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sharing of wedding expenses - roughly 180 years ago.

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This quote is from the google group mintamil; an article about the life history of U V swaminatha iyer, popularly known as tamizh thatha. Interesting and revealing point is the groom's side has to spend more. I think kanchi periyavar has also mentioned this in deivathin kural. When and why the burden got shifted to the bride's parents. Now, in many marriages, expenses are shared (at least roughly) by the two sides. Will the cycle be completed and the boy's side will have to spend more!


உ.வே.சா அவர்களின் தாயாரின் பெயர் ஸரஸ்வதி. அக்காலகட்டத்தில் திருமணம் செய்யும் போது மணமகன் வீட்டாருக்கே செலவு அதிகமாகுமாம். ஒரு மகனுக்குத் திருமணம் செய்து வைப்பது பெரிய காரியமாக 19ம் நூற்றாண்டில் இருந்திருக்கின்றது. இந்த 180 வருஷ கால இடைவெளியில் நிகழ்ந்துள்ள ஒரு சமூக மாற்றமாகவும் இதனைப் பார்க்கத் தோன்றுகிறது.இப்போது காலம் எவ்வளவோ மாறிவிட்டது அல்லவா?

உ.வே.சா குறிப்பிடுகின்றார். “ என் தந்தையாருக்குக் கலியாணம் செய்யும் பருவம் வந்தது. அக்காலத்தே இவ்விஷயத்தில் பிள்ளை வீட்டாருக்குத்தான் செலவு அதிகம். விவாகச் செலவிற்கும் கூறை முதலியவற்றிற்கும் ஆபரணங்களுக்கும் பிள்ளை வீட்டுக்காரர்களே பணம் கொடுப்பது வழக்கம். ஒரு திருமாங்கலியம் மட்டும் பெண் வீட்டார் பெண்ணுக்குக் கொடுப்பார்கள். ஆதலின் கலியாண விஷயத்தில் இந்தக் காலத்தைப் போலப் பெண் வீட்டார் பொருளில்லையே என்ற கவலை கொள்ள மாட்டார்கள்.”
In the US the wedding expenses are bourn by the groom and bride (they probably have been living together).
The parents of Groom and bride decides to take up part of the cost as gift to the couple. Then again their marriages are much smaller in size (100 people is considered a big wedding).

We also should reduce the size of marriage. In Pakistan (sic!) the government restricts the size of dinner. This has reduced the burden on the family considerably.
During the days of shortage, our congress government too had put restrictions on the number of guests an the amount rice and sugar one can get from the ration shop. We had to apply to the tasildar with the wedding invitation and he will graciously sanction one sack of rice and half a sack of sugar. The balance had to be bought in black market at high prices. Anyway those days are gone for good. When there is conspicuous consumption and expenditure, the IT dept can always ask for the source of funding; this they never except when ordered by the govt. to harass the spenders half heartedly. Raid and confiscation of documents, silence afterwards.

Govt. has no business to impose any restriction. It never cuts its spending; spends hundreds of crores on it monthly, 100 days, six months and annual achievements.

Any way, the burning question is - who should spend more - the bride's or groom's side?
According to old custom and in many other communities the boy's side bear expenses. Somewhere after some time the Maamis (when boys were short) would have changed the table. But shastram has remained steady: More dakshina for boy's vaadhyar. Changing times and turning tables go on together!
"Old order changeth yielding place to new". Dowry (from the girl's side) is a curse. It is but fair that the two sides have to share the expenses equally. It is currently dictated by the circumstances because both the bride and the groom earn their living. It should become a general practice even where the bride does not earn. In the US the practice is to share the expenses between the bride and groom. In many cases the bride's parents pitch in sizably when they can afford. The Indian families in the US are still an exception. The bride's parents bear most of the expenses. However, there is no dowry fortunately.
What is interesting is, even in the 19th century, groom's side bore the expenses. Only in 20th century, the burden fell on the bride's parents. The need to accumulate and possess more wealth to meet additional expenses and enhance the 'new perceived status' made the grooms ask for money and assets, I think.

21st century has opened up new possibilities and demands. 'Education and earning' of both bride and groom throws 8 more combinations.

Girls are doing better in examinations and in the job market. And the skew in the birth ratio will makes brides a more powerful force in the marriage market.
Out here in Malaysia now the bride's side bears the expenses for the engagement and the grooms side bears the expenses for the wedding.

Gold,Saree etc are given to the bride by the groom.
Here some couples just to show off have lavish weddings and publish the pics in local magazines here.

Here if a person has many sons..they will have to worry cos wedding expenses can get real expensive too.

Many people just want to make the crowd happy and waste money for nothing at all.

That's why when I got married I told my husband to keep expenses low and no need to buy me too much gold too since I don't like to wear gold and do not make the wedding dinner too lavish cos it's money waste.
I told him that money can be used to start our lives.

Couples these days show off too much and end up starting lives with a zero bank balance.

After all even a wedding is just like any other day..sun rises and sun sets.
Why spend too much?
Who will buy this?

Dear Sarang ji,

I know that no one will buy this cos whenever I say this everyone will tell me

"OMG it's the wedding day..it's supposed to be the most memorable day of our lives blah blah blah"

Having sentiment for wedding is fine but just make sure it does NOT amount to a colossal waste of money.

Another thing couple's spend lots of money is for honeymoon.
Here it's a trend to go overseas for honeymoon and couples even hire a professional photographer along to take all pics of the places they visit in their honeymoon.

For God's sake..why waste so much money when all one needs for a honeymoon is a room!!
light weight banter only! Not to be taken seriously!

Wedding day is special because one doesn't want that day to recur again (for emphasis) for better or worse.

Money can always be earned; why earn if it cannot be spent on non essentials? Negative bank balance spurs one to earn more and splash more.

Without a honeymoon, how will the newly weds will get to know each other or display their affection for each other in public and be daring openly - not possible in home town.

Photographs are necessary as proof of visit. Only a professional photographer can guide the couple how and what to pose and how to look ravishing in compromising poses.
This may be of interest. My grandfather kept fairly detailed accounts and often totaled expenses of special events.

1. His first daughter's wedding in 1927:

cash paid: 2000-00 (rs,. anna)
Dress: 250-00
wedding: 1475-00
total: 3725-00

2. 2nd daughter's wedding: 1940
cash paid: 1500-00
expenses: 1200-04
total: 2700-04

We located his accounts book almost twenty years after his death. Why the expnses were less in 1940 as compared to 1927 is a mystery.
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