Hyderabad: Indian weddings are gala celebrations and community affairs, which involve the coming together of families and all their relatives and friends. They are flamboyant and over-the-top, often incorporating lavish venues in far-flung destinations, haute couture bridal wear, fireworks, and exotic cuisine prepared by expert chefs. It is not uncommon for those who can afford it to hire elephants and horses for the event, fly infamous entertainers and musicians from abroad.
Weddings which usually stretch way into the night have now become a morning affair with minimum celebration.
The credit for this goes to the pandemic.
The pandemic had taken many of us back five decades when the wedding was a morning affair. With just one or two dishes in the weddings of the middle-class families while the rich had three to four dishes for the guest. The venue would mostly be the home of the bride or groom. Though longer guest lists and dowries remained persistent over the years.
According to old-timers, just four decades ago, all weddings used to be held in the daytime. As most of the weddings are being cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, the limit of 50 guests is forcing families to complete the wedding ritual by day.
Meanwhile, the imposed night curfew does not allow this.
About 50 years ago, weddings used to be wrapped up by 5 or latest by 6 pm. This is followed even today in villages. However, as times changed and the weddings became extravagant the famous Deccan wedding stretched into the late night and ended by at least 3 am. Informing about the old trend returning back, Jameela, a septuagenarian grandmother of a bride said, “We conducted the marriage on June 6 and it was over by 5 pm; with just 60 people. While the venue was our home and we had all the arrangements done on the terrace.”
“I got married around 50 years back and it was organised in the daytime. All the weddings of most of the family members were held in the daytime, but the wedding of her sister, who was the last in the family and got married in the 1980s, was organised during the night hours,” she added.
The reason behind this development in the style of the wedding can be stated as a ‘desire of extravagant weddings’ as the marriages have flashy luminous floodlights, massive convention halls, a grand band baaja baraat with crackers, expensive dresses, video, photography and etc. This only adds more liveliness to the late celebrations.
Meanwhile, the students going to schools, colleges and people work in offices and attend businesses during day time; this was one such factor for night weddings becoming popular earlier.