The COVID pandemic across 2020/21 has had a significant impact on the wedding industry. In fact, the entire supply chain has been adversely affected including, wedding venues, wedding photographers, wedding florists and the wedding audio-visual and entertainment businesses.
A while back we published the Big Fat Sikh Wedding Guide, titled so because most Indian / Punjabi weddings can be referred to as ‘Big’ and ‘fat’, but the headline used by the BBC last year was, ‘Big fat Asian Weddings Forced to Slim Down‘.
However, as we approach the lifting of the Covid restrictions in the UK, it is time to stand back and reflect on what the post Covid Sikh Wedding might or even should look like. So here we cover some points that are worth pondering over when you start planning your Sikh shaadi!
Slim Down your Sikh Wedding to Save Money
According to the BBC, the wedding industry within the UK is worth circa £10bn per year, with the average spend per wedding at around £27,000. However, as we know British Asian / Sikh weddings, tend to be larger events featuring several events therefore tend to cost more.
A spokesperson from Bridelux, a specialist brand for the luxury wedding industry, stated that, “The average Asian couple spend between £50,000-£100,000 on their wedding, depending on how many functions they hold for their celebrations, with costs only expected to grow.”
The Financial Pressure of a Sikh Wedding
That is a significant amount of money for any family and may represent several or more years of savings. So, the question is, (unless you are absolutely minted) could that money be better spent on building your future life, rather than putting on a week-long spectacle to get some balleh-balleh? Please remember that it’s not about Keeping up with the Joneses, which is something that many families feel obliged to do, only to endure both mental and financial pressure, this was beautifully put in to words recently by the Kular Brothers:
The Benefits of a Small Intimate Sikh Wedding Reception
As it stands (May 2021), many people are still tying the knot and getting married in the presence of a small group of close family and friends, 30 people to be precise.
That’s a small group of people that you really want to be there to share your Anand Karaj. Not just a bunch of distant relatives or family ‘friends’ that are essentially turning up to the wedding reception for free food and drink, to gossip about the colour or design of your wedding lengha, and to complain about the time it has taken for the roti to be served.
By opting for a Small Intimate Sikh Wedding, you will be able to upgrade your special day in several ways and here are just some of the benefits…
1. An Intimate Wedding venue
To seat hundreds of wedding guests, you’ll need a large venue and that can stretch the budget meaning you may opt for a ginormous hall that resembles a basketball court draped with curtains. Whilst it ‘does the job’ it won’t be a magical setting for your Sikh matrimony, typically, smaller intimate wedding venues are more plentiful and tend to have more character. Have a quick Google search, you’ll be amazed – we attended a wedding in 2019 at The West Mill in Derbyshire (pictured above) and it proved to be an amazing ‘magical’ setting.
2. Personal and intimate atmosphere
Looking back at my own wedding video recently I found myself asking repeatedly, “who’s that stuffing all of the gulab jamuns in his/her mouth/pocket or bag!?” and furthermore, we didn’t get to spend much time with close friends and family. Instead we had a host of people wishing us all the best in married life – which is great, but we’d rather have spent more quality time with those that were closest and by having fewer guests also means that you can share more special moments with the one that you are marrying.
3. Upgrade Your Small Wedding Reception
By reducing the size of your wedding, you can start upgrading various elements such as the menu, the entertainment and the photographers / videographers. I’m sure you’ve all seen plenty of wedding videos focusing on uncles trying to eat their roti.
4. Enjoy Each and Every Moment of your Wedding
You may have spoken to married couples who tell you that the day was just a blur, we can attest to that. With so many guests, thousands of photos to shoot and meeting and greeting generally it becomes much more like a super busy day at ‘work’. It should not be, it’s your special day! By downsizing your wedding, you are reducing the fuss, eliminating drama whilst taking in every moment and creating memories to cherish forever.
5. Saving Money on Your Wedding Reception
I know we said this earlier, but just to reiterate that by downsizing your wedding you will significantly reduce the cost for yourself / your parents. Spend the savings on something else that will help you to create more happy memories and don’t forget ‘Sarbat da bhala’ – donate a portion of the money you’ve saved to helping those that need it. We’re confident that the likes of Khalsa Aid, Midland Langar Seva Society, Nishkam SWAT or Sikh Relief would really appreciate any donations, no matter how small.
Main photo credit: The Wedding Filmmakers Ltd
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