend

  • Clarus

    i doubt any girl will settle down for a simple low profile wedding; as they tend to live a fairy tale life. They want everything to be on a par or better than to their friends/cousins wedding. Further society wrongly portrays this as dowry. The Girl herself demands her parents to give her 30 so expensive dresses, expensive cosmetics; and further expects Groom side to buy her a very expensive wedding dress ( so far been hearing 3 lac region jorha) where as i rarely see Girls side giving anything expensive to groom. Usually the Groom is handed over a cheap knock-off suit,. The only solution to this problem is more and more people should opt for simple weddings. And in case the bride/in-laws are too demanding like asking for 3 lacs Dulhan ka Jorha then Guy on another side should also ask for Gucci/ Armani suit or an expensive watch so they also get to feel whats like seeing your money getting blown away..Recommend

  • Sharyar Irfan

    Very Well Written article and I completely agreed with your opinion. We as a society tend to spend lavishly on the weddings and its like embedded in every section of our society. regardless of whether its elite class or lower income, all tend to spend beyond their means in holding weddings. Another irony in this that those who can even afford things, when it comes to ” JAHAYZ ” most of the proportion of the society takes it by saying, ” JO App Daina Chaheyein ”, we don’t have any particular preference or they just simply takes it by remaining silent.

    In my opinion, the change should be coming from our selves first. As the writer of this article took the stance on it, which is totally commendable. if we should all follow simplicity and follow the actual customs that Islam has identified.that will make the weddings to be held easier and subsequently provides ease to all of our parents and will stop this culture of lavish spending on weddings.

    Importantly if a person who can even afford lavish wedding but still follow the simplicity and actual customs of wedding identified by Islam that makes the wedding simpler and easier. I am sure then the participants in the weddings would get definitely inspired from that act and eventually and gradually, even if one person would get inspired and followed the same path. Then I am sure, it will definitely make a chain of change. The burden very much lies on the people who can afford the lavish weddings but still follow the simplicity in weddings. Only this way masses would be brought to the simplicity in a much quicker way. As its a common human nature concept that human being tends to inspired very much from the person who is above to him, in-terms of social status. e.g as kid would get inspired from its older cousins or elder brother and try to somewhat copy the same act that his elder would do. Same rules applies here as well.

    Lastly Just want to say, thumps up on this great article and appreciation on the stance you took. All of us as a youngsters should follow simplicity when it will come to our weddings, because irony is most of us really talks against the lavish spending on weddings and the ” Jahayz ” culture in wedding but when it comes to our wedding we tend to follow the same course of action, as others are doing. Again, Change always come from ourselves, what we really believe in we should be following that in our lives first and others would naturally get inspired from that act eventually.

    : )Recommend

  • Omair Farooq

    Excellent article. Can we get an urdu translation of this to reach out to those who are not well versed with English? Recommend

  • fze

    Usually they don’t have the money. They borrow it from their relatives. My personal experience where we lend the money, on several occasions, for such expenses. It’s the social pressures that forces them to do so.Recommend

  • fze

    If wishes were horses….. life is all about choices, so make a sensible choice.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    yeah that is quite true as well. thanks for pointing outRecommend

  • 110% Agreed

    well written …
    my wedding is coming up aand I really wwant to do it in a simple,but no one is with me.All I can do.is duaa.
    May Allah show us the right path Ameen.Recommend

  • urooj

    Well written mam.! You have beautifully adorned it with compelling words.but this jora tradition has become so common now a days that much awareness would be needed to end it.the most responsible source of jora consciousness is media.and secondly I argue that happiness and grand marriage can be possible together.but the important point you arose in your blog is ‘ privileged people should spent this money on poor instead of wasting it for a day’Recommend

  • Saad Salman Zia

    Well written. This is something I protested tooth and nail against when I was getting married. Unfortunately it takes two to tango and girls usually don’t agree to a wedding without all the glitz and glam. She does realize it now though, it’s a colossal waste of money and unfeasible in the long-run. Buying stuff you won’t re-use and arranging a wedding that you cannot afford..for what? Oh yeah! Naak na kat jaye!Recommend

  • DesiPardesi

    Not in our culture – The dulhan walay are supposed to “bichofy” infront of the Dulka walay. If the Dulha is given some knockout stuff, the baraat ususally doesnt happen.
    Need you forget the concept of dowry that is prevalent here?
    Don’t be quick to blame the girls on something – one can only clap with two hands.Recommend

  • Highly Appreciated

    Wonderful :)
    I hope Pakistan get educated like you areRecommend

  • khan

    I totally agree… Although there is too much social pressure on girls… We need to stop thinking abt wat others say and start learning to do things which are satisfying us… Besides people tend to talk anyways… So might as well do WATS right and change this stupid trend…Recommend

  • khan

    Agreed we shud work to change such customs… These expenses often become a cause of stress for even the newly weds… And while we are at it we shud eliminate this concept of dowry too… Material objects can never be a cause of happiness…Recommend

  • khan

    The problem with our society is that we keep thinking wat others will say… But the thing is people talk no matter wat u do… So we shud learn to make the right choices even when they go against the social practices…Recommend

  • khan

    We can but mostly the issue with our people is that they find it very hard to balance out…. And when they go besides themselves to have a fairytale wedding they end up messing their lives cuz once out of that ideal picture they realize how difficult real life can be and so they don’t want to b part of it anymore… My friend had a granddd wedding but eventually the couple broke up cuz both the girls side as well as his side… Kept comparing whose function went better and who’s selection of clothes and jewelry was more intricate and up-to-date… IMAGINE THAT..:(Recommend

  • Rebellion

    Mam… I’m stunned upon reading your words, my excitement can never be defined in words that I’m feeling right now (or at-least within the combined english-urdu-punjabi vocabulary that I’ve got it seems impossible to me to confine my over-whelming thoughts about your write-up).

    To say it in a nut-shell I would say, I’m a living example of what you just said. I’ve been there and done that, faced lashes of words from family and facing it till now but believing in doing the right thing never made me feel bad, even 1% of it…

    What ever you said is word-by-word true… or at-least thats how I utterly believe and will keep believing until the last breath.

    Would like to add one very important thing to this whole write-up and personally I think that is the root-cause of our such issues and several other evil doings in our society… and that is a question that arises in all our Paki desi brains before doing anything good:


    I personally blame all the evils to this one question that is polluting our brains since years and will keep doing… and all such stupid acts of marriages and other social / non-social activities of ours will stay poisoned until we wont start believing this small thing:


    Its all about Mind-Over-Matters. And I mean it:


    Keeping mind above matters can help getting rid of such stupid social errors…

    Got plenty to say, but seems like my mr. webster is dying…

    I’m glad to hear such thoughts coming from a woman of my country.. gives me some hope for the future generation. I still remember when I favored the happy marriage above grand marriage, just before leaving Pakistan for abroad, I gathered my cousins (as I was one of the eldest) and said “I’ve done this so you can convince your family easily, as you do have example now” and asked them to carry this tradition rather than carrying those stupid ones and un-fortunately no one followed it again… and its getting wrose day by day with the same evil thought:


  • https://twitter.com/MalikSaabSays MalikSaabi

    I sincerely hope Sonia is not the last of her species. Yep. For all our sakes.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali


  • ShoaibAhmed Sherazi Siddiqui

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The best wedding is the one with least expenses”. He also said that, “The worst feast is the feast of Valima, since the poor are not invited, but if you are invited then you should respond (to the invitation).” And lastly he (peace be upon him) said that the Nikkah should be in a masjid (mosque).Recommend

  • asif ali

    Who ever she is.,salute.. Best content.. Recommend

  • Saad.W

    Well..The article is written well but to be honest, all those have commented in favor of the article, will always blame the society when they will fight against this sort of Grand wedding…However, somewhere in there own hearts they will be feeling that” Shadi ik baar hoti he” so it must be a grand one. What I think that wedding must be a simple one and instead a Grand Valima ceremony must be endorsed. In which both the families should share the budget, like this not only the burden of budget but also the people will enjoy the ocassions too… Events like Mehndi and Mayoon are diificult to eradicate but such events can be limited to joint dholki’s etc. Slowly and steadily the people will make the change happen.Recommend

  • Omair Shahid

    Finally someone wrote what I feel i am facing the same situation in my wedding elders have a very big part in stupid tradition and community things we want to change this but our elders doesn’t want to change this i always believe wedding should be as simple as possible that way no one is in pressure because it is the 2 people who are getting married that matters but no our elders doesn’t realize that because they only they one thing what Wil the stupid people say and than they say how it has become hard for a poor person to get married Recommend

  • Qasim


  • Annonymous

    JazakAllah…gud job Sonia…. .its high time for all Pakistanis to identify their culture and eliminates extravaganza which has been adopted or incorporated in our society from other religions…Girls should spend all of their energy in analyzing or understanding the person whom they are going to sign a contract……. happily ever after…….instead of planing for one single event.Recommend

  • Clarus

    Concept of Dowry is misunderstood here. Whatever the Brides parents give is to their own Daughter not to the groom. Bride gets those 30 odd expensive dresses, She gets those expensive heels, cosmetics. Even the Guys family is pressurized to give at least 20 dresses to bride. Have you ever seen/heard of any guy getting 20 shoes/ 20 suits from in-laws? Who gets those 20 tola gold set? Bride or Groom? . No one ever highlights about reverse dowry in Pakistan; that there is a certain community here in which the groom has to gift his in-laws a land or give money only then he is allowed to marry their daughter.Recommend

  • Sohail Akhtar

    Worthy of reading and following more so as it comes from a woman, who as a whole, in my humble opinion, are more obsessed with such fantasies than their counterparts. Brave effort from you Sonia Farooq. I believe if even some of the readers change their attitude after reading your strong blog, it will add on to your reward in the world hereafter. Best wishesRecommend

  • Moiz Ahmed Kapadia

    Wow this is really good and I will remember all those thing in mine whenever i get marryRecommend

  • Faisal

    Very refreshing to read. And I thought I was the only crazy one. Your article is inspiring. I will keep it permanently bookmarked for when I need a boost in my own struggle. Thank you.Recommend

  • Faisal

    I’m misty-eyed. Well done Sir.Recommend

  • Faisal

    Something just occurred to me. I was thinking that surely there are people who had the means but still chose to do a simple wedding, then how come I haven’t heard of them? I realized the reason may be that low key affairs don’t get any attention by definition!!! I.e. Few people are invited and nobody talks about it and there is no media coverage.

    Damn it… spreading simplicity isn’t going to be as easy as spreading extravagance.Recommend

  • Aib Iman

    “Marriage is the real deal; the wedding is all about construction. Weddings poison the personal and social relationship by its connection to appearances.”.
    You have presented a rational argument. true, I have seen many people who spent millions in their daughter’s marriage who eventually got seperated from her husband in one year; some in one month, too.
    we really need to alter this social construct of having a great wedding than a happy marriage.
    good work! Keep spreading awarenss among people. :-) Recommend

  • Madiha ghous

    Very well said . Keep writing. hope to read more of your stuffRecommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    Agreed, but want to add one thing more. The gold worth lacs of rupees given to the bride by the groom’s family is also as bad as dowryRecommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    Change is slow but it’s surely comingRecommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    May Allah help youRecommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar


  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    Insha AllahRecommend

  • DesiPardesi

    I’ve heard of weddings being broken off if the guy’s family doesn’t get good stuff as part of the dowry.
    In a male dominated society are you honestly putting forward this argument that it’s the brides who are doing all this?
    Given how sensitive the situation is do you think the larki walas will dare try to infuriate the larkay wala?

    Again there are two sides to every story – it’s more of a social and cultural thing then the fault of the bride or the groom.Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Thankyou for this article. Glad, really, very glad there are others who think like me out there.
    Wasting our parents’ money for the sake of the guy’s family should be looked into – why exactly is the dude so inconsiderate of your family, that he does not care about your family’s money going to waste when it could be used for perhaps education of a younger sibling.
    Stay the same, girlie! : )Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Haha never thought I would hear a dude agree to it too!

  • Noman Bashir

    Very well written article. Although, I have no intentions of getting married for another 3-4 years at least, but I have been trying to convince my family (especially sisters) for a simple wedding for quite some time. However, they completely freak me out with their crazy plans for my wedding. I only wish that whenever I intend to get married, I may find a girl who has the same opinion about the matter as mine.Recommend

  • Clarus

    male dominated Society? But this issue is Female Dominated !! Men never decided dowry/dresses/jewellery. Its Women who decided what to give and what to take. They do all bargaining. i have heard of so many rishta’s being rejected because Guy wasnt loaded with CASH though Guy being gem of a heart. Usually the Brides side will judge by seeing videos/pictures of Groom’s siblings wedding to assess if the Groom is loaded with cash or NOT. I am not refuting completely, just saying it can be on both the sides. Further when criteria of finding a Groom these days is his income/wealth so parents of Girls should also realize they will have to do everything to keep up to Wealthy GROOMS family standards. They shouldn’t complain as Greed breeds Greed.Recommend

  • Sam

    Brilliant article! There’s another excuse which I’ve seen elders use to justify lavish weddings. It’s the whole grandfather….grandmother or some other grand is too old and going to die soon. So for their sake, throw away common sense spend like crazy, go into debt even.

    Running away and secretly marrying sounds like a good way to avoid all this….Recommend

  • Sane

    With all sincerity I endorse what is said in this blog post. Who will break the rule of lavish weddings; we only, only we.Recommend

  • Madhu

    Sonia, I can’t agree more with you … Very nice article (Y)Recommend

  • Muhammad Afaq Mazhar

    Very well written … Good analyses… I must appreciate the writerRecommend

  • Saad Salman Zia

    Haha you’ll see a lot more of us on this particular side!Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Glad to know! : )
    Promote it amongst men!Recommend

  • Babu1961

    Interestingly, in Urdu, the same word (Shadi) means both wedding and marriage.
    Seems our culture does not understand the difference between the two.Recommend

  • Sarah Rehan

    My mehndi, wedding, and walima functions were hosted in extravagant halls with flamboyant dresses, lavish foods, and ornate decorations as per the wishes of my family and inlaws alike, perhaps in an attempt to also satisfy societal expectations. I didn’t fight against them in vain.

    However, I insisted and succeeded in organising the simple yet most essential part of the wedding, the Nikah ceremony in a mosque on a holy Friday before the other ostentatious wedding events commenced. Adorned with prayers and blessings to start a happy married life, I was touched by the simplicity and purity of the Nikah rituals and prayers, and revere the sanctity of the marriage henceforth announced.

    Since then, my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary according to the Nikah date though my dad considers the rukhsati (wedding) date to mark my wedding anniversary.Recommend

  • Rani

    Madam , I guess these traditions are more important for women,
    have no meaning for men! Females notice and spread rumours,Recommend

  • Rani

    Sonia Sister I wish I could find a girl with having similar thoughts as you are having. I am also believer of simplicity but family and the society currently unable to accept it,

    I really like and appreciate your article but I must have to say that you are different than normal girls and we need more girls like you in our society.

    Well Appreciated, Raiss your Voice, never let yourself downRecommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Yes, very true. But if both the guy and the girl are against it, there can be no better ending, can there? : )
    I was just happy when I read his comment, it surprised me tbh considering men nowadays do whatever their mother orders to.Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Haha, glad to know the men on these forums are standing up too! Great work guys!Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    Haha, glad to know the men on these forums are standing up too! Great work guys!Recommend

  • The Wedding Studio

    Excellent points. But, obviously the happy marriage is more important than the few spectacular days surrounding the wedding… right?Recommend

  • The Wedding Studio

    Nice post, I love the information given and the pictures.Recommend

  • http://www.amoyshare.com/ Alice Adam

    If I get married, I hope the wedding just is simple and happy. #amoyshareRecommend

  • Sijjal Khan

    Well written! Whatever you said is word-by-word true.I hope people would understand.Recommend

  • shaista kiran
  • Patty Bate

    What’s more important? Maybe happy. #amolinkRecommend

  • https://www.bigmatrimony.in bigmatrimony

    Nice post.Thanks for sharing this.Recommend

  • Harris Naseem

    Easy solution is to reject Modern Pakistani culture as this is nothing but post british backwash. No wonder nobody takes Pakistan seriously nor respect the women of our heritage here in the west.Recommend