In a complete break from tradition, a young couple from Balkh province chose to forgo the expensive wedding hall and instead hold their wedding ceremony at a recreational park in Mazar-e-Sharif city, where their main guests were orphans.
Mukhtar Wafaee, 25, a journalist, and Nilofar Langar, 22, a university lecturer, said they invited the children so as to bring a smile to their faces and to add more joy to their wedding ceremony.
Nilofar, who was surrounded by dancing children, told the little guests: "Love each other, do not fear each other. You are wise, beautiful, and you have nice souls. You are lovable."
Around 300 children attended the wedding ceremony.
"We convinced our families to allow us to celebrate our wedding with these vulnerable children," she added.
According to Nilofar, they saved a vast amount of money this way and spent only about 100,000 Afghanis on their wedding ceremony.
Balkh residents meanwhile said wedding expenses range from 400,000 to 800,000 Afghanis and that because of this, many young people today remain single.
"A number of young people who want to get married have to borrow money for their wedding expenses and then they must go to Pakistan or Europe to work and earn it back," said Noor Mohammad, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif.
This comes after religious scholars said the message of Islam is that the best wedding is the one that costs the least.
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