Why have we included this section? Surely, a wedding is not as important, as say a house, or retirement, or even college. This is not even your own wedding – it is your child’s wedding.
Obviously, the people who think this way are not Pakistani.
A typical wedding in Pakistan is over the top and ostentatious. We do not mean this as some sort of cultural commentary – we mean this as a fact of life of living in South Asia. A wedding is not just a day’s affair. It can include multiple, week-long, functions, thrown by both the bride’s side of the family, and the groom’s side. They can include a dholki (singing function), milad (quasi-religious function), mayun (more singing, general merriment), mehndi (dance function), shaadi (wedding), nikkah (actual legal ceremony), and valima (reception). There will also be multiple dinners thrown in by various family members. The events will all have separate, unique outfits that the bride and groom will wear.
And who, exactly, will be footing the bill? Well, mostly you.
Whatever your personal beliefs on the institution of marriage are, one cannot deny that parents in Pakistan go out of their way, and stress infinitely, about the amount of money that goes into throwing a wedding. It is not enough to simply say, ‘oh, just have less events!’ – there are several cultural reasons for why a family may feel pressured to throw a giant wedding. In some cases, it is also a preference: since you have seen others in your society throw large weddings, when it is your turn, you expect the same sort of lavish treatment.
At SmartRupee, we recognise that children’s weddings are a serious goal for the majority of Pakistanis. And our model allows our clients to create a financial plan to help them afford the savings they will need for their child’s wedding.
Our model makes some assumptions about how much a typical wedding costs. We assumed that a wedding will equal about six times the peak monthly income of the individual whose child is getting married.
We also assume in our model, that the child will get married at the age of 25. We then calculate, based on when your child was born, or will be born, how many years you have to save for said wedding. The model then gives your monthly payment requirement for your child’s wedding and states how much, in inflation-adjusted terms, you will be able to afford if you save that much.
Whether or not you choose to pay, or whether your child even wants to be married is a whole different ball game. But if you want to pay for the wedding of your child’s dream, then this is how you can go about it.