Although the event of performing the marriage of their daughter by parents takes place as a private activity of the family, by following all the steps both preceding the event and going through its paces in letter and spirit, given the presence of close kith and kin as well as others including friends and well-wishers at large in hundreds, one cannot be faulted to deny the public glare. When biggies in society perform weddings with the customary glitz and glamour with budgets in astronomical proportions, the event is bestowed space in the columns of dailies as news under the caption society wedding with pictures of the newly weds along with VIP guests to boot. Both instances of mass marriage under the aegis of some religious institutions and public-spirited charitable institutions, a unique feature of many regions across the country have been models of relieving families of economically weaker sections of society the burden of incurring expenses and consequent financial hardship.
Marriages are often glorified by perceiving the events as made in heaven with a message of divine blessing ordained by the unseen superior power according to pundits. The customs being adhered by different sections of society following various faiths in performing the marriage of girls in our times makes a fascinating study from many angles.
The act of betrothal promising the marriage of their daughter by parents being described by the expression kanyadaan as a duty is a unique feature of the land’s time-honoured culture. Inviting guests in large numbers and spending on fulfilling the all-too-familiar formalities, not to forget the lavish lunch is not every family’s cup of tea. The major negative of the marriage event is the phenomenon of imitating the Joneses by parents burdening themselves financially. The point of letting the society at large know about the event of marriage of their daughter by parents inviting guests as a mass is well-taken. But, not trimming the frills that amount to extravagance by families with modest means drives them to a state of bother.
Child marriages, not permissible under the land’s laws and mass marriages do qualify to be public events, apart from those marked by extraordinary features including big budgets. In all other cases, marriage is a private event that has tended to be bestowed public glare in our times, but at the expense of the party concerned.