How much should I plan to spend on my children’s weddings?

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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 ofcultural commentary – we mean this as a fact of life of living in South Asia. A wedding is not just a day’saffair. It can include multiple, week-long, functions, thrown by both the bride’s side of the family, and thegroom’s side. They can include a dholki (singing function), milad (quasi-religious function), mayun (moresinging, 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. Theevents 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 inPakistan go out of their way, and stress infinitely, about the amount of money that goes into throwing awedding. It is not enough to simply say, ‘oh, just have less events!’ – there are several cultural reasons forwhy a family may feel pressured to throw a giant wedding. In some cases, it is also a preference: sinceyou have seen others in your society throw large weddings, when it is your turn, you expect the same sortof 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 needfor their child’s wedding.Our model makes some assumptions about how much a typical wedding costs. We assumed that awedding will equal about six times the peak monthly income of the individual whose child is gettingmarried.We also assume in our model, that the child will get married at the age of 25. We then calculate, based onwhen your child was born, or will be born, how many years you have to save for said wedding. The modelthen 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 ballgame. But if you want to pay for the wedding of your child’s dream, then this is how you can go about it.

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