One hundred years later, decked out in royal green attire and perched on throne-like chairs at the head of massive wedding halls packed with hundreds of adoring family and friends, there’s nothing like an Afghan wedding to bring out the inner diva in any young newlywed. And just because Afghans may live in one of the poorest countries on earth doesn’t mean they’ll forgo a swanky wedding ceremony. Families pawn possessions and borrow money to rent expensive wedding halls, throw down feasts of kebabs, and dance the night away in the glitziest attire their money can buy for an all-out, YOLO extravaganza.
Female guests peel out of their burkas to unveil gowns covered in bling like an explosion at a sequin factory, and Kabul now has a whole neighborhood of shops taking custom orders from brides-to-be looking to outdo their friends
. Stores are practically printing money as wedding dresses can cost up to $900 – roughly three times the average monthly wage in Afghanistan and ten times that of a typical outfit.
Ironically, it was also around 100 years ago that the American wedding industry began its evolution into the $53 billion industry that Pinterest junkies know and love today. From the clothes, flowers, photographers, and music to honeymoons, bachelor parties, and destination weddings, the average cost of an American wedding now tops $35,000. Couples are willing to go into debt
to create those scrapbook-worthy moments, and while the divorce rate may hover around 40-50% it’s apparently a gamble worth taking.
A worldwide human phenomenon, weddings represent hope, optimism, and a chance for a new future. They’re a way to leave our past behind. Celebrate our present with the people we care about. Live happily ever after with the loves of our lives.
And, of course, be king and queen for a night.