Punjabis say cheers to Bill to trim big fat weddings

The proposed Bill seeks to put a limit on the number of guests invited and dishes served at weddings and also those spending above Rs 5 lakh must contribute at least 10 per cent of this amount towards marriages of poor girls.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba , Divya Goyal | Jalandhar/ludhiana | Updated: February 18, 2017 12:25 pm
marriage bill, Marriage bill lok sabha, Punjabi weddings, Punjab marriages, Punjabi marriages money bills, congress mp ranjeet ranjan marriage bill, compulsory registration and prevention of wasteful expenditure bill, marriages compulsory registration india, marriages prevention of wasteful expenditure bill, bill regulating wedding expenditure india, marriage bill india, wasteful expenditure in indian weddings, indian weddings wasteful expenditure, lok sabha bill marriages, indian express news Helicopters to take bride from wedding venue to her new home costs anywhere from Rs 65,000 to Rs 1 lakh per hour.

Punjabis are mostly known to solemnise marriages by making a lavish display of their wealth. Arranging helicopter Doli for taking the bride to the groom’s home, showering flowers from chopper, pre-wedding shoots, personalised invites, 3D mapping, drone photography, elaborate international cuisine to theme decors, hiring wedding planners and organising weddings at sprawling marriage places are quite common for them. Yet, they have welcomed the proposed Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking a check on extravagant marriages. They admitted that such marriages have become compulsory evil due to a growing trend and social pressure.

Known for most lavish weddings in Punjab, the industrial city of riches — Ludhiana – and NRI belt Doaba comprising Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala, see people spending crores on weddings that is nothing but a result of this trend of big fat marriages only.

The proposed Bill seeks to put a limit on the number of guests invited and dishes served at weddings and also those spending above Rs 5 lakh must contribute at least 10 per cent of this amount towards marriages of poor girls. The Bill has been introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of MP Pappu Yadav.

Satish Kapoor, a renowned educationist and retired principal of Khalsa College, Jalandhar, said it is an excellent move and this should have been done long ago in a country where a large number of people live below the poverty line. “Big show of wealth is nothing but a source of matrimonial discontent even and in several cases, it takes a toll on the marriages which gets broken because of this trend only. The most important in a marriage is to solemnise it in a simple affair. But now, people believe in showing off only which is not the real purpose of the marriage of two individuals,” said Kapoor, adding that instead of wasting money on food, extraordinary decorations, such people must contribute to the weddings of the poor. “All black money is used on such big marriages which leads to generation of more black money,” he said.


Recently, a Ludhiana-based couple hosted their reception at Burj Al Arab- one of the tallest structure in the world – at Dubai. Another Punjabi NRI couple hosted their engagement and pre-wedding nuptials at Burj Khalifa- world’s tallest structure in Dubai.

“We organised a marriage in Jalandhar’s costliest marriage place located on NH-1 which charges over a crore for a marriage, including Rs 5,000 per plate and we do it to please the boy’s family,” said a businessman from Jalandhar, adding that the wealthy are under more pressure.

“Helicopters to take bride from wedding venue to her new home costs anywhere from Rs 65,000 to Rs 1 lakh per hour. Foot spa service for relatives during pheras when family members are tired is another new trend and salons are paid heavily for it,” says a wedding planner.

The wedding photography now includes drone helicams covering 360 degree aerial shoots and couples even moving abroad for pre-wedding shoots. “Couples are paying Rs 5-10 lakh for photo shoots. Cost is higher for locations abroad,” said Gaurav Bajaj from Clickerz.

Even bartenders are being hired for Rs 1 to 5 lakh depending on whether they are Indians or foreigners. 3D mapping is another concept, which has recently entered Ludhiana weddings, but is still expensive and rare. “To give real time feel, videos of the couple are played on huge 3D enabled screens covering entire walls. It costs around 50 lakh,” said a wedding planner.

Manav Inder Guram, manager marketing, MBD Radisson, said, “The move is not a good one for hospitality sector. It will lead to more generation of black money as people instead of declaring amount will spend in hiding. In no way, Punjabi weddings will be affected as it is one’s personal choice on how much to spend on weddings.”

According to Jassi Khangura, owner of Hotel Park Plaza, “Social habits can’t be changed overnight, but it is a good beginning.”

“This lifestyle of Punjabis cannot be changed overnight but this bill is a good beginning at least to check this menace,” said, adding that target should be to reduce gifting ritual which puts immense pressure on the girl’s family,” said Gaurav Munjal, owner of Hero Ecotech.

Advocate Kamal Arora said, marriage expenditure has become a reason for divorce in many cases. “Even several NRIs are coming with complaints that they didn’t get food and liquor of their choice at the marriage which is ridiculous,” he said.

“In our villages, middle-class families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more and even ruin the lives of many,” said Avtar Singh, a farmer from Char-Ke village in Bhogpur, adding that in villages, this trend has left majority of farmers under huge debts.

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  1. B
    Bad Al
    Feb 17, 2017 at 11:47 am
    Huh! How did Modi come into the argument? It just shows how touchy and hence insecure you yourself are. This comes from a feeling of guilt of those who know they are defending the indefensible. How much more are you going to have to compromise with your conscience? poor you, I commiserate your feelings of self-loathing and all consuming hatred.
    1. N
      Feb 17, 2017 at 5:17 am
      Ranjeeta Ranjan, instead of put limit of marriage spending, why don't you put limit on child producing. If you limit that, then parents will have more money to spend on their kids education and marriage. Now I should take direction from you what and how to eat. Did you gave 10% of kidnapping industry money to govt. Ur husband was kingpin. Oh BTW, ur jijajee produced 10 useless kids, and taxpayer paying for those useless filthy kid.
      1. R
        Feb 17, 2017 at 8:07 am
        Why are you feeling so insecure? Did Modi come and scare you in your dreams?
        1. R
          Roger Mangat
          Feb 17, 2017 at 6:16 am
          This is a private bill proposed by Ranjan.Uptill now only 14 or 15 bills have been ped by the parliament since 1952. Good luck for this one,btw there already a way to cut down on marriage expenses,get married in a court.The law already is there just follow it.
          1. S
            Feb 17, 2017 at 5:47 am
            no need of such stupid bills, just target those who are spending lavishly on weddings and make sure they have paid IT correctly and scrutinize their income and properties.
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