Kashmir curbs lavish wedding spending

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An Indian Muslim girl displays her henna decorated hands at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Fitr, in Mumbai on July 28, 2014Image source, Getty Images
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The state government said the order was issued in response to public complaints about extravagance and waste

The government in Indian-administered Kashmir has put curbs on excessively lavish weddings.

Parents of brides cannot invite more than 500 guests, and the number has been limited to 400 for grooms.

The government also said that no more than seven main dishes can be served to "ensure that there is no wastage of any food items".

An MP has also proposed a bill to impose a similar ban on expensive weddings across India.

Weddings are expensive in Kashmir, and the traditional feast, locally called Wazwan, includes a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Traditional Kashmiri wedding food is hugely popular

The state government said the order, which comes into effect from 1 April, was issued in response to public complaints about extravagance, waste and intrusive noise.

The state had imposed a similar ban in 1984, but it was revoked after protests.

Marriages are costly in other parts of India as well, and many people spend lavishly on food, clothes and entertainment.

In November, the five-day wedding of businessman and former Karnataka state minister G Janardhana Reddy's daughter, Brahmani, with an estimated cost of about 5bn rupees ($74m; £59m), prompted outrage as millions of Indians struggled with a cash flow crisis.

Among the extravagances were gold-plated invitation cards fitted with LCD screens, costing 10m rupees.

Costly nuptials

Here are a few of the world's most expensive weddings:

  • Vanisha Mittal, the daughter of India's second richest man Lakshmi Mittal, married Amit Bhatia in a ceremony rumoured to have cost $74m in 2004. According to Forbes, the family flew 1,000 guests to France for the celebration which began with a party in Versailles
  • The wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981 is thought to have cost about £30m - in today's money closer to £116m. In comparison, their son William's wedding to Kate Middleton cost just £20m, according to the Daily Mail.
  • In March, Russian billionaire's son Said Gutseriev wed Khadija Uzhakhovs in Moscow. She is thought to have spent as much as $1.2m on her wedding dress, and, according to MailOnline, guests were kept entertained with performances provided by not one superstar, but three: Jennifer Lopez, Sting and Enrique Iglesias. The cost? Possibly a billion dollars...