Young Emiratis happy to tie the knot without lavish ceremonies
The Ministry of Community Development is now working on a poll that will look into the pros of getting married without lavish ceremonies.
In a couple of days, young Emirati woman Amna Al Ali will be tying the knot in a small, intimate ceremony. No big banquet hall to decorate. No fancy invitations to send out. Everything will be done at home, only with family and a handful of relatives. The wedding would be entirely different from what she thought she would have - but the 23-year-old bride doesn't mind it at all.
"The pandemic has made us realise a lot of things and has imparted some beneficial lessons that we are now learning the hard way. Keeping the whole affair simple has taken away pressure from our families and everyone seems so excited and happy," said Amna, a resident of Ajman.
Amna and her groom are among several young couples who have opted for low-key weddings amid the pandemic. The Ministry of Community Development is now working on a poll that will look into the pros of getting married without lavish ceremonies, aiming to sustain the shift in mind-set.
There will be only around 15 people at her wedding this Friday, Amna said, saving them a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent on piles of wedding cards, venue decorations, and a massive spread of food.
By doing away with all the fanfare, "the money can be used for our future life as husband and wife", she added. "My husband-to-be and I are very happy about this simple wedding we will be having as there is no headache of elaborate arrangements, and no need to take out loans."
'Lavish weddings' have been an issue for a long time now, said Abu Dhabi resident Abdullah Aljefri, explaining that it has affected not only brides and grooms, but also their families.
Since weddings are thought to be "expensive", families would usually wait for the groom to settle down and arrange a huge amount for the ceremony. "This can lead to a lot of pressure on him that can become a cause of unhappiness and tension," he explained.
'Unnecessary burden, pressure'
The families of the groom and the bride end up spending a lot of money on the wedding, making it synonymous with "burden and pressure" rather than "celebration and happiness", Aljefri said.
"I am one of those who had a very lavish wedding but didn't reap any benefit out of it except for that brief moment of feeling proud about it. Therefore, I think we should take this pandemic as an opportunity to realise that this money that we spend limitlessly on weddings can be used on a lot of important things."
Fatma Almarri, another young Emirati looking to get married by next year, said the pandemic has reshaped her priorities.
"My brother got married before the pandemic and I saw how much money went into his lavish wedding. It made me realise that we millennials cannot get married without the support of our families as it is such an extravagant affair. And this is not how I want to go ahead with my life," Almarri said.
"I would rather use that money for the life after marriage with my husband. The pandemic has greatly swayed my opinion about the idea of a 'perfect wedding' as I saw couples get married in a simpler way and yet with the same happiness."
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