Nieuws - 22 januari 2015

Blog: Money pressure from friends' weddings

Posts of wedding ceremonies are recently dominating the page of my WeChat, the Chinese Facebook. I notice the weddings are getting more ostentatious.

It would not surprise me to soon see Maroon 5-style weddings coming true in China.

However, the images confronting me in my virtual life do not affect me too much, because – to quote from Alain de Botton’s TED talk – they are ‘simply too strange’. I can’t relate to them. The real pressure comes from my rich friends in reality.

Last December, among three big weddings I attended, I was most impressed by my high school deskmate’s one. I was jaw-dropped by the big mansions of the newlyweds’ families, the wedding car fleet of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati, and the magnificent banquet for the guests seated at over 120 beautifully decorated tables. It all culminated with a wonderful wedding trailer. The groom told me he had paid around €3500 for that film.

I had mixed feelings throughout that day. On the one hand I felt so blessed to witness my good friend’s beautiful nuptial moment, on the other hand I felt envious about the grandiosity. ‘If only I could also make such a wedding for my wife, although she is not even in the picture yet,’ this thought haunted my mind until my French flatmate showed me a slideshow film he made for his friends’ wedding. It was a great piece of work. I was touched by the effort he had evidently devoted to the film. ‘A good wedding doesn’t need to be splurgy,’ he said with eyes moistening up.

Although I believe love and happiness are priceless, the highly materialistic life in China occasionally shakes my faith. Thanks to my flatmate’s sharing, I finally got my way back to live with both feet on the ground.

To take a step further, I even made a wedding film for another high school friend last week, with the help of some other high school classmates. It turned out to be a great success. Everyone thumbed it up. I am happy to prove to my friends that a good wedding can cost less than we think.

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