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Extreme weddings

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Jamie Angus Jamie Angus | 08:50 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

You've got to hand it to the Tajiks - they certainly aren't worried about "nanny state" criticism:

Bride and groom
"People were getting into debt to afford weddings, now the new law allows only 150 guests to be fed at wedding parties. The celebration cannot last for more than three hours and only one dish is allowed to be served."

That's what Tajik wedding inspector Mahmadrasul told the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie when she travelled to the village of Davlat-Abad, to film a wedding for the BBC's Extreme Weddings day.

And he should know - he stays at the ceremony to make sure there are no transgressions.

There couldn't be a greater contrast with the wedding of Nadini, a well-known singer, and Madura, her businessman sweetheart, attended by the BBC's Charles Haviland in Sri Lanka last weekend. There, hundreds of guests celebrated in a ceremony that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

You can see reports from both these weddings 14 and 15 April, as part of our Extreme World series, where BBC correspondents around the world compare the extremes of any given topic. We've covered hot and cold climates, the rights of women and the best and worst places to die.

And with Britain's royal wedding on the horizon, we wanted to engage our audiences worldwide in a debate about what weddings and the marriage ceremony itself mean to them. So we'll be bringing Rayhan and Charles together to report live on what they've seen.

Although there are great contrasts in the way people celebrate their weddings around the world - whether modest or lavish - we noticed that everywhere you go, people are investing as much as they can possibly afford, and then some more, in their marriage celebration.

It all ties in with the domestic debate in the UK about the scale of the royal wedding - how do the Royal Family negotiate the tricky problem of organising a wedding fit for a prince, in increasingly austere times?

We hope our audiences around the world have some suggestions. And we're asking them and you to contribute pictures and descriptions of the most extraordinary wedding you've ever attended, which we'll be showing on the BBC's royal wedding site.

Just make sure no-one shows Tajikistan's wedding enforcement team - they might not be happy.

Extreme Weddings is on throughout 14 and 15 April on the World Service, BBC World News and the BBC News website.

Jamie Angus is acting head of news, BBC World News.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Bad luck Kit Green.

    The term "extreme wedding" confuses me. I can understand extremes of temperature, because it is an easily measured quantity. But what is an "extreme wedding"? The photographs on the BBC website are not particularly unusual. I've seen TV coverage of people exchanging marriage vows underwater and on the end of bungee cords.
    Do you mean extremes of wealth?

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Removing a comment as off topic that merely links to the new BBC Controller's body of work involving a show about avoiding marriage, on a thread about dire TV around weddings, rather shows how low things have sunk on the free speech front around here, as much as content.

    Not that anything which counts as a plot would make it in Aunty's brave new world, but it it did you'd soon lose it.

  • Comment number 5.

    If you lived in the U.S. you would attend or read about extreme weddings all the time. 150 guests is medium sized. Thousands of dollars are spent on the dress, and that is just the beginning. However, one very rich bride engaged a famous Parisian designer to make her dress. The result was an absolute work of art, and it is a pleasure to know that there are some people who can commission a dress that will no doubt appear in a museum,where it definitely belongs.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    I read that Kate Middleton is a commoner.
    The website: www.wargs.com/other/middleton.html lists her 14th G-Gpts
    as Thomas Fairfax and Agnes Gascoigne. These lines go back to Henry Percy,
    3rd Earl of Northumberland and Rollo, Plantagenets, etc.
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Comment number 10.

    I notice that BBC World devoted half its newscast Sunday morning to covering the royal wedding in royal wedding report. You call yourself a news organization? Why are you wasting our time with trivial things like this when there is so much real news going on in the world. You are just pandering.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well said DanB.

  • Comment number 13.

    So. How long before a comment is shown?

  • Comment number 14.

    Ahh--i get it now! I am new to this site so it will presumably take a while to get to know my way around. I think i will just watch for a while to see the lay of the land as it were. (Or more accurately--to see what how much i can get away with and how much i CANNOT get away with!) At the moment its cool--with several posts catching my eye that are a bit near the mark as it were! Awfully strict it seems on here--is it?? I hope not!

  • Comment number 15.

    Pardon my suggestion, but please remove the Monarchy, they are passe and obsolete. If they need to wed, do a simple one. Why waste money on a lavish ceremony when there is a big chance that they may divorce in the future.

  • Comment number 16.

    What difference eh... different worlds, especially when you look at the costs involved for next weekend... ouch!... http://www.friday-ad.co.uk/article/the-royal-wedding-a-royal-price-tag

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the Royal Wedding itself is a great feature for Extreme World - you needn't look too far away from home this time - all the pomp and ceremony in Britain around these events is second to none. The wedding media coverage in the mainstream world press and many popular international blogs as far away as South Africa has been quite spectacular - tv programming around weddings and wedding movies for the entire week before the 29th in quite a few countries!

    Given the state of the world at the moment with nuclear disasters, tsunamis and revolutions, I think this royal wedding cartoon really hits the nail on the head. Much ado about nothing but the world sure could use some happy news for now.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great story idea, BBC! What a concept...

    Such a pity that old Communist police state did such a number on so many millions of people... Still feeling the repercussions decades later (and in Libya, too -- remember how that used to be part of the Soviet sphere of influence? Where did Khadafy learn his tricks? Including how to lie outrageously, in the most brazen way imaginable?)

    In a word, looking forward to more reports.

    And Happy Easter or a pleasant break for anyone, according to their preferences!

  • Comment number 19.

    I know I am a bit late and this may seem off topic but, I am going to chance it anyway!

    Happy Birthday to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, from a citizen of the United States. May you have 85 MORE years to live!

    LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

  • Comment number 20.

    The wedding is not unimportant because Willaim is the second in line to the throne.
    Moreover, the families pay for the ceremony itself, only the costs for security are paid by the public like the state visit of the pope.
    The monarchy is more a national symbol, they represent a national tradition and stand for continuity.
    I recently read a headline about the Federal President of Germany, claiming "I´m not a king", while touring around Germany visiting school class, public projects and so on.
    Actually the monarchy or the President of Germany do not have any important political power, the represent the country.
    Essential is that they do a good job and are accepted by the public, that they find the right words in the right situation.
    I therefore don´t think as negative about the monarchy for being "obsolete".
    Sometimes I think if Germany had a king or the queen, there would not have been a criminal dictatorship like the bunch of criminals around Hitler.
    So let´s enjoy the royal wedding!

  • Comment number 21.

    Well I stumbled upon this ironic video on You Tube.... http://youtu.be/OdkTdr8HOO8

  • Comment number 22.

    I notice that BBC World devoted half its newscast Sunday morning to covering the royal wedding in royal wedding report.
    Pardon my suggestion, but please remove the Monarchy, they are passe and obsolete. If they need to wed, do a simple one. Why waste money on a lavish ceremony when there is a big chance that they may divorce in the future.
    I therefore don´t think as negative about the monarchy for being "obsolete".
    Sometimes I think if Germany [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] had a king or the queen, there would not have been a criminal dictatorship like the bunch of criminals around Hitler.
    So let´s enjoy the royal wedding!

  • Comment number 23.

    @lastdanceboy comment nr. 22
    It is in my opinion not a good style that you plagiarize my comment in the second half of your comment (from "I therefore think" to the end).
    It is not you that thinks that, but me!
    Does that approach show your mental ambitions?

  • Comment number 24.

    Add your comment.

    However 'extreme' the outer trappings of a wedding, they are all at one in the simple convention of the service.
    beeb is kicking up real mean after Sky was elevated over them by the Palace at the fanfare of this year's post engagement royal appearances. You have my sympathy.

  • Comment number 25.

    No 9. Dorothy - I was wondering too how Kate can be described as middle-class. From what I can gather she has led a pampered life, moving through it in upper-class circles (how else would she have had such close access to William for so long), as the daughter of very rich parents. However, that kind of upbringing has obviously been a plus for her being well-fitted for her future as the wife of the King in waiting. And isn't she drop-dead gorgeous? But I don't think I will get up at 4 a.m. on Friday here in Florida, nevertheless!

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Kate and William are reaching a very important milestone in their lives. Prince William has accomplished a great deal in his life and one should not grudge his royal lineage. Kate has shown her intelligent endearing qualities befitting a future queen. So we should wish the couple the very best as they take the matrimonial plunge. They are very level-headed and down to earth. One can see Lady Diana's caring characteristics firmly imprinted on Prince William. The cost of the royal wedding will always come up for criticism but again royal weddings are highly special occasions and cost a bomb!

  • Comment number 28.

    Well, Mr A, the UK appears to come top when it comes to 'Extreme Weddings':
    http://www.cornwall24.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6296
    If it was happening in another country we'd be laughing our heads off and full of scorn for such lavish and ostentatious Ruritanian excess.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hello dear editor. I used to trust BBC news but since they seem to get BASIC facts wrong I dont think I will ever trust your lies again.

    Talking about Bahrain you always say Gulf countries. Which GULF are we talking about? The Gulf of Mexico? Gulf of Aden? I forget too since you seem to forget it constantly!

  • Comment number 30.

    this is what passes for intresting news worthy happenings the beeb are going to fund in the name of their paymasters,ie.you and i??if they are people idiotic enough to burden themselfs with this type of debt,well.that is their business,not!ours! pull your finger out,cover what matters to the people of our country,the cuts!!!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    Jamie, an interesting topic and particularly so given the royal distraction taking place in the UK this week. Contrary to some of the comments above, I believe this type of reporting is something that is much needed given the current turmoil in many parts of the world and negativity we are constantly reading about.

    Not that I'm for the monarchy as such but I just think it's great to mix in a bit of what the world should be able to consider good news, for a change! Thanks for that.

  • Comment number 32.

    Apparently the BBC have appointed wedding inspectors that have censored the way the Royal wedding will be broadcast in Australia. The organisers of this weird event must be pretty scared of a little light comedic take on the action. The Chaser team commentary on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's digital channel has been banned by Clarence House, and the BBC is doing the dirty work. Democracy anyone?

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    Democracy anyone?

    Now thats a joke for sure.....living in a country that still has a 'royal family' YEAH
    what a joke

    So the public are 'allowed to vote' the public are brainwashed by a BBC that they ARE forced by threat of imprisonment to pay dues to .....EVEN in EYGYPT this is not the case..

    The BBC is the Royal family in all but name.......all the director generals want the royal thank you handshake (knightship ) etc ......dont it make you laugh

    This country is less FREE then the arab countries as least there you know who the bad guys are .........here they hide.....and get you to BOW down to them ......:D

  • Comment number 35.

    A free country huh

    Try posting what you really believe on here .....

  • Comment number 36.

    All the 'news' agencies give out NOT the real news but the stuff that they have been 'asked' to give out NONE are truly independant. Just look at the state run TV in the Arab nations like Egypt Tunisa and all the others over there who ALSO pushed out the state line ......DO you really think the BBC is any different?

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm a bit puzzled about any controversy re how much money was spent on the wedding.Doesn't the money spent flow back into the economy & community through jobs, tourism, souvenirs & the like? If we all kept our money in our pocketbooks we'd surely extend the current recession.

  • Comment number 38.

    Only 150 guests!? I make my birthday with 200 guests!

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    I was listening to the bbc today at 4 p.m on the canadian west coast.
    the newsman was commenting on the fact that israel has withheld funds from hamas. (isnt that terrible)
    he said in a silky smarmy waythat israel regards hamas as a terrorist organization.
    surely any sane person or country would justifiably regard as terrorists
    a group that preaches hatred teaches hatred and lobs missiles into civilian areas
    and shoots at schoolchildren murders jewish children by slitting their throats , terrorists.
    even the smug brits would take offence if this was happening to their children or communities.
    so please do not say israel considers hamas to be terrorists, they ARE terrorists.
    so any government including these homicidal maniacs is not someone you could do business with easily, unless you were insane.

  • Comment number 42.

    is the bbc scared of having fatwas issued against its staff?
    is that why the truth is mangled and twisted -to avoid offending islamism at any cost,
    like the infamous cartoon organization in the uk that voted the caricature of sharon eating a palestinian baby as cartoon of the century , because the jews do not go on a rampage after they are offended like the muslims do when a single koran is burned anywhere in the world...has great britan lost its greatness and gone soft in body and in the head, churchill would be not impressed with your cowardly stance ..
    cowering in fear and appeasing everyone no matter how horrible their crimes are or how anti semitic ....

  • Comment number 43.

    Marriage must be conducted in a religious ritual. This includes same sex weddings.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    I believe that all weddings are extreme. In no other instituition do the man and woman make ridiculously difficult and unrealistsic promises to each other!
    This is an excellent example of extremism over and above what the Palestinians and the Israelis accuse each other of!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Re weddings in our country too...

    http://epoch-archive.com/a1/en/uk/nnn/2011/04-Apr/27/009_Living.pdf

    "Weddings: for better or for worse?" What do you think?

 

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