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Weddings, weddings and more weddings... That's what had been in the air for the past couple of months with the usual dose of birthday celebrations to add spice to life. Soon V3 were faced with the crisis of having withdrawn a bit too much from their bank accounts.

With this month's salary finally in their hands, V3 were able to heave a huge sigh of relief and refrain from turning a blind eye on the stack of bills that seem to be mounting day by day. Ultimately just before sundown, the group headed to the shores of Galle Face to catch some fresh air and natter.

"May, June and July are the worst. Weddings simply crowd the calendar and sometimes you have to make it to two or three a day," Ruwi opened the conversation after mentally putting aside a few notes to pay her phone bill and hostel fees.

Sachi who had been digging the last Rs. 50 out of his moth-eaten wallet, handed it to the Vade seller and went, "I have noticed that it is usually women who enjoy weddings more than men There are lots of items to arrest their interests..."

"Bridal wear, floral designs, settee back decor, cake constructions, the menu, sarees....," Shaz said counting the number of items that are sure to seize her attention. Taking a bite of the Vade she added with a grin, "Not to mention gossiping, boozing and hooking up with friends and family. Weddings are pretty much family reunions."

"Yeah. For some, it is an occasion where you leave skeletons in the closet while for others it provides an opportunity to dig them up! Men talk when they are on the booze and they never keep tabs on what they are saying. Some look for opportunities to dig into matters," Sachi enlightened.

Ruwi who had been pondering over a movie article even at a moment of leisure exclaimed, "Do you realize that putting together a wedding is similar to working on a film? A tremendous amount of thinking goes into planning and construction."

"True. There are many different features to a wedding and everyone is looking forward to adding a unique touch to theirs. Other than meeting my colleagues, I look forward to witnessing a novel concept from which I can draw inspiration," Sachi said.

Shaz flipped her hair back against the wind and went, "Mmmm...We add features that have never existed in our traditional wedding ceremonies to make it colourful. For example some Malay weddings borrowed the going-away custom so that the couple can sport a different attire."

"Speaking of going-aways some couples choose to honeymoon at the same hotel that they held their wedding, but they get into a car, drive around and return to the same spot just for the sake of fulfilling the beliefs. We may respect auspicious rituals but they become silly at times. People have taken such facts for granted," Sachi noted' kicking a shell which was across his path.

Grazing into the sunset he added, "Your wedding should make others think anew. It should be a pleasant occasion for your guests rather than an event in which you use to compete with others or showcase your wealth."

Ruwi and Shaz stopped on their tracks and took in his words. They both reflected on moments in which the couple's needs did not tally with their guests. Sometimes the couple is away too long to change to their going-away kit and the guests are left on the lurch.

"Remember we once referred to vegetarianism in V3? Well, I think they should take that into consideration when they decide on the menu," Sachi continued noting the fact that one of the first questions which spring into a person's mind when mentioning a wedding is if 'the grub was any good?'

Moving back to the origin of the topic, Shaz mused, "A wedding is work of art indeed. Look at the variety of magazines, television programs, websites and exhibitions dedicated to weddings and wedding planning. It is even more profitable than the entertainment business."

"Though hotels and other institutions offer packages, it is charming when the couple add their own touch to enhancing the beauty of their memorable day. One couple designed and wove their garments. It gives a special feeling to the occasion. Sometimes one of the guests might even provide on one or two of these items as their wedding gift."

"I agree with you, Sachi, but it is also time consuming. You need a lot of pre-planning. Difficult but not impossible," Ruwi stressed.

"The bottom line is that if you make your wedding a delightful and memorable experience for your guests as well as for yourselves, you deserve a round of applause. After all you need not organize a wedding to keep up with the Joneses."

Shaz summed up the whole conversation with a very catchy catchphrase.

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